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 From:  Message:
Mon, 27 Oct 2008 15:13:19 EDT
Questions on Panning

I took a lot of panning shots last week, for my second panning practice.The first time I went out it was day and most of my shots were over exposed and with terrible results.Then I went out in the evening. It was only two hours of standing and shooting everything that whizzed by. :-/ Most of my attempts failed miserably, but I did have a few which turned out reasonably sharp, but still not perfect, I have a long way to go.
I'd like to get better at taking panning photos. I have some questions.

Should I focus on a part of the vehicle and just move with it?
What are the best Speed/Aperture combinations for a good pan?
How much background should I include?
If panning at night or low light situations should I be using a flash?

This picture was my best of night panning but still the subject -the bus isn't as sharp as I would like.Settings 1/13 sec F8.0 ISO 200 80mm focal length,18-200mm zoom lens used. I took it into editing and sharpened the image which helped the bus but then my background movement is not looking softly blurred.Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Tue, 28 Oct 2008 15:23:13 EDT
Re: Questions on Panning

Panning shots (to freeze moving objects such as vehicles or runners) require considerable experience, so practice makes perfect.

Here are a few general tips based on the settings you mentioned:

1) Go a bit wider with your zoom. It's harder to track your subject if you're too closely zoomed in.

2) Choose a faster shutter speed. In your example, at 1/13 sec you'd never be able to pan precisely enough to freeze the bus. A general rule of thumb is the reciprocal of your lens focal-length (ie 1/80 sec), with an adjustment depending upon the speed of your subject.

3) Set your AF (autofocus) to "continuous" so that the camera keeps the subject in focus as you pan. However, don't rely too heavily on AF, as it may not be able to track fast objects. Sometimes manual focus preset to where the object will be passing is the best approach.

4) Try shooting with VR off on your lens. Although the Nikkor 18-200VR lens has panning detection built-in, it may work against you in panning shots where the subject is moving (VR is intended to reduce vibration due to CAMERA movement).

Good luck and keep practicing!

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 11:37:56 EDT
Re: Questions on Panning

Thanks so much for the advice. I've copied and put with my notes for my next practice. Amomg the other sittings I neglected to set properly turning off the VR didn't occur to me, I always have it on for hand held shots. It makes perfect since. I should of switched it off.I appreciate your reply.Thank you.
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