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Summit Point Festival of Speed - 25May09
Posted By: MRRiley, 05-28-2009, 08:09 AM

Just to further prove that Pentax cameras cannot be used to shoot fast action sports, here are some more photos from the Memorial Day session at Summit Point Motorsports Park's - Festival of Speed event (in addition to the accident photos I posted earlier in the "Really Rough Day at Summit Point" thread).

Esses


Sweeper


Small but Speedy


Now that is ORANGE


Knee Draggin' Beemer


Follow the Leader


A Little Tight


Clashing Colors


The full gallery is at Motorsports - CCS-ASRA Summit Point Festival of Speed - May 09 .

Hope you enjoy...

Mike

p.s. most of these were shot with the K10D and the BIGMA and some were shot with the K110D and the DA 50-200.

p.p.s. these are straight out of the camera JPGs. The only editing was downsizing and adding my copyright notice. Final versions will be cropped and PS'd as needed.

Last edited by MRRiley; 05-28-2009 at 11:01 AM.
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05-28-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Great action photo's, well panned For 1, 2, 5 and 6 I think it would be better to crop off a bit from the top. They all have some distractions there.
05-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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I've tried my hand at this at some of our club track days but never with my Pentax (last time I tried it was with my Sigma SD9 and 24-70mm f2.8). My results were hit-and-miss.

Some questions:

* What's the best way to follow the action? Hand-held, monopod, tripod?...or just practice, practice, practice?

* Good shutter speed for panning that will keep the bike reasonably sharp but blue the background?

* Lens? You think the DA* 50-135mm would be adequate or do I need something longer? On club track days, I'm able to get inside the track and hang out at the corner worker's stations so I can get pretty close.

* Can you shoot RAW or must you shoot JPEGs to keep the fps high enough?

FYI, I've got a K20D.

Couple of those panning shots are awesome.

Regards,
Terry
05-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlwyse Quote
I've tried my hand at this at some of our club track days but never with my Pentax (last time I tried it was with my Sigma SD9 and 24-70mm f2.8). My results were hit-and-miss.

Some questions:

* What's the best way to follow the action? Hand-held, monopod, tripod?...or just practice, practice, practice?

* Good shutter speed for panning that will keep the bike reasonably sharp but blue the background?

* Lens? You think the DA* 50-135mm would be adequate or do I need something longer? On club track days, I'm able to get inside the track and hang out at the corner worker's stations so I can get pretty close.

* Can you shoot RAW or must you shoot JPEGs to keep the fps high enough?

FYI, I've got a K20D.

Couple of those panning shots are awesome.

Regards,
Terry
I'd like to answer some of you questions if I may, I shoot a fair amount of sport on my entax gear. Football (soccer) & bikes etc.

I have both shot with a monopod and handheld. I find panning is easier handheld. Actually I shoot handheld 90% of the time. the monopod will get some use on a long day or in low light.

Shutter speed for panning depends on the speed of the bike and the effect you want. experiment. I have gone to as low as 1/10th sec for shooting bikes on the street.

If you are trackside the 50-135 could be sufficient give it a try, but if you have something bigger try that as well.

I would say shoot RAW, I very rarely shoot in burst mode even though I useually shoot sport. OK I may miss something. But in the gap between each shot in burst mode a lot can happen. I have it set to burst just in case, on occassions I keep my finger down but this is rare. I have not yet hit the buffer.

Hope that helps.

Here's a link to a set of my bike pics on Flickr.

05-28-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlwyse Quote
I've tried my hand at this at some of our club track days but never with my Pentax (last time I tried it was with my Sigma SD9 and 24-70mm f2.8). My results were hit-and-miss.

Some questions:

* What's the best way to follow the action? Hand-held, monopod, tripod?...or just practice, practice, practice?

* Good shutter speed for panning that will keep the bike reasonably sharp but blue the background?

* Lens? You think the DA* 50-135mm would be adequate or do I need something longer? On club track days, I'm able to get inside the track and hang out at the corner worker's stations so I can get pretty close.

* Can you shoot RAW or must you shoot JPEGs to keep the fps high enough?

FYI, I've got a K20D.

Couple of those panning shots are awesome.

Regards,
Terry
Terry,

Glad you like the shots... I'll try to answer your questions by describing what I do. You mileage may vary...

1. I just about always have the camera on a monopod when I am using the BIGMA (Sigma 50-500mm) but I usually set it slightly low when I want to pan. This forces me to actually pick up the camera when panning. This lets the monopod work as a counter-balance and smooths out the pan (sort of like a steady-cam). This also lets you move the camera in a pure horizontal motion better than when the foot is on the ground. In that case the camera is forced into a vertical arc when you pan (try it and you'll see what I mean). When using lighter lenses, like the DA 50-200 ir the DA 16-45 I generally hand-hold without using the monopod. Tripods are useless for panning these kind of sports, though they can come in hand for the head-on corner shots. And finally... Practice, practice, practice (go shoot photos of cars on the highway).

2. Shutter speed depends on the lens. With the Bigma, I usually shoot at 1/500s but seldom slower than 1/250s. With the 50-200 I will go down to 1/60s and with the 16-45, I will go down as slow as 1/4s. Naturally the slower you go the more the background blurs. Again, practice...

3. The 50-135 would be fine for shots like 3, 4 & 8, but you really need something longer (300mm minimum) to reach into the corners or fill the frame from a safe vantage point. Do not assume that the corner workers posts are safe. Unlike you, they are watching the entire field of bikes while you will have limited peripheral vision when shooting. Also, "close" is not necessarily your friend when panning. I try to find a spot that centers me at the radius of the turn which helps keep the bikes in focus as they pass.

X. You didn't ask this, but I usually shoot in manual focus. I prefocus on the area of the track where I want to shoot and shoot as the bikes enter the zone of focus. Naturally this doesnt work all the time, but it does work more reliably than Pentax's auto-focus system (the only limiting factor particular to using Pentax to shoot fast action sports IMHO).

4. I shoot Raw+ and shoot one photo at a time. This just works best for me. I find that the 3fps burst mode is wasteful (and I wouldn't use it even at 5fps or 9fps). The photos of the highside accident in the other thread were taken with good old-fashioned finger powered shutter control.

Hope these tips are helpful...

Mike
05-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mike3legs Quote
...
I find panning is easier handheld. Actually I shoot handheld 90% of the time. the monopod will get some use on a long day or in low light.
Mike,

Try panning with the camera mounted on the monopod but with it extended just short of reaching the ground when you hold the camera to your eye. This lets the monopod act as a sort of steady-cam and will smooth out lots of extraneous movement during the pan.

Mike.

p.s. nice shots in your flickr site!

Last edited by MRRiley; 05-28-2009 at 04:45 PM. Reason: typo
05-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Excellent race pics there Mike.
05-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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These are terrible. Down with Pentax.

(Just kidding)

05-28-2009, 08:52 PM   #9
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Great series Mike. I really love #5. Nicely done on a tough shoot. JIM
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