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Old May 15, 2014, 1:35 PM   #1
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Default Air Show Advice Needed - David Stemple

I need some advice on what lens(es) to use for an airshow this Saturday. Due to security if I take my camera backpack I have to have it on me at all times. If it is laid down and you walk more thn 6 feet from it it will consider suspicious and picked up/treated as bomb etc

I have a Pentax K-3 with Sigma 18-250mm, Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4; Tamron 70-200 and Pentax 50mm 1.4. What lens or lenses would you take. 30% would be ground displays and 70% action in the airfield/air. I can get approx 100 to 120 yards from main runway. It is a long runway that can handle MD-88/corporate jets. I can see from one end to the other but the planes at 250mm do not fill the frame on the south end of the runway from where I would be. It also has FAA control tower in operation. Would you take the camera backpack to have a place to carry that extra (lenses). I don't have a second camera bag that the 70-200 will fit in (the 18-250 just fits - not on body). I plan to have a 128GB and 32GB cards in the camera, maybe carry 2 spare 32GB in car and 2 spare batteries in my pants pocket. Parking is not terrible too far away.

I have shot 2 airshow in the past before I had the 70-200 and used for the last one a Pentax K-5 and just the 18-250 (did not own the 70-200) and before that a Fuji HS20. With that said focus is slightly slower on the 18-250mm, slightly less fps, slightly softer from 150mm upward although the images are still pretty sharp, but has more reach than the 70-200.

What would you all do

Dave

Last edited by Photo 5; May 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM.
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Old May 15, 2014, 2:26 PM   #2
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I've done the Air Show at Andrews with my 100-300 on my dSLR for the airborne stuff and a P&S for the ground displays. If you want to do both with the same body, I suggest you use the 18-250.

Some of the ground displays can be pretty big, and tough to shoot with a telephoto:


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Old May 15, 2014, 3:38 PM   #3
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The 18-250 is your longest, as well as your widest lens, and airshows are pretty much going to be well lighted, so a really fast lens isn't necessary. Even if you shoot inside hangars, the doors will be open, and the K3 is capable of very good results at high ISO settings. If you are trying to shoot close flybys, AF speed might be an issue, but most of the in-flight shots are lkely to be at infinity focus.
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Old May 15, 2014, 10:51 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for the advice. I appreciate it
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