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Old Apr 6, 2008, 2:55 PM   #1
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I headed out to the airport to try my hand at panning. Of about 150 images, theses were the best 3! I'm not pleased with the sharpness of these. As you can tell, I have a long way to go in mastering this skill. Are there any secrets to a perfectly panned shot (besides practice)? For instance, is it easier to pan with a shorter focal length lens vs. a longer, etc?

These were taken with the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro and most at 1/60th or 1/90th of a second.

I'd like some feedback of what kind of motion is conveyed (i.e. static, slow, or fast).

Thanks, Jay






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Old Apr 6, 2008, 4:17 PM   #2
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Hi Jay,
I am sure no expert at panning and what experience I do have is with race cars at much closer ranges, so take my $.02 for what they are worth (considering the value of the dollar, about $.0075). With the racing shots I found I got my best panning shots between 1/125 and 1/250, 1/180 was generally my target Tv. I was shooting with either a 135mm or 180mm lens and the cars would be twenty to forty yard/meters depending on where I was standing on the track. I think proximity to the moving object is going to be important for panning shots, otherwise the background will not move enough in relation to the subject. 1/60 panning with a 300mm lens would be tough. For technique I simply try to keep my legs straight and still and my arms in tight to my body and only pivot at the waist. Kind of like wingshooting if you have ever done that.

All of that said, I don't think those are a bad first effort and #2 in particular does a good job of capturing the speed of the airplane.

Tim
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Old Apr 6, 2008, 7:27 PM   #3
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Since all of my attempts at panning have ended in dismal failure (so far - I haven't practiced it much), I have no words of wisdom to offer you. All I can tell you is that I really like the second one - I think it's very effective.
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Old Apr 6, 2008, 9:43 PM   #4
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Did you turn off the AS?

Dawg
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:38 AM   #5
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I haven't tried much panning, but I do remember having a fairly successful shot with a car traveling about 40 mph. I believe I used a shutter of 1/20s - go too fast, and you lose some of the sense of motion versus the background.

Of course, my focal distance was much shorter than yours...
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 5:57 AM   #6
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HI Jay

Like Tim, i am No expert at panning. Unlike Tim, I have had good success(In My Mind Anyway) panning with the Sigma 70-300. I shoot Mostly Airshows and Auto racing at a Road race course in our state.
I always Shoot in TV mode. I try to keep it Around 1/250. For Me, I just kept Experimenting and Practicing and after a While you will get to know the best settings for what You are Shooting.

BTW Excellent First Attempts


Phil


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Old Apr 7, 2008, 6:56 AM   #7
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I have done a fair bit of motorsport over the years and panning is a basic technique.

You get sharper results with faster shutter speeds, but less blurring of the background.

Shooting close to a subject with ashort focal length is harder than further back with a longer lens. This has to do with the distance and speed of camera movement required to follow the subject.


This example was with a Sigma 135-400 @ 170mm focal length.

Possibly your jets are too slow and you are too far away, because as you pan th momentum of a good rythmical movemnt means no camera shake, and helps keep it sharp.

Each situation is different so keep practicing and try slightly some faster shutter speeds.

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 7:40 AM   #8
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Thanks very much for the tips & suggestions. FYI, I used a monopodwhich allowed me to keep the camera motion restricted to just the horizontal direction. Iusedthe burst mode which allowed me 5 shots at a time on my DL. I also turned off the auto focus . I definitely need much more practice at this.

Dawg: What is AS?

Philneast: Your image is spectacular; that's the level I aspire to reach! Re. the speed of the jets and my distance from them: I estimate the jets were doing about 150 mph (near take off speed) and I was located about 500 yards away.

Thanks again!

Jay


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Old Apr 7, 2008, 2:58 PM   #9
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jelpee wrote:
Quote:
Thanks very much for the tips & suggestions. FYI, I used a monopodwhich allowed me to keep the camera motion restricted to just the horizontal direction. Iusedthe burst mode which allowed me 5 shots at a time on my DL. I also turned off the auto focus . I definitely need much more practice at this.

Dawg: What is AS?

Philneast: Your image is spectacular; that's the level I aspire to reach! Re. the speed of the jets and my distance from them: I estimate the jets were doing about 150 mph (near take off speed) and I was located about 500 yards away.

Thanks again!

Jay

Anti-Shake...Same as IS. The Anti-Shake will try to compensate for the panning movement causing the photo to be out of focus...Turn it off when Panning or when using a tripod.

Dawg

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 5:54 PM   #10
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Jay


I often use a monopod while panning, mainly to support the lens as it gets heavy after a few hours shooting.

When I get very close and go for short focal lenght lenses I hand hold as the range of movement becomes too big.

Each shooting situation is different, so lots of practice and experimentation are the answer.

Phil
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