Wellington Cantonese Opera – Shooting with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII and TC-14E

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A few day ago, I shot a Chinese stage theatre using the best Nikon combo; Nikon D3 + 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII and Nikon D700 + 24-70mm f/2.8. Why did I choose to put the 70-200mm f/2.8 on the D3 and not the 24-70mm f/2.8? It is simply because I want to minimise the weight as I shoot mostly using the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. Putting it on D3 weights a bit less compares to putting it on the D700 + MB-D10 grip. Also I brought along the Nikon TC-14E to give me those head shots show casting the stunning face painting. While I am not familiar with Chinese Opera and this is the first time I have been to one, I am honoured to experience the tradition culture through the lens.

Here are some back stage images of the day.

When I arrived I did some light metering and luckily the stage wasn’t as dim as I anticipated. I was able to settle at ISO1600 to keep the aperture at f/4 and shutter speed at 1/100s – 1/200s. I was shooting from the second row. Here is a shot showing the stage lights and the distance to the audiences.

Shooting with the 70-200mm, I could frame the full body at 200mm from where I was at and with the use of the TC-14E (1.4x teleconverter), I was able to achieve a much tighter shot (about half body), but limited to aperture f/4 only. I was very impressed with the contrast and sharpness of the images, the AF was fast and VRII worked exceptionally.

Here are some images taken on the night.

Here is a collection of the characters portrayed during the Opera – Taken using the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII + TC-14E. I didn’t feel any performance or image quality disadvantage when fitted with the TC-14E, however, I didn’t pixel peep or did any lab test either.


About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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