Must-Have Photography Equipment for Motor Sports Photography

Updated on November 14, 2017

Some types of photography require setting everything up and then patiently waiting to get the shot, but motor sports photography isn’t like this. If you want to capture the best motor sports shots you need to be mobile and move around the race circuit, taking photos from every straight, every corner, and every hairpin.

Carrying around a load of photography equipment when you have to be mobile isn’t fun — trust me. Not only are your arms, shoulders, and back going to be screaming in pain within a few short hours, but there is the problem of keeping your expensive photography equipment safe and out of harm’s way whilst you're happily taking photos of the cars, motorcycles, or whatever vehicles are racing.

You need to travel light when you go for a day out doing some motor sports photography, and take only what is necessary. The basic rule of thumb is that if you’re not going to use a particular bit of equipment, it stays at home. Taking equipment “just in case” is a luxury you have to do without

When I go out for a day capturing motor sports, I will take one camera, one lens, and a few accessories, as follows:

The Camera I Use

A camera for motor sports photography needs to be strong and robust (well you are outside), fast focusing and have a high burst rate.

The Canon 7d - an affordable camera perfect for motor sports photography
The Canon 7d - an affordable camera perfect for motor sports photography

The camera I use for motor sports photography is the Canon 7d, and it is excellent. If money weren’t an issue and I had unlimited funds I would be the pro spec Canon 1d, but I simply can’t justify the eye watering price tag of tis camera. The Canon 7d is an affordable alternative and a very capable camera.

Lens Requirements

A long reach zoom lens is essential for motor sports photography, and whilst many photographers like to use a prime lens I find a zoom lens is the best tool for the job.

Zoom lenses are more versatile than fixed focal length prime lenses and with a zoom lens I can use the variable focal length to change the composition to get the shot I want.

With a zoom lens I can remain in situ and zoom in and out without having to physically move. Because of safety barriers and fences, and other race fans it is not always possible to move closer to the action at race circuits.

Canon 100 - 400L IS lens - The perfect lens for motor sports photography
Canon 100 - 400L IS lens - The perfect lens for motor sports photography

I use a Canon camera and the lens I use for motor sports photography is the Canon 100 – 400L IS lens. This lens is tough, durable and weather sealed which is crucial to keep the dust and the dirt out.

The build quality is second to none and this lens is totally bombproof, although this does make it fairly big and bulky. The image quality is awesome, and whilst the f4.5 maximum widest aperture isn’t particularly fast the image stabilization helps to get a sharp shot.

Review of the Canon 100 - 400L IS lens

Buy the Canon 100mm - 400mm lens from Amazon

Monopod

Whilst you can hand hold a large and heavy lens you are going to feel the effect within a short time, and your photos are going to suffer as a result. A monopod is an essential bit of kit for motor sports photography and you should never attend a race circuit without one.

In addition to a mono pod, I have a ball head joint mounted to the top so I can quickly and easily change the position the lens is pointed in.

Accessories

I only ever take essential accessories with me when I go out to capture shots of motor sports, and if there is no way I am going to use it, I don’t bother taking it. I’m not going to load my camera bag with stuff for the sake of it.

The accessories I take with me comprise:-

  • 2 spare batteries – there’s nothing worse than having to stop snapping because the camera dies
  • Spare memory cards – I never delete any image track side and firing off several shots in quick succession soon fills up the memory cards.
  • Waterproof lens cover – Even though my camera and lens are both weather sealed when the wet stuff falls from the sky I want to ensure there is no chance of water damage.
  • Lens cleaning cloth, lens pen and air blower – race circuits are notoriously dusty places and a lens cleaning kit is crucial to keep the lens nice and clean.

Camera Bag

My camera/lens combination requires a fairly large camera bag, and my camera bag of choice is the Lowepro 75AW. This is a sling type top loading bag with a thick padded strap.

It is also tough, durable and, once the water proof cover is on, fully weather proof. I can carry this bag, complete with my motor sports photography gear, all day and still be relatively pain free.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Yackers1

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)