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Old Jun 18, 2009, 5:01 PM   #21
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Well, it's practice of a sort. But a formula 1 car is practically stalled at motorway speeds. It's possible that on the slowest corner of the slowest tracks they might get down to 60mph. Probably not though. Average race speeds can be as high as 150mph. F1 tracks are very twisty.

Speeds through most corners are around 100mph. At 100mph the cars are doing 45m/s. If you are shooting at 5fps and prefocussed on a 100mph corner you can see that your chances of getting a mid-frame capture of a car 4m long are not great. Most of the frames will just show empty track, some of them will show a fraction of the car. If you shoot a lot of frames you will probably get a few with decent framing. If you get near the track behind the fence on a straight the car is probably going 100m/s. It's not impossible, just really difficult, especially when they are weaving all over the place trying to pass each other. :-)

Anyway - I don't want to put you off. Just suggesting that you get a lot of practice with slower cars first.

Take plenty of memory cards and ideally a way to offload them - a laptop or something.

And don't forget your earplugs.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 5:07 PM   #22
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If he's 20 ft. away from a car going 55 mph or 40 ft. away from a car going 110 mph, his panning speed will be the same.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 6:57 PM   #23
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JimC: Thanks for the replay. Yes I meant "Walk around Lens". Your suggestion are as good as always. However, I heard That Ziess 16-85 f/3.5-4.5 is noisy and not very fast focusing and the build quality is not as expected. I was considering The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 HSM as the my first choice (Hopefully it's a good choice) Plus JimC it will be steady on my alpha . Thanks JimC again.

TCav: Thank you for your great tips (As Always) I would practice as much as I can to get the most out of my experience as I attend the F1.

TCav and JimC I can't Thank you enough as you always replay to my threads even if it's stupid question "but i'm learning and hopefully I'll contribute soon as I develop my skills".

peripatetic: Thank you for the heads up. I know your not trying to put me off and you are trying to show me the big picture and let me prepare for the blazing fast F1 racing. However, I practice as much as I could. Even if I screw up, it won't be my last attend, but i'll gain some experience "Right?". Thank you again peripatetic you've been a great help.
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Old Jun 19, 2009, 3:02 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
If he's 20 ft. away from a car going 55 mph or 40 ft. away from a car going 110 mph, his panning speed will be the same.
Yup, but panning with a longer focal length is harder.

Monopods are very useful to help with smooth panning if you are going to be using a long focal length.

One of the really difficult things about F1 (and much depends on the track) is that there are big fences between you and the track. From the point of view of not being crushed like an ant by a wheel that comes flying off at 200mph this is a good thing, but for photography it's a bit tricky. If you can put yourself close to the fence and focus farther from it then you will get very good blur on it and it may not even really be visible at all, but if you and the object you are focussing on are anything like similar distances from the fence then you just get pictures of cars in cages. Or behind fences. You know what I mean.

So to avoid that you tend to try to get a vantage point. The stands where your ridiculously-priced seat is located is one possibility, but frankly the people in front of you often get annoyed at being bashed on the head with your telephoto lens. So scout out some good locations during practice.

Your chances of getting good photos during practice are much better than during the actual race. There are also a lot fewer people inconsiderately standing in your way. [They just seem oblivious to the purity of your photographic intentions!]

F1 is a blast, but I find it a bit irritating when people who have never been to an F1 race give advice as though they know what they are talking about. Or compare it to an airshow (which is trivially easy by comparison). Or compare it to saloon car racing, which is like photographing snails by comparison.

There are two things you cannot imagine until you actually see an F1 race, and you just don't get it from TV. The first is how much FASTER they go round corners and accelerate and brake than any car you have ever seen before. The second is how noisy they are.
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 11:03 PM   #25
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Thanks again guys.
I already bought the Nikon D300 and nikkor 35mm f/1.8G "got a great deal in Dubai, UAE".

I was planing for the A700. But i tried the D300 and the next day I went and bought it.

Now I'll get the Sigma 100-300 with a TC 1.4 "As Mark suggested".

Thanks again for all the great help.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 7:37 AM   #26
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Good luck with it. My son owns the Nikon D300 and loves it.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 8:23 AM   #27
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Congrats. The D300 is a well liked camera.

I'd make sure to upgrade the firmware to the latest 1.10 version from Nikon after you get it if it's not already installed (you should be able to download firmware version 1.10 it from Nikon in your region).

The D300's Autofocus is very sophisticated, even offering a 51 Point Dynamic Area Tracking AF mode using subject color information to help with tracking. However, the downside is that this mode is slower at acquiring focus than some of it's competition. But, you can change it to use less AF points when shooting subjects with more predictable movement for improved performance (for example, setting it to use 9 AF points versus 51 AF points). You may even find that using only the center point works best for a larger subject.

The new 1.10 firmware is supposed to help with the D300's focus acquisition speed when using Dynamic Area tracking (but, I'd still experiment with it by setting it to use fewer focus points to see if you get better performance with it trying to lock and maintain focus on a rapidly moving vehicle). Note the mention of improved focus acquisition in the firmware release notes:

http://support.nikontech.com/app/ans...ail/a_id/16149

I've spent some time with the official photographer at a local racetrack here, and he's using a D300 now and gets good results with it (using a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, shooting *very* close to the track from inside one of the corners, where you need very fast AF speed to get any keepers). It's a nice camera.

As for the Sigma 100-300mm f/4, it's a well liked lens. But, keep in mind that you'll degrade image quality a bit using a TC. From user reports I've seen, using a Sigma 1.4x TC with it at the longer end of the zoom range can result in a bit a bit of edge softness and more CA than desired when shooting at wide open apertures. But, it's a sharp enough lens to begin with, so that a TC isn't going to impact sharpness as much as using a TC with some of the other lenses around. Also, the D300 will automatically correct for CA when shooting jpeg (a really neat feature), so you won't even see it when shooting jpeg with that camera.

Please let us know how you like it.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 4:04 PM   #28
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Thanks TCav, and JimC.
I'm still experimenting with D300 as I had few minutes to snatch the deal "the store was closing on its last day". I found the D300 a bit difficult to get use to till now, but i learned few things already.
When i buy the sigma i'll buy the TC with it but i'll use it when needed "if 300mm is not enough".

JimC great info on the focus modes "as i try to get better understanding on that subject".
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