Advice Needed: EM1 II: How to track fasting moving subjects (and focusing)

Started Oct 6, 2018 | Questions thread
Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 5,353
Re: Advice Needed: EM1 II: How to track fasting moving subjects (and focusing)

HarryShin wrote:


Question: I’d to get advice on how to track fast moving objects when using a telephoto lens.

Background Info:

a: What I’m trying to shoot / track are jets at an air show.

B: I use the Olympus EM1 II (15 FPS), 40-150mm 2.8 with teleconverter; I usually shoot at 150mm (210mm with teleconverter)

C: I have no problems tracking a group of planes (ie Blue Angels) doing a formation flight, but it’s difficult to impossible tracking the demo aircraft (ex: F-22, F-35) flying solo and especially when they do a high speed pass.

D: To somewhat deal with this situation, I recently started experimenting with the Olympus Eye Dot (I think that’s what it’s called) and it actually works better than me looking through the viewfinder. The problem is that it’s only an approximation and it has zero value in re: what’s the optimal focal length at any given situation.

E: I’m going to assume ( but I’m not sure) that an optical viewfinder may be better than the EVF, however that still doesn’t deal with the difficulty of just trackin’g a fast moving object when using extreme telephoto.

F: I’d really like to get specific input solutions in that I’m probably going to get even a longer focal length lens; for some of the venues, even the above lens is still too short. I can only image the incremental difficultly of getting a decent shot a longer focal lengths.

Associated question: For those familiar with the EM1 II system, what specific settings should I use fo the C-AF or should I even bother with C-AF? Because of the... unreliability of the focusing system for me (I’m sure it might be user error), I’ve been just been estimating focus distance and shooting manual / f8 etc... (it’s an air show and the planes fly in the general area / distance); it works most of the time, but it’s not accurate and I would like to do it as accurately as possible.

Thanks in advance for any help, Harry

Harry the main thing is to get a lot of practice at panning in general, then your reflexes and muscles will become accustomed to the procedure.

One issue is that their speed across the frame means that you need to gradually speed up and slow down as they pass.

So practice on cars and seaguls if possible and you will soon develop the skill.

PS. I do shoot airshows with em1-mk2 and I use central 9 focus squares, 8fps, and normal evf refresh rate.

Practice practice practice.

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