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Author Topic: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)  (Read 62291 times)

akiskev

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2011, 09:14:30 AM »
Impressive shot dude!
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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2011, 09:14:30 AM »

justsomedude

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2011, 09:38:15 PM »
Impressive shot dude!


Thanks akiskev!  Here's another from the same corner...



July 31, 2011
High Plains Raceway, Colorado

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akiskev

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2011, 10:26:33 AM »
justsomedude I have a question. How much does the 7D AF help you in capturing these shots(supposed you have a decent panning technique)?
I'm asking because with my 400d it is quite hard to get lots of in focus shots.. I usually put focus to manual and wait for the bike to come, else I may lose the shot..
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thepancakeman

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2011, 10:16:49 AM »
No one said "motor" bikes!


Paolo

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2011, 12:22:32 PM »
Speaking of bikes....maybe older but still a bike  :D


Red bike by paolo fontana, on Flickr

justsomedude

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2011, 04:08:07 PM »
justsomedude I have a question. How much does the 7D AF help you in capturing these shots(supposed you have a decent panning technique)?
I'm asking because with my 400d it is quite hard to get lots of in focus shots.. I usually put focus to manual and wait for the bike to come, else I may lose the shot..


Askiskev,

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a straightforward answer to your question.  But if I had to answer yes or no, I'd say "no"...  the 7D's AF alone is not as big a factor as some people might think for these types of shots.  However, there are other aspects of the 7D that do provide a little advantage over other camera bodies (I'll get to that later).

Don't get me wrong, the 7D AIservo AF is a help, but only a small factor in the grand scheme of shooting this kind of shot at 1/160th.  The problem is at these slow shutter speeds (1/160th is "slow" for a racing motorcycle), the rider is moving and his fairings are vibrating/shaking violently due to wind/engine&road vibrations - so getting the entire bike/rider to be crisp is difficult (and sometimes just takes luck).  I've tried shooting as low as 1/125 and 1/100, but my keeper rate becomes atrocious.  1/160th is about as slow as I can go (in corners) while getting a somewhat decent keeper rate, and getting the entire bike to be sharp.  I have to bump the shutter speed up on main straights as the bike speeds are much higher.

All things considered, I'd say panning technique is priority #1 for shooting any type of shot like this, and always will be.  Even when my focus is spot on, most of my throw-aways are due to camera shake (translation: operator error).  :)  After panning technique, I think optics are the #2 consideration for panning shots, and they play a bigger role than camera body or AF type.  Shooting with a fast lens with image stabilization (in a panning mode) can significantly increase keeper rates.  Also, keep in mind that teleconverters -  while giving you more reach - will actually compromise image quality.  You also lose two stops of light with most TCs. 

I shoot with a 70-200mm and use a 1.4x TC if I really have to.  In a perfect world (where money grew on trees), I'd be shooting 300mm or 400mm f/2.8L IS lenses, like the two just featured on the home page.  Unfortunately, I don't have that kinda cash.  :P

Lastly, there is definitely a point where camera body comes into play, but I don't think the AF processing is necessarily the key benefit.  In my mind, the advantage to the 7D is the much larger pentaprism, which is actually larger than the 5D MKII's pentaprism (see pentaprism info in this review).  While processing certainly helps for tracking, it's of my opinion that this large pentaprism is a huge help to the 7D's AF system.  Either way, I'd put the AF system as the lowest priority with respect to obtaining higher keeper rates for motorsports photography (that is, in a 400d to 7D comparison... obviously AF is a factor if we're comparing a 7D to a powershot!). 

Remember, people have been taking these kinds of photos for years - long before digital AF came about... and somehow they were able to get tack sharp shots.  ;)  If you are able to get good crisp shots with pre-setting focus at a fixed distance, that means you're really dialing your panning technique down.  Ultimately, if you upgrade to a higher-end camera, you'll be well ahead of the curve for handling the AF features that come with it.

I hope this helps!

tomscott

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2011, 04:48:01 AM »
justsomedude I have a question. How much does the 7D AF help you in capturing these shots(supposed you have a decent panning technique)?
I'm asking because with my 400d it is quite hard to get lots of in focus shots.. I usually put focus to manual and wait for the bike to come, else I may lose the shot..

Although the AF helps its more technique and knowing what shutter speed to use in comparison to the speed of the vehicle. Also alot is down to panning technique. My kit is fairly old-school in terms of technology, a 40D and a non IS 70-200mm F2.8 and a 2x extender. In my opinion, yes its nice to have the better kit but nailing the technique is more important, doesn't matter what kit you have your pics will still come out badly if the technique isnt great. The best way is trial and error there is no easy way of calculating because of available light. I generally use the AV mode, use a higher f stop to increase depth of field and decrease the shutter speed, anywhere between F5.6 and F11 works well for me, anything less than F5.6 and you will find that the vehicle will have a small plane of focus, which can be nice for some shots but more depth of field is better for the overall effect. But if the light is pretty consistent check your exposure and get it into manual and set the values to get a perfect exposure then you can worry about the technique.

In terms of your focus point, you can pre focus on a part of the road, then set the camera to burst, follow the vehicle from an apex or where ever you are, and when you get to your pre focused point shoot a few frames, generaly shoot the first one about a metre before the point. It is a tried and tested technique but gets a bit of getting used to. Especially shooting exactly where you pre focused, best thing to do is find a mark on the road like a tyre mark so you know exactly where to shoot the frames. It is paramount to follow the car and pan or you will find the pic is very flat without any movement or with your pre-defined settings the car will be blurred but not in an aesthetic panned way, more just a blurred image. The problem is any camera will struggle to continually focus but AI servo usually does a good job, if that doesn't work for you then try the pre focusing, the vehicles move so fast that manual focus while panning can be very difficult if not impossible.

The 400d isnt really geared up to this type of photography, but instead of fighting against it use its flaws to your advantage, work around them. With the burst mode shoot the 4fps at your pre defined point, the middle image will be pin sharp. Usually 3-5 frames is a good amount to work with, even pros use this technique to ensure they have a perfect image. Another piece of advice is buy a battery grip, it will make the camera a lot more balanced hand held with a big lens. Otherwise buy yourself a monopod, although I find that they are a bit cumbersome... and annoying because it is another factor to mess around with.

The more planted you are the more likely you are to keep a steady pan. Also how is your stance and how you hold the camera? a steady strong stance with a strong grip also helps, you want to use your left arm like a triangle pressed into your chest then by holding the lens barrel and pressing the camera up toward your face you create a steady posture, then use your upper body to pan rather than your hands, almost like using a monopod but more flexible. This dramatically aids your images. Otherwise you will find that your images look sharp on the camera then get them home and at 100% they are slightly out this technique helps to reduce this, although to give yourself a little bit of leeway bring your aperture up one step will still create a pleasing blur and a sharp shot, if not exactly what you want you can also add a little more in PS. Then once your technique starts to improve you can be more experimental with your panning technique and maybe think about upgrading your camera. Its a good tool to learn with because of the flaws then once you get hold of a quicker camera you will find the technique you have learned pay massive dividend. I did exactly the same started with a 350d and a crappy 24-300mm sigma lens and eventually decided it was the right time to get some better kit.

Hope this helps

Tom Scott
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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2011, 04:48:01 AM »

thepancakeman

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2011, 09:36:21 AM »
tomscott:  that was very thorough and helpful--thanks!

tomscott

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2011, 09:51:08 AM »
tomscott:  that was very thorough and helpful--thanks!

No worries, I will post a few more images when I get round to uploading them.
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Hagen

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2011, 12:33:52 PM »
As Tom and the others have said: panning is mostly practice and experimentation with settings: loads of it. An additional aspect to be aware of, is on what level are you, with respect to the subject. If you are above the plane of the subject, then your pan will not be horizontal: you may need to pan at an angle, and you may need to rotate the camera as you pan. Work on keeping your selected focus point on the same point on your subject, and be aware of the subject in the frame: positioning, rotation etc.

I started out about 1 keeper every 10 frames and am now down to about 1 in 3.

Sharing some successes:
A standard horizontal pan
http://2hphotography.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/hagenhohn_MG_5053.jpg

The middle photo is a pan from upper right down to lower left and rotating the camera while panning to keep the car in the same orientation within the frame. This is shot from the start tower on a track.
http://2hphotography.ca/uncategorized/photographing-a-lot-of-clients-at-once/

And just a static
http://2hphotography.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/hagenhohn__MG_8080-1.jpg


justsomedude

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2011, 08:03:23 PM »
American Levi Leipheimer whips around Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado on his way to victory in the inaugural US Pro Cycling Challenge...


akiskev

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2011, 08:30:34 PM »
Thanks for answering my question and sharing all these useful info Tom & justsomedude!!!
I agree that AF is not the first priority when panning. Technique surely plays a much bigger role!



« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 08:50:59 PM by akiskev »
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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2011, 08:58:15 PM »

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2011, 08:58:15 PM »

1982chris911

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2011, 04:37:44 PM »
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akiskev

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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2011, 02:58:38 PM »
I tried my old Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f/2.8 (M42 mount) on my 400d today.
Apart from some heavy fringing at f/2.8, it's pretty nice!

See for yourselves


ISO 100, f/2.8

100% crop
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Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2011, 02:58:38 PM »