Lenvy Part Two

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life18 Comments


Have you ever coveted something deeply and thought to yourself, “Would it be so bad to just do a Kickstarter campaign to get one?”

That would be me and the newest version of the Canon L-Series 100-400 Zoom Lens.

Both of my offspring play ultimate (learn more about ultimate here), and over the past few years I’ve rented lenses for some of the bigger tournaments. A few years ago, I wrote about my growing lenvy.

For $40 a pop, you can rent professional lenses from my local pro shop (who are also the nicest people), and man is it ever worth it!

I have dubbed myself the semi-official team photographer. No one asked me to do it. I just like walking the sidelines and getting great shots of the boys playing. We have a great group of young men (and a great group of parents, too!), and it’s just fun to upload highlights for all to see.

Our high school is tiny. We are a charter school with grades 1 to 12 and there are only about 40 to 50 students in each grade from 7 to 12. While our students do play other sports (we have soccer, volleyball and cross country, to name a few), it feels like there are a disproportionate number of ultimate players. Ultimate is just part of the school culture. Our womens team won the state championships in 2015, 2016 and they appear to be an unstoppable force for the 2017 season. People are talking three-peat. Our mens team is coming off their first ever tournament win, and they placed second last weekend in one of the biggest tournaments of the season. They have a real shot at state this year.

I guess my point is that we compete with the powerhouse Minnesota high schools who have well-established ultimate programs. We’re like this mysterious little juggernaut of ultimate. I even had a parent from our opponent in the championship final last week ask, “So who are you guys anyway?”

Plus, the sport is literally thrilling. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even breathe watching it. But in a good way. It helps that I pace the sidelines with a camera in hand. It keeps me, as the ultimate players like to say, chilly.

And I get to take pictures. It’s just so cool. I am extremely grateful that I get to be an ultimate mom.

And the lens? It’s like butter. True, you have to time your shots well and it helps to shoot in burst mode, but the quality of the images is superb. I don’t think it would be great for nighttime photos as it’s only a 4-5.6 lens. (For nighttime sports, this lens would be a great choice, but you have to be right on the sidelines and close to the action.)

I shoot with a full frame DSLR (Canon 5D II, this is the newer model), and I have never regretted the purchase. And when you pop on one of these high end lenses, magic ensues.

Plus, I just feel much cooler with a big assed gray lens in hand.

So is a Kickstarter campaign in my future? Nah… I’ll fork over the $40 a weekend for the next few years.

But what if the future grandkids play?

Might want to start saving to buy today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start planning for my trip to Lexington, Kentucky this Friday where I get to watch my daughter compete with the St. Olaf Women’s team at the DIII Collegiate Championships. Ultimate mom indeed.

Cathy ZielskeLenvy Part Two

18 Comments on “Lenvy Part Two”

  1. #1

    Posts like this are amazing! You should contact Canon and partner with them for that lens and write little essay’s like this one with beautiful photo’s like these. Just saying.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Susan. I think Canon would see me as about the smallest potato out there. Ha! Don’t think they toss anything towards scrapbookers. lol!

  2. #2

    Do you set your camera on manual mode and do a grey card test or on automatic? Beautiful pictures. Have been wanting to rent a lens locally as well to catch each of my daughters sports this summer (softball & swimming).

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I shoot on AV mode (Aperture Priority) and set it to 400 ISO. That’s it. I use Auto White Balance and I’m not sure what I set the metering too. I think it’s the dot with the parentheses around it. Lol. How’s that for techie?

  3. #4
    Melissa pearson

    Super post! I am an “ultimate wife” … correction I love the stories of my collegiate ultimate husband daily. But now that he’s “older” ultimate isn’t in the cards anymore, but disc golf is. I share these posts with him as he was one of the few in the beginning and he helped basically start and organize the ultimate team at UNC, and then lead the team in Santa Barbara for years. Thanks for sharing! I am sure one day I will be an ultimate mom, and we can share lenses then 😉 hehe

  4. #5
    Tammy B

    Awesome photos! I’ve been debating whether or not I should upgrade my camera. The body is nine years old ? But I have a really good Tamron lens. With fewer things to take photos of now that my kids aren’t in school it seems like it might be a waste of money. I don’t use my phone to take pictures because it sucks!

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      As much as I love this big zoom, I just cannot justify it as a purchase. Too many other expenses, namely, helping my daughter pay for college. Lol. I suppose that takes priority!

  5. #7
    Sharon Manning

    I’ve followed you for years for our shared passion of Scrapbooking. My husband has played ultimate for 35 years up until 2 years ago when he switched to Disc Golf (his knees couldn’t take it anymore). I’m a photographer myself and recently we took on the role of Dude Disc Golf Clothing on the road managers here in the US. The company and ourselves are Australian based. After our arrival into Texas in March I did some research into lenses that would be perfect for Disc Golf photography….The Canon 100-400mm was the one I settled on and I don’t regret it one little bit. I combined it with a fast SD card and monopod and it’s the perfect set up. We are also heading to Madisonville Kentucky this weekend for a Disc Golf tournament…let’s hope the weather forecast improves!

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Wow, that is so cool that he played ultimate! And yes, the forecast for this weekend looks, ahem, sketchy! 🙂

  6. #8

    I invested in this lens in the fall when my daughter switched from 8v 8 to 11v 11 for soccer. I justified it because I have two more kiddos in soccer behind her! It’s heavy, but the photos are so worth it!!! The best lens for big field, outdoor sports!

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I feel like if I had younger kids in sports… or just a nice chunk of disposable income. 😉 I mean, Cole does have one more year of high school ultimate. We shall see. 🙂 It is a really great lens!

  7. #9
    Sharon F.

    Love this… you make me wonder about the spectators-would love to see expressions of the folks on the sidelines watching this “ultimate” sport!! Well dobe Cathy!

    1. #9.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes! I do have pics of the parents on the sidelines! Just wasn’t sure if they’d want to be on my blog. 😉

  8. #10
    Lynn L.

    Congrats to both of your kids and their great seasons! Enjoy all these fun moments with them!!

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