Trains & Tripods

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by chicks, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    This looks like a great opportunity for a someone learning to shoot (like moi). Lots of fabulous old steam trains and much more at this museum. Not so great lighting.

    Lights, Camera, Action! Special Trains & Tripods Photo Opportunity & Lighting Seminar

    Any expert advise on which of my lenses would be best for this event? My current list:

    Oly 14-42
    Oly 17

    Canon FD 28 3.5
    Argus Cintar 50 3.5
    Canon FD 50 1.8
    Pentax M 50 1.7
    Vivitar 55 1.4
    Canon FD 135 2.5

    Or would this be a good excuse to break the piggy bank on the Oly 45 or something else? :biggrin:
  2. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    We have one of those in England, at Didcot. Last time i went it was next to nothing to get in, and all the loco's were fired up. It was great.
    I had a Fuji 6x7 rangefinder at the time.

    See here didcot steam night - Flickr: Search

    Lenses, I would get a Oly 12 or Pany 14 and 20
    • Like Like x 1
  3. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    Well done for finding an excellent opportunity at such a reasonable price. I visited the museum just over a decade ago while staying on the "Delta King" riverboat moored alongside. As you rightly say, the museum is not well lit. It is full of dark corners and the subjects are mostly difficult to illuminate with flash because of their large size.

    Also, there isn't much room to shoot the large exhibits so wide angle lenses are best. I suggest you take both native lenses plus whichever of the 50/55mm legacy lenses performs best wide open. I would guess that this would be the Canon 50/1.8 but you will know better which one to take.

    I wouldn't even think about buying the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 for this shoot because most of the time you will be needing the 14mm to 25mm range of focal lengths. A 45mm or 50mm would be good for picking out details but you already have the Canon 50mm for that.

    If there is one thing that you simply must take, it is a sturdy tripod because you will probably be making some longer exposures than usual.

    Good luck and enjoy your day! :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Wow, that looks like fun... and cheap too. I think you've got all you need unless you're going to spring for something wider than 14mm. The slow zoom won't hurt you once you're using a tripod. But like Colin said, a good tripod is a must.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    Thanks for the responses. I have an old, heavy SV Kenlock 3000 GLB tripod (thrift store find) that's rock steady, albeit a bit of a pain to lug around.

    The Pentax is probably my sharpest 50, so I'll take it with the Oly's. FWIW, the camera will be my E-P2.

    Sent from my K1 using Tapatalk 2
  6. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    You have all the equipment you need to enjoy the day. I particularly liked the sound of the Friday night seminar:

    -Shooting with a plan to maximize your museum visit.
    -Shooting for sharpness instead of diffraction
    -HDR to manage contrast and shoot for impact.
    -Accessories to make your shooting a real pleasure.
    -Managing perspective in a controlled environment.
    -Which lenses help you frame the best compositions.
    -How to expose for contrasty light and minimize flare.
    -Tilt/shift lenses for panoramas and to minimize distortion.
    -Controlling selective focus and depth-of-field for added emphasis.

    You should pick up some useful tips for the Saturday morning shoot and for your next visit(s) to the museum.

    When I visited in 2000 there was a Santa Fe locomotive parked outside - it was easy to shoot in good light from several different angles. The Museum web sites lists it as No. 347B. I'll see if I can find the slides I shot that day.

    Enjoy! :cool: 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Sounds like a great opportunity - wish we had something like that around here. I think you will find the 17mm to be very useful - it's a bit under-rated and a pleasant surprise for situations like this.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sad to say, the last time I visited was for Railfair in 1999, celebrating CA's 150th birthday. Was incredible to see these old locomotives brought to life, breathing, snorting, hissing, belching smoke. Most impressive was the huge locomotive said to weigh 1,000,000 lbs. It was huge! Also a steam crane that lifted a locomotive off the ground.

  9. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    Made a dry run today, with the Oly 17mm and Pentax 50mm f/1.7. The wider lens for the "big" shots, the faster one for the detail shots. Good choices, I think, thanks for all the input. Will be much better when I'm able to take the tripod, as the lighting on many of the shots was marginal or impossible for handheld.

    No real advantage to AF here, actually preferred the MF lens. Both were used wide open most of the time.

    A few samples here, if anyone's interested: Image browser

    • Like Like x 2
  10. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    awesome image !
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mogul

    Mogul Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2012
    Trains & Tripods -2013

    Great shots of the last remaining Cab Forward steam locomotive; the remaining 255 were scrapped.

    FYI, The next Trains and Tripods event at the California State Railroad Museum is scheduled for May 10th and 11th, 2013. With Admin approval and as is permitted, I will post periodic updates regarding this upcoming event. Please note that this is not organized as a fund-raising event. Any charges cover insurance, utilities, salaries of the few paid (state-required) staff and incidental costs. The main personnel coverage at these events is provided by volunteer docents. Please advise me if this information is inappropriate or should be posted elsewhere. Thank you.
  12. Mogul

    Mogul Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2012
    The next scheduled Trains and Tripods at the California State Railroad Museum will be Friday evening and Saturday morning, September 13-14, 2013
  13. acercanto

    acercanto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    SW VA, USA
    Wow, wish I could go there for one of those! When I was there back in March last year, I really enjoyed that place.
    Here's the handful of keepers I got. Flickr Search: sacramento railroad museum Apologies about the new stupid Flickr layout. :-/

  14. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Every year for National Train Day the Arizona Railway Museum opens many more of their cars for you to come see for free. It's an outdoor location, so lighting is bright, and there are usually lots of people. I've posted my shots from this year here, and will post more as I finish PP. One thing I learned for next year, 14mm is not nearly wide enough!
  15. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Steam in UK

    We have quite a few events each year focussed around steam railways, many of them are combined with re-enactment where people dress up in the clothes from the era or uniforms from that time.

    They are cheap to get into and offer great photo opportunities as well as the chance to trave on the trains and talk to people in a friendly environment where everyone is willing to have their photo taken.

    I have been to a few over the years and still more to come this year!

    Some photos










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