Street Fair "Action" with a long lens

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by Ray Sachs, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    We had our first street fairs of the summer this past weekend - our town has all sorts of these things from now into October. I did some street shooting with my Coolpix A, but I blew it and accidentally set the aperture to f22 and there were only a few shots even worth thinking about processing. But I also brought the 180mm f2.8 (non-D version), which I bought used for just under $400 several months ago, and did some longer lens shooting. A few shots are musicians who weren't really moving but the other stuff involved skateboarders doing tricks and kids hauling butt down a zipline and spinning like dervishes on a ride that used to be called the "orbitron" (which always, for no good reason at all, always reminds me of the "orgasmatron" from Woody Allen's "Sleeper" movie of yore).

    I don't shoot a lot of action or use tracking AF very much and I know this is supposed to be a real weak point of the Df, but it sure seems good to me. I got a very high rate of keepers and the stuff I missed mostly seemed down to user error, where I just never found the subject well enough to let the camera lock on. So for my purposes, I guess I have to say the tracking AF is more than good enough for my purposes. Even with this ancient screw-drive AF lens. I mostly use MF glass anyway, so I guess all auto-focus sort of feels like magic to me these days, tracking AF even more-so... I've never had a camera before that could do this type of tracking auto-focus so easily...

    18414747158_b8cc27c83d_b.jpg Super Sunday Skateboards by Ray, on Flickr

    18414824980_c23818d512_b.jpg Super Sunday Skateboards by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Sunday Skateboards by Ray, on Flickr

    18416329309_781d84f313_b.jpg Super Sunday Bands by Ray, on Flickr

    18576119216_c0ea77c8b5_b.jpg Super Sunday Bands by Ray, on Flickr

    18604632391_374546044a_b.jpg Super Sunday Bands by Ray, on Flickr

    18576110546_f9dc8b4bb9_b.jpg Super Sunday Zip Line by Ray, on Flickr

    18604644571_1ce3cf4ffc_b.jpg Super Sunday Zip Line by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Sunday Spinning ride by Ray, on Flickr
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    LOVE the skaters
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Also love the skaters. I would say action shots are definitely NOT a weak point of the Df. Perhaps those who thought so are crappy action shooters anyway. Your shots are excellent.
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  4. Some great captures :)
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  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Thanks Sue. But among Nikon FX shooters, the 39 point AF in the DF and D610 is considered to be "crippled", a bit of a travesty! :biggrin: And I suppose maybe compared to the 51 point AF that covers a larger part of the frame and includes a center "group" AF that's supposed to do magic of some sort (in the newer D4s, D750, and D810), maybe it is relatively worse. But jeez, compared to anything else I've ever used, it's absolutely incredible. There's no EVF blackout or lag between shots in burst mode. And the way I have it set up with back button AF, I keep the camera in C-AF all the time and just use my thumb to simulate S-AF (ie, you leave your thumb on the button, it keeps focussing, you press and remove it and you've focused and then it holds that focus point until you press again, sort of like a half press with a shutter button). So all I have to do when I want to track is to change the AF are from a single point to a central group of nine (which takes all of a second), keep my thumb on the AF button, and just try to follow the action. It seems if I catch the movement anywhere in that central area, it'll lock on and follow it as long as it stays reasonably central in the frame. I don't do this type of thing much or often, so I'm probably not particularly good at it, but you really don't have to be. The camera makes it so damn easy...

    These were all shot wide open, BTW, so not much room for error if the camera is just a little off, but it almost never is...

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  6. Livnius

    Livnius Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Some pretty decent air in the first 2 shots of the skateboarders and clearly the tracking performance of the Df is not as 'crippled' as the internet chatter suggests, at least not for the average enthusiast. Those shots looks crisp to me.

    Interesting in the third shot to see the guy on his skateboard with a camera (shooting video I assume) using his board as a dolly rig.
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  7. I think Nikon users are completely spoilt rotten with regard to AF points. My Nikon 1s have 70 something. or is it 120 something. they are crazy fast. But 39 is good. The other N users are just spoilt rotten.

    [edit] 73 focus points but only 41 in auto area auto focus. whatever that means. Fast, anyhoo.
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  8. PJacobs

    PJacobs Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Nice series. The second skater picture stands out for me! Plus you've got Music-material for the Salon challenge:)
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  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, he was doing that last year too, so I wasn't as surprised to see it this year. They start together at the top of the street and rolls right along shooting the whole run, from a very low angle. I'm sure that to the extent I'm showing air, his footage probably makes it look like EPIC air!