Mazda Miata’s have an interesting persona. Small and nimble, nothing about it screams “racing”. In fact you think of exactly the opposite. However, anyone who has been on the A|X/track events know that Miata’s are pretty fierce. Similar to the Honda CRX, they are small, lightweight and “cheap” to purchase so you can gut and add all sorts of racing goodies. I have personally seen a 1990 Turbo Miata at an autocross event tearing up the slicks it was riding on right on the edge of losing grip. It took the sweep like a champ. On top of that, they have a long history of reliability, parts and racing heritage. So if you are looking for a project car, look no further.
Vincent Shu’s 1998 Mazda Miata is filled with lots of goodies. Here is a short list of his parts: Volk TE-37 Reps, Wilwood Brakes, K&N Intake, Koyo Radiator, Recaro Racing Seats, Nardi Torino Steering Wheel
Today was a good day to bring out the Canon 300mm 2.8 IS. We really wanted to showcase the beautiful depth of field with the 300mm and the image above shows that really well. The Miata is focused as the rest of the backgrounds fades away into bokeh goodness every so swiftly. When you can plan to shoot in an area that will showcase distance well, this lens is the one to get. That is particularly why football shots aways look so awesome. The vastness of the field make players pop out of an image.
Got to love the kids around the neighborhood… when they see “cool” cars, they are immediately attracted to the scene. This one was shot with the Tokina 16-28mm 2.8. The lens has some distortion shot at the 16mm end as you can see around the metal door on the right side of the photo, along with the left drive way and bumper. However with the distance we shot it at, it is not too severe.
Here is another shot with an ultra wide angle but with the Nikon D600 and Nikon 14-24mm combo. Used a Cokin graduated neutral density filter as you can see the palm tree in the top left corner. We liked the effect so we left it. The Nikon 14-24mm has a rounded element so you cannot lay a filter on it like you would a traditional lens. The distortion on this ultra wide as you can see is very well controlled. Still probably our very favorite ultra wide zoom lens.
Engine bay is clean as it was stripped out of various components that weren’t a necessity. The Canon 35L did a superb job grabbing the details under the hood.
Canon 5d Mark III | Canon 85mm 1.2 Mark II | ISO 160 | f/1.2 | 1/1000th
The Canon 5d Mark III and the Canon 85mm 1.2 Mark II caught Vincent in the process of closing his hood. This was shot wide open at f/1.2 and you can see the thin depth of field. One of the biggest issues with shooting at such apertures is chromatic aberration starts to become apparent, which you can see around the top part of the rims. There is a purple/magenta fringe. We corrected it but didn’t want to remove all of it so that you guys can see what we were talking about.
The wheel was shot with the Nikon D600 and Nikon 24mm 1.4. It allowed us to get close enough and yet still grasp a lot of light in this very tight shot. We closed the aperture down one stop to f/2.0 just to pull out some more details out of the rim. Focus was on the lugs. Got to love the brakes…
When you car is too low, getting up and down drive ways can be a nightmare and in this case, there was no exception. Luckily we had some old 2×4’s in storage that worked as perfect make shift ramps. It was still very close as it came millimeters from crushing blacktop. Tokina 16-28mm was used again at f/2.8.
This beautiful Nardi Torino steering wheel was captured by the Nikon D600 and 24mm 1.4 G combo. Shooting interiors which are much darker than its exterior counterparts at f/1.4 allowed us to get just the right amount of light and depth.
Rear diffusers are always cool and this one is no different. Vincent had to actually cut into his bumper to make this fit but the end results are fantastic. We should have lit the car from underneath so we can show off the sway bars but it was already too late by the time we got to the edits.
Today’s gear selection was the Nikon D600, Nikon 35mm 1.4 G, Nikon 14-24mm 2.8 G, Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 35mm 1.4 L, Canon 85mm 1.2 Mark II L, Tokina 16-28mm 2.8 and Canon 300mm 2.8 IS