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Lens for racing?

jay956

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Ill be crewing for a motorcycle racing team this year and while i'm not working I would like to practice some photography. For most track I should be able to get clearance to get close to the track, so I wont need anything longer than 200, heck probably not even that long. I saw the other thread about car racing, but I dont think I would need anything as fast as you need for cars. The bikes will top out at just below 200, and usually not interested in pics on the straight anyway. I am shooting with a 60D, and L lenses are simply out of the question. Most likely will be buying used.

Thanks!
 
I shot a few WERA road races the last couple of years and I used my 70-300 f/4.5-5.6. Probably 90% of my shots were under 200mm as I was very close to the riders coming by. As to a specific lens I can't help since I shoot with a Nikon.
 
It will be stupid to take L out of the equation. 70-200 f/4L is not that much and it is sharp!
 
Sigma 70-200 2.8 is pretty inexpensive as well... probably not as sharp as the f/4L however.
 
Sigma 70-200 2.8 is pretty inexpensive as well... probably not as sharp as the f/4L however.
Just make sure it's the sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS and not the macro version. The macro version is slower on the focus and you will most definitely feel it on race bikes.
You WILL need fast focus-the same as cars or even faster. You will also need to have a very fast shutter speed and to learn to pan as well. If you are shooting in the dark or under field lights you will definintely want the f/2.8. It's sharpest at about f/4. The f/4 is sharpest at about f/7.1. HUGE difference when working under the lights.
 
Ok now I've had done of my racing buddies say that I'll want something longer than 200 otherwise I'll be doing a lot of cropping.
 
If it is longer than 200, then I definitely get an L. Start saving money!
 
Ok now I've had one of my racing buddies say that I'll want something longer than 200

Yes, you'll want something longer. and faster. and better. The wanting never ends.

Are you drag racing or road racing?

What lens's do you have now?
 
It will be stupid to take L out of the equation. 70-200 f/4L is not that much and it is sharp!

Agreed.


I have this lens
The only drawback is, at F4 wide open and a decently fast shutter speed to capture stop motion for something such as racing, you will need decent light unless you bump the ISO way up. Keep that in mind. Some cameras can get away with low noise at high ISO, some can't - of course it depends on your acceptable levels.

Motorsports/Wildlife is one of the reasons I have a 2.8 version as well.
 
I have this lens
The only drawback is, at F4 wide open and a decently fast shutter speed to capture stop motion for something such as racing, you will need decent light unless you bump the ISO way up. Keep that in mind. Some cameras can get away with low noise at high ISO, some can't - of course it depends on your acceptable levels.

Motorsports/Wildlife is one of the reasons I have a 2.8 version as well.
Why do you want to stop the motion? The motion blur is what makes racing photographs more than just a static photo of a bike in the paddock. Pan with the motorcycle (or car). Let the background and the wheels blur. That's what gives the photograph feeling. It also eliminates the necessity for a wide-open, high-ISO, fast-shutter shot. I shoot most motorcycle races at around f/8, ISO 200, and 1/200 to 1/320 second.
 
p680720495-3.jpg
 
^^^ Exactly my point. Thank you.



This was shot off the front straight of Nashville International Speedway. The rider is hard on the brakes probably coming down from 150-200mph. I shot it a bit faster than I needed to, it's at 1/320.


This one is at 1/200 second.
 
I have this lens
The only drawback is, at F4 wide open and a decently fast shutter speed to capture stop motion for something such as racing, you will need decent light unless you bump the ISO way up. Keep that in mind. Some cameras can get away with low noise at high ISO, some can't - of course it depends on your acceptable levels.

Motorsports/Wildlife is one of the reasons I have a 2.8 version as well.
Why do you want to stop the motion? The motion blur is what makes racing photographs more than just a static photo of a bike in the paddock. Pan with the motorcycle (or car). Let the background and the wheels blur. That's what gives the photograph feeling. It also eliminates the necessity for a wide-open, high-ISO, fast-shutter shot. I shoot most motorcycle races at around f/8, ISO 200, and 1/200 to 1/320 second.

Schwettylens' photo is a pan shot, (nicely done), not stop motion.
You are talking about panning which of course gives you a little more freedom with shutter speed. I said "stop motion".
Every image he takes in low light is not going to be a pan shot. What if he is shooing cars coming at him down a straightaway? Stop motion.
He is not always going to have the action pass him left to right or vice versa.
Drag racing, unless viewed from mid track of a passing car would not suit panning.

I think you know what I mean
 
Lots of good info and things to think about. Thanks!

Ok now I've had one of my racing buddies say that I'll want something longer than 200

Yes, you'll want something longer. and faster. and better. The wanting never ends.

Are you drag racing or road racing?

What lens's do you have now?

I know all about the "wanting". But the good thing about lenses is that they hold their value very well. So if i pick up a used one and decide i need something else most likely id be able to get almost as much back for it.

I'll be doing road racing.

I just have a 50 1.4 right now.

It will be stupid to take L out of the equation. 70-200 f/4L is not that much and it is sharp!

Agreed.


I have this lens
The only drawback is, at F4 wide open and a decently fast shutter speed to capture stop motion for something such as racing, you will need decent light unless you bump the ISO way up. Keep that in mind. Some cameras can get away with low noise at high ISO, some can't - of course it depends on your acceptable levels.

Motorsports/Wildlife is one of the reasons I have a 2.8 version as well.

Even in daylight? Motorcycle racing doesnt happen at night. Darkest condition would be cloudy and rainy, but since this is just a hobby i doubt id be doing anything is bad weather (body isnt sealed anyway).
 

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