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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
Thread started 28 May 2010 (Friday) 23:06
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[Aviation] Finally figuring things out - Lens Question

 
gkarris
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May 28, 2010 23:06 |  #1

Well now that I've been using mainly digital SLR's, I'm starting to figure out what exactly I need.

I love my old MF lenses that I've gotten - and they take great pics. But of course since they're manual, capturing Aviation photos of planes in flight is a bit difficult. (Was using mainly my Nikon AF 80-300 ED and my bang-up Rebel XT). They do take awesome pics of static Aircraft.

I took my Olympus E-420 out with the 40-150 (80-300 equivalent) and the AF made things much easier.

I only have the kit lenses (18-55 non-IS) with my 20D and Rebel XT (both of which I got used for prices than less the bodies only were going for). I've taken great pics with that lens! But then I was able to borrow the 300L IS - that was awesome! But, it is well out of my price range and I prefer zooms.

I was looking today at the highly-toughted 55-250 IS, but that seems to not have that panning mode IS.

Is IS really that necessary? I heard they don't do any good if the subject is moving.

Can I get away with an older non-IS lens and a higher shutter speed.

If I use higher shutter speeds - then there's that whole "prop freeze" thing... ;)

Any thoughts?




  
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PhotosGuy
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May 29, 2010 10:15 |  #2

For the price, that's not a terrible choice, but I think I've read where sharpness falls off at 250mm+.
You might think of a used 70-200 f/4 now (GREAT lens!) & maybe add a 1.4X TC later & be happier in the long run. Until you can afford the extra $s, maybe think about renting a lens for air shows, etc.?

but that seems to not have that panning mode IS. Is IS really that necessary?

From the standpoint of someone who doesn't have any IS, I'd say no. But I suspect that it might make life easier for you. ;)


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aviator.4.life
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May 29, 2010 19:53 |  #3

For aviation, I find IS a must. For prop aircraft it makes it easy to get the prop blur you want (around 1/200-1/250).
I used to have a 70-200 2.8 and 300 2.8, both non-IS then recently got my 100-400 and I couldn't be happier.
I still got great pictures with them but IS helps me get more keepers, mainly for props.
Jet aircraft it doesn't really matter, most of the time I use a high shutter speed anyways. Since getting IS I won't be able to get another telephoto lens without it.




  
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gkarris
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May 29, 2010 20:54 |  #4

Thanks...

Do you need the Mode 1 & 2 IS or can you just use the standard IS in the cheaper models?




  
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aviator.4.life
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May 29, 2010 21:12 |  #5

I use mode 1 all the time which is the standard vertical and horizontal correction. 2 is eliminates horizontal when panning but I never use it, personal preference.




  
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unmanedpilot
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May 31, 2010 03:04 |  #6

I'm another who doesn't have / never had IS and I would say you can live without it just fine. Just be prepared to lose a few more photos.

It will take some practice to get used to panning with the aircraft at low shutter speeds. I usually aim for 1/120 shutter speeds instead of the 1/250 as mentioned before as it gets you some really nice blur. Admittedly It's quite hard at first, but it gets easier with time. Here are a couple of my shots taken with a Tamron 75-300 el cheapo lens.

1/100 @ 80mm
http://www.flickr.com …578642251/in/ph​otostream/ (external link)

And this one was at 1/60. Yes, I said 1/60 @ 270mm (Static aircraft)
http://www.flickr.com …in/set-72157623333976949/ (external link)
(just ignore the sensor dust please :) )

So all though IS is nice, I think of it as a luxury instead of a necessity.


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neilwood32
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Jun 01, 2010 07:28 |  #7

I don't have IS but I have never been limited by not having it.

Just be careful with your technique and shutter speeds and you should be fine.


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gkarris
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Jun 01, 2010 23:36 |  #8

^^^^ Thanks all...

On a really tight budget and am looking at the older 80-200 lens for now.

Should I be getting the regular version or the USM? The regular version is cheaper...




  
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PhotosGuy
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Jun 02, 2010 07:41 |  #9

80-200? I still think you should save your money now & rent if/when you need one.
http://photo.net …gital-camera-forum/00AtFQ (external link)


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James ­ Wheeler
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Jun 04, 2010 06:08 |  #10

Use IS in mode 2. Panning moving aircraft in mode 1 is asking for trouble as it will be trying to correct your horizontal movement and give you some erratic results.

Unless the lens supports 2 mode IS I would switch it off when shooting moving subjects.

You can get along fine without it of course, I find it depends on how I feel on the day. Is my back hurting? Have I had too much coffee (shakes)? Am I dehydrated? etc.


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gkarris
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Jun 04, 2010 15:15 |  #11

James Wheeler wrote in post #10300752 (external link)
Use IS in mode 2. Panning moving aircraft in mode 1 is asking for trouble as it will be trying to correct your horizontal movement and give you some erratic results.

Unless the lens supports 2 mode IS I would switch it off when shooting moving subjects.

Thanks - that what I was looking for.

I ended up ordering a used 80-200 EF USM for $75 shipped (keh.com) - I thought it'd be a good start to try it out with. I just couldn't get myself to get the EF-S 55-250 IS for $200 with only 1 IS mode (especially after an expensive car repair... :( )

Like the other kit lenses I've used, as long as I use it at it's "sweet spot" it should be okay.

I'm trying things out with a EF 28-80 USM from an old Rebel film kit I got off of eBay for my camera collection (I sold my original Rebel camera years ago) - a bit better reach than the kit EF-S 18-55.

I got some good pics today with it - will post later this weekend.




  
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unmanedpilot
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Jun 05, 2010 01:56 |  #12

Just remember to shot as much as you can and learn how she shoots. From experience, you'll hate that lens whenever its out of the Sweet Spot. Just be prepared to develop a love-hate relationship!


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Kiwikat
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Jun 06, 2010 00:20 |  #13

It is somewhat comforting seeing that it takes quite a bit of practice to get airplane shots with good prop blur. I totally fell flat on my face today. It was my first airshow with my 300mm... Ugh!

So many of my shots came out blurry because of my poor panning technique. I need to practice more... :oops::oops::oops:

If anyone is interested I've posted a set of photos from the show today on my flickr- link in my sig. The weather was far from desirable, so I did what I could with the bright white/grey overcast background.


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gkarris
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Jun 06, 2010 21:41 |  #14

^^^ LOL...

Yes, did the "prop blur" thing yesterday at Clow's Cavalcade...

A bit tricky with the faster warbirds, the slow Tri-Motor is a good start to practice with... ;)




  
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FlyingPhotog
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Jun 06, 2010 21:45 |  #15

Kiwikat wrote in post #10310343 (external link)
It is somewhat comforting seeing that it takes quite a bit of practice to get airplane shots with good prop blur. I totally fell flat on my face today. It was my first airshow with my 300mm... Ugh!

So many of my shots came out blurry because of my poor panning technique. I need to practice more... :oops::oops::oops:

If anyone is interested I've posted a set of photos from the show today on my flickr- link in my sig. The weather was far from desirable, so I did what I could with the bright white/grey overcast background.

And what exactly is the problem with these? :lol:

Well Done, says I...


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[Aviation] Finally figuring things out - Lens Question
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