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Old Sep 3, 2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Getting ready for an air ahow

I am getting ready to take pics of a flight demonstration of a P-40 WWII aircraft.

My equipment is a Nikon D40 with the folowing lenses 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G/AFS DX VR 55-200mm F4-5.6G. I do not want to be "setting up" my equipment while the show is on and miss something. Does anyone have a sugestion as to which way to set up the camera to get the best pics. I have already taken the static pics, but the "action" shots are perplexing me. I am a 35mm convertee and I would just shoot that camera with a fast shutter speed and hope for the best, which worked out well for the most part.

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance
raday
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 1:49 PM   #2
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Hi,
First of all I am no pro.
But I recently got some great shots of WW 2 planes by setting my shutter to 1/800th- 1/1000th ISO400 spot metering,with the metering set to the central position. It was a very bright day and I hardly had a bad shot out of a hundred or so. I have the 18-200 vr lens and I took everything hand held as some of the planes flew by fast and low.170 mm worked well for me, perhaps I took a chance but I mostly shot on F5.6. The other thing I did was gave myself a bit of room around the object aeroplane so that I could crop out any vignetting and centre the plane if nescessary in P/Shop.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 2:03 PM   #3
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Default airshow

Thanks deadshot.

I like your shot by the way. I will give it a try.

I will set it up and see what I can get. It is always so hard to change fast when the action is so fast. The good thing is it is digital and you can see right away if you messed up. WWII planes are much slower than the current ones so I am hoping that will help as well.

This museum that is doing the air show has several WWII and WWI aircraft all in flying condition, for US UK Russia and German airfield gear. Even a German "88" fires every now and then.

Thanks again
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 2:43 PM   #4
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I just want to show this one to you.As I still used spot metering although there are two planes. ISO 400 F10 1/800th.I also used A/F all the time,I think it was all more luck than judgement.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 7:47 PM   #5
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I don't totally agree as shooting propeller aircraft is different to jets. There is not problem shooting a jet at 1/800-1/1000s or faster but with a prop aircraft this freezes the blades too much giving an unnatural look. You want to try something in the 1/160-1/320s range to get the movement. It will mean your panning skills need to be better but the shots will be much nicer.

Next with exposure. The sample shots are under exposed. This is very common when shooting aircraft as the bright sky will cause the camera to think your subject is lighter than it actually is, there are two ways of getting the right exposure. My preferred is shooting manual, but you have to keep an eye on what is going on as exposure can change. The slightly easier way is to dial in some +ve exposure compensation, usually 2/3 of a stop to a stop is about right. If the sun is quite low and right behind you then you won't need any but this is a rare situation. If shooting into the sun then you often need even more compensation. Sorting out the exposure will really bring the detail back to the aircraft and give a more natural looking sky.

I couldn't find any shots on my machine of and 'real' aircraft but here is one of an RC one, this was at 1/250s with manual exposure.

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Old Sep 4, 2009, 7:52 PM   #6
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Oh deadshot, just noticed you need to run a quick sensor clean as you have some dust showing at the top right of the frame.
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
Oh deadshot, just noticed you need to run a quick sensor clean as you have some dust showing at the top right of the frame.
Thanks for that Mark. I did blow the sensor with a rocket type blower, which got rid of the dust completely, after I took these pics. The strange thing was that shots taken earlier that day had no dust spots.On the day the aircraft were blowing up a lot of dust and although I did not change lenses somehow it would appear that dust got inside. I did clone the spots out on most of the shots that I liked but not all, as you noticed.The info you gave is useful,thanks, the trouble is that there is a tendency to play safe with shutter speed and go too fast, as most often I only got one crack at it. The Spitfire looks nicely exposed on my screen, perhaps it's because it's a dark colour?,in the two planes shot they were a long way away and this shot was well cropped down, but it is u.ex.as you say but my hit rate metering wise was remarably good.I have just lightened the shadows in the two plane shot in P/s by 40% and that has improved it no end. The show carried on into dusk and as I am something of a newbie to DSLR I was amazed how well the camera coped. I have a D5000 now with sensor cleaning so time will tell whether that works or not.
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 9:07 PM   #8
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Hi there, Deadshot-

Many thanks for posting some very nice airshow photos. They look great. Were they taken with the Nikon D-5000 camera?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 5:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Hi there, Deadshot-

Many thanks for posting some very nice airshow photos. They look great. Were they taken with the Nikon D-5000 camera?

Sarah Joyce
Hi Sarah,
No, they were taken with the D40X and !8-200mmVR lens all hand held.
This was one of my favorites, it was flying past quite low.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 1:15 PM   #10
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Hi there, deadshot-

Thanks for another excellent aircraft shot. That is a North American T-28 Trainer.
I have both flown and instructed for many hours in that aircraft. Once again the D-40 and the Nikon 18-200mmVR lens combination produced an excellent photo.

Thanks for posting and have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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