Monday, June 19, 2017

Panning with the X-T2 and FUJINON LENS XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR.

My recent visit to Harewood Speed Hillclimb presented me with the ideal opportunity to try out panning. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the term, 'panning' is a technique for photographing moving objects in such a way that you are able to capture a sense of movement in the image. The technique involves following your subject (in my case that would be cars) and using a shutter speed that is slow enough to blur the background and parts of your subject but still allows you to retain enough elements in focus so that the viewer can still identify your subject.

Now, as you may imagine, certain subjects can be more difficult than others to successfully get usable images with whilst using panning. I can certainly testify that cars travelling across your field of view at a distance of a few yards at speeds of up to 100 mph are one of the more difficult subjects!

On the day, although the combination of the FUJINON LENS XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR and the FUJINON TELECONVERTER XF1.4X TC WR was great, it's not easy to pan with. I did, however, manage some degree of success. here a couple of images I took on the day that works. They may not be the best ever examples you will see but for a novice at this sort of thing, I am fairly pleased with the end result. Certainly, practice will help me improve over time.

ISO 800, 1/640 sec, F13, 70mm (105mm equiv).

ISO 640, 1/640 SEC, F13, 70mm (105mm equiv).

If you look closely at the two images, you will see that the vehicles are not completely sharp. The wheels have some blurring and the backgrounds more so. However, the overall sense is one of movement. You can easily make out the numbers etc on the vehicles and the drivers' helmets. I think you will agree that they are fairly decent examples of panning.

You will see in both images that the background exhibits what is called the 'rolling shutter' effect, something that all digital cameras suffer from, some more than others. Panning tends to exacerbate the phenomenon and it also commonly crops up in a video too when panning. The faster you pan, the more pronounced the effect will be.

In summary, successful panning shots require plenty of practice and experimentation. I did some shots at slower speeds than in the shots above and will post examples in another post soon. Suffice to say that shutter speeds above 1000/sec will rarely work. Try experimenting with shutter speeds of 1/250 sec and 1/125 secs and even lower in some situations. Remember that practice makes perfect! If you would like to support this blog please shop for the equipment I used using the links below.

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