Trying to get motorcycles crossing at 45mph in focus

8 months 2 weeks ago #712241 by Richrd
I'm beginning to think this might be impossible. 

I was trying out a new Nikon 7500 body with a tamron 28 -70 2.8.

I was about 10 feet off the road surface and the background was close to the opposite side.

I was using 3d tracking and panning as the bikes came into the pic and across as they were at 90 degrees to me.

Ideally  I want the bike in sharp focus, the wheels blurred and the background blurred, either thru motion or "bokeh"

I found that to blur the wheels took slower than 400 sec exposure.   But I tried all combinations from 1250 f2.8 to 200 f11.

Out of 40 pics, I only had 4 that were sharp.  I think trying the faster shutter would rule out motion blur on the bike, (but that froze the wheels) but they still weren't  sharp.

So what am I missing?  Is it me or is the lense not capable of fast auto focus?

Thanks


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8 months 2 weeks ago #712243 by Shadowfixer1
Look up "panning technique". That is what you need to do.

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8 months 2 weeks ago #712320 by Richrd
I know this is the beginner's forum but I have been planning for 50 years.


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8 months 2 weeks ago #712326 by Shadowfixer1
Panning. Not planning.

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8 months 2 weeks ago #712343 by Richrd
That too


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8 months 2 weeks ago #712361 by peterock33
Hello Richrd.  If you are shooting the bike rolling past you at 90 degrees, going 45 mph and between 10 and 15  feet in front of you, you might as well forget your auto focus. You won't have time for it to focus to get the shot.  The bike will already be gone.  What I would try is to pre-focus on the spot where the bike will pass and where you plan to take your shot.  Now your focused.  When the bike comes, do your pan and when the bike reaches your predetermined position, take your shot.  Assuming the bike has passed on your focused distance, and you panned properly, your bike should be sharp with the desired blurs. If you know the rider, you can get him to ride on the desired line, then your focused distance will be right on the money every time.  Try even slower shutter speeds for various degrees of blur.  Once you get your panning technique perfected, you will be surprised, I'm sure.    Just my two cents worth.  Hope this helped.


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8 months 2 weeks ago #712424 by Richrd
The bikes are more than 10 feet away.  That's how far I am off the road, to the center of the left to right lane, it's about 20 ft and the right to left lane about 32 ft.

I know what you mean about prefocus, done that many times,

Guess my question should be, is it possible to do this with auto focus, or is it a characteristic  of the tamron lens to be slow?


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8 months 2 weeks ago #712425 by Nikon Shooter

peterock33 wrote: … you might as well forget your auto focus. You won't have time for it to focus to get the shot.  The bike will already be gone.


Using the BBF feature would be the adequate strategy… me think, I do.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
This person is a posting maniac and deserves a #1 badge!Top Poster
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7 months 3 weeks ago #714144 by Richrd
Upon further reveiw

I've retried using Nikon lenses (50 -300 3.5 5.6 and 70-200 2.8) and received much better pics.  I'm experimenting with using cl and ch shutter release,  getting the bikes coming in crossing and going away.  the Auto focus on the Nikon lenses seems to be much quicker (using 3d mode)  And I think I have gotten all I can expect under the difficult conditions.  Giving myself more room front to back would help.  Using faster shutter speeds helps a bit with detail but that freezes the wheels.  320 gives acceptable clarity and still blurs the spokes.  I'm going to retry the tamron lens next time out.


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7 months 2 weeks ago #715042 by Ian Stone
Preset your focus on where the bikes will cross and lock things down.


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7 months 2 weeks ago #715063 by peterock33
Hey there Richrd. I am kind of curious to see some of your results on how you made out with your endeavour.... it would also give us a visual of what you were involved with.


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