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barneygumble
Feb 12, 2006, 04:18 PM
I am interested in getting a dslr for photographing drag racing. What sort of camera recommendations would you make for shooting something moving up to 250Mph, keep in mind i will need some lense recommendations for shooting these from 60 to 150 metres for full frame shots, how easy would short burst shots be. Some of these will also be night shots with header flames, what sort of equipment would be needed for this. This is the sort of shot i am talking about

http://www.cacklingpipes.com/060107_wb_usavsaustopfuel/wbusavsaustopfuel070106_422.jpg

I will be further away than the photographer in this photo, My budget would be around $1600US



arogge
Feb 12, 2006, 07:27 PM
With manual focusing, a camera like the Canon 350D or Nikon D50 is good. Longer lenses with f/2.8 apertures are more expensive, but you can get some shots with a shorter lens. Two less-expensive telephoto lenses with f/2.8 apertures are the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 and the Canon 200 mm f/2.8.

barneygumble
Feb 12, 2006, 08:05 PM
With manual focusing, a camera like the Canon 350D or Nikon D50 is good. Longer lenses with f/2.8 apertures are more expensive, but you can get some shots with a shorter lens. Two less-expensive telephoto lenses with f/2.8 apertures are the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 and the Canon 200 mm f/2.8.

So i would need low aperture lenses for shooting quick shots?

arogge
Feb 12, 2006, 08:11 PM
You need fast shutter speeds, so you need fast lenses.

Clix Pix
Feb 12, 2006, 08:43 PM
The lower the aperture number (for example, f/2.8, f/1.8, f/1.4) the "faster" the lens because when the exposure is made the lens actually opens up more and lets in more light. This permits the use of a lower ISO (meaning less noise) and yet one can still get a decent shutter speed -- all without using flash. A "slower" lens is one with a higher aperture rating such as f/4, f/5.6, etc.

barneygumble
Feb 12, 2006, 09:14 PM
The lower the aperture number (for example, f/2.8, f/1.8, f/1.4) the "faster" the lens because when the exposure is made the lens actually opens up more and lets in more light. This permits the use of a lower ISO (meaning less noise) and yet one can still get a decent shutter speed -- all without using flash. A "slower" lens is one with a higher aperture rating such as f/4, f/5.6, etc.

That explains it well, thank you so something like a 350D a fast lense should do the trick, only problem is i can't seem to find a lense that would suit my budget, any other lenses you could recommend
Thanks

Abstract
Feb 12, 2006, 09:45 PM
So i would need low aperture lenses for shooting quick shots?

I'd get the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 as was suggested, and then get a Canon 350D. It should be close to $1600 give or take a hundred or two. Then crank the ISO to 800 or 1600 (ie: similar to saying that the "film" used is very sensitive to light), and hope it works well. You should get some sharp photos if you keep the shutter speed fast enough (eg: 1/1000 of a second), which you can with f/2.8 and a high ISO. Depends on how bright things are. I don't really know much about drag racing.

arogge
Feb 12, 2006, 09:58 PM
The 350D and 200 mm f/2.8 is around $1,575 USD.

homerjward
Feb 12, 2006, 10:03 PM
by the way the drag racer in that picture is sharp and the rest of the photo has motion blur, it looks like the photographer used panning to make that. basically panning is moving the camera during exposure to keep the subject in the same place the entire time. this allows you to use slower shutter speeds.

maybe a superzoom camera like the panasonic fz30 would suit you? it has a 420mm equivalent lens at the long end and f/3.7 or so (i think) at the long end. that should be fast enough if you use iso 200 or 400, and only costs ~$600.

ibilly
Feb 12, 2006, 10:07 PM
I'd reccomend a 20D and the 85 f/1.8. Very sharp lens, good reach. THe 20D is really fast, good w/ focus, and keeps noise in check beautifully (when you set the ISO to something higher, like 800-1600, a lot of cameras will speckle your pics mercilessly). I'm not sure if the 85mm lens will be long enough (equivalent to about 135mm with film), but it's the fastest/cheapest option (reasonably–there are things like an 85 1.2 L).

Also, it costs less than $500. The 70-200 f/2.8 is MUCH more expensive, larger, and heavier.

Lastly, you'll need a good tripod with a nice, fluid head. What the photographer did in the sample shot was panning to keep the car at the same position on the frame. That gives the sharp car and blurred/streaked background

barneygumble
Feb 12, 2006, 10:24 PM
Thanks for all the replies, how suitable would the canon 70-200 be for landscape shots? I am looking to do those sort of shots as well.

Another question is how do you calculate the focal range for a lense ,say the lense is 70-200 what distance would that theoretically focus too?

ibilly
Feb 12, 2006, 10:40 PM
The focal range of a lens is whatever the minimum (anywhere from a few inches on a macro lens or a fisheye (norm is between 1-2 feet) and 6 feet on some teles) to infinity. No calculations involved!
The calculation you may be thinking about involves using digital sensors. THe canon ones are smaller than 35mm film, so all focal lengths (i.e. 70-200 mm) are multiplied by 1.6 (determined by the size of the sensor).

SO the 70-200 would be equivalent to a 112-320mm lens on 35mm. An 85 would be 136mm and a 17 would be 27.2. Landscapes normally are shot with wide anble lenses, and thw 70-200 would DEFINATELY not count as that. It's a mid tele-telephoto zoom.

barneygumble
Feb 12, 2006, 10:50 PM
The focal range of a lens is whatever the minimum (anywhere from a few inches on a macro lens or a fisheye (norm is between 1-2 feet) and 6 feet on some teles) to infinity. No calculations involved!
The calculation you may be thinking about involves using digital sensors. THe canon ones are smaller than 35mm film, so all focal lengths (i.e. 70-200 mm) are multiplied by 1.6 (determined by the size of the sensor).

SO the 70-200 would be equivalent to a 112-320mm lens on 35mm. An 85 would be 136mm and a 17 would be 27.2. Landscapes normally are shot with wide anble lenses, and thw 70-200 would DEFINATELY not count as that. It's a mid tele-telephoto zoom.

Ok, so the only use i would have for this lense at the moment would be for drag racing, what other uses would a lense like this serve

I think my best bet at the moment is to but the basic two lense kit and see how i go, it is only a few hundred more than the body anyway.

ibilly
Feb 12, 2006, 11:03 PM
And resonable priced kit lens WILL NOT get you those results
it almost certianly won't be sharp enough, and depending on the lighting, won't let you ge the car without it blurring

If you're going for budget, DEFINATELY get the 50mm f/1.8 lens.
It's cheap (70 or less), one of the shaprest, and the 1.8 means that it lets in a lot more light than other lenses, which allows for significantly faster shutter speeds (very goot for drag racing)

arogge
Feb 13, 2006, 12:30 AM
A 70-200 mm lens is good for landscapes because it can capture smaller details, but a 200 mm prime lens is less useful for landscapes. It depends on what you're shooting. What is this two-lens kit? The 350D has two kit lens options. The 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 is cheap, but good for the price. The 17-85 mm f/4-5.6 is very good, but it costs $500. Neither kit lens is long enough or fast enough for shooting action at night. A lens like the Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 is good for daylight auto races, but at night you need faster lenses. Can you put in earplugs and get closer to the subject? If you can shoot from the 200 mm distance, buy the Canon 350D and 200 mm f/2.8.

Abstract
Feb 13, 2006, 04:42 AM
I think my best bet at the moment is to but the basic two lense kit and see how i go, it is only a few hundred more than the body anyway.

Don't.

If you get the two kit lenses for either a Canon 350D/Rebel XT, Nikon D50, Olympus E-series, etc, you won't be able to get the photos you want, so what's the point? You'll spend a lot of money on getting photos that are worthless to you.

If you want to get a dSLR to photograph drag races, you'll need to get a good telephoto lense with a large aperture, like the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 mentioned earlier, and these types of lenses cost money. With this sort of lense, shooting sports or anything where things are moving fast, you definitely get better more results by throwing money at the problem and buying expensive telephoto lenses. This isn't necessarily true when shooting other subject matter, but it is for sports. Sorry.

If you don't, then don't bother with it and just use what you have, because a dSLR won't help you much except for the zoom factor with the 70-200 or 70-300 mm kit lense they give you. All the photos will look blurry, though.

Flynnstone
Feb 13, 2006, 06:34 PM
Don't forget the earmuffs & ear plugs.

barneygumble
Feb 13, 2006, 08:59 PM
Don't.

If you get the two kit lenses for either a Canon 350D/Rebel XT, Nikon D50, Olympus E-series, etc, you won't be able to get the photos you want, so what's the point? You'll spend a lot of money on getting photos that are worthless to you.

If you want to get a dSLR to photograph drag races, you'll need to get a good telephoto lense with a large aperture, like the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 mentioned earlier, and these types of lenses cost money. With this sort of lense, shooting sports or anything where things are moving fast, you definitely get better more results by throwing money at the problem and buying expensive telephoto lenses. This isn't necessarily true when shooting other subject matter, but it is for sports. Sorry.

If you don't, then don't bother with it and just use what you have, because a dSLR won't help you much except for the zoom factor with the 70-200 or 70-300 mm kit lense they give you. All the photos will look blurry, though.

At the end of the day my best option is to buy the kit and get the additional lense later when i have more money, i will use it for other things:). The kit lenses will probably suit me down to the ground for that. I can't get closer than perhaps 30 metres and should be able to get decent photos during the day of burnouts and stationary cars etc. The canon two lense kit can be had on ebay for around $1300AU.