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03-20-2018, 04:49 PM - 2 Likes   #16
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I'm not much of an 'action shooter' but I did take my old K3-II out to the BMW autocross a couple of times. I primarily used 50-135mm lens (SDM driven AF). As others have mentioned, and you probably already know - camera handling (e.g. panning, etc.) is critical to really getting good results. I found the 50-135's auto-focus did not do a very good job, and the cars I was shooting were not moving all that quickly, tho they were reasonably close as I shot from within the course. I ended up with best results by pre-focusing and panning, following the car into that focused 'zone'. Again, only went to couple of events but I spent enough time fiddling with the AF onsite and reviewing results at home to realize it did not really work very well for me. The lens itself is nice to handle and has very good IQ - no issues on those points. One more thing to note, I was shooting at pretty modest (low) shutter speeds in order to pan and get 'reasonable' background blur on many shots....that did not make the job of keeping the car in sharp focus any easier!

...first two images are w/50-135, other's with 60-250mm.

Good Luck/Bill

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03-21-2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wgosma Quote
I'm not much of an 'action shooter' but I did take my old K3-II out to the BMW autocross a couple of times. I primarily used 50-135mm lens (SDM driven AF). As others have mentioned, and you probably already know - camera handling (e.g. panning, etc.) is critical to really getting good results. I found the 50-135's auto-focus did not do a very good job, and the cars I was shooting were not moving all that quickly, tho they were reasonably close as I shot from within the course. I ended up with best results by pre-focusing and panning, following the car into that focused 'zone'. Again, only went to couple of events but I spent enough time fiddling with the AF onsite and reviewing results at home to realize it did not really work very well for me. The lens itself is nice to handle and has very good IQ - no issues on those points. One more thing to note, I was shooting at pretty modest (low) shutter speeds in order to pan and get 'reasonable' background blur on many shots....that did not make the job of keeping the car in sharp focus any easier!

...first two images are w/50-135, other's with 60-250mm.

Good Luck/Bill

Thank you Bill, that is what I am looking after, a bit of feedback knowing about the lens capabilities.
Yes panning close to the car is never super easy specially if you try slow shutter speeds, but when it works it makes pictures shine.

---------- Post added 03-21-18 at 11:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You don't use any software other than any straight forward text editor.

BTW, the 50-135 is just a beautiful lens that makes beautiful pictures of anything, not just racing cars. I really don't have a zoom like it on full frame.
Thank you once again for your help
03-21-2018, 04:45 PM - 3 Likes   #18
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Hello all,

I've been reading the forum for years and thought I had signed up years ago, but this appears to be my first post

I found this thread whilst trying to find details of the 50-135 screw-drive mod. My example has a very lazy SDM motor so takes a time wake up after being left unused for any length of time, so have been thinking of sending it off for repair, but this thread also set me thinking. For the sort of motorsport I usually shoot (rallying, circuit racing and club events) I tend to find that the ‘slow’ AF is not too much of an issue as the target is usually following a fairly well defined path, so tend to be prefocus on the part of the track where I plan to grab the shot, then track the target with the shutter button half depressed then fire as the its passes the spot. But even using AF-C (single point) I find the tracking to be reasonable providing you pick the target up early and follow it smoothly. For me the main issue is the limited 135 reach when you are restricted to public viewing areas, where I tend to find the DA*200 or 300 are better suited, but less flexible. Although the with the K3 you can get away with some heavy cropping.

So, for me the 50-135 definitely works for my motorsport needs, and not just for the track action, and like clackers mentioned above it seems to render virtually any subject beautifully, so great for grabbing shots around pits and paddock too.

I’ve just dug through my archive and found some shots with the 50-135 at various lengths and apertures on the K3:

90mm 1/30 F11


55mm1/200 F8


123mm 1/1250 F2.8


123mm 1/640 F2.8


115mm 1/60 F11


115mm 1/80 F22


75mm 1/80 F13


123mm 1/80 F9
03-21-2018, 06:36 PM   #19
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VERY nice shooting...darn, that Bimmer is tack sharp at 1/30 second - I need to practice more to achieve those kind of results with any sense of consistency.

Great shooting! / Bill

03-24-2018, 05:44 PM   #20
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Thank you very much crossed-up!
Brilliant pictures!

I do use a Sigma 100-300mm F4 when i do need a longer end so if you are looking for something fast and longer i will suggest you grab one of those if you can.
03-27-2018, 10:47 AM   #21
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Thanks Bill and Red5, I've had quite a bit of practice at panning shots, although not done much recently. For the longer end shots I tend to use the DA*200 or 300, but being primes it tends to be pot luck as to whether you end up shooting from somewhere that suits those lengths exactly. Re the Sigma 100-300, I bought the Sigma 150-500 ahead of a trip to the Nurburgring several years ago, anticipating the need for more reach, but it rained solidly the entire time, so the lack of weather sealing prevented me using it too much, as well as the need of plenty of light. Its had occasional use since then but the results have been mixes (brilliant to disappointing) I've toyed with selling it or trading it for a D FA150-450, but not sure the price differential is worth it. I'm off the the French GP in June so I'll give it another airing then.
03-27-2018, 12:23 PM   #22
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Hi crossed-up. You can tell you have some practice indeed and you know what you are doing.
No idea about the 150-500mm, last year in a racetrack i found a guy with a K5 and the D FA 150-450mm and it's heavy. He was carrying it with a monopod (ultra good, and very light) and then you can use it. I've tried it and found that me, myself, I would not be able to carry it around without any kind of monopod.

Yes it takes great sharp quality images on a Sunny day, but I am not so convinced about it's capabilities on grey days. To me, at Circuit de Catalunya as I use to get into the perimeter of the track the 100-300mm reaches enough the cars. There is just one point (the chicane) where I wish I had a 400mm. But that matter depends on how close to the cars can you get.
05-16-2018, 03:20 PM   #23
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So I finally decided to get a copy of that lens.
Maybe not 100% for action, but other stuff while races are happening, or action. We will see.
I just found a guy selling a copy at 350€ with the SDM broken, and decided to buy it, try to fix it myself to make it screwdrive AF and have a nice lens.
So I did, and it arrived today, very well packed, in it's original box in superb condition, and the lens itself seems new!

Tried later today to make the conversion to screwdrive and you know what? It worked! So, this weekend we are off to Berlin for the E-Prix as Media and I will deffinitelly give it a try! It is already packed and ready to be used there!

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