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12-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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Aerial Photo Zoom lens 30-110mm f/4 ?

Hello Everyone, new guy here.
I would like to buy a K5 and need a zoom for aerial photography. Hate to change lenses in flight so a zoom is a must.
What is the best lens in a 30-110mm range?
Now, I know there is no such thing but looking at most of my pictures taken, it comes down to this range for 99% of all pictures.
Do not need IS or even autofocus, sharpness is more important.
Thanks for any replies in advance.

12-19-2011, 08:38 PM   #2
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Have you looked at our lens database?
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The Sigma 24-70mm or tamron 28-75mm might be what you are looking for, although I'd go for something longer like a 70-200mm for aerial photography.

Adam
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12-19-2011, 08:41 PM   #3
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Yes,
I was hoping someone had gone through the same though process before...
12-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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I do a fair amount of air-to-ground at 500 - 1500' AGL and the occasional air-to-air formation shots.

I agree that a zoom lens is extremely helpful for many reasons -- not the least is that it's awkward to 'zoom with your feet' in the cockpit -- and to avoid loose gear.

I've used the Tamron SP AF 24-135, SP AF 28-75, Pentax DA 16-45 and DA 18-55 and I prefer them in that order. The 28 - 105mm range sees the most use in my hands. The SP 28-75 is fine but sometimes you just need a little more reach when maneuvering is restricted and over congested areas requiring 1000' AGL.

Fixed manual focus mode is useful and preferred if there's a chance of panning past or shooting through wing struts.

Vibration quickly becomes noticeable above about 135mm.

A good, preferably a collapsible, rubber hood is most convenient as you're often up against windows and interior reflections are ALWAYS an issue.

Take extra care that gear can't go astray in turbulence and foul the control/rudder cables.

It really helps if you can shoot through an open window or door too.

Keep the shiny side up!

H2


Last edited by pacerr; 12-19-2011 at 09:09 PM.
12-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
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the range of pentax A 35-105 fit ur need best......and it is sharp from what people say..and it is constant f3.5..so even faster than u want
it is not auto-focus lens though...and u need to seek used one...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-A-35-105mm-F3.5-Zoom-Lens.html
12-19-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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I have only had a few attempts shooting from my buddies plane... but I find the older lens are great... I am shooting at f/8 ish and infinity, thus the older M & A series are great... rubbber lens hood helps, as mentioned... and the older lens are often very sharp accross the center of the frame... I used a 75-150 with great success... I prefered it over my 50-135 which I found too large for a small space...
12-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #7
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Pentax 28-105/3,2-4,5 is optically solid, yet small and light lens. I saw it selling new in some shops around here until recently.
12-20-2011, 08:06 AM   #8
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I have the F35-105. Not fast but fast AF.

Seb.

12-20-2011, 09:02 AM   #9
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just curious, what kind of shutter speeds are you A2G shooters looking for to overcome all the extra vibration? faster than the reciprocal of the FL i presume?

I went up a couple of times without my DSLR, just the droid phone and was surprised at how nice the pics came out; this encouraged me to get up there again and bring me K5. I definitely get the need to use a zoom instead of changing primes up there, especially with a window open. There was a news story where a lens fell from the sky and punched a small hole through the roof of a house; i must assume it was from an arial shooter, lol.
12-20-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Whatever lens you end up choosing, make sure you use a polarizer to cut down on the reflections from the planes/helicopters window. Also never let your lens touch the window, as this is where you will pickup the vibrations.

Phil
12-20-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
what kind of shutter speeds are you A2G shooters looking for
No special accommodation needed, Mike. Just don't let anything, including your arms, touch the airframe to avoid mechanical vibration.

And POL filters aren't generally compatible with the double Plexiglas windows in pressurized aircraft/airliners or most bubble canopies. See bottom pix for example of POL interference as dark blobs in sky.

This is one of the situations where a UV filter MAY benefit certain lenses and some haze conditions depending on sun position -- it's worth experimenting if you do this often.

QuoteOriginally posted by desertshot:
. . .a K5 [ ] for aerial photography . . .
I haven't found a significant advantage in the advanced bodies for aerial shooting. A K100DS (with SR) is about as good as anything else because there are so many other uncontrollable variables. Higher MPS does help if you have to use cropping in lieu of positioning for real estate shots. AF is essentially unnecessary because if you're closer than hyperfocal distance to anything you'll have other things on your mind than photography! Compact size is desirable in the close confines of the cockpit though -- I wouldn't be happy with the larger K10/20 bodies and a DA 50-135.

H2

(Oh, an' if you expect to go with me, don't show up with a box full'a camera gear and expect to leave it laying around the cockpit unsecured.)

@ Icy -- sounds like you've enjoyed a few trips up there since your first go.


Last edited by pacerr; 12-20-2011 at 10:01 AM.
12-20-2011, 10:18 AM   #12
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here's one time i had my DSLR with me...we had to return to the hangar due to a radio malfunction, so i didnt get any in flight shots.

12-20-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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@MikeSF

An' did ya recognize anything in the B&W pix above Eastbay Guy?

H2
12-20-2011, 11:15 AM   #14
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These shots were taken through the window of a helicopter over McMurdo Sound in Antarctica, using a polarizer. If I didn’t use one I would have picked up the reflections of the pilot sitting in front of me.

The camera was a KX (film) with a K55/1.8, using Fomapan reversal b&w film shot at 160ISO. (Medium res scans from a lab)





Phil.

Last edited by gofour3; 12-20-2011 at 11:41 AM.
12-20-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
An' did ya recognize anything in the B&W pix above Eastbay Guy?

H2
yes! i see the bay bridge and yerba buena island, must be in Alameda?? cool.
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