CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Filming the World Rally Championship with the Sony a6300 and G Master 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 OSS
31 October 2018
Dave Bonehill contacted us looking for a lens to get him closer to the action at the World Rally Championships in Wales, for both video and stills and he got some pretty decent results! Dave is a self-professed amateur, but his footage and images are absolutely brilliant.
Read on for Dave’s story…
The WRC (World Rally Championship) is an international series of races that occur all across the world, where specially designed cars race through exciting off-road environments. These range from tarmac stages in Germany, to dry dusty desert-like tracks in Australia to wet gravel stages in Wales… Yes, it always rains in Wales. These cars cost upwards of £500k and drive at 150km/h through any kind of terrain.
I have been trekking into the forests of Wales since I was a youngster with my Dad. It is now my 24 year old 'youngster' that treks into the forests with his Dad (that's me). I have always been a keen photographer but in the last few years I have taken inspiration from people like Philip Bloom who have inspired me to make moving images that people actually want to watch. The problem with trying to get the same level of professionalism as Philip is that it costs… A lot. This is where you guys come in, allowing customers to try before they buy.
The equipment I usually take into the forest is my trusty Sony A6300, E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS lens, 3 Legged Thing 'Billy' Tripod and a Rode Videomic. The problem I have always faced though, is that you cannot quite get that up-close look without putting yourself in real danger, so after checking out the media professionals that also attend these rallies, I really fancied a longer lens (a much longer lens). I decided on the Sony G Master 100-400mm GM, wow, what a beast that would be!
I had read good things about you guys so started the application process. This process was extremely thorough, I think you had everything but my blood type and inside leg measurement but everything was done with absolute professionalism and whenever I spoke to someone they were knowledgeable and genuinely interested in what I would be doing with your kit.
So the day for me to collect arrived, the lens came in a Pelican case with absolutely everything I would need, including a pack of Haribo that would see me through in the depths of the Welsh forests. Was I more excited about the lens or the sweets? Instagram here we come.
My son and I loaded the car up with all the essentials we would need for 4 days of following cars through the forests of Wales: coffee, bacon, tea, bacon, sweets... Oh yes and bacon. Along with this, every bit of camera equipment I own, (except the drone, that's a big no-no at rallies).
First stage and I've got your lens and my camera set up on poor little Billy.
First car through was a Hyundai, flat out...150km/h down a gravel track with me trying to pan around at break neck speed… Missed it. So I decided to take the camera off the tripod and go for hand held. Now it’s a big lens and I'm not as young as I was, but do you know what? The stabilisation of the lens was fantastic and I think I got some pretty good results.
The first set of cars through was shot with video which then allowed me to turn to stills for the latter cars. Swapping lenses between the 100-400mm and 18-105mm gave me great range and I am happy with the results overall. There are a few different videos on my YouTube channel as true rally fans don't like music, they just want the sound of the cars but this video is a more a stylistic version, to try and get that Cinematic look.
Would I buy this lens? Probably not. It was too big and the focus wasn't really quick enough for me. I will probably try the 70-200mm next time.
Would I hire from you guys again? HELL YES.
You can see Dave’s high-octane video of the World Rally Championships below:
Thank you Dave, for sharing your brilliant work with us, writing such an entertaining report and for your kind comments about our service. We look forward to speaking to you again when you decide to hire the 70-200mm, maybe we’ll get your blood type this time! ;-)
You can find Dave's YouTube channel, HERE.