Nordic Aftermath Part 3: The Classic Races
Jonas Dyhr Rask
During my summer testing of the X-T2 I put myself through various photographic disciplines that I probably never would have tried out otherwise.
The X-T2 is, rightfully, marketed at a different type of photographer than the X-Pro2. Even though similar in tech specs, their application of use is somewhat different. The X-T2 is very well suited for the sports-, wildlife- and action photographer where fast and precise autofocus is essential as well as great tracking capabilities. I was fortunate to attend two motorsport events this summer as a photographer. The Classic Race Aarhus 2016 and the Le Mans Classic 2016.
The X-T2 indeed proved itself as a perfect tool for this kind of photography. Using the power booster grip and mainly two types of lenses on the track, the XF50-140mmF2.8 and the XF10-24mmF4, I was able to put the new autofocusing system of the X-T2 to very good use. Off the track and on the grid the XF35mmF2 and the XF90mmF2 worked very well, while keeping the camera relatively discreet.
When doing motorsports photography it is absolutely crucial that you can
1. Focus track the car without loosing focus lock.
2. See where the car is at all times, when panning the frame.
The X-T2 uses a lot more of the processing power and wider pipeline of the X-Processor Pro. This results in a much reduced blackout time in the EVF during fast bursts, so you can indeed follow the car through the frame even during high speed bursts.
The new autofocus algorithms as well as the new autofocus tracking modes are optimized to make tracking very stable under any circumstance. Using either the 11fps fast burst mode or the 5fps slow burst mode, catching the action was very easy, and accurate.
The typical panning shots of the racecars don’t require the same autofocus speed and tracking sensitivity. This is more a testiment to a steady hand and some use of the OIS in the lenses. However the real test for the autofocus and blackout time improvements are when the cars drive towards you, or away from you at full speed. What I used for these situations was a burst mode of 3-5 fps using the linear acceleration/deceleration tracking mode.
Filmed and produced: Charlene Winfred, Audio engineering: Flemming Bo Jensen, Original score: Rasmus Kjaerbo
When walking around a racetrack all day the weight of your gear is also very important. This is where the X-T2 kit has a great advantage over the often larger sized DSLRs typically used for this kind of photography. The entire kit that you need to carry all day simply weighs much less. When you’re shooting off the track, walking the grid, doing candid style reportage shooting of the drivers and audience, it is still a very compact camera, that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself.
All these new speed and focus enhancements to the X-T2 definitely make it usable for fast-paced action shooting. Yet, it retains its compact size making it ideal for reportage style shooting before and after the race.
The X-T2 is a true multi-tool for the demanding photographer. You can put it through any situation and it rewards you with great images regardless.