Ill start this off with what i shoot with and how i got to this gear, then break down what i see as essentials for shooting motor sport events like what i shoot
- Canon 1 D Mark 4
- Canon 24-105 F4 IS
- Canon 70-200 F4 Non IS
- Canon 85 1.8 Non IS
- Canon 400 F5.6 Non IS
Why i use the gear.
Canon 1D Mark 4: While it is not a full frame body, the high shooting frame rate make up for it. I used to shoot with a Canon 6D Mark 1 but it just couldnt give me enough frames when doing panning on track.
Canon 24-105 F4 IS: I picked this lens up to cover the short pit walk focal range. I also love it for super slow 1/30th pans at drift events.
Canon 70-200 F4 Non IS: Best utility lens any photographer can get. If you have the budget for the 2.8 IS version, get it. I use this and my 400 the most out of all my gear. 70 is good for semi close shots, and the 200 gives good range at corners and infield.
Canon 85 1.8 Non IS: I love this lens. The depth of field you can get from the 1.8 aperture is so good. I used this around the pits when people are setting up, isolating parts of the frame using bokeh to blow out the back grounds.
Canon 400 F5.6 Non IS: This is my bazooka. Well my small bazooka lens. Again its about budgets. If you can afford the 400 2.8 lens go for it. the added light and depth of field youll get from the 2.8 is nice, but for $1500 this lens fits pretty well within the budget. The 2.8 new is near $15k. 400mm is a huge distance to shoot at. You can be on tops of hills shooting back at the track. I love this lens so much, its my second most used lens behind the 70-200.
Other gear i have with me at all times are:
- Lens filters for bright days
- Lens cloths to keep your gear clean
- SD and CF cards, the faster the better, can never have too many cards. Dont be stuck in field out of space missing the action.
- Card readers, USB3 only. USB 2 are just too slow. I have multiples just in case. I also keep the data transfer cable for my camera with me just in case my card readers just dont work at all.
- Backup drives for your data. I offload my images to either my PC or direct to a drive, then copy over to a second drive asap. The investment in a second cheap large drive is priceless when you have a drive die and lose everything you shot for an event.
- Power, if you can afford, get multiple batteries. If you have a pro body like a 1DX how ever they are very expensive…. but worth it.
- Power chargers obviously are a must, i try to charge my battery before its totally dead just in case i need to dash back out to track, i know i have some power at least.
- Tripods and Monopods, they are handy for setup shots or helping manage the large len’s.
Shoot as much as you can. Learn your gear and rent when you want to try. Then do what i do and sit on ebay, gumtree and facebook marketplace looking for gear!