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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Motorsports 
Thread started 06 Oct 2012 (Saturday) 17:55
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Road Atlanta Tomorrow + Question

 
NotBlake
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Oct 06, 2012 17:55 |  #1

Hey fellow POTNers, I'm going to be heading to Road Atlanta tomorrow to shoot my friend in the WERA motorcycle race. On the off chance that any POTNers are going to be there also, I thought it might be cool to meet up.

My question, as this is my first time shooting Motorsports in particular (lots of experience with most other things) I'm wondering if and when the use of a monopod or tripod is appropriate.

I've played around with panning shots on cars around my neighborhood within the 50-80mm focal range, but never with the 135mm f2 I'll be using tomorrow.

Would it be good to use a monopod and a ball head with the tension loosened on the head to reduce camera shake for panning shots?

Also, with 135 on crop or full frame (i'll be bringing both) what shutter-speed should I be looking for to induce a nice blurring of everything but my subjects? Should I use 1/FL rule to start and move down from there?

Here's an example of a panning shot I grabbed just walking down the street, so i feel like I understand the basics, but haven't experimented with any of the longer glass before.


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sastein
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Oct 06, 2012 20:39 |  #2

Your lens will probably be too short, but try to get packs of bikes at a nice slow speed. Since you're doing this for the first time, maybe start with 1/250 and work down from there. The further away you are the slower you need to be. You can get away with a faster speed if you're shooting head on, but with the 135, you're going to be pretty far away unless you can get access, and even then, that's kind of a short lens.

1/30 always looks pretty good but 1/60 will probably work on bikes.


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Bicknell55
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Oct 06, 2012 21:40 |  #3

You're better off panning without a monopod or tripod.


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NotBlake
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Oct 06, 2012 22:41 |  #4

Thanks for the advice guys, I'll forgo the monopod (thank god) and report back some time.




  
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Oct 07, 2012 01:31 as a reply to  @ NotBlake's post |  #5

Definitely dont need a monopod for panning - its far easier without it. As far as shutter speed goes, that depends on the speed of the subject, and how much blur you want. But judging from the lack of sharpness in your example, you need a bit of practice.


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NotBlake
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Oct 10, 2012 19:30 as a reply to  @ angryman's post |  #6

Well i had a smashing day at the track, there was plenty of action and some chances for me to get pretty close to put my 135 to use, even with the 5d2. I definitely came away wanting a lens with a panning IS mode, and more reach. I think a 100-400 may be in my future.

Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the day:


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TRhoads
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Oct 11, 2012 07:47 |  #7

Sorry I did not see this thread earlier...RA is my home track...panning takes a lot of practice, and I would not worry about using IS while panning, I don't think it helps, even on the 70-200 MKII, I turn IS off.


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Steve ­ Beck
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Oct 11, 2012 08:21 |  #8

I hate I missed the thread. I use a monopod only when shooting and panning with my 500/600mm lens's. I go to RA all the time, I use to cover WERA events at RA and AMA Superbike at RA, VIR and Barber. Not so much anymore. I will be there next weekend for the Petit LeMans. That is a fun race to watch and photograph.

Panning is a technique only perfected by practice, practice and more practice and even then sometimes some people never get it.


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NotBlake
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Oct 11, 2012 08:47 |  #9

Steve Beck wrote in post #15107638 (external link)
I hate I missed the thread. I use a monopod only when shooting and panning with my 500/600mm lens's. I go to RA all the time, I use to cover WERA events at RA and AMA Superbike at RA, VIR and Barber. Not so much anymore. I will be there next weekend for the Petit LeMans. That is a fun race to watch and photograph.

Panning is a technique only perfected by practice, practice and more practice and even then sometimes some people never get it.

I ended up shooting all handheld, mostly with my 135 on my crop body. Panning certainly is an art form, especially with something as fast the superbikes! It took me a while to have close up shots that didn't have a bike cut in half by the frame-edge.

As someone who has shot this a bunch, how do you feel about the two shots above? Any CC? I was mostly at 1/200 or 1/250 with the 135mm on my 60D, anything below that, and I was having real problems getting any keepers.




  
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TRhoads
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Oct 11, 2012 08:53 |  #10

I prefer the second one, even though you can see the eyes in the first one. The first is too tight. I think the first mistake made in panning is trying to fill the frame with the subject. This to me tends to make panning useless, you get no background, and the motion is not seen as much when shot so tight. Shooting wider also prevents clipping parts of the bike/rider/car.


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NotBlake
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Oct 11, 2012 09:04 |  #11

TRhoads wrote in post #15107746 (external link)
I prefer the second one, even though you can see the eyes in the first one. The first is too tight. I think the first mistake made in panning is trying to fill the frame with the subject. This to me tends to make panning useless, you get no background, and the motion is not seen as much when shot so tight. Shooting wider also prevents clipping parts of the bike/rider/car.

That's good to hear from someone else. I tried some panning with my 50mm and I thought some of the shots were realy cool and dramatic, but I think most of the riders want those super-tight crops of knee meeting pavement to make their profile pics on various websites.

The only thing I found with Wide angle panning is that you tend to get blur from perspective distortion, where the point you're tracking is tack-sharp but to the left and right of that point have some radial blurring from their relative change in size from motion.

I suppose this would be minimized by wide angle panning through a corner so that the bike maintains a constant distance to the camera.




  
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TRhoads
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Oct 11, 2012 09:08 |  #12

There are different ways to shoot wider, maybe not 50mm and super wide, especially with bikes, maybe more like 100 or 70, just a little more space than the 135 gave you. I find that shooting with prime lenses is hard to do.

That tight shot with a dragging knee is a good one, but from a different angle to the rider, so that you get the air gap between the knee and bike. In your first shot, there is no separation there, and it gets lost.


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NotBlake
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Oct 11, 2012 09:14 |  #13

TRhoads wrote in post #15107784 (external link)
There are different ways to shoot wider, maybe not 50mm and super wide, especially with bikes, maybe more like 100 or 70, just a little more space than the 135 gave you. I find that shooting with prime lenses is hard to do.

That tight shot with a dragging knee is a good one, but from a different angle to the rider, so that you get the air gap between the knee and bike. In your first shot, there is no separation there, and it gets lost.


Ahh gotcha. That makes sense.




  
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