Edinburgh AirShow - First Airshow. What to take/tips?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by holdennutta, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm going down to SA in Nov for my first airshow in about 25 years... What's photographing like at these events? I'm not a pro obviously but I'd hope to be able to find somewhere to get some interesting shots...

    My gear options are:
    1. Panasonic G9 + 12-60mm f2.8-4 and 100-400mm f4-6.3. Plus battery grip for full day shootiness.
    2. EOS R + RF 24-105mm f4 and 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS II USM on adapter.

    The G9 has a faster burst rate and maybe better AF than the EOS R plusbetter video if I want video also. Lighter kit overall but I'm concerned that 100-400mm lens might be too long? Is 200-800mm equiv fields of view going to be too much for planes in flight or am I misremembering how close anything moving will be to the crowd?

    EOS R is new and full frame goodness! But not sure if 300mm will be long enough... So coupled with my point about the 100-400mm lens I clearly just don't know what to expect lol.

    Any tips and pointers?
     
  2. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    G9 + 100-400 plus EOS R + 24-105

    Admittedly I don't know a thing about Panasonic gear, but I'm assuming that the 100-400 is a quality bit of kit. 200mm equiv FoV is hardly too long for all but the rarest occasions IMO, and I'm also assuming that the G9 + 100-400 has the better AF between the 2 combos.

    Also bring water, sunscreen, hat, snacks, etc.

    Without knowing what you've shot before, it's hard to give tips/pointers. Props/rotors = control your shutter, jets = go to town with a faster shutter, practice your panning particularly foot placement (direct feet toward end of a pass so you don't have to shift them mid-pan). And enjoy it!
     
  3. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Oooh! These are great points and I'd either have not thought of them myself or realised waaaaaay too late lol. Thank you :)

    That's pretty smart. I don't think I will - the wife will want A camera left at home to take pics of our newborn with :p

    It's a nice lens. I quite like it. It's like carrying a mini telescope and with dual IS it's very easy to hand hold at 800mm equiv. f6.3 on m43 in anything but great light begins to push the sensor sensitivity boundaries though unfortunately and it does start to suffer. But as far as I can tell it's as sharp as you could ever want wide open or stopped down, 100mm or 400mm.
    [​IMG]Battle Chipmunk! by Phil Lund, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Wolf by Phil Lund, on Flickr

    Sharpness examples on furry creatures at 400mm. Though neither subject was moving particularly fast or aircraft like at all... This is what my experience mainly lies with. Animals and landscapes.
     
  4. jcorney

    jcorney Member

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    water

    water

    more water

    if you aren't peeing, drink more water
     
  5. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    I've never been to that airshow, however I'm been to a mix of large and small (from Avalon multiple times, to small regional airfield ones).

    I don't think 800mm equiv is excessive, but it's certainly on the long side. I'm sure some locations gets blessed with amazing atmospheric conditions, however in my experience once you get to around 800mm equiv and are framing a single aircraft, then at most airshows that has resulted in heat haze as the limiting factor (sometimes shorter). Most of my shooting has been at 400mm on APS-C (560mm equiv), where a typical pass results in it not quite fitting in frame as it's directly in front, but excellent just a little off to the side. I use a 400 prime, and it rarely bothers me.

    Something else to consider, panning to follow jets is (dare I claim this) relatively easy. You can go for a fast shutter speed, keep it in frame, let the AF do its thing and just fire a few shots off. You'll get plenty of wasted frames your first time out but no big deal, bring plenty of storage + battery. Props can get tricky, you need to find a shutter speed that gives nice prop blur for the particular aircraft in question (start around 1/200s and adjust from there IMO), so you need to pan however no idea how well your IS will help - shooting prop aircraft for prop blur is more like shooting motorsport for motion blur.
     
  6. MickybD

    MickybD Member

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  7. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    I got out this afternoon and had a test session with the two cameras shooting some light aircraft flying over my house. I guess this is one perk of living under the Archerfield airport approach...

    I gotta say - default AF and IS settings on the EOS R absolutely smashed the G9 on default settings also. AF by far more accurate on the Canon than the G9. I managed to remember to change the IS mode on the G9 to panning mode and also changed the AF settings to more closely match what planes do and it did get better. But the EOS R just spat out by far the nicer shots. I was not expecting this at all. I've never felt the G9 AF was deficient whenever I've used it. I dragged it across Canada through Zoos, landscapes, birds in flight when I got back and it always seemed pretty good. EOS R seems to be on another level somehow.

    Tracking mode on the G9 didn't seem capable of actually locking onto planes at all :/

    I just wish the R had a better body with more dedicated buttons instead of hiding things behind menus. Am now considering selling off all the m43 G9 stuff and sharing the EOS R between the wife and I... Might see if I can rent a slightly longer tele zoom for this trip though.

    Another odd thing I noticed was when I loaded the RAWs into LR to look at them the "Auto" settings works quite well on the CR3 files and pretty shittily on the G9.

    Haha! You're not wrong! I really hate being out in the sun so when I do have to I try to do it right. Big water, huge hat and buckets of sunscreen. Then I have to double it cos I'm a red head :(

    Yeah, I've found that too. 800mm equiv pointing into the sky suffers really badly unless there's really good air quality. When I got the 100-400mm I thought sweet I can take some airliner pics. Nope - soft mess every time.

    Yeah, jets do sound easy. I practised a bit today with prop aircraft flying over my house and to blur the props but keep the fuselage/rest in focus isn't super straight forward.

    Yeah, that thread has blown my pants off. Such good shots.
     
  8. Vladdo

    Vladdo Member

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    Yeah.. Edinburgh is shaping up to be a half decent airshow with the RAAF bringing everything. That said, I hear it's a 'tester' airshow for the RAAFs 100th yr anniversary in 2021 which could see airshows in Williamtown and Amberley.

    I'll be in attendance with a few friends so if you see a middle aged fat bloke with a massive lens wearing a red Roulettes cap, that'll be me.
     
  9. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    I haven’t even looked at the programme yet :s

    I’ll be there with my old man and a small lens compared to yours lol. If we run into each other I’ll be the strange guy you’ve never seen before waving haha.
     
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  10. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    In any other context, maybe, but at an airshow isn't that just "everyone"?
     
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  11. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Hah... what a crazy cold/windy day. Many tumbleweeds.

    was with non photographer friends so didn’t really get to find a good spot and stick to it but still managed to smash about 1500 images of which I’m pretty sure 90% are crap.

    Only worked out the ideal AF mode half way through.

    don’t think they expected as many people as they got either.
     
  12. Vladdo

    Vladdo Member

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    yeah... what a rubbish day that was.. worst haze i can remember.. even the 45 degree avalon days were less hazy.. I shot a heap and most is garbage.. had to ditch the 2x extender half way thru to try and get something remotely sharp.. will be interesting to see how bad they are when i get back home and import into Lightroom,,,
     
  13. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    It's days like that you just need to let the camera hang, chug some water and enjoy the show. There's no point aiming the camera at things when you won't be happy with the results, and certainly no point letting yourself get too annoyed by it.
     
  14. Vladdo

    Vladdo Member

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    I don't give up so easily.. Considering the conditions, what I did grab wasn't too bad but the light mid afternoon was terrible.

    I'm slowly going thru my images which will take the rest of the week but if you want to have a look...

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/drfphoto/photos/?tab=albums
     
  15. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Some very nice shots there!

    I’ve only managed to go through one card and delete all the obviously poor focus or subject partially cut off type of shots. Won’t see Lightroom anytime soon :(

    I can see as well that I wasn’t careful enough changing lenses at the beginning. I thought I did it inside the backpack safely but nope. All my shots on the 100-400 have dust on the sensor or back of lens. Hooray.
     

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