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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 May 2011 (Thursday) 12:58
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Need airshow advice for Canon 100-400 Zoom.

 
TORCHRIDER
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May 05, 2011 12:58 |  #1

I just purchased a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens to use on my 7D. It is doubtful I will have an opportunity to try it out before the airshow this Saturday in Central Texas.

Does anyone have any advice (do's, dont's, settings, etc.) with this lens? I would love to come home with some decent pics. Weather is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 94 and 0 chance of rain. Sky will likley be absent of any clouds is my guess.


Canon 7D Gripped | Canon S110 | Fuji X100S | EF 70-200 f/4 L IS | EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | 50 f/1.8 II | 430 EX II
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jay_l_a
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May 05, 2011 13:16 |  #2

I'm not an expert, nor have I used a 7D but I can give you some general advice...

1. Camera settings - spot metering, servo focus, high speed continuous shooting, Av, ISO 200. Only push ISO if you're dropping below about 1/1000 shutter speed.

2. If you want prop blur, use Tv and aim for around 1/250ish. This takes some considerable skill, jets are easier to shoot...

3. If you're doing plenty of panning, select the correct IS mode. (over about 1/1000 shutter speed, IS is not going to help any, and some say can be detrimental to IQ...)

3. Plenty of card space, when you're shooting bursts you'll be surprised how much space you get through.

4. Plan your footing for when the plane passes you. i.e. don't have your feet square to the oncoming path, have your footing pointed to where you think you'll get the best shots, and then twist for the approach. This way, when the plane is in the right place for you shot, you will not be twisted and off balance...


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jay_l_a
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May 05, 2011 13:19 |  #3

PS..
I have a few plane shots here, but it's not something I do very much..

http://www.flickr.com …a/sets/72157624​006436961/ (external link)


1DmkIII | 1DsmkII | 40D | 100-400L | EF10-22 | EF17-40 | 70-200 f/4 IS | EF100 f/2.8 | 135L | 24-105L f/4 | 50 f/1.4 | 28-135 | Canon 1.4x extender | 580EXII | 420 EX | ST-E2
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Saint728
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May 05, 2011 14:05 |  #4

Another thing to do is try to go early and get set up way before the air show. You want to be as close to if not right on the fence line. You don't want people in front of you. Once the crowd starts getting to the stands there is no where for you to go and guarantied someone will get in your way. Also get close as you can to center of the flight line. I took some shots as well at an airshow here and you can look at some of the pictures as well as their settings. http://www.flickr.com …3/sets/72157622​294475231/ (external link)

Take Care,
Cheers, Patrick


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FlyingPhotog
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May 05, 2011 14:08 |  #5

I've got a little bit of aviation content on my site as well (link in my Sig)

EXIF available for just about everything by hovering your mouse over the upper right hand corner of an image (when you have one image open and thumbnails on the right.)


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bigwonton
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May 05, 2011 15:11 |  #6

Good advice from all. One more thing to add: earplugs

Also, if you are able to, find out what the practice schedule is. Depending on the venue, many times you can get just as good shots without having a crowd around you.


Canon Bodies: Canon 7D (x2), Canon 40D, Canon T2i
Canon Zoom Lenses: EF-S 18-75 IS USM, EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200 f/4L USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 80-200 f/2.8L, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Canon Prime Lenses: EF 28 f/1.8 USM, EF 50f/1.4 USM, EF 50 f/1.8 II, EF 85 f/1.8 USM, EF 200 f/2.8L II USM

  
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TORCHRIDER
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May 06, 2011 01:08 |  #7

Thanks for all the great feedback. I am learning a lot!


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GyRob
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May 06, 2011 02:14 |  #8

regarding prop blur on something like a chinook copter 1/80sec, big props tend to spin slower .
Rob.


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joeseph
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May 06, 2011 03:24 |  #9

Don't tilt the lens downwards & let the barrel free-fall to the end... there isn't really any buffer stop and the bearings won't thank you for it (okay, you're allowed to do this just once, so you know what I'm talking about!)

Don't use a UV filter ( a circular polariser can be useful)

Do use the hood.

Don't forget to post the shots afterwards

Do generally leave the IS on, but keep in mode 2 (unless you're shooting very fast jets & you may as well turn IS off)

Don't forget to enjoy the airshow...


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FlyingPhotog
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May 06, 2011 03:34 |  #10

Not to be "Contrary Guy" but...

- I'd suggest a polariser only for static subjects*. Using one with in-flight subjects will cause wildly different skies because of differing polarization as you pan (plus it can cost you up to two stops of light.)

*Be aware that using a CPL with most fighter canopies will give you strange swirly rainbow patterns because the CPL will bring out the stress lines in the plexi...


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joeseph
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May 06, 2011 04:28 |  #11

^ good point - I was thinking more along the lines of when it's very sunny, you could use a CPL to lower your shutterspeed if shooting props. Interesting about the canopies...


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richwood
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May 06, 2011 05:58 |  #12

Here's what I currently use with a 1D3 and 100-400.

Camera set to Tv mode, 1/250 or 1/320 for prop aircraft, minimum 1/1000 for jets.
ISO safety shift enabled, this effectively gives auto-ISO.
AI Servo focus using all points. Helpful when there's multiple aircraft in shot.
Personally I use 3fps continuous mode as it cuts down on the work required later deleting the unneeded files.
Metering varies, sometimes spot, sometimes center-weighted average, sometimes evaluative, but keep an eye on the histogram and dial in a bit of exposure compensation as required.
IS set to mode 2.
Practice, practice, practice.


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FlyingPhotog
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May 06, 2011 06:04 |  #13

joeseph wrote in post #12357632 (external link)
^ good point - I was thinking more along the lines of when it's very sunny, you could use a CPL to lower your shutterspeed if shooting props. Interesting about the canopies...

If you really need to cut down the flow of photons because you're going for full prop disc on the surface of the sun (and your lens won't stop down to f/128) then you should go for just plain ND.

I have a two-stop 52mm drop in that I'll use with my 300 or 500 on cloudless days between 10am and 2pm in order to try and avoid having to stop down below f/13. Bear in mind that I'm usually shooting at 1/125 and sometimes slower!

@ the OP: You'll find out really quickly how badly your sensor needs cleaning when you spend your day shooting clear blue sky at f/8 and smaller... :shock:


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TORCHRIDER
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May 06, 2011 09:07 |  #14

joeseph wrote in post #12357510 (external link)
Don't use a UV filter ( a circular polariser can be useful)

...

Why no UV filter?


Canon 7D Gripped | Canon S110 | Fuji X100S | EF 70-200 f/4 L IS | EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | 50 f/1.8 II | 430 EX II
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LBaldwin
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May 06, 2011 09:12 |  #15

One of the best things you can do is map the movement of the sun and make sure that you position yourself (as best as possible) to keep the sun to your back whenever possible. Backlit A/C images don't usually look too good.


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Need airshow advice for Canon 100-400 Zoom.
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