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Greg Chappell Jun 8, 2008 7:45 PM

FINALLY! After 2-3 weeks of planning to do this, Imade itover to Lone Star Park today. Stayed for the first six races, putting this combination to work.

Set the camera for sunlight white balance and shot RAW, with matrix metering and -.7 exposure compensation because of some whites that were blowing out in doing some test images before the horses started running. It probably wasn't too much that I couldn't have fixed it in the RAW processor, but I chose to go ahead and make an adjustment before-hand. The resultingfiles were processed in Olympus Studio 2.0.

Used continuous AF and burst framing. The C-AF worked like a charm. Focus was very fast and sure, no matter where I pointed the lens. I let the camera choose which of the three points to focus with, figuring that might make the process a little more fool-proof.

The 70-300's zoom action is extremely fluid. Much smoother than the 50-200 f2.8-3.5 that I owned earlier. I'm sure part of the difference is due to the 50-200 being sealed vs. the 70-300 that is not, but whatever the reason, the zoom action of the 70-300 made the combination of constant re-zooming and refocusing much easier, but still a challenge for someone who hasn't used it quite like this before. By the end of the day I was very comfortable using the setup this way.

In some cases, even at 300mm, I couldn't get as close as I wanted, so a few of these were cropped after conversion.

The folder with all images at up to their full size is here..

Here's a few of my favorites from the (hot) afternoon..

As you can see here, the wind was quite stiff out there..

The first race of the day was on the inner turf field..

A shot from race #2. I spent 2-3 of the races at the final turn, where it was the easiest to follow the field for an extended period and get some dramatic shots..

When you get this close with all the dirt flying, there's no way I'dget on the back of one of these guys and in the middle of 5-6 others..

The camera/lens combination did a great job keeping up with the action as I re-zoomed andpanned trying to get shots like this..

More shots of the pack coming around the corner in a couple of different races..

and then heading down the stretch..

zig-123 Jun 8, 2008 9:38 PM

Hi Greg,

You sure do make itsoundeasy! :cool:Yet I know it's not....

Wonderful shots too as a result of some proper planning on where toposition yourself to get the best result. The dirt flying all around the group is just perfect.

Makes me want to go to a horse race and I don't even gamble!

Thanks for posting


boBBrennan Jun 8, 2008 9:59 PM

YEP! again, you have me convinced that I am going to be happy with the 70-300.

Mine is due to arrive tomorrow or maybe Tuesday. We have another baseball tournament next weekend and my son is itching to go to Lone Star again soon.

These shot are just terrific Greg, I will be through your Smugged files too.


Greg Chappell Jun 8, 2008 11:20 PM

zig-123 wrote:

Makes me want to go to a horse race and I don't even gamble!


That's the great thing about the races. It costs $2 to park, $3 to get in and you don't have to bet at all! Cheapest form of professional sports you can go to view. The gas to get there was the most expensive part of the day:shock:

I did place six $2 bets. Won $3.60 on one and nothing else, but anything's more than I go into it expecting.

Greg Chappell Jun 8, 2008 11:23 PM

Have fun at the baseball tournament Bob. Your E3 and the better high ISO capability it hasshould be a perfect match for this lens.

Have you taken your camera over to Arlington Camera and tried it with that 14-35 f2 Zuiko yet!

gwillys Jun 9, 2008 8:10 AM

great shots there Greg. you put that lens to good use. does well close up to from what i've seen.

boBBrennan Jun 9, 2008 10:21 AM

.................oh yes, I intend to get up there(Arlington Camera) maybe later this week, Rick is pretty much easy going so he will let me try the 14-35 you have on layaway I'm sure.

I visited and enjoyed every file, terrific. Now, to make some decent of my own.

This photo is from the f/3.5 40-150mm from a couple years ago. My son owned an interest in this horse so winning the race (and bet) was a lot of fun.

Keep shooting, I want to get to one of the AirHogs baseball games out there too.

Scouse Jun 9, 2008 10:39 AM

Well! I'm impressed.....

Not only with the lens once more but of your composition and pre-planning.

Nice action. Nicely done.

Always like to see shots of the horses with all hooves airborne and remember the guy who proved that they did.


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