Light & Wild - Chenthil Mohan

Earlier this June, I finally got the opportunity to use the Fujifilm XHS2 camera for a few weeks to shoot the Asian Track Cycling Championships. Along with the camera I got to use the 150-600mm lens.
Track Cycling is usually held on specially built banked tracks or velodromes using purpose- designed track bicycles. The indoor velodrome at the Indira Gandhi Sports Stadium in New Delhi played host to this prestigious international event this year. The lighting setup in this indoor velodrome was far from ideal. Extremely dark spots followed by bright ones with varied light intensity across the velodrome. The flicker rates was insanely high. Arguably one of the toughest light conditions I’ve shot sports in.
I am no technical expert. My understanding of camera equipment is from a functional stand point and not from my technical knowledge or lack thereof. Having said that here are my thoughts on the camera and lens.
Let me start with the form factor of this body. Fits my palm to near perfection. While I had the vertical grip on paired with 200mm and the new 150-600mm lens the body felt a lot more balanced.
Everything felt much faster on this body. From basic responsiveness to the insane blackout free frames, it does it all. My only complaint on the speed was that I was filling up my cards faster. And maybe one more SD Card Slot ?
The intelligent auto focus system now can differentiate between a bird a car or a bicycle perhaps. Having this new auto focus tracking system paired with super slo-mo (4K 120fps) made my Instagram reels way more slick. With all the stabilisation in built, I could get away by shooting off my hand even in some shitty lighting scenarios.
Initially while this lens was announced, I was not too thrilled about it considering it was a f8 lens. From the buttery bokeh world of f2.8, f8 sounded very slow. For the brief bits I got to use this lens, it changed my opinion.
For this super telephoto range, this was an extremely light lens. Internal zoom design and no extension tubes was a welcome relief. This lens has a dedicated / programmable autofocus buttons upfront which is convenient for this range. Surprisingly fast even in some questionable light. Even on a dark muggy day post rains when I shot this image of Tiger coming down the jungle and lens managed quite well. Along with the XH2S, it held its own.
Overall the 150-600mm lens is an affordable super telephoto zoom lens that’s purpose built for sports and wildlife photography and after having used the XH2S camera now for a few weeks, on retrospect, I am not sure how I managed all these years without this camera. I so desire this one in my camera bag soon.
A documentary photographer from Bangalore, Chenthil is the recipient of 2016 Silk Awards, and 2012 Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year Award (couple Portraiture). Apart from Weddings, Chenthil is an accredited sports photographer specialised in professional cycling and a published photojournalist in leading publications and renowned photo festivals. Recently he was nominated to the inaugural “Mark Gunter Cycling Photographer of the Year” competition by CyclingTips Australia. Be it the mood of the moment, the gaiety of the wedding, the exuberance of the party, action in a sport or the sombreness of the ritual, Chenthil’s unique perspective, the odd angle, or different light makes even the mundane special. He lives in the outskirts of Bangalore with his wife and 5 dogs, trying to live a lifestyle true to his spirit.

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