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05-22-2007, 11:25 PM   #16
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Regarding the whole "AF not needed/technique lost" point, I don't believe most of us are saying that. What I am saying is your ability to get more "great" shots increases with the use of a well functioning AF. For example, in shooting motocross, I hear a "panic rev" and swing my K10 to capture the shot of a rider crashing. I have a 50/50 shot of it being in focus. If it's not, and the guy whos DSLR gets it, I lose money. Granted I can use my intuition and experience and try to find the spot where the action happens, and that's what I do, but sometimes you just lose out because your camera can't quite catch the speed.

Please don't misunderstane me here, I LOVE my K10. I REALLY love the fact that I'm the ONLY motocross photohound using one! I just can't wait to see what the new lenses will do to this incredible camera.

Just trying to share my experience here.

Happy shooting.

05-23-2007, 12:28 AM   #17
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Please do not get me wrong - AF is cool and I use it nearly all the time. But there is more to getting the perfect shot(s) than having fast AF. You need to know the sport, know where to be, anticipate where the action is going to be - all based on experience. With experience you have a good understanding of the parameters that the action will take and you adjust your technique and equipment to match. If AF is a weak point - then buy the equipment that is not weak. Don't let your equipment be the weak link - if your livelyhood depends on it - they are just cameras.

That said - I do not think it is reasonable to go out and buy a new camera, go to an event where you are not in a position to get the "money shot", have minimal equipment and expect SI quality images out of the box. Now I do not know the absolute experience of the OP and I have never had the oportunity to attend a F1 race (he is a lucky guy) - but shooting from the stands at an object that is moving at 100kph (slowest speed at his spot) it does not sound like he is going to be down near the track. He just might be behind someone with a Williams, Red Bull etc. flag that will be waved in front of him each lap.

It just sounds to me that they OP wants to get some decent shots - so he is going to get the fastest lens he can get - but SR will be turned off, a relatively high ISO will be selected and he will have to either pan or shoot at the highest shutter speed in burst mode he can manage to get any shot at all. Shooting high speed objects is a learned skill - AF may or may not work right for him - I suggest he pre focus - get out his DOF scale - keep both eyes open and blast away. This will be a learning experience - I hope he gets some great shots - maybe he will come back and show us what worked and what didn't.

I think that questioning AF speeds in a new camera for an event in June (June 10) is putting to much emphasis on perceived equipment response.

PDL
05-23-2007, 12:54 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
Please do not get me wrong - AF is cool and I use it nearly all the time. But there is more to getting the perfect shot(s) than having fast AF. You need to know the sport, know where to be, anticipate where the action is going to be - all based on experience. With experience you have a good understanding of the parameters that the action will take and you adjust your technique and equipment to match. If AF is a weak point - then buy the equipment that is not weak. Don't let your equipment be the weak link - if your livelyhood depends on it - they are just cameras.

That said - I do not think it is reasonable to go out and buy a new camera, go to an event where you are not in a position to get the "money shot", have minimal equipment and expect SI quality images out of the box. Now I do not know the absolute experience of the OP and I have never had the oportunity to attend a F1 race (he is a lucky guy) - but shooting from the stands at an object that is moving at 100kph (slowest speed at his spot) it does not sound like he is going to be down near the track. He just might be behind someone with a Williams, Red Bull etc. flag that will be waved in front of him each lap.

It just sounds to me that they OP wants to get some decent shots - so he is going to get the fastest lens he can get - but SR will be turned off, a relatively high ISO will be selected and he will have to either pan or shoot at the highest shutter speed in burst mode he can manage to get any shot at all. Shooting high speed objects is a learned skill - AF may or may not work right for him - I suggest he pre focus - get out his DOF scale - keep both eyes open and blast away. This will be a learning experience - I hope he gets some great shots - maybe he will come back and show us what worked and what didn't.

I think that questioning AF speeds in a new camera for an event in June (June 10) is putting to much emphasis on perceived equipment response.

PDL
Couldn't have said it better myself. I just wanted to be clear that AF DOES have it's place and is necessary in some enviroments. I choose the K10 despite it's somewhat slower AF because I like so many of it's other features, and am a lifelong fan of Pentax.

You are certainly correct in your suggestion of prefocus and DOF work for the OP. As a reminder, if you're trying to check your sharpness and focus in your LCD, ZOOM IT IN! I have found ISO 400 perfectly acceptable when appropriately lit.

OH, and as a side note, woudln't it be great if those flags and fingers were banned from the stands?!?!?!?!?!?!
05-23-2007, 01:18 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by -spam- Quote
Not true about 5.6 being too slow. If you are panning then would be in Tv mode and the camera should be picking apertures between that and f16 depending on the light. You are going to be stopping your lens down unless you are shooting at dusk and the light is crappy.
Mixed up the order of my argument. f5.6 is far too slow for the crisp (STILL) action shots I was talking about. The 1/100s shots I took earlier in the year for panning were mainly around the f13 stop.

05-23-2007, 01:33 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
Mixed up the order of my argument. f5.6 is far too slow for the crisp (STILL) action shots I was talking about. The 1/100s shots I took earlier in the year for panning were mainly around the f13 stop.
Still think you're gonna' have to prefocus with that lens. I just don't see the K10 keeping up with that thin of a DOF if you're trying to AF.
05-23-2007, 01:35 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcleoud151 Quote
Still think you're gonna' have to prefocus with that lens. I just don't see the K10 keeping up with that thin of a DOF if you're trying to AF.
Probably, never thought about it. With infinity focusing on the 16-45 being beyond 2 metres (~7 feet), wasn't a problem before
05-23-2007, 01:52 AM   #22
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Just remember to prefocus, then move the view to slightly before That mark (particularly if you're at the long end of the 200) and follow the subject almost as if you were panning.
05-23-2007, 04:53 AM   #23
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Thanks again to everyone who has posted up, my brain is absorbing his info like a sponge Sorry if I made it sound like AF doesn't have a place or use or if I may have implied that, I certainly don't find AF to be a useless feature even for shooting this event. For the time being I'll be taking my 18-55 and 50-200 DA's with me for the weekend to shoot both on and off the track, a co-worker has also offered to lend me his Tamron Di LD 70-300mm (decent lens, though I know it has certain pitfalls at the long end). That should give me plenty of options for the entire weekend and allow me to compensate for a number of different situations (i hope). There should be a substantial amount of light all day long as the Formula 1 weekend is often granted the best days weather wise of the year here in Montreal, albeit always on the humid side it rarely rains

Eventually when the new f2.8 lens becomes available (they're saying June 2007 here but it's a "guestimate") I will invest in one for more action photography. Hopefully by then I'll be able to shoot more than just flags waving infront of me

thanks again everyone, very friendly and helpful people here on these forums.

cheers,

shawn

05-23-2007, 09:36 PM   #24
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Here is what works best for me for high-speed motorsports where the path of the object is known. I use continuous AF and burst mode shutter. As mentioned, start with your body wound-up and then un-wind as you pan. I don't like the method of pre-focusing on a spot and then firing when the object appears in frame because the shots end up being very static compared to more dynamic panned shots. Besides that you need a faster shutter speed if you don't pan. The dragboats below were traveling 200mph+/- in a straight line in front of me. I used a SMC F 80-200mm lens at 200mm (cheap-o lens). I shot most at 1/500 sec but 1/350 sec seems to be the magic shutter speed for the pans at this speed. I'll be the first to admit (and complain) that Pentax AF is pretty poor but my DS did a great job in the overcast daylight in continuous AF mode. You can practice panning with cars on the road. It's not hard at all really, kind of like shooting skeet.

200mm F11 1/500




200mm f8 1/350 <--- this worked best with panning




200mm f9.5 1/500
05-24-2007, 12:21 AM   #25
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Really nice images - the blur of the background and water really give the sense of speed. That is the effect to watch for - good technique, position timing and loud things that go real fast. Gotta love it.

Now make it a Ferrari - getting passed by a McLaren at 250mph (375kph) and we have a race on our hands.

PDL
05-24-2007, 01:03 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote

Now make it a Ferrari - getting passed by a McLaren
PDL

That will never happen

QuoteQuote:
at 250mph (375kph) and we have a race on our hands.
IRR max the F1 has reached was around 360kph and that was with the v10 3 liter engines. Now they use v8 2.4 liter engines and around 150 hp less than the v10. So the max speed is lower.
05-24-2007, 04:02 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
I've got a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 on order for motorsport primarily.
I've got the 70-200 f2.8 on order also, pretty confident it's the DG version. I noticed you're in Australia, are you buying it locally or grey import? How long have you been waiting? Do you have an ETA? I was told by C. R. Kennedy it would be 6-8 weeks yet!

I shoot a LOT of motorsport and have seen Canon guys sell their genuine lenses to buy this lens. It comes highly recommended.


QuoteOriginally posted by awjweb Quote
Here is what works best for me for high-speed motorsports where the path of the object is known. I use continuous AF and burst mode shutter...
...I shot most at 1/500 sec but 1/350 sec seems to be the magic shutter speed for the pans at this speed...
...I'll be the first to admit (and complain) that Pentax AF is pretty poor but my DS did a great job in the overcast daylight in continuous AF mode...
... You can practice panning with cars on the road. It's not hard at all really, kind of like shooting skeet.

I use the same settings. I use a lot slower shutter though. Maximum 1/180, even at 300mm. Do most of my shooting at 1/125, occasionally 1/80. 90% of the time the light is low and patchy. Always shoot with a maximum ISO of 400. That was with my DL, will be starting with the same settings in the K10D when I hit a track next weekend.

Some excellant advice I was given by a great motorsport photographer here in Australia was to go to a 40km/h speed zone and stand beside the road. Start at 1/250 and work down to 1/80. Stay at each shutter speed until you can get 10 sharp photos in a row then go 1 stop slower. Once you can do 1/80 move to a 60km/h zone and repeat. Keep going through 80km/h and 100km/h then go to 1/60.

This guy is unreal, I was standing beside him while he was shooting 1/20 (!!!) 5-10 metres from the cars while they were travelling about 150km/h and capturing a perfect side profile every time.

QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
Really nice images - the blur of the background and water really give the sense of speed.
Personally I'm not a fan of high shutter speeds for motorsport. Much prefer slow so as to capture the sense of speed. I've tried 1/500 through 1/1000 and personally don't like it.

Plus there's far more of a challenge to 1/125 and 1/80.

Eg. (taken on *istDL with Sigma 18-125).








This is a personal favourite that I've no idea how I captured and have never been able to repeat

05-24-2007, 04:10 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
I was told by C. R. Kennedy it would be 6-8 weeks yet!
Believe it or not, that is good news for me. It means i wont be longing after it while i save up for it. Cant lust over a lens properly until its released.

QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
This is a personal favourite that I've no idea how I captured and have never been able to repeat

Looks to me like you zoomed in ever so slightly while taking the photo. Either that or you were using a lens baby and dont remember
05-24-2007, 04:21 AM   #29
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F1 cars do not go that fast on the track. Aero kits are set up to deliver far too much downforce.
QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
I've got the 70-200 f2.8 on order also, pretty confident it's the DG version. I noticed you're in Australia, are you buying it locally or grey import? How long have you been waiting? Do you have an ETA? I was told by C. R. Kennedy it would be 6-8 weeks yet!
I ordered the non-DG version, on Monday, so only been waiting 3 days, from Teds. The staffer said he didn't know whether it'd be 2 days or 2 weeks...
05-24-2007, 09:07 AM   #30
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Some very nice images posted indeed, wonderful examples of panning technique.

As for the Formula 1 cars, even with the lower output V8's the new aerodynamic designs help for a much more planted car with less resistance. I believe here at the Montreal GP track the cars average between 310-330km/h as their top speed (the casino straight is where most of the speed is gained, however there is also the back straight in which they reach quite excessive speeds).

As for the 70-200, I'm still waiting to hear something from a supplier as right now I have yet to be able to find a place in Canada taking orders. The only response I was given this week was "we don't have it in stock for Pentax and don't know when we will".

Anyone have comments on the Sigma 70-300mm DG/APO DG? I seem to find all sorts of mixed reviews on the worthiness of the APO over the standard DG. They're currently selling for $195 cdn at a retailer here and seem to have a nicer feel and design than the Tamron 70-300 at $215 cdn (i took a few test shots with the Tamron and on the far end it felt very soft).

Last edited by smcclelland; 05-24-2007 at 09:15 AM.
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