When sports photographer Molly Darlington was commissioned to photograph non-league football club 1874 Northwich FC in Cheshire, England, it was an opportunity for the former Canon Ambassador to return to her roots. "It's where I began taking pictures," she reminisces. "I originally started photographing the team when I was 16, during my first year of college. I then spent the next three or four years following them, both home and away, while I studied photography at A-level and at university, so it was nice to go back."
Despite taking a step back in time for this shoot, Molly brought a camera that breaks new ground: the Canon EOS R3. "I didn't know what to expect because I haven't used a mirrorless camera before, but I was really impressed by it," she says. "I normally use the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, and I could customise the EOS R3 in a similar way. It's definitely lighter to carry though."
Molly had a single RF lens for this job – the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM – and used a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM (now succeeded by the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM for the longer shots, which was attached to the EOS R3 via a Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. She added a Canon Extender EF 1.4x (now succeeded by the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III) for more reach when shooting candid portraits of the team's manager from across the pitch. "I didn't know if I'd be able to use both the adapter and the extender at the same time," Molly reveals. "But there was no change in the camera's performance."