m4/3 for Auto Racing

Discussion in 'Sports and Action' started by rocky, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. rocky

    rocky Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Sep 11, 2012
    Kapolei, HI/Walnut Creek, CA
    Greg
    I shoot a lot of auto racing and normally use DSLRs. I recently bought a PL 45-200 to see if the format would be okay for racing. I like the weight of the m4/3 equipment but wasn't sure if it would be fast enough for the action. I had a chance to shoot a little today at Sonoma Raceway. It was practice day for the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the Pirelli World Challlenge. Aside from the lack of a real through-the-lens viewfinder, it wasn't too bad. It was a little slow, although I was using an older G3 body. It was a little tough following the action. However, I was able to shoot one or two frames at a time and it seemed to work pretty well. Here are a few from today's take. I'll give the equipment more work and maybe I'll upgrade to a newer body. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the results. Any suggestions?
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  2. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Sep 27, 2011
    I personally don't have any experience shooting auto racing, but you should definitely check out anything posted by GRID. The guy is masterful.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. rocky

    rocky Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Sep 11, 2012
    Kapolei, HI/Walnut Creek, CA
    Greg
    You're right, it is masterful. Thanks.
     
  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    M43 is quite suitable for auto racing, if you get a body that's capable of tracking well (E-M1, GH4, G7, GX8, etc). The other thing that helps is a fast lens (as I'm sure you're aware).

    Great shots, not see what you can get by slowing the shutter speed down and panning with the cars.
     
  5. rocky

    rocky Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Sep 11, 2012
    Kapolei, HI/Walnut Creek, CA
    Greg
    Thanks. I probably will need to turn off the preview so I can continue to follow the car while panning. I believe that the format is more than capable of producing clean and sharp images. Thanks again.
     
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    There's a guy on this forum called GRID who shoots racing on m43. His images are generally fantastic, you feel as if you are there. From memory, I've seen him use Oly 12 and Oly 40-150 f2.8 lenses, he may well be using others.
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    If "slow" is due to autofocus issues, I would try MF and zone focus. DOF is your friend.
     
  8. rocky

    rocky Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Sep 11, 2012
    Kapolei, HI/Walnut Creek, CA
    Greg
    Thanks, I probably should have said that due to preview in the viewfinder, I couldn't track the subject while panning well enough. Auto focus and manual focus worked well for the most part. I more than likely will upgrade to a newer body. Getting used to different equipment. Thanks all of you for your help.
     
  9. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    With my GH4's, here's how I have my cameras set up when I'm shooting motorsports (for panning):
    • Burst Rate M (highest burst rate while allowing Live View)
    • Auto Review turned off
    • AF-C
    • AF/AE button set to AF-ON for back button AF
    • Release Priority set to focus
    • OIS set to correct vertical only (so that I can pan and the OIS doesn't try to correct panning blur)
    If I'm shooting cars coming at he head on, they I jack the shutter speed up as high as I can, and use MF to set the focus zone where I want it, and shoot as the cars come through that zone.

    Here are some shots I got earlier this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with my GH4 & 35-100 f/2.8

    19414019072_a18f27a83b_b.

    18799701863_7d637e1dd8_b.

    19424629091_d36d49df71_b.

    19232877978_d769d2b30e_b.
    19414758182_11c186a939_b.
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. rocky

    rocky Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Sep 11, 2012
    Kapolei, HI/Walnut Creek, CA
    Greg
    Thanks for the great information. Fantastic shots. I'll make some adjustments in camera and see what happens next time. Still trying to get used to the differences in how m4/3 equipment handles. It's clear that it can do everything that other formats can do. Thanks again for the tips.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    @rocky@rocky, another thing you may want to try is picking up a Panasonic 45-175 PZ. I'm not certain, but I believe the 45-200 uses the same old iris mechanism as the 100-300, which limits it's ability to shoot at the requested burst speed when the aperture anything less than max (if you're curious about this, google "100-300 burst shooting" and you'll see what I mean). The 45-175 PZ uses a newer aperture mechanism that allows it to shoot faster in burst mode (although not as fast as the 35-100 or 45-150 f/2.8 lenses).

    I own the 45-175 PZ and it's a fantastic little lens. It's the sharpest of all the "consumer telephoto" zooms, is internally focusing, and displays the focal length on the LCD/EVF. It is much smaller than the 45-200, especially when at max telephoto).

    I myself am waiting for the 100-400 to be released, as that'll be the primary lens I use when going to shoot races. I'm just hoping they release it next spring.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  12. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Regular

    148
    Mar 13, 2014
    Ian, do you know if the 45-175 displays the focal length on the EVF on Olympus cameras like the EM1? That's not crucial, just curious. I am thinking about this lens to shoot my sons little league basketball games. Thanks.
     
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Jason, unfortunately I'm not sure as I've only used Panasonic m43 cameras, and currently have two GH4s. It would seem logical though that it would, since the camera body records the focal length in the EXIF data, so why not display it on the screen too?

    I'm actually surprised how much I like the 45-175. It isn't as sharp as the 35-100 f/2.8, or the 50-200 2.8-3.5 (I bought that to shoot racing with, as manual focusing is pretty easy with a big EVF and focus peaking), but it can delivery excellent results, it's positively tiny, it has a rubber zoom ring which is nice, displays the focal length as you zoom, and the zoom action is very fast (not slow like what you get on a bridge or compact camera).

    I don't use it very much anymore, simply because most of the time I'm just doing day trips, so bringing the 50-200 isn't a concern. However if I was packing for a week long trip, I wouldn't hesitate to throw the 45-175 in my back over the 50-200, just due to the size & weight advantage.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    And since I mentioned the 50-200, below are a couple shots taken with it from the only motorsport event I got to use it at this year, since I got it so late in the season. All shots were taken with my GH4 on a Sirui monopod. Some shots are with the 1.4x TC, others without. You can't tell though, and that speaks to the quality of the lens and TC, as there's no loss in sharpness. An excellent lens IMO.

    21203608659_110f81dd55_b.

    21202527630_b205ccc10f_b.

    21379969772_30a10c8dee_b.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I am assuming you pre-focused these shots?
     
  16. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yes, all shots with the 50-200 are pre-focused, but it really isn't a concern for me. For "head-on" type shots, I set the focus distance to where the action will occur (so in the case of the auto-x photos, right at the cones where the cars will exhibit body roll, and the wheels will be turned), and for panning shots I set the focus distance to the racing line and simply pan with the car.

    I actually find using a heavier lens better for panning when using a monopod, as it helps to "stabilize" the lens in the y-axis better.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    653
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I find if you can get the right spot even the kit lens can work quite well.
    I generally prefer to use my DSLR for motosport, but it's too bulky for when I'm working, and on a couple of occasions when I was just there for photography the DSLR lenses I had with me were too long for the location, so I ended up using my IR camera instead. The GF2 is definitely not the best ยต4/3 camera for motorsports.

    13498899544_15da0fc932_c. Andrew Jordan - Infra red panning by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr

    14435543423_aab6e5ed2e_c. Ollie Jackson's Proton IR by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr

    14228760798_633d504147_c. Oulton Park Grid 1 by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. JDS

    JDS Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Nov 11, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    I've recently bought a 45-175 PZ for events like this, plus the Oly IS/L A-200 tele converter, I'm looking forward to trying the combo this season. Still, the basic Oly 40-150 works pretty well, at least at places like Laguna Seca's corkscrew:

     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Did a bit of this during the early/mid 80's at our "local" track..Lime Rock. Camera set up is important, but knowing the track is a big item too. Finding the places where the cars are at their slowest and also where you can get good broadside shots that won't challenge tracking quite so much. Good backgrounds are also nice. After doing some shooting at our thoroughbred horse training track, I can second the monopod recommendation..helps with steady panning. Just tossing in this shot for Rocky. Agfachrome/Canon A-1/Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Alfa.
     
    • Like Like x 2