Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Started Jul 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
zakk9 Senior Member • Posts: 1,185

In your shoes, I would choose a Sigma 50-500 or 150-500. They are both plenty sharp, focus fast enough and give you as much reach as you can possibly get for a limited sum of money. The disadvantage is the weight so you will want a monopod for some of the shots. The D3100 is somewhat limited when it comes to AF, but most of all buffer size and frame rate. A used D300 (or even D200) would have been a better option.

Static race shots are boring. Go for pan shot unless you can find some nice shooting location that gives you low-angle, head-on shots. Panning means slow shutter speeds and low ISO, sometimes even an ND filter to keep the aperture reasonably large. Go to the gym, practice rotational movements with as much resistance as you can handle. A day at the race track can be rather tough. Buy some good shoes too, some that are good for walking and standing and give maximum support. I use basketball shoes, the pro versions. They feel like lightweight downhill boots but give you a firm base to stand on.

Now, practice, practice and practice again. When doing pan shots, aim at one point of the car and follow that point. One focus point does it. Elbows tight to the body keeps you stable, feet 50cm apart and you're all set.

For pan shots, try some real slow shutter speeds, like 1/150s at 300mm. You might only get 1% keepers, but those are the photos that will have the real "WOW-factor". There are enough boring motor sports photos around.

Here are some samples of what I've been doing at the race track lately:

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Jorgen, my name is Jorgen

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