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Thread started 08 Feb 2016 (Monday) 18:18
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BigAl007
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Feb 10, 2016 08:43 |  #16

atsilverstein wrote in post #17892171 (external link)
I'm assuming that means the way I handle the camera. The planes fly in at an angle from my vantage point. When they're further away I can hold the camera pretty still, (and theoretically use slower ss). Using continuous burst most of the shots motion is frozen, but then the plane is just too far away to make a good image. By the time it flies close to me it's moving rapidly across my field of vision and I'm probably jerking the camera around in an attempt to hold it still for the shots. Probably I'm better off sticking with a certain length and move the camera smoothly as the plane tracks towards landing.

You are always much better off panning with the subject smoothly. Once you get used to it it's quite easy. Even when they go by at 300 Kts, not less than 100. I will show this example again, as it saves producing a load more crops, it's not quite at 90 degrees to me, but getting close. He was doing about 150 Kts at the time and about 300 yards/meters away at the closest point of the pass. This was shot at 600mm and 1/160s

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I had this image printed at 30"×20" and so had to resize it to 9000×6000 pixels, these are both 100% crops of that resized image.

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As you can see panning while shooting at slow shutter speeds really helps. I do use the OS on my Sigma 150-600 C, but shot for many years using an unstabilized Sigma 28-300. The important thing to do is hold the camera correctly and swing smoothly. You need to be supporting the lens barrel underneath with the left hand, and keep the elbows well tucked in. Then you need to swing smoothly. To do that you have to make the movement with your hips and then the waist. It is exactly like shooting a shotgun at a flying target. As in all such sports, anything using a bat/racquet and ball is the same, follow through is also important, you need to keep swinging all the way through until after you have finished shooting. Digital is so much easier than it was with film, there is basically zero cost per click, so shooting in short bursts is feasible, Very often you will see some vertical displacement (a 5 or 6 pixel blur when shooting at 600mm with my 15 Mpix 50D, if you have a higher resolution sensor then it may be more), the second and third shot will be OK and the last shot, as you start to relax the hand from pressing the shutter button will often also have some vertical shake. At an airshow I might get only a 10% keeper rate, but I can now shoot in excess of 3K images, so still have some 300 odd images to chose from. When I shot film I was lucky if I had four 36 exposure rolls of film to shoot, so often aesthetics like freezing the prop by shooting at low shutter speeds was less important than actually getting an otherwise good image. Back then I thought I was lucky if I got 20 good images of prop aircraft from a show. Shooting jets, where you can use any shutter speed you can get becomes so much easier then.

DagoImaging wrote in post #17892341 (external link)
If the plane was left to right of him, then yes, panning. At this angle it's gaining in closeness faster than a pan would allow to remove the blur.

I have no problems shooting aircraft that are approaching at much higher speeds than that of a King Air on final approach, at a whole array of angles, and shooting with much longer lenses. There is the example above of course, and this is a Sea Hurricane MK Ib. as with the above image these were also shot at 1/160s


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Or the De Havilland DH 88 Comet racer, which was shot at 600mm, and then had a 1.5× crop applied to it, that's an effective focal length of 900mm, but you are only left with 6 MPix.


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These are just some of my examples of panning while shooting aircraft form all angles. Unfortunately if you want to get interesting angles on aircraft in flight, especially at airshows (and the UK is worse for this than the US) you need to have some very long focal lengths available, as they will usually be some distance away from you.

Shooting nice pictures of propellor driven aircraft is all about using the optimal camera settings, and excellent panning technique. Because of how slow they rotate the hardest of all aviation subjects are big helicopters, they need shutter speeds of 1/60 to get good blur of the main rotor.

Alan

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atsilverstein
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Feb 10, 2016 19:31 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #17

Thank you for taking the time, I really appreciate it.

I'll slow down the ss next time and make a conscious effort to pan smoothly and see what I get.

The only thing is that my lens doesn't have vibration compensation so I don't know if I can get those slower shutter speeds.


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BigAl007
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Feb 11, 2016 04:54 |  #18

atsilverstein wrote in post #17893704 (external link)
Thank you for taking the time, I really appreciate it.

I'll slow down the ss next time and make a conscious effort to pan smoothly and see what I get.

The only thing is that my lens doesn't have vibration compensation so I don't know if I can get those slower shutter speeds.

OK so some examples from using my Sigma 28-300 that doesn't have stabilisation either. These were all hand held and shot at 1/160


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I think that shows that you don't have to have optical image stabilisation to get good shots, at least out to 300mm. Yes it helps, as does having longer focal lengths available when you are having to crop the image, but it is still possible to get good results anyway.

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Feb 12, 2016 12:32 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #19

Wow, great stuff. Thank you for sharing! :-) I'll have to see if there are any air shows in my area!

Yes, at some point I'll have to upgrade my lens. Need a job first! :D


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Feb 12, 2016 13:04 |  #20

BigAl007 wrote in post #17894080 (external link)
OK so some examples from using my Sigma 28-300 that doesn't have stabilisation either. These were all hand held and shot at 1/160




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I think that shows that you don't have to have optical image stabilisation to get good shots, at least out to 300mm. Yes it helps, as does having longer focal lengths available when you are having to crop the image, but it is still possible to get good results anyway.

Alan

You've got some really nice shots here


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BigAl007
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Feb 12, 2016 13:06 |  #21

atsilverstein wrote in post #17895647 (external link)
Wow, great stuff. Thank you for sharing! :-) I'll have to see if there are any air shows in my area!

Yes, at some point I'll have to upgrade my lens. Need a job first! :D

I know how that feels, being disabled and unable to work any sort of regular hours. My Sigma 150-600 was a gift, it was the only way I was able to acquire it. Renting can be good, especially if it's a lens that you will only be using a couple of times a year, at an airshow say. That's what I did for several years, renting a lens for a couple of shows each year, and using the 28-300 when I couldn't afford to rent. Lenses for hire (external link) the company that I used to rent from was really good, I could rent the original 100-400L from them for about £75 all in including return shipping, and they now have the 150-600's for about the same cost. I believe. One show that I used to rent for was over the Spring bank holiday. because of how they do their rentals, I could do a three day rental and have the lens delivered on a Wednesday, with the hire starting on the Thursday and finishing on the Saturday, as you cannot ship on the Sunday that was free, and as it's a bank holiday on the Monday you can't ship then either so you don't have to ship the lens until the Tuesday. So you get two free days, if you hire Thursday-Saturday on a normal weekend you still get the free day. I think a lot of people still do a three day hire starting on the Friday, not realising that they give you a free Sunday if you start the day before.

Of course now I have the long lens I am sure that I will be able to find lots of other use for it too. I am being rehoused next week, to a council bungalow that is accessible now that I need to use my wheelchair indoors as well as outside. As it is in a very rural area, with fields all around I guess I might start doing a bit of bird/wildlife shooting, as I could do it from the comfort of home, so something else to use that lens for. At the moment I'm in a block of flats on a council estate in the middle of town, not really the place to be pointing long lenses around.:lol:

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Feb 12, 2016 13:18 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #22

very cool shots everyone.

i'm interested in giving this a go sometime this summer, local small airport has a fly-in or two.

found this thread a week or two ago, some really amazing shots. I suspect that you have to take a lot of pics to get to this level of steady hands at 1/60 panning.

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1136174


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Feb 12, 2016 13:19 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #23

Thanks for the tip :-) Good luck with your move! I'm looking forward to seeing those outdoor shots when you're settled :-)


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BigAl007
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Feb 12, 2016 14:00 |  #24

Getting the shutter speed down to 1/60 is not too hard with some practice. I have a few shots with the original 100-400 at 1/60, but only at around 300mm, although I have a few at 1/80 and 400mm. Again the fact that digital has effectively zero cost per click means that you can shoot a lot of shots that are discarded. I will often shoot around 3000 exposures in a day at a major air show. This really improves the chances of getting something good when using ambitious shutter speed/focal length combinations. A couple of examples to encourage you. If I were you I would get out there to your local air strip and just practice, even if you only have a relatively short lens. As long as you are polite, and show an interest most of the folks will be very willing to talk to you and you can find getting access can be quite easy. Amature pilots are pretty much like any other hobbyist, more than willing to chat about it.


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I have also shot some highly aerobatic aircraft at quite slow shutter speeds. You can actually get some interesting effects, as many of the really good stuff can roll at a rate of up to 540 degrees/second, which is actually 90 rpm! At that roll rate you can actually get the wingtips to show a marked degree of blur as they roll as well as a full prop disk. What else is interesting is seeing the axis of rotation, which is often not where you think it will be.

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BigAl007
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Feb 14, 2016 09:45 |  #25

I think I have mentioned in a post that I used a shoulder stock to help with the panning. I used to use one back in the 70/80's with my Pentax ME Super and a Vivitar 80-200mm zoom and Vivitar 2× converter. That went missing in some house move over the years, and I could not find a replacement. When I got the Sigma 150-600 my daughter got me one of those 15mm rod kits that are used to help you shoot DSLR video. I repurposed it so that I could use it like I did my old shoulder pod. As I now have some pictures of the rig I thought it might be useful to post here too. All of the images in my other posts that were shot using the Sigma 150-600 were shot using this rig. All of the rest were shot normally hand held.

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