Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Started Jul 1, 2012 | Discussions
tomoo1000 Senior Member • Posts: 1,937
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Hi just get the nikkor 300 f4 AF-S with the nikon 1.4 tc then later on get a 1.7tc .

Phil.

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NPS Member

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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,155
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

michael chalkley wrote:

ive been told the opposite on AF on th 300mm lens, they say its fast!

It's not fast. I own one. Super IQ, great close-focus ability, but slow to focus.

what do people think of 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM ??

Worth a look. I also know someone who shoots wildlife with a Sigma 50~500 and based on his results and feedback I'd probably get that.

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michael chalkley
OP michael chalkley Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

would you say its sharp?

ifso for the money its fantastic.

slimandy wrote:

michael chalkley wrote:

ive been told the opposite on AF on th 300mm lens, they say its fast!

It's not fast. I own one. Super IQ, great close-focus ability, but slow to focus.

what do people think of 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM ??

Worth a look. I also know someone who shoots wildlife with a Sigma 50~500 and based on his results and feedback I'd probably get that.

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Regards Michael.

slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,155
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

The 300mm f4 AFS is definately sharp. But you would be stuck at one focal length and you will have slow AF. I have used it for an airshow and next time I think I'll take my 70~200 with a 1.4x t.c. instead, possibly on a DX body. Faster focussing and much more flexible.

b.t.w. we are only talking about the AFS version of the 300mm f4. You would need the AFS version to have AF and it's a better lens than the old one anyway by all accounts.

If you were asking about the Sigma 50~500 I don't own it but I have seen results from it several times in camera club competitions and it is plenty sharp. We're talking about birds, elephants and warthogs rather than racing cars but excellent results.
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michael chalkley
OP michael chalkley Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

THANK YOU.

im not sure that i have made the right choice? i could always send the d5100 back and get maybe a canon 60d?

its always the same, i dont want to get too heavy but need a set up for motorsport:(

i dont mind walking around with something slightly more heavier than a d5100 with kit lens.

slimandy wrote:

The 300mm f4 AFS is definately sharp. But you would be stuck at one focal length and you will have slow AF. I have used it for an airshow and next time I think I'll take my 70~200 with a 1.4x t.c. instead, possibly on a DX body. Faster focussing and much more flexible.

b.t.w. we are only talking about the AFS version of the 300mm f4. You would need the AFS version to have AF and it's a better lens than the old one anyway by all accounts.

If you were asking about the Sigma 50~500 I don't own it but I have seen results from it several times in camera club competitions and it is plenty sharp. We're talking about birds, elephants and warthogs rather than racing cars but excellent results.
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Regards Michael.

admwright Regular Member • Posts: 242
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

michael chalkley wrote:

im not sure that i have made the right choice? i could always send the d5100 back and get maybe a canon 60d?

its always the same, i dont want to get too heavy but need a set up for motorsport:(

i dont mind walking around with something slightly more heavier than a d5100 with kit lens.

I guess you are looking to use this set-up this weekend? You had better check that Jessops have the lens you want in stock.

I wanted to buy the 300mm F4 and ordered one through Jessops. They charged my credit card right away, but they did not have stock. They order them from Nikon as people place orders (seems most companies do this in the UK). After a month I checked with them and they suggested that I wouild get one the next week. When I did not get anything the next call said 'we are getting one next week'. Still nothing but on the call they said 'we are getting one next week', when I pushed them to say that I would get this they said they could not say - they had foure orders and one of them would get the lens. I just got my money back - a nice earner for Jessops - £1000 loan at no interest for six weeks.

I got the lens from Mifsuds - a mint condition used lens, less than a year old and delivered the next day. They had several so may still have one.

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All the best
Andrew W.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,213
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Thanks for the comment.

By the way, I started that day with a monopod. I almost never shoot with one, and I've found it takes practice to use them decently. I eventually just took it off and handheld everything because things were moving at angles that didn't work well with the monopod. If you just need to point into a corner, or pan from side-to-side, it works well. In my case, the bikes were going uphill a lot in the first few corners I shot, and I just could seem to pan with the monopod.

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,082
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Thanks for the comment.

By the way, I started that day with a monopod. I almost never shoot with one, and I've found it takes practice to use them decently. I eventually just took it off and handheld everything because things were moving at angles that didn't work well with the monopod. If you just need to point into a corner, or pan from side-to-side, it works well. In my case, the bikes were going uphill a lot in the first few corners I shot, and I just could seem to pan with the monopod.

I have used a monopod for many years fitted with a Benro ballhead I loosen all the tightening knobs and have similar freedom of movement to being solely hand held, for car racing I can pan whilst maintaining a level viewfinder and track up and down for hills. If you have a ballhead try it, support your camera and lens as if the monopod was not there, left hand on lens right hand on body with the monopod simply supporting the weight.

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Mike.

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,213
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Here are my thoughts on 400mm plus lenses.

Your choices are limited. Basically $1000-2000, or way-too-much. Within the 'affordable' choices you have:

1. 80-400vr - sharp enough up to about 350mm. Have to work a lot with it at 400 to get decent results, and stop down to F9. Not AF-S.

2. Nikon 300F4 AF-S with Nikon or Kenko Pro 1.4 TC - great 300mm lens, excellent with TC. Better IQ than the other choice. No VR. No zoom. Longer and heavier than the 80-400vr.

3. Sigma's - 120-400 (I don't know anything about this one), 150-500 and 50-500 (various versions). The 50-500 seems clearly better than the 150-500, and the price reflects that. Clearly better comment based on samples and stories I've seen here. The 50-500 has been known as the Bigma. The OS (VR) version is called the BigmOS. I've seen excellent results from it, but it's probably a good deal less than 500mm on the long end (rounded up by marketing), and it's slow. Any of the long affordable zooms need to be stopped down considerably to be decently sharp.

4. Tamron 200-500. Very light, not as good in the corners as at least some of the above, but very affordable. Don't think it has AF-S, but not sure. A friend of mine got this lens at the same time I got my 300F4 and TC. She shoots bike racing for money while her husband is out racing. She's got good results out of it.

NONE of the above are likely to impress you the first time you use them, unless you happen to be shooting at high shutter speeds and stopped down to around F8 or more. It takes time to learn to use them (long lens technique), and a lot of that is learning what apertures to use and how to avoid camera shake.

Not to say you can't do well the first time out with them. My Road Atlanta shots were taken soon after I bought the 300F4, but I'd already done testing on it to see the minimum apertures I trusted, plus I had 3 years of experience getting the most I could out of an 80-400. As the saying goes 'F8, and be there'. I'd add: Keep shutter speeds above 1/500th too, unless you are working on specific blurring.

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michael chalkley
OP michael chalkley Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

thanks craig
my d5100 has just turned up with courier!

i could send it back and go with a canon 60d but image quality is far better on the nikon.
if i keep the d5100 i mite hire a 300mm f/4 lens and see how it goes!

cheers

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Here are my thoughts on 400mm plus lenses.

Your choices are limited. Basically $1000-2000, or way-too-much. Within the 'affordable' choices you have:

1. 80-400vr - sharp enough up to about 350mm. Have to work a lot with it at 400 to get decent results, and stop down to F9. Not AF-S.

2. Nikon 300F4 AF-S with Nikon or Kenko Pro 1.4 TC - great 300mm lens, excellent with TC. Better IQ than the other choice. No VR. No zoom. Longer and heavier than the 80-400vr.

3. Sigma's - 120-400 (I don't know anything about this one), 150-500 and 50-500 (various versions). The 50-500 seems clearly better than the 150-500, and the price reflects that. Clearly better comment based on samples and stories I've seen here. The 50-500 has been known as the Bigma. The OS (VR) version is called the BigmOS. I've seen excellent results from it, but it's probably a good deal less than 500mm on the long end (rounded up by marketing), and it's slow. Any of the long affordable zooms need to be stopped down considerably to be decently sharp.

4. Tamron 200-500. Very light, not as good in the corners as at least some of the above, but very affordable. Don't think it has AF-S, but not sure. A friend of mine got this lens at the same time I got my 300F4 and TC. She shoots bike racing for money while her husband is out racing. She's got good results out of it.

NONE of the above are likely to impress you the first time you use them, unless you happen to be shooting at high shutter speeds and stopped down to around F8 or more. It takes time to learn to use them (long lens technique), and a lot of that is learning what apertures to use and how to avoid camera shake.

Not to say you can't do well the first time out with them. My Road Atlanta shots were taken soon after I bought the 300F4, but I'd already done testing on it to see the minimum apertures I trusted, plus I had 3 years of experience getting the most I could out of an 80-400. As the saying goes 'F8, and be there'. I'd add: Keep shutter speeds above 1/500th too, unless you are working on specific blurring.

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Regards Michael.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,213
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

I have a ballhead - but it's an RRS BH-55. Not quite suitable for monopods.

I've also had a pistol-grip Manfrotto ballhead for many years, but it never seemed quite right to me. I'm using one of those cheap Manfrotto one-axis movement mounts. Can't remember the model number, but they are popular on monopods.

Until I took my monopod out on the field to shoot wildlife, I never realized how much practice they needed to get decent with them. (Now I just lug the tripod...)

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,213
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Too bad you didn't get a used D300, or maybe a D90 or D7000, which have built-in AF motors. If you get into the Nikon much, you might start thinking 'second/better camera', and a used D300/D300s is a very good camera.

Personally, I like the Dxxx series better than the Dxx series, for better (more) controls and better buffering, etc. But I keep thinking that a D90 would be handy as a dive camera - pretty cheap to buy (and replace if flooded), and the housings are quite as expensive as for some of the newer cameras. Plus I might find one used. A D90 has video, which is something I want in my DSLR when diving.

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zakk9 Senior Member • Posts: 1,196
Sigma

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:
http://www.thairacingphoto.com/

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,082
Re: Sigma

zakk9 wrote:

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:
http://www.thairacingphoto.com/

Actually the mention of footwear is quite important ,I would wear a pair of hiking boots. I drive to the circuit and change to boots for the long walk around the track to shoot at the various vantage points during practice. I would wear boots because of the weather which has been very bad this year, it's bound to be soft or muddy in places. I think this years race has a very good chance of being soaking wet. During qualifying and the race you will be surrounded by other spectators and not have as much opportunity for shooting, your best shots will probably be from the practice sessions.

Enjoy the event the atmosphere is fantastic and the noise incredible, way louder and more intense than on TV.

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Mike.

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Tim the Grey Veteran Member • Posts: 6,310
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

I beg to differ...
You just have to THINK a bit, and there's some nice spots at SillyStone.

I ran Olympus/Zuiko, equivalent to a 400 on my D700, and often pulled it back in. The D700 will have an 80-200 or 70-200 on it. It may have a TC I'm not sure yet.
But 300 on a FF is about all you really need.
My Flickr link is below, I shoot spectator side...
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Tim the Grey Veteran Member • Posts: 6,310
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Oh, yes. And WEATHERPROOF would be handy too! It looks a bit wet over there today?
Something I have yet to find out about with Nikkors, or Sigma...

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,082
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

Just been watching practice on TV cant see many places where you are close enough to the track without catch fencing in the way, you will have to tell me where these spots are, I need to visit the track not having been since the rebuild. Nice and wet though , it makes for some interesting shots , hope Button gets a good result.
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jewson37 Regular Member • Posts: 499
Re: Lens setup for F1 circuits(silverstone) cheaply

I have been a media accredited photographer for several years . . Trust me . . It's the worst circuit to take pics at even with trackside access . . ! !
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