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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Hong Kong
Hi guys,

I'm going to Zhuhai racetrack in China on Sunday to watch the motorbike racing.

I've been before and have taken lots of rubbish photo's- either too sharp thus not conveying any speed, or too blurry to even make out the bike!

I tend to start in TV mode at 1/50 shutter speed and work either side of that, but just can't find the 'sweet spot'.

I'm looking for advice on my set up, specifically;

1) Should I select the central AF point or use auto?
2) Should I switch off the IS on the lens?
3) Should I use AI focus or AI servo for the AF mode?
4) Should I use Evaluative, Partial or Centre-Weighted ave Metering?

I'm aware that the above questions sound like poor excuses for poor panning and that's probably true! But I'm just trying to eliminate as much as possible and hopefully learn more about my modes along the way.

Any advice and/or panning tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Karl (SP30)

I use a canon EOS-400D with ef-s 55-250 IS lens.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:02 pm
Posts: 839
Location: Lake Worth Fl.
I would say use auto focus... Only reason is that you will most likely get more clear shots. As for panning, I would say to try different angles to see whats good and whats not for the particular track. The IS, I personlly don't think would matter because you will be moving with the subject. But I would switch it off for as much motion in your shot as possible. I don't know to much about the metereing so I can't help you there...


I'd love to find out though so I will keep an eye on this thread.
Good luck and share with us when you get done with the races.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:14 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Chelmsford
I'd just have a play with the settings on the day. You CAN get great shots by using manual focus and pre-focusing on the part of the track your subject is gonna be using. I always pan too, as this gives a real sense of speed as the bikes zoom by.

In the old days with 35mm film SLR's I used to play with depth of field too and pre-focus on a really specific area of the track. I have some super shots of days at Brands Hatch in Kent and Snetterton in Norfolk using these methods.

And keep going back, it's great fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Hong Kong
Thanks guys,

Good tip about concentrating on a certain part of the track. That makes more sense than just wildly snapping as they zoom past and hoping for a decent shot (which is what I normally do...)

I'm lucky enough to have a pit lane pass for Sunday, so I'll try and scrounge some tips from the pro's when they're having a brew...

Cheers,

SP30


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:04 am
Posts: 1013
Location: California
1) Should I select the central AF point or use auto? Yes, unless you focus on one spot of the track then like fearlesspierre thats how i shot this shot
Image
2) Should I switch off the IS on the lens? yes, its is not a help with moving objects as MBrutus2009 said.
3) Should I use AI focus or AI servo for the AF mode? AI servo is a must for tracking a moving motorcycle, i also prefocus with AI servo
4) Should I use Evaluative, Partial or Centre-Weighted ave Metering? metering is still something i have yet to mess around with on my 40D but it really depends on what your aiming for. i usually use the EV +/- to adjust for what i think the pictures could use.

when you shoot at 1/50th are you trying for something like this?


Image
if you want clear results you should shoot much faster

check out my post for more photo's like these: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10922

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Hong Kong
Thanks Tomis,

Yes, when shooting at 1/50 I'm going for the shot like the last one you posted- crisp shot of the bike but a blurry background to convey the speed.

Did you shoot that last pic at 1/50? I would really appreciate it if you could post the settings used for that picture, it's EXACTLY what I'm trying to achieve, but failing miserably at the moment...

Thanks,

SP30


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:04 am
Posts: 1013
Location: California
Exposure:1/100
Aperture: f/18
Focal Length:200 mm
ISO Speed:100

i want to say i started out at around 1/60 and i kept moving it up and the sweet spot for me was 1/100th, it is very hard to get decent sharpness out of it. I took nearly 100 pictures (@ 6.5 fps) trying for that effect and i got lucky, i think i had 4 of the 100 that worked out and that one was the best.

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Manfrotto 055CX3 + 496RC2
www.thomaslowe.com


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