WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Gear & Apps

The Top 10 Pieces OF Gear Requested By Olympic Sports Photographers In Rio

By Kishore Sawh on August 12th 2016

So a lot’s been happening in the Olympics photography world over the past two weeks as the throngs of people and photographers have descended unto Rio for the summer games. We’ve seen Simone Biles decimate gymnastics competitors in a fashion never seen before; Michael Phelps solidified that he’s the son of Poseidon, and Bolt is set to tear up the track tomorrow. Oh, and almost all of this is being captured by Canon shooters to the wildly disproportionate degree of 70%.


So we’ve seen the inside of the munitions bunker where Getty has kept all the Canon equipment it’s loaning out to photographers, and it’s a smorgasbord of bodies – it’s almost pornographic. But being so spoilt for choice, with the excess of equipment at hand and the inability to take it all, it’s been a wonder what pieces are favored among the pros shooting in Rio? What do the cream of the crop choose when it’s all laid out for the taking? Well, we have the answers, and right from [The] Canon’s mouth.

[REWIND: Top 5 Must Have Fujifilm X Lenses]

Top 10 Loaned Canon Products

Top 10 Loaned Canon Products # of loans
EOS-1D X Mark II 285
EF 200-400MM F/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4X 231
EF 70-200MM F/2.8L IS II USM 211
EF 400MM F/2.8L IS II USM 131
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 130
EF 600MM F/4L IS II USM 126
EOS 1D X 123
EF 16-35MM F/2.8L II USM 84
EOS-1D X Mark II VIP 77
EF 300MM F/2.8L IS II USM 77



Perhaps no major surprises there for some, but I think many would do well to notice the number of lenses no faster than f/4. While many appreciate that you don’t need 2.8 all the time, there seems to be this gap in perceived value to many who think that f/4 just isn’t good enough. Judging from this, we can scrap that conclusion. Interesting to note too, that the 5DS(R) isn’t on that list, which again leaves room for discussion because it shows that the pros are favoring other performance parameters over ultimate resolution. Or maybe they just want to take out the newest toys….

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Michael Old

    I think that the f/4 lenses that are being choosen are because there arent any wider aperture alternatives. There is no 200-400mm f/2.8. There is no 600mm f/2.8. Is there an 8-15mm f/2.8 fisheye? Even if there was would there be any advantage being a fisheye?

    | |
  2. Paul Empson

    As a Nikon user I can work out the equivalent Nikon lenses.. very easily.. it would be good, when bodies are mentioned, to see the near equivalent of Nikon / Canon body… it would make a one name article cover two major manufacturers…

    There can’t be many events that happen in poor lighting, even the evening events will be under 4K-HD tested stadium lighting.. I guess the f4 lenses work well in the ‘poorest’ Olympic light.

    With less & less printed media and more online content having uber high resolution & MP cameras is not what is needed. Nikons D5 at a modest 20mp is probably more than enough. Under those stadium lights, the scientists & engineers may be wondering why they bothered to push the low light capabilities of the sensor so high.

    | | Edited  
  3. Lauchlan Toal

    Very interesting – I’m surprised that the 11-24 didn’t make it on the list, maybe they didn’t have the stock.

    | |
    • Steve VanSickle

      I’d guess that, from where the photographers are probably allowed to go, the 11-24 is uselessly wide. With the size of Olympic competition venues, I could easily see where going wider than 24 would make the athletes practically disappear among the venue (if the photographer is in the front of the pack) or even among the other photographers all trying to capture the same moments from roughly the same place.

      | | Edited  
    • Kishore Sawh

      I think Steve has a point. I think what should also be considered is that the lenses requested were probably the larger ones they know would be there and they didn’t have to travel with.

      | |