For the first time since 2019, baseball had reopened to the public. In 2020, I picked up a 500mm f/8 mirror lens, along with a 50-year-old 2x teleconverter. The contrast, sharpness, and overall image quality don't compare to more modern telephoto lenses, not to mention that it's manual focus, but it had one key characteristic that other lenses didn't match: it was under 8 inches in length, which meant you could bring it into Nationals Park.
This meant a chance to take telephoto shots of the game, without the need to crop, and I was looking forward to trying it out!
This was the June 18, 2021 Nationals game against the first-place New York Mets.
By this point in the night, I was thrilled with how the lens performed - great shots of the pitchers and batters, and shockingly high quality given the lens and seat.
One learning curve with the lens was how it was entirely manual focus. The Nikon Z7 has focus peaking - highlighting in red when edges are in focus - which made it much, much, easier to quickly get images sharp manually. That being said, it still took some adjustments, moving the camera left to right as Fedde pitched to keep him in frame, or guessing where something might happen to get in focus beforehand.