Is there a formula for calculating shutter speeds?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Skipster, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Skipster

    Skipster TPF Noob!

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    I'll be going to the World Cup of Snowmobile Grass Drags once again this summer. It's usually in August and very bright. What I'm wondering, is there a formula for calculating shutter speeds to freeze objects travelling at certain speeds. I fully understand how it affects exposure, but wondering if there is a guideline to follow. Last year I shot @ 1/500th and they were blurred. These sleds reach speeds of 110+mph in 500'. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    what camera are you using? it probably has an auto-shutterspeed setting where you choose the aperture and it chooses the corresponding shutter speed. for such a bright scene i'm sure you can get faster than 1/500. unless you are shooting at like f11 or so.
     
  3. westman

    westman TPF Noob!

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    do u know Sunny16 ?
     
  4. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    I'm surprised they were blurred at 1/500. The easiest answer is to get the fastest shutter speed you can get away with.

    You haven't said what camera you're using. I can quite easily get over 1/1000 @ f8 on a bright day with my D70 at ISO 200 but your camera may be more limited.......or it could be less limited ;)
     
  5. Skipster

    Skipster TPF Noob!

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    The Minolta I was using only goes to 1/1000 and F8 has too narrow of a DOF to capture all 4 lanes. Like a finish line shot. Can't remember what speed film I was using either.

    The camera I was going to use this year is a Nikon N80. Don't think aperature priority is the way to go here either because the camera doesn't know how fast the targets are moving. I was hoping to be able to run in shutter priority and let the camera body decide on aperature (hopefully with a good DOF).

    Thanks all for the replies. Any more thoughts/ideas?
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you tried panning? The technique is rather simple, when you have your moving subject in the VF move the camera in the same direction and with a constant speed so the subject is always in the same spot. Shoot while moving (speeds 1/250 and faster).


    Good luck.
     
  7. wharrison

    wharrison TPF Noob!

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    The "correct" shutter speed under such conditions is dependent upon the angle of view - from you to the subject. If the subject is travelling across your field of view, you will need a 1/1000 of a shutter speed or higher - depending upon whether your camera has a shutter speed of 1/2000 or higher.

    If, however, your field of view is such that the subject is coming at your camera diagonally, you should be able to make use of either 1/500 or 1/1000 shutter speeds.

    If your field of view is such that the subject is coming at your camera nearly directly, you could even make use of 1/125 shutter speed.

    Decades ago, one of our customers took photographs of motocycle races using Kodachrome 25, a Leicaflex SL II Mot (motorized) with the 400mm Telyt F/6.8. Because of the angle of view, Bob was able to use 1/125 shutter speed with the lens wide open. His slides were extraordinarly sharp and exhibited no blur or camera movement.

    For your "homework" assignment, you might wish to take a look at some of the older, but still excellent books on photography, such as The Leica Way by Mathison or The Pentax Way by Keppler. I am sure that there are other titles available at your local public library or bookstore.

    A recent and excellent book on photography by the editors of National Geographic might have some useful information. If you have a Border's or Barnes & Noble store nearby - check out this book and/or other titles.

    Hope this is useful.

    Bill
     
  8. Skipster

    Skipster TPF Noob!

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    That's kinda what I was looking for. Thanks. Once I get the pics developed, I will post results. Gonna try to film @ 1/2000th and faster this year. Also gonna use iso400 and 800 and see if I can get some good snap-shots. These things are fast. Don't think panning is the answer as they start and finish 500' in around 3 seconds @ over 110MPH.
     

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