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tonton1962
3rd April 2010, 04:51 PM
Hello everybody
One of the things I like to frame are airplanes, and specifically during airshows. For static display, of course the 12-60 does wonders. But for the ones that fly... How I would love to take pictures such as these e.g.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia---Air/Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-29UB-(9-51)/1675751/L/
Currently I own a 70-300, and for my shots at airports of civil airplanes, its more than ok for quality ("http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=40748"). But it will definitely be too slow AF for fast jets.
Would a 50-200 coupled to a 1.4 extender be able to give me this quality in good weather? Or do I really have to spend thousands of euros and buy into the C and N brands... Or do I need fixed lenses such as a 150 F2.
Thank you very much for your comments and input.

StephenL
3rd April 2010, 04:57 PM
The 50-200 couples well with the EC-14 and, with the E-3, E-620 and E-30, focusses very fast.

theMusicMan
3rd April 2010, 05:32 PM
Have you thought about hiring a lens...?

Wreckdiver
3rd April 2010, 05:52 PM
Or do I really have to spend thousands of euros and buy into the C and N brands...

I don't understand why would you consider buying Canikon to get the shots you want. Olympus equipment is just as capable. Getting the right lens for the job is the key here and as John says, you could hire a lens for the day. The 90 - 250mm would fit the bill perfectly or for closer subjects the 35 - 100mm.

Steve

tonton1962
3rd April 2010, 06:11 PM
Thanks for your very quick input everyone. Unfortunately, in Belgium, Olympus gear is not for hire. But you confirm what I had already thought, that the 50-200 would be a nice 500mm lens for this kind of shot. Now I only have to find the money somewhere...

theMusicMan
3rd April 2010, 07:45 PM
It is... from here!! http://e-group.uk.net/hire/hire_info.php

On e-group. At least I think Ian does it internationally? Ian...?

Kiwi Paul
3rd April 2010, 08:39 PM
The 90-250 may not be ideal for what he wants, photographing jets flying by as that requires panning. It's heavy lens and ideally used on a monopole or tripod, I do use mine hand held but it's a bit cumbersome and may be a bit of a handful for that type of photography.

Paul

Wreckdiver
3rd April 2010, 09:10 PM
The 90-250 may not be ideal for what he wants, photographing jets flying by as that requires panning. It's heavy lens and ideally used on a monopole or tripod, I do use mine hand held but it's a bit cumbersome and may be a bit of a handful for that type of photography.

Paul

Useful advice Paul. I am off to several airshows this summer and had thought about hiring the 90-250mm. Perhaps the lenses I have are better suited. Really looking to put the 35-100mm through it's paces though.

Cheers,

Steve

Nick Temple-Fry
3rd April 2010, 11:31 PM
Not sure that I'd agree that the weight/size of the 90-250 rules it out for panning shots, it's a very well balanced lens with the bigger bodies. Provided you support the weight around the zoom and keep a normal grip on the camera then everything is fine.

But you do need space around you.

Nick

tonton1962
4th April 2010, 06:57 AM
I have been very impressed with the image quality one can get from the 70-300, so I'd probably be more impressed by the 50-200, as it is one step up the ladder. The 90-250 would be the ultimate lens for me, and if you know where to put yourself in air shows, tripods can be used for departures shots, or even in the air shots. For handheld shots, it does require good timing and intimate knowledge of your camera and lens, in order to get those amazing shots.
I'm going to have to sell some stuff on ebay i guess to gather money for this lens and the TC

Thanks!

catkins
4th April 2010, 05:14 PM
It's not the lens that counts, it's the weather!!

I do a bit of aircraft photography up here in the wonderful wilds of NE England normally on/near the electronic warfare ranges nearby, and only the occasional fixed location at an airfield, so my help is perhaps limited.

However, a few pointers to think about as well as what lens:

Picking the right location for proximity to the aircraft can be vital, and this will be obvious to the many others that you find already in this spot - but observation of others can also be useful for giving a few clues of where to stand.
Have a look if you haven't already at a few of the aircraft photo forums, as these can be a good source of info about lens used (generally in the 300-600mm 35mm equiv. range) - I use www.fightercontrol.co.uk
The 70-300mm lens, as noted elsewhere in this Forum, is excellent if the weather is reasonably good - to have the equivalent of a 600mm lens is something that the Canikons lack without major spending power. I have got some photos of helicopters on deployment taken from public spaces that would be difficult with a smaller than 600mm lens. However an aperture of f2.8/f4 would be better in an ideal world for duller weather, but then dull weather is rarely ideal for good quality aircraft photography (although I have seen some excellent photos taken in the rain)! Weight, size and cost is also an issue and part of the overall compromise of purchasing a new lens.
Back to location - one of my best early attempts at aircraft photography was of a Tornado at very low level and taken at 89mm! All because I stood next to some military personnel who 'called in' the aircraft to do a low fly by. So a good location can help minimise the max. size of lens - many Airshow photos that I've looked at are taken using a 300mm lens setting partly because the photographer has paid for an enthusiasts package which has a good airshow location
If money was no object I would probably want to be able to get a lens up to 500mm (35mm equiv.) with an aperture of about f4. Of the Olympus lenses, this would mean ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 90-250mm 1:2.8 as the expensive ideal, or the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD as the second choice. The weight of the 90-250mm is fine by Canikon big lens standards especially in younger hands!
The biggest difference for me will be the upgrade from E-520 to E-30 mainly for the increase in focus points which aids tracking of the aircraft, and the improved metering. My skills with the camera though are still way short of the fantastic skills of some of the aircraft photography enthusiasts.


Good luck with the purchasing.

Regards
Chris

jalanb
10th June 2010, 09:25 AM
Sorry to come back to this again but I wonder if any of you could predict what sort of shutter speed and consequent ISO settings I would expect to use with my newly acquired 70-300 (on E620) assuming a sunny day, fast jets and maximum 300mm?

Am I right to assume the IS would assist with movement of the camera but not help with blurring of the subject if the shutter speed is too low?

Alan

DerekC
10th June 2010, 10:13 AM
This Tornado shot taken at Waddington air show 2008 E-3 70-300 shutter speed 800 sec F16 ISO400. IS was not used as I didn't think it would make any difference at those shutter speeds.The lighting was very changeable as it had rained heavily in the morning followed by bright periods in the afternoon.
So the 70-300 is capable of producing good aircraft shots.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Tornado_GR4_Banking_copy.jpg

jalanb
10th June 2010, 10:50 AM
.... IS was not used as I didn't think it would make any difference at those shutter speeds....[/img]



Presumably for the same reason a monopod would not be of great benefit (other than to take the weight off your arms).

Great shot by the way!*chr

Alan

DerekC
10th June 2010, 12:00 PM
For flight shots a monopod is no use as it restricts movement too much.
70-300 will struggle if you wish to do squence shots as it doesn't auto focus fast enough to keep up.
I have used mine for aircraft and motorsport (rallying,rallycross and British superbikes).

benvendetta
10th June 2010, 12:29 PM
For flight shots a monopod is no use as it restricts movement too much.
70-300 will struggle if you wish to do squence shots as it doesn't auto focus fast enough to keep up.
I have used mine for aircraft and motorsport (rallying,rallycross and British superbikes).

If the planes are far enough away you could always switch to MF (probably set on infinity) and shoot bursts.

Wee man
10th June 2010, 12:34 PM
Woofmix are you really trying to sell that lens? Nice to see honest comments re its use.

Sharon
10th June 2010, 01:31 PM
I've had some nice results with the 70-300. I never use a mono-pod, I feel like it restricts me and I like to be able to move around.

I have tickets for RIAT 2010 (please weather gods, not another day like last year!!) and I am taking my new 50-200 + EC14. Might nip down the road for the Cotswold Airshow for a bit of practice first. I can walk to that one! I think I will take my 70-300 just in case my arms get tired from holding the heavier lens! :D

Ian
10th June 2010, 01:36 PM
It is... from here!! http://e-group.uk.net/hire/hire_info.php

On e-group. At least I think Ian does it internationally? Ian...?

Bit late for this, but yes, we have supplied customers in Spain and Belgium.

Ian

DerekC
10th June 2010, 01:37 PM
If the planes are far enough away you could always switch to MF (probably set on infinity) and shoot bursts.

Yes that is certainly true and I have use that mode myself. It was on an observation that not to expect the AF to be able to continue to keep the focus whilst shooting bursts.
I like my 70-300, not used it for sometime as I have loaned it.
The lens wasn't being used as I have both the 50-200 SWD and 90-250.

Ian
10th June 2010, 01:40 PM
Yes that is certainly true and I have use that mode myself. It was on an observation that not to expect the AF to be able to continue to focus whilst shooting bursts.
I like my 70-300, not used it for sometime as I have loaned it.
The lens wasn't being used as I have both the 50-200 SWD and 90-250.

In C-AF mode AF does continue from shot to shot when shooting continuously, but it can't maintain the full 5 frames per second. It's more like 3 frames per second.

Ian

catkins
10th June 2010, 05:10 PM
Sorry to come back to this again but I wonder if any of you could predict what sort of shutter speed and consequent ISO settings I would expect to use with my newly acquired 70-300 (on E620) assuming a sunny day, fast jets and maximum 300mm?

Am I right to assume the IS would assist with movement of the camera but not help with blurring of the subject if the shutter speed is too low?

Alan

Not answering your question (well apart from, use as fast as shutter speed as possible with jets), and noting that you mention only fast jets, just a couple of other pointers for others thinking of aviation photography -


If taking photos of helicopters use a slow enough shutter speed to get rotor blur - 'purists' quite correctly don't like crisp rotors as it gives no sense of movement - however, a slow speed can mean a less crisp photo of the helicopter unless you are well versed in the art of panning shots! So one requirement can compromise another requirement. I think that the horizontal turn of a helicopter's rotors is slower than the vertical turn of an aircraft propellor, so you need a slow shutter speed of less than 1/320sec to ensure some blurring of the main rotor. (See image and info below)
If taking photos of aircraft with propellors, again allow a slow enough shutter speeed to show propellor blur - probably 1/500 or slower would give a balance between slow enough to show some blur in the propellors and fast enough to be reasonably crisp aircraft.
A tripod or monopod is only rarely of use although obviously can help stabilise heavier large lenses. Speed of reaction especially with jets in a close-to pass or sometimes coming in fast and low towards you means that panning is best practiced and your skills honed without other 'aids'. If the subject matter is further away then tripods and monopods may be less of a compromise to your reactions.


By way of example the photo below shows that there is a high speed blur in the vertical tail rotor of the Apache Longbow, while the slower main rotor is still visible although does have sufficient blur. This handheld photo was taken at 1/200sec, f5.6 200 ISO, at approx 554mm (35mm lens equivalent). Because the helicopter is only slowly coming into land I have been able to use a slow shutter speed and still capture reasonable sharpness. So you do have to try and judge a situation and then maximise the key requirements of either blur through slow shutter speed or sharpness through high shutter speed.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/OL043475_resize.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/24486)

Regards
Chris

photo_owl
10th June 2010, 06:51 PM
I'm glad you posted this as my initial reaction was that the 70-300 the OP already had was more capable than posts seemed to indicate.

5.6 v 4.9 is not that great a difference - on the cusp it's a factor but it's still small

IQ wise the 50-200 + EC14 will edge the 70-300, but in an environment where there are so many other factors this is negligable

yes the 50-200 SWD will AF better for this sort of shooting than the non SWD or 70-300 etc etc - but the body will also be a significant factor.

90-250 is just (big just) a step improvement in all the above aspects (although theoretically the 50-200 SWD will AF faster........)

jalanb
11th June 2010, 10:53 AM
Thanks Chris and 'Photoowl' - again very helpful.

Alan

buddha01
15th April 2013, 06:44 PM
Hi tonton1962,

Just a few examples what is possible on fast jets during airshows with the Oly Zuiko ED 70-300mm. These photos were taken during the RNLAF open days at Leeuwarden air base (EHLW) on 16-09-2011.

Hope to see you this year at the centennial anniversary open days of the RNLAF (100 yrs RNLAF) on June 14 & June 15 2013 at Volkel air base (EHVK), the Netherlands!

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1361/20110916_12316-9-2011.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1361/20110916_19416-9-2011.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1361/20110916_25016-9-2011.jpg

Greetz,

benvendetta
15th April 2013, 09:12 PM
Impressive images.

buddha01
15th April 2013, 11:29 PM
Thanks Dave,
But then again.....for me it's just like a fun day at "work". :p:D
It is my main field of photography. I'm an airplane spotter. To me it's just like being a kid in a candy store.*laugh*laugh*laugh

Just to make you happy, I'll put up a few more. Don't feel overwhelmed by them.

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1361/20120623_8923-6-2012.jpg
F-16 Solo Türk Display, Belgium Air Force Open Days @ Florennes Air Base 23-06-2012
E-420, 650mm (Delamax 650-1300mm), F/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 100

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1361/20110918_34218-9-2011.jpg
This photo was featured in Olympus User Magazine Winter 2011 readers' gallery page 48
E-420, 300mm (70-300mm), F/10, 1/800, ISO 100

Greetz,

buddha01
15th April 2013, 11:32 PM
Note that the photo of the Turkish F-16 wasn't cropped in any way. it was only sharpened a bit and normally PP.

buddha01
23rd April 2013, 12:58 AM
Sorry to come back to this again but I wonder if any of you could predict what sort of shutter speed and consequent ISO settings I would expect to use with my newly acquired 70-300 (on E620) assuming a sunny day, fast jets and maximum 300mm?

Am I right to assume the IS would assist with movement of the camera but not help with blurring of the subject if the shutter speed is too low?

Alan

Alan,
Forget IS, since it will not cope with panning aircraft (since you are both horizontal and vertical move at the same time). Best ISO setting would be ISO100 max. ISO200. See also my article about photographing airplanes here:http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=19037

It's what Chris (catskins) already said in his earlier posts, but with more directions and answers on your questions.
Greetz,