Recent chance to sample all the newest Nikon gear...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by CMT, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. CMT

    CMT TPF Noob!

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    And I chose to stick with my Canon stuff. [​IMG]

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    I attended a Nikon-sponsored Motorsports Photography School at Lime Rock Park, a track close to me in Connecticut. My friend who shoots Nikon, and who recently picked up a D700 was in absolute heaven as he was able to use everything from the 500 and 600mm f/4 to the mind-blowing 14-24 f/28. I wanted to learn how to use my own cameras/lenses better, so I stuck with my gear as-listed in my signature, but in retrospect I really should have explored my space with all of the Nikon goodies available to the students.

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    Those huge bins were filled with multiple copies of every new Nikon body and the best lenses they have to offer. Along with my friend who already shoots Nikon, another friend tagged along and borrowed a a D3s and spent most of the day shooting through either the 14-24, their newest 70-200, or something ridiculous like a 500/600/300mm - Needless to say he had a whole lot of fun.

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    I've seen the output pics from the above D3s / 14-24 combo, and they are frankly amazing. I have shot extensively with the original version of Canon's 14 f/2.8L, and I actually got used to its substantial distortion. While I have never used version II of the 14mm L, I was in awe of Nikon's 14-24 as it had little perceptible distortion from what I could see on the camera at 14mm, and it was a zoom. I couldn't believe it, hell I'm still impressed with the memory of this Nikon lens and I wish Canon would release something comparable.

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    The two days were spent shadowing George Tiedermann (30+ years with Sports Illustrated and ESPN the magazine), Rick Dole (25 years of motorsports photography experience), and Robert Laberge (long list of publications in which his photographs have been published) who were there to provide instruction to us mere mortals. I learned a lot, at least in theory, however I did find some of their instruction hard to execute. For instance, they only shoot full manual where I am still stuck shooting in shutter-priority mode, and they also advised against autofocus and I just couldn't make it work to my satisfaction. I am far too reliant upon the 1D's amazing ability to focus the way I desire, and while the 5D is nowhere near as competent in this regard I was also able to get surprisingly acceptable shots despite it not being a "sports body."

    I was also surprised when they said to turn off image stabilization, which of course I did not do because my 70-200 II is still new to me, and after coming from my old/trusted 80-200 f/2.8L the IS feature is still too awesome an addition to me to disable. Especially since I need all the help I can get. :lol:

    5D/16-35 f/2.8L paddock pics:

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  2. CMT

    CMT TPF Noob!

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    One advantage afforded by this course was the ability to get trackside to places that would otherwise be off limits. This allowed us to get past the spectator gates and right up to the guard railing that lined the track.

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    The professional photographers were always helpful and immediately ready to advise on technique and best practices. I was again surprised to hear that none of them shoot at full fps while panning, and prefer to keep the rate around 3-5 fps in order to better see the target object. This made me try out the 5D later on in the day. While it obviously did not have the same reach as the 1D given the lack of crop factor, I was surprised at how well some of the shots came out.

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    The afternoon found my friends and I lounging at the photo building after lunch. Before I knew what he was doing, one had grabbed a D3s / 600mm f/4 combo and scampered up to the top of the photo building, which had a perfect perch to shoot cars coming down the long straight. It was very convenient, and we really enjoyed the luxury of not having to shlep to/fro nor hither/thither. :D

    All in all, the day was an immensely fun time and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

    1D II / 70-200 II with 2x Extender

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    1D II/ 70-200 II

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    5D / 16-35 f/2.8L

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    5D / 70-200 II with 2x Extender

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    1D II / 70-200 II with 2x Extender

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    Thanks for checking out the thread!
     
  3. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to Chris, I, too, attended this course. And thanks to he and his fiancee, I had a place to crash so I didn't have to drive 3 hours to LRP each morning.

    I mostly shot with my D700 with my 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR and TC14E attached, although I did try out the 500mm f/4 VRII and the 14-24mm f/2.8.
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  4. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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  5. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    The following two shots were taken with the 500mm f/4 VRII
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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  6. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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  7. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    The rest of the shots were taken with the 14-24mm f/2.8

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  8. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to everyone for looking at my pictures. I welcome any comments or advice anybody has, be it in composition, post-processing, or anything in between!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The 16-35-L pics look dreadfully poor at the corners...pretty weak lens performance...one of Canon's worst areas has long been wide-angle and wide zooms,and those shots really show how lame the 16-35 is...I liked the Porsche panning shots in the last post...looks like it was a really fun workshop,with lots of access to cool cars aplenty! I thought the slower-speed pans you did in post #3 were the absolute "funnest" shots to look at, plus those cars look really cool...
     
  10. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    Oops, two more taken with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and TC14E combination:
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  11. CMT

    CMT TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the forum Corwyn! It's great to see your pics in full form over that worthless Facebook compression.

    No argument here. It does bear mentioning that mine is the original 16-35 that supposedly shows substantial barrel distortion at 16mm compared to the v.II that is (again supposedly) far superior in this regard, but I cannot comment from experience since I have not used the 16-35 II for any real amount of time. I have also not been in the game long enough to comment on any historic Canon wide-angle deficiency.

    When I look through Corwyn's D700/17-35 2.8 combo, it is a whole different story and again that 14-24 was a jaw-dropping show stopper.

    Magnificent, I adore that lens. It's so bad it should be in detention. :D
     
  12. corwyn

    corwyn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! (And why didn't you tell me about this place sooner? :D)

    Instead, we have worthless Photobucket compression. :lol: Flickr was a pain to extract the direct links, so I reverted to Photobucket. Perhaps I'm just too much of a Flickr noob to understand how to use it properly.

    My dad has the 16-35 II and it's still pretty bad in the corners, IMO. Perhaps it was just the subjects he used for his first test shots, but lots of barrel distortion and quite a bit of vignetting.

    I know. I need to win the lottery. :x
     

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