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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 02 Sep 2017 (Saturday) 05:04
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Which lens should I bring on a helicopter tour?

 
LovingMemoriesPhotos
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Sep 02, 2017 05:04 |  #1

I'm planning a surprised bd for her. We'll be on a helicopter flying over the city for about 50 mins. I want to bring 1 lens only but I'm not 100% which one between the 16-35 f4 is or 24-105lii to use with a 5d3? Anyone experienced with flying please recommend, I'd highly appreciate your tips too.


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BigAl007
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Sep 02, 2017 06:16 |  #2

Go for the biggest zoom range you can manage while you are in the air. The only issue you have is that generally light aircraft are very small compared to modern cars, so a physically long lens can be a bit awkward if you are sat with your shoulder almost pressed up against the window. But that can be hard with any camera. If you can manage it I would go with the 24-105, I don't think you will need the UWA, since from above 1000' everything looks pretty small.

The last flight I took where I actually spent time shooting, instead of actually flying the plane, since I was in the righthand front seat I took my Sigma 20-40 on my 50D. That is equivalent to 32-64 on 35mm and I really wanted longer not wider. We were at 3000' for much of the trip though. This was in a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, a low wing single engined aircraft.

Of 47 shots 11 were at 20mm and the rest were at either 37mm or 40mm according to the EXIF. Of the keepers it's even more swung towards the longer end, 4 at 20mm and 20 at the long end. Here is an example shot at 37mm while flying at 2100'. You can actually see the bungalow where I now live in this shot.

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Also remember that you will be shooting through moulded perspex windows, so distortion and odd polarisation effects are going to be much more visible in very wide shots.

Sorry I have never had the chance to fly in a light helicopter, so can't give more specifics. The back of an RAF Puma doesn't really count.

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filmuser
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Sep 02, 2017 13:53 |  #3

Hope the windows open. Depending on chopper you can lock the door in open position for clear shooting.




  
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BigAl007
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Sep 02, 2017 17:46 |  #4

filmuser wrote in post #18442965 (external link)
Hope the windows open. Depending on chopper you can lock the door in open position for clear shooting.


I doubt you will get that option on a city sightseeing tour. I also don't think she who should be obeyed will be too happy with the windows/doors open, as it get pretty windy under that big fan.

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Angmo
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Sep 07, 2017 02:24 |  #5

Depending on the helicopter, make sure you get a window seat. Preferably on the side with greatest interest. Talk with the pilot about your objectives. He's the only one who can help...

A good zoom. 24-70 range.


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RhodyPhotos
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Sep 07, 2017 07:41 |  #6

Is this a birthday present for yourself or for your wife? :-) If its for your wife, you would be well-advised to leave the big guns behind and make sure she is having a great time :-)


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filmuser
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Sep 07, 2017 07:56 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #7

photogs rent choppers all the time and fly doors open locked.




  
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filmuser
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Sep 07, 2017 08:03 |  #8

And use stabilized lens or camera. choppers can shake real good. Good friend flew choppers for RCMP for years in the north.




  
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Talley
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Sep 07, 2017 08:06 |  #9

Don't take a camera. Enjoy the trip with the wife.

See what you like from above then return with a drone to get your images.


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filmuser
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Sep 07, 2017 08:10 as a reply to  @ Talley's post |  #10

much rather use a dslr and shoot raw. Easier to fix issues such as haze or what not. Is this a private flight or with other passengers?




  
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Angmo
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Sep 07, 2017 09:33 |  #11

Maybe being a GoPro along too. Capture it all on
Video too.


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kf095
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Sep 08, 2017 19:45 |  #12

Capture moments of your life. Not views from plane eluminator, those are taken on regular flight and by mobile phone.


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Sep 08, 2017 19:51 |  #13

Enjoy the flight. Helicopters are a blast. I can almost guarantee you'll be disappointed with any photos you take if you're shooting through the windows/doors. They aren't generally that clean and tend to give lots of odd reflections/glare/dirt​/grime that makes editing a pain.

I recommend going and enjoying the flight. Take a few photos for fun and to remember the experience, but unless you have them remove the doors, don't expect fantastic shots.

Above all. Enjoy the flight! What are you flying in?


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Angmo
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Sep 08, 2017 22:30 |  #14

I brought my camera and shot from a helicopter on a tour around Kauai. Enlarged a few 11x17ish. They looked great.

Enjoyed the camera action, views and flight. You can do it all. Just don't keep the camera in your face so much.


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LovingMemoriesPhotos
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Sep 09, 2017 22:35 |  #15

Thank you everyone. I ended up with just my phone because I thought through.. It was not a photography trip for myself so why ruin it by bringing gears when it was a bd gift for her. We had a blast on the R44 4 seater. It was a private trip so no other passenger than the pilot & us. I got a couple pictures through the windows, not the greatest in term of quality but we had quality time.
Below are the two I can post at the moment.
First is susquehanna river in Pennsylvania. Second is amusement park named Hershey, didn't fly above Hershey chocolate world.


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Which lens should I bring on a helicopter tour?
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