Photographing Gokart Races

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rosesposes, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. rosesposes macrumors newbie

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    #1
    What would anyone suggest to use to photograph gokart races, low light, high speed? I would like to be able to use this same camera in studio, with a different lens maybe, what do you recommend? Thanks, Rose
     
  2. mlemonds macrumors 6502a

    mlemonds

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    #2
    whatever you get, i believe that you will need a good flash.

    you can discus canon v. nikon for hours.

    i have photographed nighttime gokart races with a Canon 30D, 70-200 f/4L and a 430EX and had some good results. if i had the money i would have gotten the f/2.8L
     
  3. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks, I have a fuji s3 with a nikon 24-120 lens, have had it for several years, I use it in my studio, its ok, but not good for racing photos. The auto focus just went out so manually focusing the races has not been fun. I mainly shoot the races for fun, of my son and his friends, but even if I wanted to sell the shots they arent clear enough. I do studio photography. I could possible just get a new lens for the fuji but I need a second camera anyway. All my old cameras are film and I just love digital. I dont know which way to go, thanks, rose
     
  4. mlemonds macrumors 6502a

    mlemonds

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    #4
    this was taken at 200mm
     

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  5. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    wow, that is awesome. Did you take that? That is the same kind of karts we race. www.dixiespeedwayla.com. This is our track, do you have more photos..
     
  6. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #6
    Do you have any other Nikon lenses? If so, the D3 could be a great choice for you. Fast, great low light performance with the great IQ (I mean lower noise levels) at higher ISOs. If thats out of the question price wise, there's always the D300/700.

    Edit: I'm a hobbyist, so just my suggestions. Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in :eek:
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    The "classic" lens for this would be the 80-200 f/2.8 Some versions are 70-200 f/2.8 Canon and Nikon both make several versions of this and have for many years. The only reason not to use this is because you need something cheaper. If that is the case buy a used Nikon 80-200 for $450. You will also need an SLR body, buy one that fits the lens and what's left of your budget. Prices for thr 80-200 f/2.8 range from $450 to just short of $2K
     
  8. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Thanks again to all of you for your answers. Where is a good place to buy used? I dont know if the auto focus went out due to my camera or my older lens, but either way, I need another camera with lens for gokart photos and hopefully just a lens for the fuji...
     
  9. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #9
    You can buy used and refurbished equipment from Adorama, B&H and KEH.

    All of which have pretty good reputations
     
  10. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks, I am familiar with two of those. What about a fixed lens, someone suggested a 1.8 lens, I just dont know how that would work, no zoom...
     
  11. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #11
    A lens with a large aperture like that would be ideal for low light situations as you'll be able to get more light in. Although, focal length is another issue. I'm not sure exactly what focal length this kind of work would be in, but I'm pretty safe in betting in the telephoto range. I think a good bet would be a used telephoto zoom at f/4 (with VR/IS) or wider would be good. You should look as another person suggested at the 80-200mm f/2.8 lens from Nikon. I'd think you should be able to get a used one at a good price. No VR in the lens, but is very sharp and fast. A great alternative to the pricey 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.
     
  12. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Ive been googling the 70-200 2.8 and I would love to have it but it is very expensive for my budget. I will try to find something used. If I do go with the fixed lenses, what two would you recommend for racing and studio portrait work. I use to shoot with fixed lenses only until a few years ago when I went digital, Im sure I could do it again. Im just not sure which two I could get away with. My old film cameras were medium format so Im not sure which lenses I would need...
     
  13. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #13
    Problem I see with fixed focal length lenses is that when you get into telephoto primes, the lenses get very expensive. One really well regarded prime telephoto lens is the Nikon 200mm f/2, which is of course very fast and expensive at $3,800 or so at B&H. The Nikon 85mm prime I've heard is a favorite amongst portrait photographers, but this lens too is quite expensive as well (upon looking just now, the 1.8 is a good buy price wise, the 1.4 is rather expensive though).

    I'm getting a bit out of my element here as I've not really played much with these lenses, so going a lot on reviews of others. Just stating to be honest, so make sure you get more than one opinion.

    Edit: To be clear, there are obviously other lenses than the ones I mentioned, so I'm sure you can find what you're looking for in terms of fitting the bill of what you want/need to get the shots. Price of course is a different thing...
     
  14. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
  15. mlemonds macrumors 6502a

    mlemonds

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    #15
    the guy that i used to work for took that one with a nikon d200 and a 70/200 f/2.8 lens

    i have been trying to get a hold of him so he can send me the pictures that i took so i can send you more
     
  16. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks, I would love to see more of the gokart racing photos. I love shooting the races but just cant get a great shot like the one you posted. Maybe with the new set up I buy I will be able to...rose
     
  17. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #17
    I took these with my old P&S (Sony DSC-P7) in Monaco. I wished I had a better camera back then, but dSLRs weren't really around yet (2002).

    [​IMG]
     
  18. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    This is a nice photo, great scenery too, this goes to show you its not all in the camera!! Good job....
     
  19. mlemonds macrumors 6502a

    mlemonds

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    #19
    the thing that we found out that helps a lot is zoom zoom zoom. we sold these photos at the events and the ones that were zoomed in the furthest looked the best. also when light is running low, make sure you track the subject, it gives a good blurring effect to the background.
     
  20. rosesposes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Thanks so much, shows you how much I know about action photography, I woulda thought less zoom, I always thought the more the zoom the more light you would need and the less in focus. Thanks, this helps me a lot, still looking, probably go with used...

    One more thing, a pro racing photographer recommended to me, while at a racing event, that I go with the canon xsi, what do ya think about that, say using the 70-300 or the 55-250 lens...would this work?
     
  21. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Not for low light.

    You really need to look at ƒ/2.8 (or better) lenses exclusively if you want to shoot low-light. The Nikkor 80-200 is a great lens, it just isn't in production anymore.
     
  22. shaunymac macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Definately look at lenses faster than 2.8 if you are going to be in poor lighting. If you don't, you will be kicking yourself in the but for not when you find yourself stuck in that situation.

    As far as that whole zoom vs prime dilema goes, only you know how you shoot and it is like comparing apples to oranges. Primes: faster glass, sharper pictures, maybe less convient. Zooms: slower glass, can be distorted, can use them while sitting in a laz-y-boy.

    Also, if you are going to be shooting action, make sure you have the lens/body is up to the task. For example, I wouldn't take my 85 1.2 out to shoot action. I wouldn't get to many keepers.
     
  23. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Before you invest thousands in lenses that may work for you, rent some. Normally rental is ~$25/$1000 of lens per day. So a 70-200 2.8 would be ~$30 to rent for a day to see if if works for you. A lot of the stores will take the rental price off of the purchase price anyway. It's way cheaper to rent than make a mistake on a lens.
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #24
    If the lens worked for you, getting a repair estimate may be worthwhile, but for racing you can often pre-focus for a corner [drag racing's pretty much the only sport where straight-aways make interesting shots as a rule ;) ] You still want to pan with the cars to get the motion blur for the background, but in MF mode it's not that big a deal. You'll probably do better with the 80-200 if you can shoot it off a sturdy monopod or good tripod.

    It's still listed on Nikon USA's site, as well as the international Nikon Imaging site- unlike say the 35-70 AF-D, and B&H has it listed as "In Stock-" are you sure it's out of production?
     
  25. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #25
    Maybe a better question for you is, how often are you going to be shooting go carts?

    If it's a once-a-month type thing, just renting a lens for a week might be more economical.

    Before I finally kicked down and bought the 70-200 f/2.8 IS, I rented it several times at $70 a week when I really needed it, and for me that was the best solution rather than dealing with a cheaper zoom like the 75-300 which was all I could afford at the time.

    This might be the better solution for you too.

    Also before you spend tons of money on a lens, you might want to consider renting the ones you are interested in first so you can find out whether or not they will actually work for your intended purpose.
     

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