Tuesday, October 16, 2007

They Did It With Fixed Lenses

A friend of mine has been watching the Playoffs, or whatever they are called these days. She is interested in the Cleveland/Boston series which is 3-1 tonight. I’m fairly immune to sports, but having lived near Boston for many years, I do feel a certain partiality to a city I know, rather than one I know nothing about.

The main wind-up-and-pitch camera used to be up in the stands behind home plate. This was back in the days before color, when the cameras had four fixed lenses. You chose which lens you thought would be right for the upcoming play and you were stuck with it, unless you had a few seconds’ warning to switch, focus and find your target.

The main camera these days is in the outfield stands with a good long lens that makes it possible for us to be right behind the pitcher, looking straight at the batter, catcher and ump. What you needed for that just didn’t exist those many years ago. Nor could you zoom in to follow the action as the ball went way out and get a close view as the player caught it to end the inning, or contribute to ending it.

I sometimes wonder what the younger set might think if they saw a recording of a game from those days. It was not visually exciting; the camera angles were set up mostly to show the action on the field. You would not see any close-ups of players in the dugout, or pitchers pondering what they should deliver next. Instant replays? Forget it; keep your eyes on the screen and pay attention. Innings, balls, strikes, scores, ball speeds on top of the screen? You’re kidding, right?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention, there were no shots of players scratching themselves, spitting tobacco or making obscene gestures to fans in those days

October 18, 2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous ColdJoshVail said...

Remember listening to games on the radio! The Giants in the series, Johnny Mize.....Yeah, I'd have taken B&W.

October 18, 2007 5:39 PM  

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