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View Poll Results: Which lens should I rent for rolling shots?
70-200mm f2.8G AF-S VR 5 38.46%
80-200mm f2.8D ED AF 0 0%
18-200mm f3.5-5.6 DX AF VR 8 61.54%
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      03-21-2009, 01:55 AM   #1
TWiTCHY
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Exclamation Which Lens to Rent for Automotive Photography?

I will be attending and photographing a car meet soon, and was wondering which lens I should rent. I will be shooting rolling shots, hand-held out of a window, as well as a car show where all of the cars are parked closely together, and there's not much room to compose by feet.

I use a Nikon, and have come up with the following lenses I could choose from:

1. 70-200mm f2.8G AF-S VR
2. 80-200mm f2.8D ED AF
3. 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 DX AF VR

The only reason I would go with the 80-200mm is because. supposedly, it focuses faster than the 70-200mm, but then again it lacks the VR of the 70-200mm which will definitely help when I'm shooting from a moving car. I considered the 18-200mm to minimize lens changing, but I'm afraid of the higher F-stops might not produce the bokeh I want, and deliver the speeds. But like the 80-200mm, its focusing is supposedly fast.

I will not be using a tripod or window-mount with these lenses.

IMO, I don't think the 18-200mm will be needed. Changing lenses is a hassle but I don't mind it. I already have a 17-55mm f/2.8 that I can switch if needed. But the main problem lies in the f/2.8 telephotos. If I go with the 80-200mm, I'll be able to focus fast enough on a speeding car and "Capture the moment", but may end up with a blurry photo without the VR, but if I go with the 70-200mm, I'm afraid that I'll get an out-of-focus picture, but with very sharp details.

Based on your experiences, which is the better lens for my task?

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      03-21-2009, 02:10 AM   #2
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I haven't heard that the 70-200 VR is slower than the 80-200 for focusing, more like the opposite if the 80-200 you rent is not the AF-S version (and likely it isn't.) The AF-S 80-200 was only made from '99 to '04. The currently produced 80-200 is AF-D, which means no focusing motor in the lens (done by the body.) I'm guessing you are renting at Glazer's? The don't list their 80-200 as an "AF-S", just "AF."

I think the 70-200 VR will smoke the 80-200 in focusing speed because of AF-S.

But for rolling shots, I'm not sure that 70mm is going to be wide enough. Don't forget the crop factor, so that 70mm is really equivalent to 105mm on the D300. I'm guessing you are going to be too close to the subject car for 105mm to give you any FOV. Your 17-55 will probably work better for that.


*Note - I have not used either lens, but this lens will be my next purchase (70-200 VR or 80-200 AF-S), so I've been doing a ton of research on them. ANILE8 shoots with a 70-200 VR for some of his sports shots, and I don't remember him complaining about focusing speed.

One final thought: Glazer's is cheap to rent from! Might as well get the 70-200 and the 18-200 to play around with. It's only $30 a day. If your event happens to be on a weekend, pick up on Friday, return on Monday is just one day's rental fee! Sweet!
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      03-21-2009, 02:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
One final thought: Glazer's is cheap to rent from! Might as well get the 70-200 and the 18-200 to play around with. It's only $30 a day. If your event happens to be on a weekend, pick up on Friday, return on Monday is just one day's rental fee! Sweet!


I didn't know that, thanks!

I happen to have two events over the weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Awesome!

Like you mentioned, 70mm may not be wide-enough for rolling... I guess I'll have to switch lenses, then.
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      03-28-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post


I didn't know that, thanks!

I happen to have two events over the weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Awesome!

Like you mentioned, 70mm may not be wide-enough for rolling... I guess I'll have to switch lenses, then.
I'd go with the 18-200. If you're shooting during the day you should be fine. TWiTCHY is right about 70 mm not being wide enough for rolling shots. If you do rolling shots with 70 mm or greater, the car you're in will need to be a few lanes away in order to get the full car. 18 -24 mm may work well for shooting in the next lane or even 2 lanes over.
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      03-29-2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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since I don't speak Nikon... go for whatever is the sharpest and fastest lens there... the 80mm sounds about right. Remember if you're shooting moving cars you'll be up at 1/125th or higher so if VR means image stabilizer then don't bother cuz you won't need it most likely.
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      03-29-2009, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngl1145 View Post
I'd go with the 18-200. If you're shooting during the day you should be fine. TWiTCHY is right about 70 mm not being wide enough for rolling shots. If you do rolling shots with 70 mm or greater, the car you're in will need to be a few lanes away in order to get the full car. 18 -24 mm may work well for shooting in the next lane or even 2 lanes over.
Yeah unfortunately I am already renting the 70-200mm. I tried it out on the freeway on the way back, and it's seems alright, but for cars right next to me I'd have to switch to the 17-55mm. I would have gone with the 18-200mm but the weather here just sucks - cloudy, rainy...
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      03-29-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
Yeah unfortunately I am already renting the 70-200mm. I tried it out on the freeway on the way back, and it's seems alright, but for cars right next to me I'd have to switch to the 17-55mm. I would have gone with the 18-200mm but the weather here just sucks - cloudy, rainy...
just create some more space between you and the subject dude... instead of rolling right infront or behind the car... give him like 10-15 feet of space, it'll turn out well and be a hell of a lot easier on you than changing lenses every 5 min

besides... some closer up shots of the cars would look cool... you can have a lot more of an aggressive style of pix by filling the frame up completely and having parts spill over the edge of the photos instead of a shit ton of pics just being all wide angle rolling shots (gosh never seen those before )
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      03-29-2009, 01:00 AM   #8
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instead of seeing rolling shots like this all day long...





you can mix it up a little with stuff like this...
Attached Images
  
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      03-29-2009, 01:21 AM   #9
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I own the 18-200mm and 80-200mm although the 80-200 is sharper and faster its really not wide enough.. the 18-200mm will do fine with some post processing.
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      03-31-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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UdubBadger those two shots you posted were both rig shots, done rolling at 5mph and with a camera mount, not shot car to car with a long lens.

Phiberglass he's talking about Nikon lenses not Canon lol so I don't know why you wasted a post saying that.

and for the OP, I don't know why you would really want a long lens... or consider shitty lenses like the 18-200mm when you already have a 17-55mm 2.8... everything I have shot car to car is within that same range of the lens you already have... I would never imagine shooting anything car to car past 50mm really... The only time I use my 70-200 2.8VR is when I am shooting at the race track.

24-70mm F2.8 on D700 (so same as 17-55mm 2.8 on Dx)


50mm F1.8 on D300, I found it a huge pain in the ass trying to shoot even at 50mm on a Dx body. Extremely hard to lean out far enough to get shots like this, especially in a car with stiff suspension and when going around bends.


18-70mm on D300, perfect range once again.


I assure you, your 17-55mm 2.8 will be perfect for shooting car to car stuff, if anything I'd maybe rent a wider angle lens to mix it up and for the show and shine when you don't have the space you need. 70-200 is just too pointless for shooting cars unless it's a stationary actual shoot or at the race track.
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      03-31-2009, 06:17 PM   #11
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Wider is usually better with cars *not always, but most of the time*
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      03-31-2009, 08:35 PM   #12
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to do rolling shots don't go with a telephoto. bad idea. got with a wide angle for most of your automobile shots.
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      03-31-2009, 08:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
instead of seeing rolling shots like this all day long...





you can mix it up a little with stuff like this...
the second shot is actually shot with a rig and very hard to do free hand/car chase.
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      03-31-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
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I have the 18-200, it's a good lens for what it is. and the limited aperture doesn't hurt in the day.
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      03-31-2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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Wow thanks for all the feedback! I did find myself using the 17-55mm lens when I was doing the rolling shots. Most of them came out very blurry since the 17-55mm has no vibration reduction, and I was using a slow shutter speed like 1/40 and 1/80 to blur the background. I got away with a few, but most of them just didn't work out well.
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      03-31-2009, 10:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBoldt View Post
UdubBadger those two shots you posted were both rig shots, done rolling at 5mph and with a camera mount, not shot car to car with a long lens.

Phiberglass he's talking about Nikon lenses not Canon lol so I don't know why you wasted a post saying that.

and for the OP, I don't know why you would really want a long lens... or consider shitty lenses like the 18-200mm when you already have a 17-55mm 2.8... everything I have shot car to car is within that same range of the lens you already have... I would never imagine shooting anything car to car past 50mm really... The only time I use my 70-200 2.8VR is when I am shooting at the race track.

24-70mm F2.8 on D700 (so same as 17-55mm 2.8 on Dx)


50mm F1.8 on D300, I found it a huge pain in the ass trying to shoot even at 50mm on a Dx body. Extremely hard to lean out far enough to get shots like this, especially in a car with stiff suspension and when going around bends.


18-70mm on D300, perfect range once again.


I assure you, your 17-55mm 2.8 will be perfect for shooting car to car stuff, if anything I'd maybe rent a wider angle lens to mix it up and for the show and shine when you don't have the space you need. 70-200 is just too pointless for shooting cars unless it's a stationary actual shoot or at the race track.
The last shot of the MR2 is PERFECT.
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      03-31-2009, 11:39 PM   #17
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Yeah that one is perfect. How did you manage to hold the camera so still and come out with a sharp photo?
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      04-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #18
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Eh it could be better. I wish the car was further towards the center of frame.

I did a big canvas 20 x 30" print of that shot for the driver's girlfriend, looked KILLER.

That was just hand held. Exposure length is everything I guess. Takes some experimenting. That was my first day ever shooting car to car stuff.

Another One:

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      04-05-2009, 02:55 AM   #19
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You must have amazingly steady hands, haha!
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      04-05-2009, 06:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
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You must have amazingly steady hands, haha!
Yeah, awesome rolling shots Mike.
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      04-05-2009, 08:11 AM   #21
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You must have amazingly steady hands, haha!

Twitchy,
If you end up buying either the 80-200 or 70-200, search through live.com for the cashback. They have 13% off right now for buy it now and you can get 200 bucks off either of those lenses (anything helps with how expensive they are)

I was able to get back 193 bucks for my 14-24 wide angle last week. Great deal for the pro lenses to use the cashback.

Anyway, fyi...
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      04-05-2009, 11:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Twitchy,
If you end up buying either the 80-200 or 70-200, search through live.com for the cashback. They have 13% off right now for buy it now and you can get 200 bucks off either of those lenses (anything helps with how expensive they are)

I was able to get back 193 bucks for my 14-24 wide angle last week. Great deal for the pro lenses to use the cashback.

Anyway, fyi...
Did you buy it through ebay for the 13%? I'm really considering the 70-200, but I'm hesitant to get it through ebay. I see Adorama on there, but only at 3%....
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