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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-11-2017

Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

Hello all! New to the Canon Community. I've been a hobbyist for a few years with prior experience starting with the A2 and Elan film bodies. In addition to the film bodies I also have a Rebel XT (circa 2003-2005). I took some time away from Canon, and have been relying on my smartphone's (8MP) camera for the last several years. I write an automotive lifestyle blog, travel for motorsports as well as club events, and go any other car event close to me. Looking to get more serious about my product/results, and would like to hear recommendations for a body, and the 1-2 must have lenses as well as any other gear that would be useful for car shoots and motorsports. I still have four lenses: 28-105mm, 85mm, 100mm macro, and 75-300mm ultrasonic lenses from my film days. My thought for the first lens is the 24-70mm II f/2.8 USM for the utility role. Any advice would be most appreciated, and thanks in advance
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

When talking motorsports how close will you be usually & how fast are the vehicles? Do you have a budget & are you looking for a high FPS rate? Static photos don't require the same gear fast moving vehicles might but a better body can do static as well as high speed stuff.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-11-2017

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

Currently going to track days, autocross events, and club trials so the speeds are between 40-100mph. I have access for those tracks/venues. I'd like to ensure growth within the system so I'm able to shoot the speeds of IMSA or IndyCar in 1-2 years. Went to the 12 Hours of Sebring this year, and was really disappointed with my results. The budget is fixed at $2.5K or less for the body. No idea about the lenses, but if I were to use all $2.5K on the body I could only spring for $1K on a lens to start off with. Not sure what the useful life of a body is anymore, and was always of the understanding it's better to buy the best glass than spend all on a body. Not sure if that's true anymore. I'd like fast write ability, full frame (unless it doesn't matter), solid processors, and dual card slots. That's what I think I need. Additionally would like the body/lens combo to be versatile enough for track shots, pit/garage shots, and general car shoots until I can spring for a long telephoto lens. I just can spring for too much yet, just a solid kit to get started with a recommended shopping list of lenses to add as I can afford it.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

Obviously your in the US (I'm in Canada) where prices are lower PLUS you have Canon Refurbs available & they should be considered . Although it may be due for a replacement soon the 7D2 is up to the job & will still do it for some time to come. Not quite sure what to recommend for that super versatile lens because the one I use doesn't fit the budget, even as a used purchase. My flight line lens is the 28-300 L IS & it would do motorsports well too but it's HEAVY too. This is what I shoot these days but I have a background in the Muscle Car restoration field & drag racing, car shows etc. See. 

 

http://community.usa.canon.com/t5/Share-Your-Photos/How-I-spend-most-summer-weekends-R-C-event-photo...

 

The 2 bodies I rely on are the 1D mark 4 and 7D mark 2 & both are very worthy. I do not miss shots that I feel are because of my gear. When I miss it's because I couldn't keep it in the viewfider & be smooth as I shot.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-11-2017

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

Thanks for the excellent recommendation on the camera bodies, I appreciate it! And I am in the US. I figured one lens would just be a start, and I'm open to renting those long telephoto lenses for races or specific use. I'd been looking at the 5D MK III and 7D MKII. I like the fact that both can also do HD video. I'll check out your link. I grew up going to demo derbies, figure eights, and the drag strip. Nice to connect with another gear head on here!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,994
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

The pecking order for Canon bodies suitable to fast action photography are:

 

1.  Canon 1D X Mark II (Canon's flagship camera - also it's a full-frame camera) - but out of your price range.

2.  Canon 7D Mark II (Canon's top-performing DSLR with an APS-C size (crop-frame) sensor.

3.  Canon 5D Mark IV (full frame, advanced focus system, and fairly fast with an 8 FPS burst shooting speed and very large internal buffer) - but out of your price range.

4.  Canon 5D Mark III (full frame, fairly advanced focus system, and 7 FPS burst shooting speed with a rather larger (but not as big as the Mark IV) internal memory buffer) - not sure if you could get one in your price range... maybe a used copy.

5.  Canon 80D (Canon's current top mid-tier DSLR - fairly advanced focus system and just below a 7 FPS burst shooting speed.)

6.  Canon 77D (basically a high end Rebel body)

7.  Canon T7i (latest entry-level body but they have substantially improved the focus system as compared to their other entry-level bodies).

 

Based on your needs, I would probably go for the 7D Mark II body.  

 

I also noticed you don't really have any lens that qualifies as "wide" for your camera body.  A "normal" angle of view (one that seems neither wide angle or narrow angle) is one where the focal length matches the diagonal measure of your camera sensor (roughly 28mm).  Since 28mm is your widest focal length possible, and that's merely a "normal" angle of view I'd probably be seeking a moderately wide angle lens (something that can drop down to the 16-18mm range on the low end.  The 17-40mm is a low-priced option that could do this.  There are also the 16-35mm options such as the 16-35mm f/4.  On APS-C camera bodies there is are other options as well such as the 10-18, 10-22, and 17-55mm lenses.  There is also an 11-24mm but it's not cheap (it's out of your budget even if you skip the camera body and just buy the one lens.)

 

The wide angle of view isn't just "wide" it also stretches the sense of depth.  Interiors seem larger and more spacious at wide angles.  The long side of the car body will seem even longer.  Etc.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,697
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

For this use I'd go with a good auto focusing crop body, either the 7d2 or the 80d. You can benefit from the 1.6x free telephoto effect of the FOV crop and you won't much miss any loss in low light IQ and by not going full frame you'll save money you can apply towards lenses. 

 

For lenses I'd consider a wide angle for crop bodies like a 10-22 or 10-20, etc, by Canon or maybe Sigma plus a moderate telephoto. Hard to go wrong with an excellent 70-200 f/2.8 IS MK2 and with the crop effect you get the FOV of a 320mm lens. 

 

If if you don't need the super wide lens or if you dont want to have that gap between 22mm and 70mm you could get the EF-s 17-55 f/2.8 instead of the wide angle lens. That might be better actually. 

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

The main thing I'll recommend looking for in the lens you expect to use for track photos is that it have IS that works in the panning mode. You will want the help of IS when shooting the cars at slow enough shutter speeds to blur the background & wheels / tires.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,768
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots


hoosierdaddy wrote:
Thanks for the excellent recommendation on the camera bodies, I appreciate it! And I am in the US. I figured one lens would just be a start, and I'm open to renting those long telephoto lenses for races or specific use. I'd been looking at the 5D MK III and 7D MKII. I like the fact that both can also do HD video. I'll check out your link. I grew up going to demo derbies, figure eights, and the drag strip. Nice to connect with another gear head on here!

The 7D Mk II is your camera of choice.

 

As far as lenses go do NOT get the 24-70 it is not a good match for an APS-C camera like the 7D Mk II.

 

I'd look at the EF 70-200 l IS II or if that is out of your price range the EF-S 55-250 IS STM is an increadible value and works well for autocross.

I don't have any of my photos with me they are in FL and I've evacuated due to Irma. But, here is a picture of me by Kevin Lanterman.

34714632020_d9610d0e1f_o.jpg

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-11-2017

Re: Newbie looking for body and lens recommendations to use in motorsports/automotive shoots

Tim, Thanks for the through run down on the bodies. I appreciate your recommendation for the body and lens, this is very helpful for me in the decision making process
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