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Old September 24th, 2008, 05:54 PM   #1
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How would I focus for shooting a horse race

How would I focus for shooting a horse race coming down the final 100 meters?
Should I zoom in, focus on the furthest post as a point of reference and then zoom out to frame. I have shot single horses running around a paddock but not a horse race.

I only get one chance to shoot and no practice races beforehand.
Camera: Sony Z1 and tripod hoping to get up high in the stands, if not as high as I can get.

Any Suggestions
Nick
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Old September 25th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #2
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I think on the Z1 that anything beyond 50 feet is basically the same as infinity, as far as focus is concerned. Since it sounds like you will be over 50 feet away from the action, I would set it to infinity and I would try to use the smallest aperature (f11 ?) that you can get away with for the deepest depth of field. One other thing to consider, if you need frozen still frames from the video then you are going to have to shoot with high shutter speeds.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #3
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Thanks greg,

As soon as I posted I answered myself. I should think a bit more before I post.
Everything will be infocus as I will be so far away so setting to infinity is the correct thing to do even if I zoom in focus pull out the camera will be at infinity anyway.

Nick
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Old September 26th, 2008, 10:55 PM   #4
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Nick... I don't know if infinity is the right choice even if you're far away. I shoot a lot of motor races at a 3/8 mile (~.5km) oval track at night. The cars can be as far as 160m and as close as 30m. Since the XH-A1 can't zoom and focus at the same time, I set the focus in the middle and everything works out. Now I'm shooting 60i at 1/60 with the aperture wide open.

You'll have better luck if shooting in daylight and/or with better light than I have. Keep your cam near f4 and you should have a fairly large DOF. Setting your focus to the mid point between your farthest and nearest point should keep you close to the sweet spot.

PS: See if they'll let you up on the roof of the sky boxes if they have such a thing. That'll give you a great angle.
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