I have season tickets to UConn men’s hockey, and the first time I went with a camera in hand, I was shoo’ed away. I had looked on the facility’s website before going and they had some random requirement that the lens could not be longer than 90mm. Well, ok, that kind of bites, but I’ll just go with my Helios 85mm and that should be good enough. First thing the guy tells me as I walk in? “No cameras with detachable lens”. Um, what? Your website said nothing like that. “Sorry that’s what I was told.” OK, fair enough, I walk back to my car and put my camera away.
I ask a different security person if the website was wrong or what, and it turns out that the XL Center website is accurate, but that my alma mater, UConn has a policy of no detachable lens cameras at any of their sporting events. Random. So the next game…I bring my Canon point-n-shoot digital with a 24-120mm lens, plus a software zoom of 4x, for roughly 240mm. Gee, all I wanted to bring was an 85mm lens UConn, you sure got me with that policy.
But I also brought a non-detachable film camera, because this was the last home game of 2014, and I couldn’t resist sharing more hockey shots on 52Rolls. This time I brought my smallest film camera, the Balda Beltica. The last time I shot this camera was way back in week 22 at a RenFaire. It has a 50mm/3.5 lens of Tessar design, has the old system of shutter speeds (1/25, 1/50, 1/100, etc) and is a true rangefinder. You set the distance to your subject, use the little view finder to compose the shot, cock the shutter (don’t forget to cock the shutter!) and snap away. The shutter release button is on the left, and the shutter cocking level on the right, so that takes a little getting used to. And advancing the film is interesting, you press a button on the right underside of the camera to release the advance and then turn a knob till it locks at the next frame. But if I was using this camera pretty often, I can see getting in the rhythm of using your right index finger to cock the shutter, left to shoot, right hand to release the advance lock and turn the knob.
Here is a (digital) shot of the Beltica. I forgot the lens is a Carl Zeiss Jena. Quality little camera. You can see the shutter button to the right of the viewfinder, and the film advance release button on the left, underside, right next to the film advance knob.
I tried a few too many ‘I’m not going to actually compose my shot, I’m just going to shoot from the hip’ shots and got a bunch of photos of the stands on the other side of the arena. I did manage to get a few decent shots though, esp considering the fast pace of the game and my proximity to the action. I think most of these are at either f4 or f5.6 and 1/250 or 1/100 shutter speed. I had my last roll of Fuji 800 loaded up.
My tickets are the 2nd row up from the ice, in the corner. There are a lot of scuffs and what-not on the protective glass, so sorry. The softness of the shots is not due to the camera (see the crowd shot). BU was ranked #3 at the time of this game and were clearly the better team, but UConn got the game to within 3-2 with 9 minutes left before BU got their 4th, and then a final empty-netter to win 5-2.
And one of my bloopers. There were like 8 or 10 of these. I also had 2 blank shots because I thought I had cocked the shutter and taken a shot (but didn’t) and just merrily advanced my way to the next frame. This camera, however, is begging to be used for double exposures. Maybe with some Ektar. Hmmm, Ektar…