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Old Mar 24, 2011, 6:55 PM   #1
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Default D5000 Sports Shooting

Hello, all,

I have had my camera since December and have been enjoying it very much. This is my first SLR so I'm still (very much so) learning. All the terms and photo lingo can be a bit confusing but I'm slowing catching on. I've been roaming the forum threads for weeks trying to find tips and any other helpful info I can find. From what I've seen there are a lot of knowledgable people here. As the title indicates I own a D5000 with the two kit lenses (18-55 & 55-200). I think I'm about to purchase a refurb 70-300vr (this is what my budget allows) for a little more reach, and from what I've read, faster AF. I'm a race fan (Indycar, American LeMans, F1) and would like to get input as to camera settings for shooting auto races with the equipment listed above. This is my very first post so I'm not even sure if I'm posting in the right place. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the long post. Thanks.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 4:56 AM   #2
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This might have been better placed in the Sports & Action Photos Forum, and you might want to browse through the topics there, and see what others have been doing to get photos of auto races.

I suggest that you choose the AF-C (Continuous server AF) (See page 54 of the D5000 User's Manual) to have the camera continue to focus on a subject even as it gets closer or farther away from you. Also, I suggest that you choose the Dynamic Area AF Mode (page 57) so even if you have trouble keeping the subject centered in the frame, the camera will use all the focus points to keep the subject in focus, and that you choose the center focus point (page 58.)

I'd use A (Aperture Priroity) Mode (page 83) and keep the aperture a large as possible so you can keep the shutter speeds as fast as possible, to avoid motion blur on the subject, without letting the ISO get too high, to avoid image noise as much as possible. You might also want to try the ISO Sensitivity auto control (page 149) to allow the camera to increase the ISO, up to a limit you select, without letting the shutter speed get too slow.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 11:59 AM   #3
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D50 AF-S center-single-spot focusing

Tamron 18-200 w/o SWM motor

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Old Mar 25, 2011, 1:14 PM   #4
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Everything that TCav said is good as usual but I use spot metering in case you have a white car against a dark background or vice vers. If this is difficult try centre weighted metering.
The attachment was spot metering and shutter priority. The body was a D40x I dont think it had auto iso.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 1:26 PM   #5
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Actually, one potential change to the advice from TCAV. Auto racing is a bit different than other sports. For head-on shots you often want stop-action shots, but predominantly racing shots use a technique called "panning". You actually use a slower shutter speed and move the lens across the frame as the car moves across the frame. The background is blurred by that rather than large aperture but it's a different type of blur. Additionally, the wheels turn and are blurred so the result is a frozen body of the car but the blur of the background and turning wheels provides a sense of motion. Take a look down in the sports section. There are a couple shooters there that have experience and can give you more specific advice (maxsamsung, mark1616). I shoot a lot of sports but that isn't one of them.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 2:44 PM   #6
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I'd go with center-weighted metering (so that a brightly colored car doesn't throw off the exposure) and I'd also go with burst mode.

And, yes, I agree with JohnG that you can drop the shutter speed so you blur the background while panning. If you're using a monopod, you don't need to worry so much about motion blur due to camera shake, and you'll have the VR anyway.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 3:02 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the tips, guys. I'll check the section you recommended. Great shots by the way. I just ordered the refurb 70-300vr from Cameta Camera and can't wait to get my hands on it and try it out. Thanks again for your help.
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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I meant, while the best gears are defintely an advantage

But training your own skill and response may be more beneficial

Especially for AF. I've been using and ONLY using center-spot focusing since D50 to shoot fast subjects, eventho now my D7000 has 39 focusing points.

To me, multi-point focusing is just a marketing gimmick.
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 12:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I'd go with center-weighted metering (so that a brightly colored car doesn't throw off the exposure) and I'd also go with burst mode.

And, yes, I agree with JohnG that you can drop the shutter speed so you blur the background while panning. If you're using a monopod, you don't need to worry so much about motion blur due to camera shake, and you'll have the VR anyway.

And, while panning, you'll want to make sure VR is in "active" mode, not "normal". This disables the horizontal "VR"...otherwise, the lens will try to correct for the side to side motion and create problems.
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 3:02 AM   #10
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rj, how do I adjust the VR?
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