CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Recording the Raw Emotions of Professional Athletes with the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85
21 November 2019
ZEISS lenses may not be the typical first choice for sports photographers, but contrary to a frequent misconception, certain ranges of lenses by ZEISS support autofocus and are more than capable of keeping up – the Batis range being one of them. Plus they boast the top-end optical quality that is synonymous with ZEISS lenses.
Melissa Gresswell came to us in search of a suitable lens to use with her a7 III. Melissa is principally a sports photographer – having been involved with sport from a young age, but she also loves to shoot live music and theatre. When she tagged us on Instagram having hired the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 for the Muller Anniversary Games 2019 and a portrait shoot, we just had to see more! Over to Melissa...
"I specialise in athletics photography and tend to shoot as a freelancer for clients at events such as the Muller Anniversary Games. I'm usually required to send images over in 'real-time' so that they can be used immediately on social media (mainly Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) during the event. This is done via the camera’s Wi-Fi to my phone, and then via an app which doesn't compress the image quality, on to the client. Post-event, I will edit up some images, usually on Adobe Lightroom, and send the client a complete album so that they have a stock of images to use.
Post-editing can take time following a sports event, as you often have thousands of photos to sort through due to the fast frame rates with which you are shooting, but I actually love this part of the job! I'm so busy looking through the lens, staying ready to capture sporting moments which happen so quickly, that I don't always remember what I captured, so when looking back through the shots it's nice to relive the event. I find editing pretty therapeutic.
I absolutely LOVED the lens I hired from you guys – the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 – it did such a great job for what I was envisioning – and it was so versatile!"
"I used this lens on my Sony a7 III. I do also shoot with Nikon, but bought the Sony earlier this year after recommendations and I was not disappointed with my purchase. I think I'll probably end up transitioning everything over to Sony."
"Firstly, I used the lens at home in Liverpool. The subject was my partner who is used to me putting a camera in front of him! I wanted to have a practice with the lens prior to shooting and I wanted to shoot in low light, to test the clarity and sharpness.
Then, I used the lens during a photoshoot with Paralympian Kadeena Cox in Manchester, along with my Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS.
Subsequent to this I used the lens for a sports event at London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Muller Anniversary Games 2019 – athletics). Typically, I'll use a 70mm-200mm and 150mm-600mm lens during athletics events, however I wanted to get a different feel in my photos at this event."
"This was the second time I chose to hire from Hireacamera and the customer service was second to none.
Originally I had actually selected a different lens to hire, but during the initial phone call with one of the Hireacamera reps and a chat about what I would be using the lens for and what with, we discovered that, although the lens was compatible with the Sony a7 III, it might leave me with a significant vignette effect on the images. The rep kindly went away to test the lens for me on a Sony a7 III and then called me straight back to advise that this was the case. He then assisted me in looking through availability with other lenses and helped me to select a lens which was more suited to my needs. That's how we got to the Batis lens.
I ordered pretty last minute, but the lens arrived quickly and as described – I used the home delivery option and then it was picked up from my home to be returned back to Hireacamera. I like that Hireacamera use hard Peli Cases when delivering lenses as this provides me with extra reassurance that equipment is protected during couriering, both there and back. The little Haribo packet on delivery is also a sweet (excuse the pun!) thought – (I'm always carrying sweets around with me during shoots as athletics photography often involves very long days with very few breaks!!).
Returning the camera is easy and it's nice to receive a reminder email of your return date, especially when you are busy with lots going on. My deposit was refunded with no issues."
Muller Anniversary Games:
"There were two moments during the Muller Anniversary Games event where I think the Batis lens captured it exactly how I wanted to capture it – in an almost documentary style, soaking up the atmosphere around the athlete within such a big stadium, whilst capturing their emotion at the same time. The first was when Laviai Nielsen achieved a personal best in the women’s 400m – just look at the elation and how much that meant to Laviai – and it was so lovely to see the support from her fellow GB athlete Emily Diamond."
"The second moment was Goldie Sayers receiving her 2008 Olympic Games Javelin bronze medal, following the disqualification of Russian athlete, due to doping. You can see in the images that Goldie is overjoyed to finally be granted her moment to celebrate her sporting achievement, although you can also see flickers of frustration in that this moment was originally taken from her back in 2008."
"These images are from the shoot I did with Kadeena Cox, Paralympian. It was a scorching hot day in Manchester where we were originally going to shoot Kadeena baking at home, to show a different side away from sport, however we didn't want to waste the opportunity of shooting outdoors in the rare English sunshine! Kadeena went through some drills and movements which she would typically go through during a training session at the Manchester Regional Arena."
"As I am predominantly a sports photographer, I don’t always have the right equipmemt when it comes to shoots where I might need to take portraits, as I usually shoot with medium and super telephoto lenses. This lens, when accompanied by the Sony a7 III gave me sharp images with a strong bokeh effect, which is what I wanted."
"Here are some other images I shot during the Muller Anniversary Games with the Batis lens:"
We can all agree that Melissa’s fantastic imagery has truly captured the full range of emotions here – be they positive or negative – everything from ultimate triumph and rugged determination to, sadly, absolute heartbreak and despair. You can find more of Melissa's work via the links below:
We would like to thank Melissa for taking part in this brilliant customer case study, for sharing these fantastic images with us and for her kind words about our service.
The next time you are pondering which lens to hire, why not give a ZEISS a go? Be it for sports, portraits, macro or landscapes, ZEISS’ level of craftmanship and image quality is renowned – and for good reason! The ZEIS Batis 1.8/85 is available for hire, HERE.
Be sure to share your images and videos with us – we love to see the amazing results our customers achieve. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or you can email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.