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08-21-2016, 05:08 AM - 10 Likes   #1
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Pentax K-1 does Motocross (MX) racing

Being a landscape and portrait shooter I yesterday had the opportunity to try something new: Motocross racing.
There was the German Amateur Champtionships which a fellow friendly Pentaxian invited us to.
Some years ago I had initial contact at a show event for about 2 hours, but other than that no experience at all, so I didn't know what to expect or do.
I took the DFA 24-70 and DFA 150-450 with the K-1 and hopped into my car.

It turned out a very fun event (if loud and smelly ) and the unpredictable weather helped with good light.

Some teasers here:













The full set of 77 images here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/karlknipser/albums/72157671779363062

It was a great opportunity to learn and try things out. And I love learning new things.
I did very soon switch the camera from DNG to JPG L* to use the "unlimited buffer" experience, so images shown mostly are JPG ooC just cropped and added a vignette in LR.
I am very pleased with how the JPGs came out.

Same with both lenses: The user experience is really joyful and their AF drive speed was very good, better than the Sigma 70-200 which used to be the fasted option. And precision was better even.

I guess I will go to another race when time allows.

08-21-2016, 05:21 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Pentax K-1 does Motocross (MX) racing
And " they " say Pentax is no good for sports photography !!! " THEY " are going to have to change their minds methinks. Excellent series.
08-21-2016, 05:31 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The entire set is quite sharp, colors are robust and beholder3 captures the action in a challenging sport to photograph. Motocross is marked by abrupt changes in speed and direction in all 3 axes - a taxing environment for gear and shooter.

While I don't believe beholder3 is opening a defense of AF.C per se, Pentax AF.C critics will sniff these are cherry-picked and prove nothing. Which is just sour grapes - these are great.
08-21-2016, 05:50 AM   #4
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One question...Is the vignetting added in post or native to the lens? It looks to me like it was added in post. I think it really adds a dramatic focus to the action, nicely done if on purpose.

08-21-2016, 06:03 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
One question...Is the vignetting added in post or native to the lens? It looks to me like it was added in post. I think it really adds a dramatic focus to the action, nicely done if on purpose.
Yes, I did add a heavy vignette in LR where I also did the cropping to adjust framing (I am happy enough where I kept the driver somewhere in the frame, let alone put him exactly into the right corner). Vignete is not everyone's taste, but mine.
It's appears less aggressive when viewing images larger than thumbnail size.
08-21-2016, 06:09 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Did you not get the memo or did no one not tell you?

We Pentax people don't do sports photography, you need to buy other brands of camera gear for that.

A great set of captures, well done indeed.
08-21-2016, 06:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Did you not get the memo or did no one not tell you?
We Pentax people don't do sports photography
Usually I don't. I honestly prefer static subjects where I can take time to frame.
But trying out new things is fun as well and provides many opportunities for learning.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
A great set of captures, well done indeed.
Thanks a lot. As with my horse pictures I guess you can see I like it when things are up in the air.

---------- Post added 21st Aug 2016 at 15:39 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
While I don't believe beholder3 is opening a defense of AF.C per se, Pentax AF.C critics will sniff these are cherry-picked and prove nothing. Which is just sour grapes - these are great.
I am showing them just to show that shooting this type of event can be a lot of fun and certainly nobody with the intention to capture a number of nice images needs to fear frustration about the equipment (rather than the need to learn by doing).
Photography is just about fun. Even for the drivers MX is just about fun.

The statistics-counters may sit in their dark cellars and whine about whatever they feel they need to whine about.

BTW: I'd challenge any photographer's wits if she/he does not cherry pick images she/he presents to any audience.
08-21-2016, 07:31 AM   #8
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These are really great shots! Perhaps a little too punchy colour-wise for me personally, but that's an individual thing and not meant as criticism... I get a real sense of excitement and speed from the whole set.

Way better than anything I could achieve in the same circumstances, that's for sure!

Thanks for sharing them

08-21-2016, 08:17 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Great set of action shots !
Panning MX bikes is tough !

Racing Motocross was my sport of choice for about 25 years. (that is me over there on the left)
My weapon of choice: YZ250 2-stroke.
I think I am retired now. With MX in your blood, you never know when the racing bug will bite again

Last edited by Moe49; 08-29-2016 at 04:02 PM.
08-21-2016, 08:46 AM   #10
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Nice shots. Obvious evidence along with your horse pictures that Pentax accomodates a user for action shooting, which I have always known.
08-21-2016, 08:56 AM   #11
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Maybe you have to want to succeed. These are a great success.
08-21-2016, 09:15 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moe49 Quote
Panning MX bikes is tough !
It is. Probably the hardest part of my trying. And I expected it to be rather easy.
But then I did it with 60mm FF right beside the track, which means swiveling about 120 degrees in less than half a second. Made me a little dizzy after a few minutes.
And with all the bright light I had to go F10-F16 to get somewhat longer shutter times.

Here is some of the best I could achieve:







And trying wide angle:


With all the weird autofocus discussions actually I am quite impressed by how precisely the little machine can predict where items jumping at high speed at her will be at any point in time. 36 MPx actually are quite unforgiving, even at F4.5.
Take this here as example:


And here is a 100% crop:
http://www2.pic-upload.de/img/31515799/100percentcrop.jpg

I find it nailed it suprisingly well, considering the speed and the fact that the fool behind the camera swings the whole combo around quickly to keep the driver within the frame. (Not using a tripod with the camera fixed on it )
08-21-2016, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
... Pentax AF.C critics will sniff these are cherry-picked and prove nothing. Which is just sour grapes - these are great.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking to myself, silently. I'm only writing it because you mentioned it

But the main thing I'm seeing is a set of great images taken by a very talented photographer, and I'm enjoying them.
08-21-2016, 01:25 PM   #14
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These are great! Thanks for posting them and your experiences. Do you happen to remember your AFC settings?
08-21-2016, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #15
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All done with Sel-1 or Sel-9. AF.C and Hold:Low. Sel-9 only when the area doesnt cover more than one driver and mostly when I was unsure I knew where he was coming from (jumps from behind the hills).
Focus priority. And as said: JPG L*.
I explicitly turned off absolutely all other JPG corrections or automatisms.
Used TAv mode all the time to set the aperture to open and set a certain time. Shutter times I experimented with anything between 1/320 and 1/4000 but mostly was stuck with very short ones due to the light and not having brought some NDs or at least a CPL. Generally I do not like to completely freeze dynamic subjects, so I prefer some blur on the wheels and with the dirt.
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