1. benjo09

    benjo09

    Messages:
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    Name:
    Ben
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    Last year I started motorsport photography and I love it! I only did a few events at Silverstone and was fortunate to be at Goodwood FOS with work but I've been bitten by the bug.

    This year I'm looking to do more events at more circuits and was wondering peoples views on whether a super zoom (Sigma and Tamron (150-600) or Nikkor (200-500)) would be a useful addition to my kit.

    Currently using a Nikon D3100 with a Tamron 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD and had mixed feelings on it last year. It was perfect at Goodwood where you can get close to the action (even 70mm was too tight at times) but at Silverstone I felt a little more restricted at the 300mm end of the lens. It was fine around some parts of the track but struggled at others when gaps were a long way from the action or where the catch fence was in the way.

    As I am looking to do more circuits this year (Brands Hatch and Donnington are definitely in the calendar) are there other circuits where the super zooms are a good addition or is Silverstone an anomaly with the amount of fencing etc due to its F1 status?

    Also if there are any other tracks that are highly recommended I'd love to hear about them.
     
  2. Fraser Euan White

    Fraser Euan White

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    Fraser White
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    Hi Ben,

    I live very close to Oulton Park in Cheshire; a Super telephoto is useful but certainly not necessary at this circuit, you just pick a spot where you lens will be fine.

    here is a link to one of my Oulton Albums with the exif showing the lens used - I have three albums on Flickr taken at Oulton:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/147585014@N03/albums/72157682097125740

    Hope this helps.

    Fraser
     
  3. mark.roper

    mark.roper

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    Mark
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    Yes
    I can only speak for Snetterton, my local circuit, and say that there you can get away with a 70-300 on a crop-sensor camera there (I did last year, Nikon D3300 + Sigma 70-300), but whenever I've been there the other tog's all have dirty great telephoto's stuck on the end of their cameras!

    I bought myself a Sigma 150-600 for xmas and took it to Snetterton a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised the number of images I took in the 400-600 range. I guess it you only have 300mm you work with it, and FWIW it's perfectly do-abe at Snetterton due to many good viewing areas, but I suppose a big telephoto gives you options you wouldn't otherwise have.

    I should also mention the image quality on my new Sigma 150-600 blows my old Sigma 70-300 out of the water, there's just no comparison, I love the big Siggy!
     
  4. wave01

    wave01

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    I did the Barcelona Grand prix with a 70-200 as said before pick a spot where your lens works. I have sine got the sigma 150-600c and just wish I had it for that event.
     
  5. MFlip

    MFlip

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    221
    Name:
    Mark
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    I've only really got experience of Silverstone, Oulton Park and Goodwood.

    Of those I'd say Silverstone is the only one that significantly benefits from anything longer than 300mm on a crop but even when I was using my Tamron 70-300 VC I still didn't feel as if it was a major issue. As Mark says above you just adapt to what you have.

    I now have a Canon 100-400 MkII and a 1.4x TC. The 400mm was better at Silverstone. I used the 1.4x TC a couple of times but not much and arguably just cropping from 400mm could achieve similar results once you factor in draw backs of the TC. The biggest difference of the 100-400 wasn't focal length though is was focusing and IQ.

    Personally I'd take a look at flickr for other tracks and check the focal lengths used, although obviously bear in mind images could have been cropped, especially if they were taken at the long end of the lense.
     
  6. Nod

    Nod Kronus

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    Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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    Castle Combe is pretty good for relatively short lenses - a 70-300 on a crop body is plenty (and sometimes too much!) You can also walk all round the circuit to get a selection of viewpoints.
     
  7. Fraser Euan White

    Fraser Euan White

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    409
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    Fraser White
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    No
    200mm on a Full Frame Camera can get you this close if you pick the correct location at the circuit (Only a slight crop):

    [​IMG]_DSC1915 by Fraser White, on Flickr

    Then 400mm for a longer shot at a different part of a circuit:

    [​IMG]Ford Mustang GT350 by Fraser White, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    mark.roper likes this.
  8. GeeJay57

    GeeJay57

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    1,706
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    Glenn
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    The choice of lens depends a lot on the sort of shot you're trying to capture. If you're trying for head-on, then 400+ mm comes in handy. If you're going for pans, anything from wide angle to 200mm covers a lot of framing options. I have done pans with 300mm, but that gives a pretty tight image.

    I'm also near Oulton park and currently use a 7DII, EF-s 15-85, EF 100-400mm II and 1.4x III that covers what I need.
    I used to have Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and 300 f/2.8 that sometimes had a 1.4x or 2x TC attached. Worked very well, but I wanted a simpler setup and IS hence the change.

    The missus has an 80D with 18-135 and 70-300. Not tried this kit with Motorsport yet, but I think will do a decent job in general.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  9. benjo09

    benjo09

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    Name:
    Ben
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I was planning to go to Oulton for the GT but have just realised its Easter weekend so can't but thanks for the examples Fraser.

    Looks like I'll be adding a super zoom to the shopping list if only to give options.
     
  10. droopsnoot

    droopsnoot

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    203
    Name:
    Mike
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    Yes
    I have a Sigma 50-500 which I've used at Oulton and Donington, but I tend to find that it's not really used any longer than about the 300mm mark, then cropped. Some of that is to give me a bit of leeway for panning, if I zoom in too close I tend to get more than my share of missing front or rear ends. Conversely for some head-on shots at Cholmondeley Pageant of Power I was using a 500mm mirror lens to good effect. Now, if I could have the 50-500 in the same size (and weight) package of the 500mm mirror, I'd carry it much more often.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  11. mickledore

    mickledore

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    I've just spent the day at Oulton Park.
    Used a 55.200 on a 1.5 crop. Didn't use the 200 end much. Maybe 175 max. That gave me a bit of room round the bikes and scope for cropping. Spentcquite a lot if time around the 100 mark. My mate had a 600 equivalent lens and never got it out. Too long.
     
  12. snerkler

    snerkler

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    One other thing to consider is that the 150-600mm is quite wieldy and it's more difficult to get a steady pan if using handheld (I can't get on with monopods). At Donington I preferred to use my 70-200mm and crop. At Silverstone I hired a 100-400mm but it was rare that I went above 300mm (these were all on FF)

    If money's no object then maybe the Nikon 80-400mm would be a better option as if less wieldy than the 150-600mm but still has a good range.
     
  13. Hertsman

    Hertsman

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    3,248
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    Mark
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    I agree with Snerkler, the 150-600 is a front heavy thing and not that nice for panning with in my experience. I used to use the Nikon 70-300 for everything but now also have a 70-200 2.8 and 1.7 tc.

    I think Silverstone is the only track where length is really needed, and this year Im thinking about hiring a 300mm F4 PF and 1.4 TC as its a combo Im considering buying - if money was no object, I think Id buy the 300mm 2.8, but I cant justify that sitting in the wardrobe not being used......
     
  14. mark.roper

    mark.roper

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    Mark
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    I don't disagree with the above but I bought the Sigma 150-600 because it was the cheapest way to get further than what I already had, which was a Sigma 70-300, and the problem with the Sigma 70-300 was AF speed, or lack thereof, the big Siggy however is plenty quick enough and produces much better images than any other lens I have. I use the 150-600 with a monopod and find panning with it quite easy.

    But it depends on circuit, I go to Snetterton a lot and although there are spots the 70-300 would be perfect for (if it focused quicker) there are more spots where it's desirable to go beyond 300-400mm. At Cadwell Park the week before last however I couldn't use the 150-600 at all, it was just too big at a circuit where you're right on top of the action most of the time.

    The Nikon 80-400 would probably be the better lens all things considered, but 2nd hand they're twice the price of the Sigma 150-600 new.
     
  15. Mr Pid

    Mr Pid

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    Lovely shots - how are circuits with photographers? I've heard that the pro's don't like the competition at some circuits and they don't allow "big" cameras.
     
    Graphix501 likes this.
  16. Graphix501

    Graphix501

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    Jonny
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    I have never heard someone media side complain about a spectators equipment. I’m not sure competition is the right word either... no lens/camera restrictions at any of the UK circuits ive been to, so nothing to worry about.
     
  17. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I’ve never heard or seen that tbh, I’ve taken some pretty big lenses (70-200mm f2.8 and 150-600mm) and seen folk with 500/600mm primes at both Donington and Silverstone. Any confident pro shouldn’t concern themselves with ‘competition’, plus they get much better access to us mere peasants ;)

    The only restriction I’ve encountered is the speedway I’m doing tomorrow night, but it’s not a restriction on lenses it’s a restriction on posting pictures online. Apparently it’s not allowed due to sky having rights being a live event. Bit odd as I’ve never heard restrictions at footy matches etc, but that’s what they’ve said.
     
    Graphix501 likes this.
  18. Graphix501

    Graphix501

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    Jonny
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    Without wishing to wrench open this can of worms, having been lucky enough to work media for the past 2-3 seasons... there is a big misconception about what’s involved in getting accreditation.... ability has very little to with anything, what matters is the number of people that will see the results... the series want the largest amount of exposure, so while there are a great many amatures with top line gear whinging about the media guy with the point and shoot in front of them... what everyone needs to realise is that while your 300 or so friends on Facebook may love your pics, the point and shoots pictures are probably getting seen by 100s of thousands in local papers. No one gives a jot about quality for the most part, largely because there are a billion spectators eager to give their pics to the teams in exchange for nothing more than the notoriety of having their name in lights... don’t get me wrong, this is a fact of life, I’ve been - am still guilty of this, but the end result now is if you want to make motorsport photography a job it’s nigh on impossible because the market is awash with free images (a rod for our own backs if you will)... some of the speccy shots are great too... 99.9% of the media I’ve encountered are super courteous to spectators, trying to keep out of their shots, happy to chat and answer questions... a greater number of spectators, however, are rude and sometimes loudly entitled ‘what are you doing there... you’re in my way, I could do a better job etc.’ ...all these guys are doing a job, they are working and derserve some respect (and on the whole both sides give it to each other)... it’s worth remembering the wide majority of media are very much like the spectators around them - not getting paid... the difference is not so great in terms of access either besides the obvious, at the end of the day if you (generally anyone, not you Snerkler ) can’t take a decent photograph because of the fence, you’re not gonna be able to take a good photo in front of it either


    Hahaha they (Premier Leauge media office) are s*** hot on the media posting images outside of the press from what I've heard... I think there’s a few togs here that shoot it, but you’ll hardly ever see a picture - the pass ban hammer will be upon you
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  19. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I've had very little encounters with official togs, but the rare encounters have all been positive from my experience. I've never seen any get aggro either, that's just plain wrong if people shout/make comments like that.

    Whilst you can take good pics behind a fence I would still say it's not ideal, and sometimes it is extremely difficult to hide altogether. Even at slow ish pans such as 1/50 you can sometimes see a hint of it as slow shutter speeds like this sometimes means your aperture is up around f11 even with an ND filter on. Even if you can't see a physical outline then you can get a lack of contrast. Obviously PP can make this better, but if you're a SOOC jpeg shooter (which I'm not) then you may suffer this. Similarly if I'm freezing the action I can sometimes see a hint of the fence even shooting at f2.8 at 200mm with the camera up against the fence, or just off it. Sometimes it can make the bokeh look a bit 'funky'. So whilst you can get the shots behind the fence I don't think there's a single one of us that wouldn't rather be track side of the fence.

    At Silverstone you don't have a lot of choice I only found one location at (or close to) track level with a clear view. At Donington I have a few favourite spots with a fence free view. I haven't photographed at other tracks. I'm looking forward to tomorrow though as I have inside track access at Owlerton Stadium which should make for some interesting shots. I still don't get why they restrict you on posting pics though, surely all exposure to an event is good? How do they restrict/monitor Joe Public?
     
    Graphix501 likes this.
  20. Graphix501

    Graphix501

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    Jonny
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    Just to be clear I wasn't aiming that statement at anyone in particular :D I dunno I did alright for years behind the fence at Silverstone - I'll grant you it's more difficult with a wider lens, but that just means you need to adapt the way you shoot - sorry i sound like one of those whingers, I've just been inundated with questions about how I got accreditation through Instagram recently all asking how they can get a pass so they can shoot 'better' for themselves... the very short answer is to stop shooting for yourself and shoot for a press outlet :D.

    Enjoy it :D It's definitely nice being in the VIP seats - I dunno SKY are a different animal, they've probably signed expensive rights for all media outlets, so allowing speccys/media to supply images outside their remit directly pinches pennies from Rupert Murdoch's pocket and zat vil not be tolerated!!!!
     
    snerkler likes this.
  21. BennyBoo

    BennyBoo

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    738
    Name:
    Ben
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    Yes
    I'd look to use a very decent build of 70-200 and either a 1.4x or a 2x for when needed..

    I'm on a crop and my local track, Cadwell, never need more than 300mm..
     
  22. snerkler

    snerkler

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    I’d love to shoot sports for a press outlet. Sadly I don’t have the time, nor the knowledge of how to do so :facepalm: ;)
     
  23. PhotoBoris

    PhotoBoris

    Messages:
    122
    Name:
    Gary
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    Yes
    For years, I shot with an exceedingly crappy 70 to 300 APO sigma lens, which looking back was terrible. But I still got some of my favourite shots with that lens. This was taken at Le Mans with that lens and my old digital rebel:

    [​IMG]Team ByKolles CLM P1-01 AER P60 2.4L Turbo V6 - Le Mans 2015 by G B, on Flickr

    For years, thanks to a crazy ex wife I couldn't afford anything more. Once I was free of the dreadful ex, I had the money to invest and bought a Tamron 150 to 600 and 70 to 300 both with VC. I then essentially had to learn to shoot all over again as those lenses are much heavier and discovered that the VC is of virtually no use for the type of photography I do.

    We all lust over new gear, but to be honest, the decent photographer will get a good shot with crap equipment and a crap photographer will get crap shots with good equipment.

    That said, it is nice to have 600mm at Silverstone and I wouldn't dream of going back to the Sigma APO!!!

    Focus on your technique. When your equipment starts to limit what you can do, that is the time to upgrade.

    In terms of circuit recommendations, you simply must go to Le Mans. It is the most amazing experience I have ever had and I guarantee that if you go once, you will again. Everyone sits there on the Sunday night thinking "why did I do this to my body", but they all start planning for it again for the following year when they get back to blighty. I love the place and the whole event and the photography access is pretty good too. I'm doing the double of Le Mans and the Nurburgring 24 in 2019 as they're only a week apart. I must be insane...

    Good luck my friend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  24. Twigman

    Twigman

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    178
    Name:
    Ian
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    No
    I have a 100-400 mkii and a Canon80D....I go to Silverstone a lot but find that 400 is a little on the long side for most of the unobstructed viewing areas.
    At Brands it is way too long as one is generally much closer to the track.
    I've not taken my camera to Donington but I've spectated there many times....there are parts of the track ,say looking up through Cranar curves from Starkeys or the old hairpin, where I reckon the 100-400 mkii would come into its own but if sat at Foggy's (chicane) you could probably get away with a 35mm!! LOL
     

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