new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens
Greetings, my fellow Nikonians
Being the proud new owner of a D5000, I found this place while googling for info.
After a lot of searching through old posts, I still can't find what I'm looking for so here goes:
I think I need a fast lens for my 2 desired applications (I am a motorcycle enthusiast)
1) sitting track-side at various curves and getting brilliant images of bikes as they come past me
2) mounting the D5000 with a vibration dampening setup on the tank of my bike to capture still images and even some video.
For application 1, I think I need a fast lens
For application 2, I was told to get a wide angle lens and set the focus to infinity so everything is in focus.
After some experimenting, methinks the 18-55 lens that came in the box isn't going to cut-it in either of these roles.
thanks in advance.
#1. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 12-Jul-10 10:12 PM
For application 1, you don't need a fast lens at all. Most motorsport is done during the day (in fact I'm not aware of any North American bike racing done after dark). As such, even the slowest lenses are not much of an obstacle at all. In fact, since bikes and cars tend to look better with implied speed (eg blurred wheels), maximum shutter speeds of 1/250th or so often mean effective apertures around f/11-f/20 during the day.
You don't even need a fast focuser, although that doesn't hurt. There's a whole thread on this subject here.
Unless you're a lot closer than I imagine, the 18-55 is probably way too short for this application. However, I suppose that with an RF remote and a tripod right at the edge of the track, perhaps it might be OK. A good start would be a 70-300 AFS VR, although for those on a budget the 55-200VR might be long enough.
I dunno about application #2. Seems like a pretty challenging situation.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#2. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 1Mon 12-Jul-10 10:53 PM | edited Mon 12-Jul-10 11:02 PM by Leskid
well that's great news on the first point, thanks!
take a look at this. I'm a member of the fjrforum (a type of motorcycle) and one member in Malaysia did a pretty good job capturing on board stills while riding. Scroll down a ways until the pics start. Many great shots are taken while riding, from behind the windshield. (it's on a camera mount of course)
This is actually the guy who told me to get wide angle and set focus to infinity. Oh... actually, here is his message (below)
he uses a Canon 5D2 so I'm sure each of his lenses are worth more than my whole 1st yr budget
excerpt from his message:
To answer some of your questions, the D5000 is a great camera. For the stuff that you want to do below, it should be quite suitable. Whether or not you can get the desired results depends on a couple of factors.
1. The lens you use is important.
For on-bike shots and pictures of landscapes, you'll want an ultra wide angle lens like a Tokina 11-16. Also, if you're shooting video, you'll need to use the shortest possible focal length to reduce any vibration.
2. Your shutter speed must not be slower than 1/1000 sec.
As far as some pointers to get your started, perhaps you can try this.
1. Set your camera to S mode and set your shutter speed to 1/1000
2. Set your ISO to 1600
3. For shooting on-bike, switch off the auto focus. Before you start moving, zoom OUT as far as you can go and focus your lens to infinity. The reason for these two settings is so that everything will be in focus all the time and the camera won't try to refocus the lens every time you press the shutter button.
Try these out and let me know how it goes.
#3. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 2JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Tue 13-Jul-10 04:05 AM
Give your 18-55mm a try. Since you are trying for small apertures to maximize depth of field (f/8 - f/16), most lenses do quite well in that range.
The focusing on infinity might work depending on the aperture selected. Checking a hyperfocus chart might be good.
Seattle, WA, USA
D200, 17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, 50mm f/1.4 D
18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ED, D70S
#4. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 1Tue 13-Jul-10 10:39 AM | edited Tue 13-Jul-10 10:41 AM by Leskid
Very enlightening responses - thanks to both of you.
BLW, that post on consumer VS pro HW was as much an eye opener for me as it was a relief. I've been having questionable results with my basic lens, which frightened me into thinking I was going to have to drop a couple grand on entry level 'good' lenses.
Josephk, before this week, I had never done anything beyond using a point & shoot on auto so I epitomize the term 'beginner', trying to wrap my brain around the (many) concepts of actual photography.
Both your responses highlight my mantra towards novice motorcylists: Running out and buying a faster bike aint gonna make you a better rider, you'll just kill yourself faster.
I guess I'm proving the old adage 'tis a poor musician who blames his instrument'
Back to experimenting with my 18-55
#5. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 4goz63 Registered since 09th Jun 2010Tue 13-Jul-10 04:26 PM
I would recomend you look in the resource section of Nikonians and look up DOF (depth of field). This will be inportant for you when using a camera mounted on your bike. Just setting the focus to infinity I don't think is going to be enough to make sure everything is in focus. At fast shutter speeds your lens will have to open up more, meaning a wider apeture. Wide apetures creat short DOF and blurr out the background. There is more to focus than just setting and forgetting. I am leaning as well and found the resource center here a valuable tool to learn why the cameras do what they do so you can make them do what you want them to do.
#6. "RE: new guy in Montreal - I think I need a fast lens" | In response to Reply # 5Tue 13-Jul-10 05:10 PM
That's funny. I found that earlier this morning, printed it and walked down the the St Lawrence river to try my luck with long DOF. It's starting to make sense.
As soon as I came back, I read about the hyperfocal distance. Gotta wait until the battery is charged back up and see if can get even better results.
The more I read (over and over) in the resource section, the less foreign it's becoming. I'm certainly much farther ahead than I was yesterday.
Thanks to all - glad I found this place!