Dec 14, 2011

A Day at the Races (Part 2) - Autódromo do Estoril (20th of November 2011)


Jorge using the Canon EF 500mm
(courtesy of Canon Professional Services/Colorfoto)

Some days ago, you could see some photographs I made during the treino fotográfico organized by Colorfoto and Canon Professional Services, so I won’t repeat myself here, explaining how it all came to take place.
Please, just use your mouse, should you wish to know more and you missed the first post.
The workshop actually consisted of two days, so this second post on the theme shows the photographs I shot on Sunday.
Please, allow me just to remember that the treino fotográfico took place under the supervision of the very kind gentleman Paulo Maria, an experienced sports photographer.
Once again, thank you Paulo, thank you Colorfoto and Canon.
I also wish to thank the staff at Autódromo do Estoril and the racing teams, everybody was very kind and supportive.
Last but not least, a special grateful word to my sun Jorge who brought me along…

The racing cars were only the Leitmotiv
I don’t really much care about racing cars, I am more the type of guy who gets a faster heartbeat staring at Land Rovers and Pinzgauers, everything that can climb over rocks, or dive in some deep mud… The type of workhorse vehicles that can take me to that far away places, out of reach from the ordinary Sunday drivers.
Nevertheless, photographing racing cars (with a digital camera) can quickly become a passionate addiction and you must control yourself to stop shooting.
As you might guess looking at the photographs, I got a kick out of telling a story about the human action at it, all the anxiety and stress, all the concentration and awareness, all the sadness of losing and all the joy of winning.
Just like in real life…

Some of the fellow-photographers who made the day very enjoyable

Some thoughts and opinions about the Canon gear I have used on the event:
The 500mm that you see Jorge using above is for sure a great lens! Jorge got absolutely wonderful shots with it!
 If I would earn my money shooting sports or birds, I would definitely consider such a beast.
As I don’t, I prefer to stick to my (much smaller and lighter)  EF 400mm / 5.6 L (or whatever Canon calls it, I am lazy to check it up, this long terminology kind of nerves me!).
Since I got recently a frozen shoulder and some trouble in my left hand, this beast of a lens (I mean the 500mm) just is too heavy and cumbersome for my taste. I know that you need to get used to it, but I feel much more confortable with the smaller lens.
(Please, keep in mind that on the 30D body, as I have used it, the 400 becomes equivalent to a 640mm lens! I was actally getting “nearer” than Jorge with his 5D and the 500mm… I have used the 400mm exclusively hand held, no tripod or monopod! - no Image Stablizer on this lens, thanks!)
You can see the lens in question (I mean the 400mm) on an older post, should you have interest on taking a look. If you look further on, you will also find several photographs that every now and then I posted, made using that piece of glass.  
I also had the chance to try the 70-200 / 2.8 L in the Autódromo, the newer version of the lens, with Image Stablizer. In case you have noticed my former comment, you will understand that I am no big fan of IS… The noise and feeling of it working just drives me nuts, I rather prefer to hold one of my cats in the arm!
So, I prefer to stick to my older version, without IS, thank you again! (of course, you may claim that I can shoot with IS off. You are right, but I have the feeling that if we made a side by side test on optical quality and definition, the older lens would win… Somebody with more experience than me out there with a different opinion? Maybe Canon?)
The rest of the stuff was plain bread and butter:
I have used Jorge’s EF 50mm / 1.4, a lens that I can’t say it is bad for sure, but I also won’t claim that it is “GREAT”.  I know that lots of knowledgeable people love it, but I am maybe spoiled by Leitz / Leica and Zeiss…
I say jaein (ja + nein as the germans like to say)…
About my old 17-35 / 2.8 L:
Canon still has to make it better, if they want to convince me with their wide-angles, but then again maybe I am spoiled by the Summicrons, Elmarits, Distagons, Super-Angulons and Grandagons…
(lots of funny names, right!)
As I have said before, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose…
All in all, I absolutely was a winner by taking part on the event!
I hope that you enjoy the photographs.

Technical data for both days:
Camera - Canon 30D
Lenses - Canon EF 17-35mm/2.8 L + EF 50mm/1.4 + 70-200mm/2.8 IS L (not used on the 20th) + 400mm/5.6 L
Dates - 19th + 20th of November 2011 (these images, second day only)
Location - Autódromo do Estoril, Portugal

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