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Im doing some motorsport photography.. Help!

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by mr tommo, 24 Sep 2009.

  1. mr tommo

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,386

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Right guys, a friend of a freind of a friend has a race team and races all across the world in a series. I may have hinted that Id love a pass to take photos next time he races and he got back to me saying that his next race was at spa, Belgium (IIRC).

    However, next wednesday he has a test session somewhere in Leicester (don't know all the details yet) where we can go down and practice.

    What kit should I take? There will be 2 of us, I'll be using a 1Ds mk III and my partner a 40D. Now the only lens that is even semi adequate for this is an L series Canon 70-200mm f/4.

    Im thinking of hiring one for the day from..
    http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/canon-telephoto-8-c.asp

    What would you recommend? bearing in mind no money is being made from this so I don't want to spend too much on hire but Im not sure 200mm will be enough ? :confused:

    Ive never tried panning but as I understand it you dont need a ridiculously high shutter speed for this so something like a f/1.8 is a bit overkill, right?

    Any tips? Do I need a monopod or will handheld be fine?
     
  2. john_s

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Jun 2009

    Posts: 1,238

    Location: Guernsey

    I prefer to shoot handheld than with a monopod, though I might change my mind if I had a seriously monster lens to prop up all day.

    You might be right about 200mm being too short (it depends on the circuit)... I found at the Silverstone F1 test a couple of years ago that 300mm is too short from the public side of the fence (even on a crop camera).
     
  3. peterattheboro

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Sep 2005

    Posts: 20,018

    Location: Middlesbrough

    I think any track but Silverstone, you'll do fine with the 70-200mm. Unless you want full frame shots head on with the car then this lens will be fine, even on some corners you can produce high quality shots which are magazine favourites with this lens.

    For a good pan then shoot on aperture priorty at around f6.3-f10 depending on how good you get. Or depending on weather then shutter priorty at around 80-120.

    Just have a play and enjoy yourself :)
     
  4. Side5wipe

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Nov 2008

    Posts: 283

    Location: Banbury

    Hi mr tommo.

    You should get in contact with the race club your friend races with,as they normally have a rule that you can only get trackside for photography if you have insurance.

    My dad races classic motorbikes and know that track in Leicester very well, it's Mallory Park, you should be able to get some shots from the pit lane, and at the hairpin if you can get trackside.

    I haven't been able to get trackside yet as im going to try a sort out insurance for next season. But depending on the circuit you can get quite close public side.
     
  5. Rob200sx

    Hitman

    Joined: 12 Feb 2003

    Posts: 950

    Ah yes insurance, make sure you've got some despite having a pass, they may not let you near the track without some form of PLI
     
  6. GJUK

    Hitman

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 958

    Location: Colchester

    Hi, I use a 70-200 f4 L lens...it great at Brands on druids as your close, but found it not that great at Snetterton as your further away from the cars...I tend to shot at low shutter speeds to get the blur....I have managae a few nice shots at like 1/30...but that hard..lol
     
  7. mr tommo

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,386

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Oh I just thought It'd be easier to track the car better with a monopod but thats one less thing to squeeze into the car :)


    Will this be needed for a test day ?
    Really hadn't considered this.... ANy recommendations on where I could get this from (short term)? I'm current covered with work but I won't be working for them on this occasion. :(

    ANd yes I'm guessing its Mallory park, we are definately in the pit lane so that should be ok. :)
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2009
  8. mr tommo

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,386

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Thanks for that, very useful. Obviously I will pick things up as the day progresses but I'd rather have a decent idea before I get there.

    The problem is we only have one 70-200mm, so would you recommend just hiring another one of them?
     
  9. Side5wipe

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Nov 2008

    Posts: 283

    Location: Banbury

    Spa doesn't look to be a good circuit for photography unless you can get trackside, but i guess you will be with the team so maybe you could wonder around and get to places the spectators cant get to without going over the fence.
    Thats what i do sometimes you can find a really good spot:D
     
  10. peterattheboro

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Sep 2005

    Posts: 20,018

    Location: Middlesbrough

    If you dont mind splitting up then i'd probably recommend you go for a prime... say 300mm and you can both get some different types of shots.
     
  11. Wedge

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,836

    Location: watchin scrubs.

    Hi mate

    I have been to the last 2 british GP's armed with only my D90 + kit lens 18-105 VR + cheap 55-200 VR. Panning is a little tricky to start with, but im sure you will get the hang of it very quickly.

    Some examples to give you a reference.
    2 shots from pit striaght grandstand @ 105mm, and 2 from lufffield grandstand @ 200mm.

    http://www.mywedge.co.uk/ocukphoto/pit105mm.jpg
    http://www.mywedge.co.uk/ocukphoto/pitstrght105mm.jpg
    http://www.mywedge.co.uk/ocukphoto/luff200mm.jpg
    http://www.mywedge.co.uk/ocukphoto/luffield200mm.jpg

    Not the greatest motorsport piccys ever taken granted, but i think a decent effort ;)
     
  12. olv

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 Jan 2005

    Posts: 5,281

    Location: london

  13. mr tommo

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,386

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Why would you recommend a prime?

    Looking at these two....

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
    http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/canon-ef-100-400mm-f45-56-l-is-usm-11-p.asp

    or

    Canon EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM
    http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/canon-ef-300mm-f4-l-is-usm-14-p.asp

    There is only a £5ish difference?




    Totally slipped my mind about it being shorter on the 1Ds... Again... whats the advantage of a fixed 300mm over that 100-400mm f/4.5 I linked to above?

    Really looking forward to this now....I know I will look stupid like but theres no legal reasons I can't practice panning by the side of the road is there?
     
  14. olv

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 Jan 2005

    Posts: 5,281

    Location: london

    Image quality of the prime will be far, far better in the prime. Corner to corner sharpness will be much better and I'd expect it to focus faster too.
     
  15. nalla

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Jan 2007

    Posts: 1,097

    yes m8 i would have thought there would be legal implications taking photos at the roadside, i seem to remember someone making a post either on here or another forum about taking pics of buses, and a passing policeman asked him for the memory card as hes not allowed to take pictures without peoples consent, and getting consent of passing cars could be a bit tricky, something to do with the privacy act etc etc, id be carefull there m8. but maybe someone here knows better like i say im sure i read something about but not %100 positive on that.
     
  16. Prophet

    Soldato

    Joined: 5 Oct 2004

    Posts: 7,365

    Location: Notts

    I used the Canon L f/4 70-200 and get some great results. I also use the L f/4 300mm IS prime which is a fantastic lens.

    I think this combo would be great.
     
  17. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    Sigma 100-300 f/4 is worth looking at. I hired one couple of years ago to use at Oulton Park for BSB, got some good shots from it.