Canon Digital Photography Forums  

Go Back   Canon Digital Photography Forums > 'Sharing Knowhow' section > Talk About Photography > Transportation Talk
Register Rules FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #1
gooble
Goldmember
 
gooble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mesa,AZ
Posts: 3,149
Default Airshow Gear Advice

I plan on going to Luke Days here in Glendale, AZ in a couple of weeks. I went for the first time several years ago and only had a Fuji S602z. While I was pleased with the shots I got from it at the time, they now look pretty bad overall.

This time, however, I plan on using a Rebel XT (I'd rather have a 30D or better but oh well), an EF 70-200 2.8 with 1.4x TCON which will give me approx 155-450mm, or 112-320 without the TCON. I also plan on using an EF-S 10-22 to get wide angle shots of static displays and will bring a monopod.

Is the reach of the 70-200 plus TCON, or 450mm, typically enough to fill the frame with planes in flight if I'm at the fence line? Can I get by without the TCON with a max reach of 320mm? Is the use of a monopod constricting? Do you find it necessary to attach/remove a monopod frequently? Can you use a monopod and easily pan as planes fly past? How do you feel about using circular polarizers? Do you find that it helps the sky (if clear) or would you rather have an extra stop or two of light? How do you shoot, full manual or shutter priority?

I know that is a lot of questions but any help would be appreciated. I will add that the above-mentioned Fuji had a 210mm 35mm equiv focal length and was really too short where the planes only sat in about a quarter frame or less so I feel 450mm would be a great improvment but really have no way to judge.
gooble is offline   Reply With Quote
This ad block will go away when you log in as member
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #2
LBaldwin
Goldmember
 
LBaldwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Posts: 4,488
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gooble View Post
I plan on going to Luke Days here in Glendale, AZ in a couple of weeks. I went for the first time several years ago and only had a Fuji S602z. While I was pleased with the shots I got from it at the time, they now look pretty bad overall.

This time, however, I plan on using a Rebel XT (I'd rather have a 30D or better but oh well), an EF 70-200 2.8 with 1.4x TCON which will give me approx 155-450mm, or 112-320 without the TCON. I also plan on using an EF-S 10-22 to get wide angle shots of static displays and will bring a monopod.

Is the reach of the 70-200 plus TCON, or 450mm, typically enough to fill the frame with planes in flight if I'm at the fence line? Can I get by without the TCON with a max reach of 320mm? Is the use of a monopod constricting? Do you find it necessary to attach/remove a monopod frequently? Can you use a monopod and easily pan as planes fly past? How do you feel about using circular polarizers? Do you find that it helps the sky (if clear) or would you rather have an extra stop or two of light? How do you shoot, full manual or shutter priority?

I know that is a lot of questions but any help would be appreciated. I will add that the above-mentioned Fuji had a 210mm 35mm equiv focal length and was really too short where the planes only sat in about a quarter frame or less so I feel 450mm would be a great improvment but really have no way to judge.
Forget the monopod for inflight stuff, it just gets in the way. Learn how to properly hold your camera and pan with your subject to get good images. For carpet suckers use as much shutter speed as you can and you will get good images. For the windmills use a slower shutter speed (125-250 sec) so that you can get good prop blur. Aim for the wing root with your AF sensor.

If you position yourself correctly then the 200 should bre pretty good as they pass, but for cross leg or good turn stuff you will want the longer focal length.

Sorry to the mods here but visit www.fencecheck.com to see if anyone from that site is going to be there and get site specific info.

Try to keep the sun to your back if you can and shoot the A/C with the sun on your side if possible, it will improve your keep count.

Get to the fence at gate open time and secure your spot and stay there. Bring someone with you to help hold your place if you need to. Take a hat, jacket and lots of sunscreen. Regardless of the weather wear long pants, airfields make great reflectors and you can fry the gibbles if you are not careful

Take care, if you need more help hollar,

Les
LBaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #3
rhys
Dis-Membered
 
rhys's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 5,351
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

I shot an airshow once. I used a 600mm mirror lens for the entire show and got a ton of fantastic shots. That was in my 35mm days. Go for the equivalent of 600mm and you won't be far wrong for close-ups of planes flying etc.

Trust me - you don't want pinhead sized aeroplanes trailing smoke. You want a close-up of the plane with smoke behind it!

You also want to use a constant shutter and aperture. Don't allow the camera to think. You'll lose a lot of photos that way. As for focus - set it on infinity and leave well alone - switch that wretched AF off.
__________________
Rhys


The empire conquers yet more galaxies:
www.sageworld.co.uk
www.sageworld.org
www.sagephotoworld.com

Blog: http://360.yahoo.com/thunderintheheavens

Free cheese comes only in mousetraps
rhys is offline   Reply With Quote
This ad block will go away when you log in as member
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #4
LBaldwin
Goldmember
 
LBaldwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Posts: 4,488
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhys View Post
I shot an airshow once. I used a 600mm mirror lens for the entire show and got a ton of fantastic shots. That was in my 35mm days. Go for the equivalent of 600mm and you won't be far wrong for close-ups of planes flying etc.

Trust me - you don't want pinhead sized aeroplanes trailing smoke. You want a close-up of the plane with smoke behind it!

You also want to use a constant shutter and aperture. Don't allow the camera to think. You'll lose a lot of photos that way. As for focus - set it on infinity and leave well alone - switch that wretched AF off.
OK Rhys, with the AF off how in the hades do you expect the camera to focus past Infinity correctly? All canon long stuff focuses past infinity so that you can still get sharp shots in hot weather and also in (some) high humidity situations where refraction is a factor in focus. I have nearly a 1000 airshows under my belt and would never shut off the AF, that is what it is for!!

I have BA shots of highspeed passes where the plane was near the Speed of sound, just setting infinity and blasting away won't work. You have to learn HOW your gear works correctly.

Les
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sneakpass.jpg (42.7 KB, 668 views)
LBaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #5
gooble
Goldmember
 
gooble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mesa,AZ
Posts: 3,149
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

LBaldwin,

That is an awesome pic.

BTW, what is BA?

So I guess you're saying it's best if you use AI Servo and just hold down the focus button at all times. That's what I plan on doing. That leads me to another question I had, does that really eat through batteries? I have Rebel XT w/grip and so I will have 2 stock batteries in grip and will bring 6 cell AA tray and a bunch of AA's for backup.

Also will have approx 8GB of memory or capacity for about 1000 RAW images. How many pictures do people typically take at an air show? On each pass of an a/c I can imagine taking 5-10 frames. Is this realistic?
gooble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #6
gooble
Goldmember
 
gooble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mesa,AZ
Posts: 3,149
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

I just figured it out. BA is Blue Angels right? A little slow there.
gooble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #7
JWright
Planes, trains and ham radio...
 
JWright's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 18,236
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

I regularly shoot the annual show here at MCAS Miramar and usually handhold my 100-400 IS L. A monopod is just going to be a hindrance. I think you are going to have plenty of reach with or without the TC. Last year I was right at the fence, and there were times when even the short end of the 100-400 was too close.

Gooble, I've sent you a private message...
__________________
John

Last edited by JWright : 8th of March 2007 (Thu) at 23:14.
JWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #8
LBaldwin
Goldmember
 
LBaldwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Posts: 4,488
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gooble View Post
LBaldwin,

That is an awesome pic.

BTW, what is BA?

So I guess you're saying it's best if you use AI Servo and just hold down the focus button at all times. That's what I plan on doing. That leads me to another question I had, does that really eat through batteries? I have Rebel XT w/grip and so I will have 2 stock batteries in grip and will bring 6 cell AA tray and a bunch of AA's for backup.

Also will have approx 8GB of memory or capacity for about 1000 RAW images. How many pictures do people typically take at an air show? On each pass of an a/c I can imagine taking 5-10 frames. Is this realistic?
Boy, I am telling you now you involved in this here A/C stuff and there is no turnin back!!

You sound like you have plenty to get you started. Glass is always the issues you never have long, short, wide or light enough hehe.

Practice panning your a/c that is what will help you bring home the most keepers. Go to that A/C forum I told you about and start asking questions we love newbies there and all of us understand the airshow addiction. I am going to Florida next week from San Jose just to attend a aviation photography symposium. Darn if it ain't spring break too.

Les
LBaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th of March 2007 (Thu)   #9
birdstrike
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 128
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaldwin View Post
OK Rhys, with the AF off how in the hades do you expect the camera to focus past Infinity correctly? All canon long stuff focuses past infinity so that you can still get sharp shots in hot weather and also in (some) high humidity situations where refraction is a factor in focus. I have nearly a 1000 airshows under my belt and would never shut off the AF, that is what it is for!!
What it focusing past infinity? If you focus at the hyperfocal distance for your lens, everything from that point to infinity will be in focus. You can safely put your lens in MF for an airshow and shoot from there.

http://www.batnet.com/bogart/Fleet_Week_Starred/

The last thing you want is to have your camera go hunting for focus as aircraft aproach show center.
birdstrike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #10
LBaldwin
Goldmember
 
LBaldwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Posts: 4,488
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdstrike View Post
What it focusing past infinity? If you focus at the hyperfocal distance for your lens, everything from that point to infinity will be in focus. You can safely put your lens in MF for an airshow and shoot from there.

http://www.batnet.com/bogart/Fleet_Week_Starred/

The last thing you want is to have your camera go hunting for focus as aircraft aproach show center.

If you pick up a 70-200, 300 f4 or 2.8 or any other CANON long lens you will find that many focus past infinity. This is because atmospheric conditions effect the actual focus of long lenses. I am not sure how to explain it except that during high humdity and or high temp situations the focus at infinity will be in front of or behind your subject. That is another reason why Canon long lenses are white. Heat defraction effects the placement of infinity on the lens. So Canon lenses allow for that by focusing past infinity.

MF for airshows is of course possible, but AF is geneally faster, more accurate and consistant for most applications at airshows. The real buggaboo is the smoke from the generators on the A/C. That can really foul up any AF system. In that case I just bump the focus manually to adjust on the fly. I routinley switch from MF to AF during a show. I sometimes like to pick where the focus falls and AF does not do it ALL the time. But 90% is pretty darn good.

Lens hunting is not really a large issue for me because I have invested in the fastest glass I can get my hands on, same with the bodies. I did this because I was tired of halfa$$ issues with low end bodies (10d) and slow glass.

Thanks,

Les

ps good job on the high speed pass!! I have the same series going back about 20 years now except when weather fouled something up!!

Last edited by LBaldwin : 9th of March 2007 (Fri) at 14:00.
LBaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #11
etaV8R
Member
 
etaV8R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 347
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaldwin View Post
...I have BA shots of highspeed passes where the plane was near the Speed of sound...
Great photo,
there is a misunderstanding many people have that the water vapor showing up means the a/c is close to or exceeding the speed of sound. This is not the case unfortunately. It is a great effect however to capture in a photograph.
__________________
5D & G15
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS, EF 24-70 f/2.8L, EF 35-135 USM f/4 & EF 50 f/1.8, Sigma 150-500
580EX, Kenko 2X Pro DG TC
Retired: G9, SD800IS, S45, Elan, AE1-Program
etaV8R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #12
JWright
Planes, trains and ham radio...
 
JWright's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 18,236
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by etaV8R View Post
Great photo,
there is a misunderstanding many people have that the water vapor showing up means the a/c is close to or exceeding the speed of sound. This is not the case unfortunately. It is a great effect however to capture in a photograph.
Agreed... Most of these airshows take place over populated areas and the FAA takes a dim view of sonic booms over cities. Years ago, an F-14 pilot exceeded Mach 1 during a demo at Miramar. He was called on the carpet after numerous reports of broken windows and other damage from residents of the areas surrounding the airstation.
__________________
John
JWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #13
LBaldwin
Goldmember
 
LBaldwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
Posts: 4,488
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWright View Post
Agreed... Most of these airshows take place over populated areas and the FAA takes a dim view of sonic booms over cities. Years ago, an F-14 pilot exceeded Mach 1 during a demo at Miramar. He was called on the carpet after numerous reports of broken windows and other damage from residents of the areas surrounding the airstation.
BA number 5 did it here in 2000 and also (I think) in 1997. The a/c does not have to pass all the way through the barrier to create that boom though. if just the nose pass through you will get a local boom. In 2000 BA #5 did and shattered several boat windows on a Coast Guard ship as well as a few police boats.

Les
LBaldwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #14
deletedpenguin
Goldmember
 
deletedpenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,945
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWright View Post
Agreed... Most of these airshows take place over populated areas and the FAA takes a dim view of sonic booms over cities. Years ago, an F-14 pilot exceeded Mach 1 during a demo at Miramar. He was called on the carpet after numerous reports of broken windows and other damage from residents of the areas surrounding the airstation.
I think I remember this. I believe I was at that airshow.
__________________
Stefan | StefanPetersen.com.au
500px Flickr
deletedpenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th of March 2007 (Fri)   #15
gooble
Goldmember
 
gooble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mesa,AZ
Posts: 3,149
Default Re: Airshow Gear Advice

Thanks for all the good responses.

I will be renting the lenses and TC and now I am wondering whether I should get a 2x TC instead of or in addition to the 1.4x TC and then I can use the 2x to give me a max 640mm focal length but if I don't need it I can use the 1.4x. I'd rather not use the 2x as it reduces focus response and reduces max aperture 2 stops. However would I ever even need to shoot below f/5.6?
gooble is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taking airshow pictures, what gear ?? davida General Photography Talk 3 8th of June 2007 (Fri) 22:32
Airshow advice casp3r Transportation 9 4th of September 2006 (Mon) 06:44
I need some advice on shooting an airshow. (newbie) carpenter Canon EOS Digital Cameras 10 14th of July 2006 (Fri) 15:17
Advice needed on using an IS Lens 4 airshow wardie General Photography Talk 4 7th of June 2006 (Wed) 23:10
Airshow shooting advice *Zwitter* Canon EOS Digital Cameras 6 17th of May 2005 (Tue) 09:55


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 16:27.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This forum is not affiliated with Canon in any way and is run as a free user helpsite by Pekka Saarinen, Helsinki Finland. You will need to register in order to be able to post messages. Cookies are required for registering and posting. HTML in messages is not allowed, plain website addresses are automatically made active by the board.