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Old 07-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #136
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

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That's pretty good for what you had. The lens is not really a "fast" lens for shooting after dark. It's average for shooting most anything. And works pretty darn good in most daytime shooting. I have the Sony version, but I prefer shooting my Sigma 70 -200 F/2.8 when the sun falls or I have to use flash, or in the daytime I shoot my 70 - 300G Sony lens. You could make improvements with getting another lens, or you could get another camera. The A-230 is a beginners cam in Sony speak. I don't want to get into brands here, as most cams can do pretty well depending on what you are trying to achieve. If you like the camera you have, look into getting a faster lens for it. The glass really make the shots. The Sigma 18 -250 should be something like 3.5 - 5-6, if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, it's 3.5 - 6.3
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:29 PM   #137
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

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That's pretty good for what you had. The lens is not really a "fast" lens for shooting after dark. It's average for shooting most anything. And works pretty darn good in most daytime shooting. I have the Sony version, but I prefer shooting my Sigma 70 -200 F/2.8 when the sun falls or I have to use flash, or in the daytime I shoot my 70 - 300G Sony lens. You could make improvements with getting another lens, or you could get another camera. The A-230 is a beginners cam in Sony speak. I don't want to get into brands here, as most cams can do pretty well depending on what you are trying to achieve. If you like the camera you have, look into getting a faster lens for it. The glass really make the shots. The Sigma 18 -250 should be something like 3.5 - 5-6, if I'm not mistaken.
So basically the lens is fast enough for DAY shots..... but a "slow" lens for night shots? This is what Jeff has been telling me, he's been helping me out alot but I was hoping to find someone who knew SONY to see what I could do with what I have until I'm able to buy the one that Jeff suggested. I didn't know if there was something else I could do in the mean time with what I have.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #138
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

No, he's pretty much "on point"! But if you are able to get as close to some of these cars as it seems. You may want to keep an eye out for a lens that would do well by being closer and is much cheaper than the 70 - 200 F/2.8 until you can get one. The Minolta/Tamron 28 - 75 F/2.8 is a great lens to fix some of this if you can find one reasonably priced. It's very sharp, and has the aperture that you need. I could recommend the Minolta/Tamron 17 -50 F/2-8, but the range is even more limited. The 28 -75 you can find on E-bay and craigslist for average $320 - $375.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:49 AM   #139
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

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A good starting point that will get you a high photo keeper rate is to set the camera at 1/500thTV. Adjust ISO for ambient conditions, start at 100 if it is sunny out. Cloudy, go to 200 or 400.

I know that Mark does not prefer these settings, but they will get you photos you will be happy with.
Thanks for the info. I am new to the photography world and I am using a d40 as well with a dx swm ED Aspherical .28m/.92ft 52.--- with a sb400 speed light. I will try these setting as well.

any sucjestions on a better lens for shooting at night and settings be great as well. thanks
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:45 PM   #140
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

Great write up, thanks for sharing! I have been shooting with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS recently, which has the 2 axis image stabilization as you mention, and personally have noticed I have better luck while panning with IS set to mode 2. Sometimes when shooting higher shutter speeds and panning, it works even better for me to just turn it off, but most of the time I just leave it in mode 2.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:59 AM   #141
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

Working on my technique, trying to get more detail and still get the sense of movement - not finding it easy !!

Got plenty of shots with everything blurred.








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Old 09-14-2010, 10:14 AM   #142
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

itll come with time and more practice. I know i still get tons of throw away pics when i try to bring the shutter down past 1/100 but do usually get a lucky few out the batches.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:44 PM   #143
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

When you are shooting two subjects, like a pair of bikes or cars, you need a little more F stop then shooting a single car so you get more in focus. Also you typically have to go less aggressive on shutter speed because you need to find that moment when both are traveling very similar in speeds or the opposite car will be blurry if there is a drastic speed difference.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:55 PM   #144
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

i got that this weekend. i was stopped down to 2.8 and tracking the front car which killed the DOF and focus for the second car. but its what i wanted for this shot.


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Old 09-14-2010, 04:43 PM   #145
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

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Originally Posted by powertvmark View Post
When you are shooting two subjects, like a pair of bikes or cars, you need a little more F stop then shooting a single car so you get more in focus. Also you typically have to go less aggressive on shutter speed because you need to find that moment when both are traveling very similar in speeds or the opposite car will be blurry if there is a drastic speed difference.

Thanks for the tip, my pic with 2 bikes was f14 at 1/250th - We were at around half track, cars and bikes were really moving at that point.
I don't normally use shutter speeds that fast - just experimenting trying to get sharper pics.
More f stop - does that mean higher or lower number ?
sorry if that sounds stupid, but I'm not sure.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:00 PM   #146
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

more = higher. f14 should have enough to get both in focus. But to be certain could even step up to f16, 18, 20.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:35 PM   #147
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

Im still not getting the motion blur that I want but im improving.... If I slow the shutter speed down below 1/250ish I get blur on the object im shooting. Is this just something you fix in post processing? How are you guys tracking the motion? Are you standing up or kneeling?





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Old 09-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #148
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

TurboTank: Just takes more practice.. work on your technique. Standing, and one thing I have learned that helps me is to stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, and face in the direction where your sweet spot or your ending spot will be, and then twist your upper body to the starting position. Also, as always.. keep your shoulders in tight to your body. Another big one is to follow through, even after you are done shooting, keep going with the car and your camera. Just like baseball, golf, etc. It just takes lots and lots of practice and lots of wasted frames.. but it's digital, so it's free! =)
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:49 AM   #149
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

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Originally Posted by kevinb View Post
Great write up, thanks for sharing! I have been shooting with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS recently, which has the 2 axis image stabilization as you mention, and personally have noticed I have better luck while panning with IS set to mode 2. Sometimes when shooting higher shutter speeds and panning, it works even better for me to just turn it off, but most of the time I just leave it in mode 2.
If the Canon IS system works anything like Nikon's VR there is an answer to this issue. I have been told that the Nikon VR works something like this.

When you are panning, as we often do, the lens will jump out of VR mode if you deviate more than 10 degrees from horizontal. This info is supposed to have come from Nikon tech. I don't know how easy it is to stay within that range from horizontal while panning. I'm a ways past middle age and expect my own ability to hold a larger lens stable is suffering some too! I do notice my ability to capture great panning shots will vary from event to event.

I had noticed the focus jumping at times and this is what I was inquiring about. I believe the same thing happens when using the "Active" mode but I am not sure on this.

I still shoot both with VR on and off but seem to get better results with it turned off.

I agree with Kevin that it requires practice, practice and more practice. The more dynamic you want your panning shots to be, the lower the quality shot percentage will be. But, when you get good ones, they are usually pretty darn good.

I am always experimenting with new ideas.

Last edited by racephoto; 09-16-2010 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:05 AM   #150
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Default Re: How to shoot motion drag racing

That definitely makes sense. I am sure the same would probably hold true for Canon as well. I will have to do some google searching.

Your post just reminded me of another thing with Canon.. at least on the 7D. I am not sure if this function exists in the other model's or if there is similar functionality with Nikon, but under Custom Function III, Autofocus/Drive there are two main settings I leave the camera on for drag racing or any fast action for that matter, and they are:

1. AI Servo tracking sensitivity set to the notch between Slow, and the middle setting. This setting slows down how fast tracking will change what it is tracking. So, say for example I am track side and panning a very fast car and I goof up a bit and "lose" the car in the frame, this allows me to get the car back into frame before the camera starts trying to focus on something in the background.

2. AI Servo 1st/2nd image priority set to 0:AF priority/Tracking priority which tells the camera that in burst mode, auto focus has priority for the 1st image and then every image after that to give tracking priority.
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