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09-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Anyone shoot motorsports/ machinery?

If so, what are you using? I have been going to races and working on my own projects for a long time but have never stopped to take actual, good photos of the goings on. What do you like to carry with you/ use?

09-03-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
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I've been doing motorcycle ice racing for a couple of years. Last year I had my best results with a MF K300/4. Why manual? I kept loosing focus when the snow and ice get flying. I would get my spot on a turn, get my tripod set and pretty much fire away as the riders came out of the turn. A long lens is a must. There may be some some places where you can get close but I prefer to be away from flying debris and dust, snow, etc.



09-04-2013, 01:10 AM   #3
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I've been capturing some images at motorcycle road racing at a local track using the DA*300 and a Zeiss 2/100. I'd love to have a 200, but have yet to pick up the DA*200. As an interim solution I use a 2x converter with the Zeiss 100 and occasionally on the DA*300. I've also tried panning shots using a Zeiss 1.4/85. I use a combination of manual and auto focus, high speed multiple exposure, and declare myself at the very start of learning to capture motor racing images. My next challenge will be to track down some motocross to hopefully get closer and work on different challenges whilst waiting for more road racing near home.

Here's two images with the DA*300







And two images captured with the manual focus Zeiss 2/100








I also like to capture stuff behind the scenes so wider is handy for those. I like to cart around my other Zeiss lenses to tracks, here's some examples of stuff behind the scenes:

Firstly with a Zeiss 2.8/25




And with a Zeiss 2/35




Enough of lenses though. A CPL might be handy, though watch your shutter speed and the clouds. I prefer to shoot in shutter priority mode of at least 1/500s, then set the ISO after some test shots. I like to use a monopod for the DA*300, but go handheld when using the 100mm & wider. I need to practice tracking more to emphasise speed in my images. Getting a sharp image is one thing, making them look fast is the next hurdle and freedom to move is important when you're restricted to outside of curves. Having said this I see a lot of 70-200's on pro cameras inside the track without monopods, so what works for you I guess?

I would like to emhasise one important thing to remember is to consider the weather and comfort for the time you will be there. Whether you're worried about rain or sunburn, the need to drink/eat or get off your feet. If you don't plan for these factors they will detract from your photography as much as failing to consider the best position to capture the action.

One last thing too. The racing is about the people, not just the machines and the spectacle of racing. There's other shots I've captured that emphasise the people, and for me, particularly with bikes, this is the important bit, so trawl the fans, the pits and anything else that tells the story.

Hope this is what you're after.
09-04-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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These are what I was looking for. I have a bunch of random lenses and I am trying to decide what to do. For close in pit photos, I love my Zenitar fisheye. I use a 28/ 2.8 and 55/ 1.7 for other stuff in and around the pits. After those more close in primes, I am kind of at a lose as to what to get. I have a 70-210/ 4 that I use (a very underrated lens I think) but am thinking that as safety becomes the big thing at tracks and the barriers are pushed further away, a zoom that is sharp (a little lighter) and reaches to 300 might be called for.

09-04-2013, 07:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
a zoom that is sharp (a little lighter) and reaches to 300 might be called for.
FA80-320 or DA 55-300 won´t dissapoint!
09-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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70-210/4 will work, but the 55-300 or similar range will be more useful for the extra reach. I'd love a 400 myself, but there's not many real lens options in K mount at that focal length.
09-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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I really wish there was a 100- 300, or something similar. The stuff I see of a K7 and 50-300 on the Pentax site is nice but its more than I need really. I would rather have a Sigma 70/ 2.8 and then something a little more narrow in zoom range and a little faster.
09-04-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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There is the Sigma 100-300/4, but best of luck finding one of those. There is a variable aperture version on ebay for K mount, though from what I've read the f4 version is the go.

With luck we may end up with the Sigma 120-300/2.8, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. There is a slower longer option here: Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM Autofocus Zoom 72A109

Have you considered either of the Bigmas?

09-04-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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I have been doing different types of motorsport photography for twenty-five years or so. In the film days, I used PZ-1 bodies with a Tamron 300mm F2.8 fixed telephoto for front-on shots, and a Pentax FA 80-200mm F2.8 zoom lens for pan shots (best lens I ever owned). As I got older these two brute lenses became too heavy to drag around road course race tracks, so I sold both. Today, in the digitaql age I use K7 and K5 bodies with grips, and a Sigma 100-300mm F4 telephoto zoom and a Sigma 50-200mm F4-5.6 zoom. I had the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 zoom, but I could not get sharp shots with it, even adjusting the in camera focus for that lens and much testing. I even sent it to Sigma for calibrating, but still was not happy. So I sold it, and found that the lowly 50-200 took sharper pan shots than the 50-150 ever did. So far I've refrained from buying the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 (mostly because I can't afford it). Steve S. shearerfotos.com
09-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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I have looked through the Sigma and Tamron listings and the Sigma 120-400/ 4.5-5.6 catches my eye. Its pretty big in size and not exactly light in weight.
09-04-2013, 10:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
If so, what are you using? I have been going to races and working on my own projects for a long time but have never stopped to take actual, good photos of the goings on. What do you like to carry with you/ use?
I am not much of a sports shooter, but I had the chance to attend the recent IndyCar races at Sonoma Raceway, which is pretty close to my house:















K5, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, some with the Sigma 1.4x TC attached, which gives me approximately 100-300mm at f4.0. 5 point auto continuous AF, all handheld. I was using the rear AF button to track the cars as soon as I could see them, firing off 5 or 6 shots in HI burst mode.

The K5 has enough resolution to crop for a tighter composition when needed (in place of a longer lens) and still gives decent results.

Ray
09-05-2013, 04:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Pulley Quote
K5, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, some with the Sigma 1.4x TC attached, which gives me approximately 100-300mm at f4.0. 5 point auto continuous AF, all handheld. I was using the rear AF button to track the cars as soon as I could see them, firing off 5 or 6 shots in HI burst mode.
That is an option that I never thought of. I like the Sigma and Tamron in that range. How does the TC attachment effect image quality over the range?
09-05-2013, 12:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
If so, what are you using?
Really the focal length will be be governed and determined by what access rights you have to the subjects, i.e. track side or from the stands etc.

Enjoy your photography at these events.
09-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Really the focal length will be be governed and determined by what access rights you have to the subjects, i.e. track side or from the stands etc.

Enjoy your photography at these events.
Exactly.
I used an LX, and a Pentax A 28-135 for close up stuff, in the pits etc, out on the track I found that the A 70-210 was very good. Any longer than that, (in manual focus days!), I found that depth of field could be a bit of an issue...not that you digital guys have to worry unduly about that!
Cheers, Pickles.
09-05-2013, 07:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
That is an option that I never thought of. I like the Sigma and Tamron in that range. How does the TC attachment effect image quality over the range?
I looked for a Sigma 100-300 f4.0 for a while, and a few came up (not many), but the prices were more than I wanted to spend for the amount of this type of shooting that I do. I have owned the Sigma for some time, and they are more available and affordable than the 100-300 (there are many versions, including newer HSM lenses). The version I own is a screwdrive lens, and is probably the fastest focusing lens I own, but it is also quite good, optically-speaking.

The 1.4x TC does affect the IQ a bit, but at apertures other than wide open, it is more than adequate. I think the 100-300 f4.0 is better than the 70-200 +1.4x TC, but not by a lot. You can probably find some comparisons if you search the net a bit.

Another alternative, albeit somewhat less flexible, is the Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO AF. It isn't a top-rated lens, but it is light, pretty cheap, and they come up fairly often (I paid $325 for a very clean copy not too long ago).

Ray
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