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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Motorsports Talk 
Thread started 01 Jan 2011 (Saturday) 20:12
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Want to improve my approaching car images.

 
MikeRogers
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Jan 01, 2011 20:12 |  #1

(New edit - I decided to read a bit and learned a bit)

Ok, I just got done reading the terrific post that KennyG put up regarding his recommendations based on shooting Druids at Outlon Park. I'll try shooting at 1/320 in AI Servo mode the next time out. Still looking for lens recommendations for my budget.

[Old post below]

Hi all, new to this forum.

I've been shooting auto racing events for the past 4 years. I primarily shoot vintage road racing and hill climb events. I would like to improve the quality of my images where cars are coming towards me. My image quality has been a bit hit & miss, with some serious focus issues.

I have a Canon 40D, and am looking for a new telephoto or zoom telephoto lens, but don't have an unlimited budget. I have rented several lenses, both high end and mid-range, with mixed results. My guess is that I have a technique problem more than a hardware problem.

In most cases cars will be approaching between 60-100mph. At this speed range I'm fairly sure a shutter speed of 600-800 should be acceptable to capture the primary point of aim sharply (correct me if I'm off base here). With the cars taking different lines and considering unpredictability of racing in general, I don't want to lock myself into a prefocus point and shoot in manual mode. Should I be using AI Focus or AI Servo mode? Are there any tricks regarding where to set your focus point for best results?

Lastly, with a budget of $1200 or less, what lens would you recommend?

Thanks!

Mike


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Chippy569
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Jan 01, 2011 22:43 |  #2

If you want you could pre-focus before the car gets to you, then snap the shot right as the car hits where you're focused. (Focus on something on the wall or whatever as near to the track as you can get, and then remember when you swing back onto the track your focus point is an arc and not a parallel line.) Pretty old-school but it'll work every time.


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MikeRogers
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Jan 01, 2011 23:52 |  #3

Chippy569 wrote in post #11555845 (external link)
If you want you could pre-focus before the car gets to you, then snap the shot right as the car hits where you're focused. (Focus on something on the wall or whatever as near to the track as you can get, and then remember when you swing back onto the track your focus point is an arc and not a parallel line.) Pretty old-school but it'll work every time.

David - Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried this with mixed results. It works great when everyone is right on the driving line, but leaves you unprepared if there are a couple of cars in mid pass coming at you, or interesting group of cars that takes a slightly different composition. Pre-focusing also tends to make all of the images at that position look the same. One work-around I might try is to use the AF/MF button on the back of the 40D, with a prefocus in manual on the MF setting. This might allow me to switch from MF to AF in time to allow for an AF recomposition on the fly. That is one button that I have yet to use on the 40D.


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DazJW
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Jan 02, 2011 04:29 |  #4

I'm not sure what you're using at the moment but a lens with USM autofocus (ideally the 'ring' variety) will make a big difference to your focus accuracy.




  
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MikeRogers
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Jan 02, 2011 10:48 |  #5

I was just reading about a lens on another section of this forum that sounds promising, but may be too new to know much about:
Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens
It's not an "L" series 2.8, but it certainly fits in my budget and doesn't weigh a ton. Any thoughts from the motorsports shooters out there?


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DazJW
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Jan 02, 2011 11:10 |  #6

It has the old-fashioned, slow type of autofocus on it so it's not going to do anything for your focus issues.




  
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MikeRogers
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Jan 02, 2011 12:33 |  #7

I was under the impression that the "PZD" Piezo Drive / ultrasonic drive mechanism would bring this lens "up to speed'. I'll keep an eye out for reviews to see if any action sports types have a word to say about it's abilities.

(From Tamron lens literature) The World's Lightest, Smallest 15x Zoom*, with Tamron's First PZD (Piezo Drive).

The acclaimed Tamron 18-270mm VC ultra zoom for APS-C format DSLRs has reached an astonishing new level of compactness, performance, and speed with the addition of PZD (Piezo Drive), an innovative ultrasonic autofocus motor based on an advanced piezoelectric design. The result is a lens that's considerably lighter, and noticeably shorter and slimmer (filter diameter: 62mm) than any previous lens in its class, and provides faster, quieter auto-focusing.

Signature features that have made this amazingly versatile lens the world standard in its class have been retained. They include a 28-419mm equivalent (15X) zoom range, an improved, lightweight, compact Vibration Compensation (VC) system, macro focusing to 0.49m (19.3 inches) throughout, and, of course, superlative imaging performance.

*For SLR camera high-zoom-ratio lenses with 15x magnification capability. Current as of December 2010. (Source: Tamron).


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DazJW
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Jan 02, 2011 12:53 |  #8

Sounds like they may have finally caught up then, I wonder if they'll release a new version of their 70-200mm f/2.8 with that AF system.

I still think you're better off with a telephoto zoom than something that tries to do it all in one though.




  
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Mike ­ Hoyer
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Jan 02, 2011 16:10 |  #9

Something like this will make a world of difference for you. http://www.amazon.com …TF8&qid=1294006​128&sr=1-1 (external link)

I would use AI Servo mode, and don't spare the FPS.


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Want to improve my approaching car images.
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