Photographing the 2021 North Fork Kayak Championships with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor DX Lenses

July 05, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Photographing the Idaho 2021 North Fork Kayak Championships with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor DX Lenses

Kayaking in whitewater on a river. 2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500 Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

The North Fork Kayak championships, held yearly on the North Fork of the Payette River in central Idaho, brings together some of the top kayakers from all over the world to experience some of the most demanding whitewater in the US.

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

This was my second time photographing the event. I attended the event in 2019 (see the 2019 photo gallery HERE will open in new tab) and would have gone again in 2020 but, as you can imagine, it was canceled due to the pandemic. (You can view my 2019 North Fork kayak photo gallery HERE.) In 2019, I had with me the Nikon D5 and used primarily the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 lens. However, this combination proved to be a problem: The weight of the full frame body and lens proved to be too heavy while maneuvering amongst the rocks and boulders that one needs to negotiate to get down to the river’s water level. While I did eventually make it to the shore, it was a hike I knew I didn’t want to repeat with such heavy gear. Lesson learned: bring a smaller camera and lenses next time.

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

After surveying what I call my Nikon DSLR and F mount “Dream Team”, that smaller kit was the Nikon DX flagship D500 with the following DX lenses:

  • AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
  • AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR

All of the images in this blog post were taken with the equipment above. Some of the images are slightly cropped and all were shot in 14bit RAW uncompressed processed in Capture One 2021.

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

I knew I was taking a risk in terms of image quality by going with a crop sensor camera versus a full frame flagship (Nikon D6) with full frame lenses. Did the D500 with DX lenses measure up and give acceptable image quality from this high action event? For me, the answer is a resounding yes! I was pleasantly surprised how much this 5 year old camera still has to offer. I think one of the reasons the D500 performed so well is due to the abundance of light at this event. Between the clear skies and the sun light reflecting off the whitewater, light was not in short supply. This allowed the auto focus to perform at its full potential and kept noise in the images to a minimum, allowing maximum potential for post processing.

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

In conclusion and in hindsight, I don’t regret at all using the D500 and Nikkor DX lenses to document this action packed sports event. You can view the complete 2021 gallery HERE.

Find below additional sample images:

 

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

 

Nikon D500, 70-300 mm DX VR lens

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 10-20 mm DX VR lens

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 16-80 mm DX VR lens

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 16-80 mm DX VR lens

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 16-80 mm DX VR lens

 

Kayaking in whitewater on a river.2021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using Nikon D5002021 North Fork Kayak Championships Photos using the Nikon D500

Nikon D500, 16-80 mm DX VR lens

 


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