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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:04 PM   #31
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You're all getting wrapped around the axle on something that doesn't actually matter. The only place the OP will be able to take photos of drag races is from the spectator area at the starting line. At that point during the race, the cars aren't going very fast. All that's necessary is a shutter speed that's not so fast that it freezes the image of the wheels spining.

If he's high in the stands at the starting line, he'll be looking down on both cars, and as they move, they'll be moving across the frame. So if they were in focus at the starting line, they'll be in focus as they start their runs. If he's further down the track (probably no more than 100 yards) he'll be looking at the fronts of both cars at the starting line, and when they start their runs, they'll be coming at him and they won't be moving very quickly. Either way, AF performance isn't a big deal.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:08 PM   #32
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You're all getting wrapped around the axle on something that doesn't actually matter. The only place the OP will be able to take photos of drag races is from the spectator area at the starting line. At that point during the race, the cars aren't going very fast. All that's necessary is a shutter speed that's not so fast that it freezes the image of the wheels spining..
TCAV - where did the OP specify where he'll be shooting from? When I look at some of the photos over at DGRIN and Fred Miranda there were shots taken that do not appear to be at the start line. Now, I don't know where they were taken from - but that's why I suggest the OP talk to those people. They'll be able to provide information on where they shoot from, what gear they find useful and what techniques they use to get the shots they get.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:13 PM   #33
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For example - here's a post from someone who took drag racing photos from the stands - not via media pass. Doesn't look like starting line nor necessarily high up. I would think he might be a good resource for information - as would the person who responded to the post who shoots drag racing regularly.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/top...d=drag#7395570

These photos are certainly better than any drag racing photos I've taken (which is zero). I'd love to see some of the drag racing photos from people on Steves but I haven't seen any - and I'm the first to admit, drag racing isn't something I shoot so I'm not going to give uninformed advice on how to shoot it.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:17 PM   #34
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Tcav:

I tend to agree based on my experience with oval track racing. Unless you're using a high end camera (*much* more expensive models than the OP has in mind, using *much* more expensive lenses), your results using AF are not going to be that great with rapidly moving vehicles -- especially if you're shooting a night race (and most of my racing photo experience has been at the Friday night races at a local track).

Now, if you have good access (and I do have pit/track level access at the local speedway now) that's bit different, and you may or may not be able to use AF for photos (you're probably going to need a pro level camera to get more keepers, and try to have a vantage point where they're slowing down a bit going into a corner). You won't have that luxury for most drag racing, from the little I know about it.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:21 PM   #35
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For example - here's a post from someone who took drag racing photos from the stands - not via media pass. Doesn't look like starting line nor necessarily high up. I would think he might be a good resource for information - as would the person who responded to the post who shoots drag racing regularly.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/top...d=drag#7395570
Sure, good photos. But, he was using a Canon 1D MK III with an f/2.8 lens. That's not going to work with the OP's desired budget of $500 -$600. ;-)
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:28 PM   #36
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Sure, good photos. But, he was using a Canon 1D MK III with an f/2.8 lens. That's not going to work with the OP's desired budget of $500 -$600. ;-)
But guess what Jim - unlike you, those people actually shoot drag racing. So, they can speak with experience on whether or not manual focusing techniques are good enough or whether shots are pre-focused. You've said you don't shoot drag racing. I've never seen a drag racing photo from TCAV before. So, who is a better source for information on what equipment/techniques are needed - the guys who DO shoot it or the people here who DONT.

I just don't understand why it's so difficult to put ego asside and say there's someone more qualified to answer the OP. I'm reasonably sure I shoot more sports than you and TCAV combined by a large margin. And I'm the first to suggest the OP move on to someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

Just because guys may be currently using a pro body doesn't mean they always did. Their actual experience is, IMO more valuable than supposition of those of us here who DONT have the experience.

I realize that may not achieve your goal of convincing the OP to buy a Sony but I just think that's the wrong goal to have.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:33 PM   #37
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TCAV - where did the OP specify where he'll be shooting from?
This is drag racing; they don't let spectators anywhere near the finish line.

When you try to go 300 MPH from a standing start as quickly as possible, things can and do go wrong. They keep spectators out of harm's way. Some race officials are in an observation tower at the finish line, but there's nobody else anywhere near it. Even press photographers aren't allowed at that end of the track.

If, in any of those photos, you can see spectators on the other side, and you can see the front of the race car, that car is no more than a couple of hundred feet from the starting line, and it probably hasn't broken the local speed limit yet.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:34 PM   #38
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John:

Convincing the OP to buy a Sony is not my goal (regardless of what you may think), even though I think they're great values for models within the OP's budget (so, I'm going to say that in my posts).

As for someone having experience with shooting drag racing with an entry level model, I don't know of anyone trying to do that. Now, if you dig around, you can probably find someone that's done that. I haven't tried to research it a lot.

I can only offer my impressions of cameras I've used, and I stand by my suggestion to look at the Sony models for a camera within the OP's price range.

If you disagree, fine. That's one thing the forums are good for (getting a variety of opinions from users of various camera models). But, I really would appreciate it if you knock off the attitude that I'm trying to sell Sony product. I use a Sony system and I like it. If you don't like it, that's fine.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 12:51 PM   #39
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This is a photo of a typical drag strip:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dr...mpics_2005.jpg

There are no spectator stands any further than about halfway down the track, and only a very few go that far.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 1:00 PM   #40
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John:


If you disagree, fine. That's one thing the forums are good for (getting a variety of opinions from users of various camera models). But, I really would appreciate it if you knock off the attitude that I'm trying to sell Sony product. I use a Sony system and I like it. If you don't like it, that's fine.
Jim - I'm going to repeat what I've repeated in other threads. You attempt to 'push' sony products as sports solutions that are unproven in the field. You never 'push' other models for sports solutions, proven or otherwise. So your posting history would indicatea bias towards Sony not based on actual evidence (i.e. lets see sports photos from the new Sony models you're suggesting will meet the OPs needs). I'm sorry but that is, IMO, bad advice. And as long as the practice continues I will continue to point out my disagreement to the practice. It's' not that I think you're a bad person I just believe your sports shooting equipment advice is bad because there's no practical basis for it.

I prefer too wait until those products have been proven in the field. I have no problem with Sony. The A700 is a proven item - so I recommend it along with the Nikon D300/90 and Canon 50D/T1i/Xsi as a sports camera. As other Sony bodies prove in the real world they're as good as the competition I'll be glad to recommend them. I also advise against certan cameras in my own system when I feel they're bad. So, my sports shooting advice is MODEL driven. Based on actual photos I see and reports from sports photographers.

You neither shoot drag racing, nor do you shoot ANY sports with the cameras you're receommending as far as I know. Just because you are an administrator does not give you omniscience on all aspects of photography. To be honest I've never seen any photos from you that would indicate, despite 30 years of shooting, that you're a proficient sports photographer. And your posting history of recommending Sony solutions when they have not been field tested for sports photography goes against any advice I've seen from experienced sports photographers.

And, as I've said in other threads on this topic I believe the 'Administrator' tag on your name conveys an air that you may be an expert. And, I have no doubts there are aspects of photography you ARE very accomplished at. But your posting history and the sports photos you've chosen to share over the years do not indicate that Sports Photography is one of those areas.

So, given that I believe your advice is bad when dealing with sports shooting I will continue to point out to people WHY I think the advice is bad and why I think, based on your posting history, it is biased.

You will notice, for instance, that when people like Mark1616 and TG and some others post advice on sports shooting and gear requirements I rarely have a disagreement with them. It isn't because of the system they shoot - it's because their advice is sound - because it's born of experience. Perhaps one of them can chime in and provide their opinion of my statement that the best advice for gear and techniques for drag racing can best be got from people that shoot drag racing.

Again - I'll reiterate I have no idea if any of the entry level Sony cameras are capable of meeting the OPs needs. I don't know if any of the entry level cameras in ANY system are capable. But I would also state that based on posting history and photos I've seen I would suggest that neither you nor TCAV are qualified to advise the OP either. I can, however, see photos posted on these other forums from people that shoot drag racing. So, based only on evidence my eyes see I suggest the OP might find more qualified people to answer his needs on those forums.
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