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Old May 29, 2006, 11:43 AM   #11
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these aren't shutter speed issues. as long as you're shooting at over 1/500 or so, you'll probably be able to freeze the airplane itself (not the props), especially in a panning shot, though 1/1000 would certainly be better. i shot air shows a lot back in the80's with my Pentax film SLR, and even with practice at panning and twisting the focus ring to keep thesubject sharp in the viewfinder, using high-speed film and fast shutter speeds,i often got slightly blurry shots.

the main problem here is twofold. one, the focus is difficult to maintain on subjects movingtoward oraway from you, especially with digicams like the Panasonics, which have insanely long hyperfocal distances at max zoom. the FZ20'sAFmechanism doesn't focus well on moving subjects anyway, even if you can track it with an RDS, and trying to keep it clearly locked on a fast moving target is almost impossible.

the other issue is air clarity. all that "show smoke" looks cool for the first few minutes, and gives spectators a nice visual to track the plane's path, but it plays hell with photos. it clouds the air, and after the first few passes, even if it's starting to disperse, it makes for hazy, blurry photos.


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Old May 29, 2006, 4:47 PM   #12
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Thanks, Harj & Squirl.

Squirl, I used Auto Focus and High Speed Continous mode. I couldn't start to keep the RDS on target and focus at the same time.
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Old May 30, 2006, 12:12 AM   #13
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Don, Looks like #7 is about the sharpest. I've always had pretty good luck taking aircraft shots using AF, Sports Mode,1 area focusing High Speed, Center weighted Metering Mode and I never use continuous AF. Other than that I've also used Shutter Priority with a shutter setting from 1/500 to 1/800 sec. See sample shot, jet at approx 400 mph, 12x zoom. Jim
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Old May 30, 2006, 1:25 AM   #14
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nice shot, Jim... also notable for the lack of any cloudsor "show smoke"...
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Old May 30, 2006, 9:41 AM   #15
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I just put mine on the the Panning mode and left it.










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Old May 30, 2006, 10:44 AM   #16
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nice pics, Cnip... especially the shot of the B-17. i love the old warbirds... i'm hoping to get to an air show this summer, though i confess i will probably leave my FZ20 at home and shoot with my 30D and 80-400 lens...
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Old May 30, 2006, 11:00 AM   #17
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Thanks for the adviceeverybody.I'll try all your settings next time and see what happens. Living next to Dyess AFB I should get plenty of chances.

Tiger, How do you change parameters in Sports Mode? When I select a mode I can't find a way to change settings within that mode>

Thanks again everybody,

Don
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Old May 30, 2006, 11:26 PM   #18
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Don, In Sports Mode the shutter and aperture are selected by the camera. I mentioned that I shoot aircraft in either Sports Mode or Shutter Priority. In shutter Priority I use a shutter speed of somewhere between 1/500 to 1/800 sec. Jim
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Old May 30, 2006, 11:29 PM   #19
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Thanks Squirl. As you know we don't see clouds very offen here, and the jet wasn't using any smoke. :-) Jim
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Old May 31, 2006, 6:47 PM   #20
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Cnip

The P51 and B17 are - good composition and sharp too and my favorite WWII planes. Not sure if the FZ10 could be using in panning or sports mode like that - I've tried before and it doesnt cut it so if it were me I'd be in full manual mode as always !

Cheers

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