Travel-light option for Formula 1 with a d800

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Questions thread
nathantw Senior Member • Posts: 1,573
Re: Travel-light option for Formula 1 with a d800

jubilatu wrote:

Shooting sport is not something i do on a daily basis (in fact i did it only once at a F1 test session). From my previous (and only) shooting at F1 i found out that , on a cloudy daylight, f8 and ~350mm will do. The Abu Dhabi GP is the only race that takes place at night artificial light - one more unknown factor added to the ecuation.

So, trying to prepare for Abu Dhabi GP (in november 2013) i found myself in dilemma (in fact a multi-lemma) - what lens for 300-400mm (or even more, but i could not find a rental place for nikon super-telephoto in Emirates). The options are (till now):

  • buying a 70-200 f4 and use it with a converter(1.4x will give me only 280 mm - too little, 1.7x or 2.0x will degrade the image). i could use the lens later, even is not my usual focal/aperture.
  • buying/renting a 300mm f4 and the 1.4x converter - no VR, heavy and i do not think that i could find a later use for it if i would buy it (but i could become a voyeur...)
  • renting a 80-400 (maybe the new version) - might be the best choice?
  • rent a Canon and a 100-400mm

Thanks for helping.

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Please forgive my grammar but if you find it inconceivable address me in romanian.

I went to the Formula One race in Austin and I took my 28-300, a 400mm f/5.6 AIS (manual focus), a TC-301 2x converter and a fisheye lens to use with my D700. You can see the results on my flickr page (see my signature). I was sitting halfway up the bleacher seats and the best lens turned out to be 300mm. The 400mm was a little long at times, but great for the far distant pictures. The 2x converter was used but not often and only at the corner. Just to let you know, the cars are FAST, so you'll need to be fast too.

A word of advice. Try to do most of your shooting in the practices the days before the actual race. The reason is that on race day there are soooo many people that their heads and THEIR lenses will get in the way of your pictures. When race day comes take a few pictures but enjoy the race and relax since you already have the pictures you'll probably want already.

Also, the rules of the racetrack was that you cannot bring a lens that's a certain length and no tripods. I made sure I followed those rules. On race day I was seeing people carrying around 600mm f/4, 400mm f/2.8, 300mm f/2.8, 200 f/2, and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses on monopods and in a couple cases a tripod. So everyone ignored the rules and the security guards didn't care. Not sure if it'll be the same at Abu Dhabi, but I guess you'll find out.

Good luck and have fun!

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Always have a camera with you and make sure you use it.

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