Olympic Photography: the rules, and how to beat them

Olympic Photography: the rules and how to beat them

Olympic Photography Rule 2: No ‘large photographic equipment’


Along with tripods, the International Olympic Committee bans the use of anything classed as ‘large photographic equipment’.

What’s ‘large photographic equipment’, you’re probably wondering? By this the IOC means any equipment longer than 30cm. For instance, under these rules you should leave at home any lens bigger than a 300mm f/4.

How to work around this rule
It may sound sacrilege to some, but using a compact camera doesn’t necessarily entail the steep drop-off in quality it once did. Many of the travel and super zooms on the market offer fantastic quality at the long end of their focal range, and even digital zoom quality is now quite good.

That said, if you prefer to use your DSLR, then you can’t go wrong with a standard 70-200mm telephoto zoom. You aren’t going to capture the beads of sweat on Usain Bolt’s forehead as he sprints past, but realistically, unless you’re an accredited photographer you won’t get this type of shot anyway.

A telephoto zoom, however, should give you some nice flexibility for capturing the atmosphere in the Olympic venue (find out the 9 things to know about using a super-telephoto lens).

RULE 1 (and how to beat it)
RULE 2 (and how to beat it)
RULE 3 (and how to beat it)
RULE 4 (and how to beat it)
RULE 5 (and how to beat it)


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