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08-30-2008, 08:56 AM   #16
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This really is a great forum--thanks again, so much, for all of the help. I especially want to thank each of you who make it clear the Pentax DSLRs are more than competent for the job. I stand corrected on this. I guess I figured shooting moving objects was a highly technical skill, which demanded the most powerful technology. I pretty much stick to landscape shooting.

My friend's son is doing motorcross, but has been doing so since very young and has moved up classes to bigger bikes and faster speeds. Innershell, your post of shooting bikes at 180 mph speeds is most inspiring here--thank you. He is no where near those speeds in motorcross. Also, the pick is great--I think she will be inspired to see this because it shows it can be done. She is currently struggling with a P & S with horrible results.

I very much look forward to guiding Paula with her new camera. I also look forward to teaching her all I can. I hope I am as good a teacher for her as this forum has been for me.

Best Regards!

08-30-2008, 02:17 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I have a friend who wants to buy a camera to shoot her young son. She wants to shoot him as he races his motorcycle. So, clearly she will need very fast shutter speeds and very fast frames-per-second capabilities. For those shutter speeds, she will need great high ISO output too.

I love my K20d and would not part with it. It does all I need and more. I wish I could marry it. However, it surely is not the camera for my friend’s situation, unless of course she wanted to shoot at 1.6 MP. So it may seem odd to post this question here, but this is the only forum to which I belong. Also, I know there are members here who shoot with other gear or have shot with other gear. This is why I am posting here.

I am looking for suggestions as to which camera she should buy. Any ideas which would help shed light on my concern here are welcome. Thanks.
As others have said, I too must disagree. I've shot both motocross and MotoGP very successfully with my K10D and even my K110D.

This shot was done with my K110D and the DA 50-200mm...


and this one was shot with my K10D and the Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma)...


the galleries with these shots are at...

MotoGP - photo.net and Motocross - photo.net

I'd love to get my hands on the K20D but the K10D and K110D work just fine...

You do NOT need high FPS to shoot motorsports! What you need is familiarity and understanding of the subject so you can predict where the action will happen. Frankly all high FPS gets you is a lot of crap to sort through in post processing and increases your memory card costs.

Last edited by MRRiley; 08-30-2008 at 02:45 PM.
08-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #18
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QuoteQuote:
Today 04:17 PM
MRRiley:
As others have said, I too must disagree. I've shot both motocross and MotoGP very successfully with my K10D and even my K110D.

My only concern is getting her the best possible gear for this specific job. Your pics here are very nice. How much time did it take you before you could get these kinds of shots.
08-30-2008, 05:18 PM   #19
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Sort of a complicated question. I used to shoot these type of races regularly back 15 years ago in my film days but these were both the first times I had shot either with the Digital SLRs.... but then I have been shooting SLRs for 35 odd years. That isn't to say that your friend could not do well, but that is a function of her native abilities and willingness to practice than what kind of camera she has. Even if she bought a top end Canon or Nikon, it wouldnt help her take great photos. All it would do is deplete her bank account without guaranteeing anything. I'm sure you know this as well as I do.

Any of the recent Pentax, Canon or Nikon (or even Sony, Fuji or Olympus) DSLRs are capable of capturing perfectly good racing photos.

Therefore I would recommend that your friend buy a K10D and a DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] or better if her budget is high enough a DA* 50-135mm F2.8 and a Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG.

08-30-2008, 07:16 PM   #20
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I shot all of these with my K110D and a Takumar F 28-80 zoom, Super Moto at St. Louis last summer. It can be done, I wish I had had my Tamron 70-300 for these, but I still was able to get some decent shots with this combo.









08-30-2008, 07:56 PM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
MRRiley:I'm sure you know this as well as I do.

Any of the recent Pentax, Canon or Nikon (or even Sony, Fuji or Olympus) DSLRs are capable of capturing perfectly good racing photos.

Therefore I would recommend that your friend buy a K10D and a DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] or better if her budget is high enough a DA* 50-135mm F2.8 and a Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG
Yes, I do know it well. I bought my K20D when it first came out and am delighted with the decision. The more I use the camera, the more I love it--this is one of the few things in my life that works this way. For what I do, the K20 is not only capable, but, in my mind, superior to all the alternatives I had in April. I focus on landscape, rarely ever exceed ISO 400. The K20's resolution between ISOs 100-400 is extraordinary, better than the D300 in fact.

But I realize all the research I put into the K20 was specifically geared towards my needs. I really want to get Paula to buy a Pentax too, but wanted to be sure I am leading her right. And I do not want to spend 40 hours reading and researching for her specific needs. That is why I called on the knowledge base here, in this awesome forum. I am delighted with the outcome here, because now what I want to do (sell her the Pentax) is justified by what I ought to do--in more minds than my own. When I bought for me, my mind was the only one from which I needed the nod. I hope this makes sense. I am very impressed with what the Pentax gives me for my money.

Your 2 lens selections look like winners as well. All I can do is gratefully and sincerely thank you, and everyone else here, for the efforts into educating me--knowledge is King. I'll now gather up this thread once again, and e-mail it off to her.

Best Regards to all!
08-30-2008, 08:17 PM   #22
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Taking photos of motorcycles isn't such a big deal that you need the latest camera to shoot.

I have a couple photos from my K110D and 50-200 lens that turned out OK. I took these right after I bought my first DSLR. I would take better ones now, if I bothered. Sorry, I don't have too many to choose from because when I go to the track I want to watch the racing.

My tip would be to tell her to pay one of the photogs $50 and tell him to get her pictures. She'll have to attend a whole lot of events before those $50s ever add up to a latest and greatest Canikon rig. And the photos will be better because a pro is behind the wheel, so to speak.



08-30-2008, 09:19 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=Jewelltrail;330135]This really is a great forum--thanks again, so much, for all of the help. I especially want to thank each of you who make it clear the Pentax DSLRs are more than competent for the job. I stand corrected on this. I guess I figured shooting moving objects was a highly technical skill, which demanded the most powerful technology. I pretty much stick to landscape shooting.

Shooting moving objects isn't so much the technology of the particular camera but the skill of the photographer. It takes practice. A 1/1000 shutter speed will stop action nicely for motocross and point and shoots can do that. A DSLR on a tripod in burst mode should get some great pictures. One thing I have learned through the years shooting my kids sports is that sometimes its hard to do. I'm watching the race, cheering and trying to shoot all at the same time and the photos don't always come out, especially if the race is a close one. To get some good shots you have to close out the race and concentrate on what you see through the lens, not an easy thing to do when its your kid in the race.

08-31-2008, 01:41 AM   #24
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The pics below were my first try taking pics of motocross. Even at car races, I tend to not use the machine gun mode, rather I try to anticipate the movement, get the framing and focusing I want, then I'll take the pic. Sometimes in one pass, I'll take a few shots in succession, but I found either my framing or my focusing suffered on the later shots since I became too focused on other things. My best shots were when I took shots selectively.

I found that SR was probably very helpful w/ these longer focal lengths, but using a tripod might have improved my hit rate. But for panning shots, I think a tripod would probably be more of a hindrance when I want to move around or if I'm on bleachers. I've practiced panning on traffic before and found this very helpful when I did go to a race track. If she takes shots straight on though like the shots below, it's really just anticipation and a little bit of technical knowledge (ie metering the ground and not the sky, using the spot focusing if using AF, choosing the right shutter speed, etc). Thing is, if she's a complete newb though to SLR's, I would lower her expectations as to how many keepers she'll get... pics w/ an SLR can be great, but it's much easier to take bad pics w/ one until one get's familiar w/ the technical side.


Camera: Pentax K10D
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 180 mm
ISO Speed: 100



Camera: Pentax K10D
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 180 mm
ISO Speed: 100
08-31-2008, 02:00 AM   #25
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But then again, Pentax isn't that good at focusing on fast moving objects. It isn't impossible as many pictures here prove, but it is a well known problem.
08-31-2008, 07:01 AM   #26
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Nice shots Stratman, Aegon and Vagrant10...
08-31-2008, 08:55 AM   #27
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I have a friend who used an istD and now a K20D for his bike reaces.

Images are super.

Get a K10 or K20D and a fast lens and learn to pan. It can be done.

Dave
09-02-2008, 11:26 PM   #28
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I shoot bike events about 8-10 times a year and have no problem. FPS doesn't really play a part in my shooting because I'm usually only after a certain angle at any given moment.

Here's one with my K200D and Sigma 100-300 f/4 (monopod assisted):


Even if you have ordinary gear and have to resort to pre-focusing you can still get great shots. In fact, I would probably say that pre-focusing is the best way to develop your panning skills. Here's a pre-focused, hand-held shot with my *ist DL and crappy old Tamron 80-210 f/4.5-5.6:
09-03-2008, 05:49 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
But then again, Pentax isn't that good at focusing on fast moving objects. It isn't impossible as many pictures here prove, but it is a well known problem.

We're just giving her the Pentax value option but if she doesn't mind spending some $$$ she can follow these suggestions: (i would comparison shop then take into consideration how much i want to learn to shoot, then choose gear. Just remember it's still the person behind the camera taking the shots.)
Experience - Motocross - Nikon D700
09-03-2008, 09:10 AM   #30
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most people new to DSLR use their camera's like a point and shoot leaving everything in "green mode", or in other words... "its a nice camera so it should just be able to figure it out for me". When taking sports pictures this approach will end up with photos that are inferior to a good point and shoot (like the Canon G9). Part of the problem is a fast lens (f2.8-4) will have a very small depth of field making focusing extremely difficult - case in point - if you follow the D700 link above and look at the photos you can clearly see "almost" half the motorbike is in focus while the other half is out of focus. The other problem your friend will have is that the riders will often be against the blue sky so even if she shoots in P, TV, AV or any other mode on Spot metering, Center weighted metering or any other combination, the results are going to be hit and miss. The only solution is to shoot in full manual mode... and I would highly recommend manual focus. Try the following:

1. meter on the dirt near where the rider will be. Set the f-stop as high as possible (7-10) while keeping shutter speed >500. If lighting does not allow this at ISO <=800 you will need to comprimise somewhere. If the lighting conditions are changing remember to update your exposure every 10min or so. After the first rider comes around make sure to check your exposure and don't worry if the sky is totally blown out. The only thing that matters is a properly exposed rider. To be on the safe side shoot in RAW and under-expose SLIGHTLY.

2. pre-focus. If possible get someone to stand on the jump or in the corner or wherever you want to take the picture so you can test your focus and exposure.

3. The trick to good photos (as always) is not the camera but the location and lighting. Check the angle of the sun and make sure the rider is getting sun on his face and jersey. try to make sure the rider is nicely framed (inside a deep berm is popular). Anticipating how high the rider might jump is important to framing. If you look at the photos from the D700 link above the two jumping pics have the riders heads halfway into the sky which is not good.

4. One of the reasons a pro will get better pictures than you is because they will use remote flashes on the track. As a non-pro you can do this during training on your home track but you will not be able to get away with it on race day. The problem is that people on a bike are bent over so their body is not being lit... and they wear a visor so their face is shaded. If you can light them up with a flash your pics will be WAY better. Don't worry about the flash distracting the rider... I'm a rider and if I even notice a flash (which I normally don't) it is not a distraction

Last edited by cwood; 09-03-2008 at 09:21 AM.
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