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Old August 3rd, 2016, 03:02 PM   #1
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Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

I am going to shoot a speedway where they ride with these bikes: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...r%C3%A4_17.jpg
The main thing that worries me is the fine dust, I will use my gh4 and a lens that is splash and dustproof but not sure if that combo will keep the fine dust particles out. Has anyone here have any experience shooting this sport and did you need to take any precautions to prevent the dust from coming inside the camera or even lens? It's just one weekend that I have to shoot but I don't want damage my camera/lens.
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Old August 3rd, 2016, 05:05 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

Hopefully you can position yourself in a vantage point that avoids heavy dust blowing directly over you. You'll be constantly wiping off your lens. I'd avoid lens swapping and take GoPro cameras to cover the high action areas where there's too much dust for your main camera.

I've shot motorcycles at a speedway a couple times but the track was paved. One thing I found problematic was when I positioned myself near to the fence along the track, as the bikes went past me, it was difficult to maintain good tracking as they were too close and too fast. Whip pans got old fast. A taller tripod and zoom lens with a range of about 35-150mm would be useful in my situation, allowing me to back away some. Not sure how your venue is set up. I used Google Map to study the track layout before going there for the first time. Helped some.

Have fun with it. If you do trash your camera, that's justification to get on the waiting list for the GH5.


Mark
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Old August 3rd, 2016, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

Hi Noa!
I'd be more worried about the the bigger chunks of debris "ROOST" coming over the fence, on the corners mainly. That stuff can hurt
I'm from a dirt bike background, spent a lot of time at the Speedway and Motocross tracks, did a bit of filming for family and friends.
The Go Pro, set up close to the fence, "on a corner" will capture the mad close up stuff.
I'd position your main cam in the middle of the straight, or somewhere elevated, to get the whole picture, so to speak.
The fine dust should not be too bad, if the track is prepared well. They wet it down between races!
I used Canon HFS20 cameras, even used to take them trail riding, in a back pack, I'd race ahead to capture other riders coming through. No problems with those cameras, still get used at weddings for wide shots etc.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old August 3rd, 2016, 11:47 PM   #4
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

I echo what Jack said, I used to visit our local speedway track every meeting.

I would avoid standing on the corners if possible, I had a friend killed by a freak accident with a flying lump of shale some years ago. The safest position would be on the back straight, although at the start (which is also the finishing line) would be more interesting.

As he says, they dampen the track between races, but by the end of the fourth lap in dry weather it's getting dusty again.

If you don't already have them, get some lens protectors and why not put the cameras in rain jackets to keep most of the dust off.

Enjoy it Noa, I wish I was coming with you. You have just reminded me how much I used to enjoy a speedway meeting.

A bit for Jack. In my day they still used JAP engines, no silencers, Westlakes were just coming in, fuelled by methanol and lubed by Castrol R. Oh the wonderful sound. And that smell!

Dave
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Old August 4th, 2016, 05:34 AM   #5
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

Thx for the tips! The speedway track is just one km from my place and they only have 3 races every year, they are not even allowed to train there, for that they have to go to the Netherlands. I have been there with my dad about 40 years ago when speedway was more popular, he also covered the races with his videocamera but after a while stopped doing it as he complained the dust would ruin his camera.

I have just one more chance to shoot there this August so hope the weather will be fine.
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Old August 4th, 2016, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Baker View Post
I

A bit for Jack. In my day they still used JAP engines, no silencers, Westlakes were just coming in, fuelled by methanol and lubed by Castrol R. Oh the wonderful sound. And that smell!

Dave
You must be as old as me Dave, same memories......
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Old August 10th, 2016, 12:46 AM   #7
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Re: Shooting at a speedway, bad for a camera?

Hi Noa,

I spent seven years the track photographer for Phoenix International Raceway. During that time they ran just about everything on wheels there including NASCAR and Indy Racing. As mentioned lens filters are mandatory to save your lens elements. My video cameras had portabrace rain slickers on them. Not just because of the dust but be careful in victory lane. When the winning crew starts throwing beverages on everyone they don't care if your holding a camera or not. I had a Canon EOS 1d MKII take a direct hit of Gatorade. The camera and the lens both had to go back to Canon for service.

If you will be a credentialed shooter with media access they will have rules and photographers access points to soot from. If it is more of a small unorganized event they might not have dedicated access. Then, shoot from the infield side of the track. That is were you will get the best shots and be the SAFEST. The number one safety rule is never turn your back on the direction of the action.

Have fun, racing is great stuff to shoot.Crank up the FPS to whatever a GH4 has.....

Kind Regards,

Steve

PS Those bikes get airborne even without a rider on them. Becareful.
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Last edited by Steven Digges; August 10th, 2016 at 12:56 AM. Reason: SP
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