Each installment features a photographer discussing a piece of equipment they can't do without—and a photograph they couldn't capture without it.
Photographer: Adam Zeliger
Equipment: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
My primary focus is sports and travel photography, and the recurring theme is that I'm reacting to subject action and motion. Stated another way, I don't really create images, I capture them. If there is one piece of gear I couldn't live without, it's my Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS. For sports, you need much longer lenses and I usually wind up with 300mm, 400mm, or 500mm lenses. These are big white Canon missiles, they are beasts and weigh a ton, and most importantly, make you much less mobile. For major sports events, my 70mm-200mm is always on my shoulder on a 2nd body ready to go. The lens is extremely sharp and fast. I can go from 200mm to 70mm in under a second and still track and shoot my subject even as they're blazing towards me. For football, you position yourself in the end zone when play is say, on the 10 yard line, at 200mm for the snap and pass/handoff then widen up to 70mm as the player (hopefully) hits the end zone right at you. For basketball it would be the exact opposite, under the basket to the side (which is the only place you are allowed to be positioned), so when the action starts right near you under the basket, you go to 70mm, as it moves downcourt you rack it to 200mm and get off another couple of frames. Basically, used right this lens usually lets me get 2 shots for the price of one. Its the only zoom I can effectively do this with in an instant without ever taking my eye out of the viewfinder. I would estimate 95% of my images with this lens are shot wide open at F2.8.
Here is an example of football I've shoot with this lens, showing different focal lengths possible: