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04-26-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
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Helicopter Flight - which lens to use?

I'm visiting Whitsunday Islands in Queensland Australia next month and will take a half hour helicopter flight above the heart reef and around. I wonder which lens I should attach to the camera before the flight (I assume it's not quite possible to change lens up there). 18-55 kit lens or 10-17 fisheye? I would like to take photos of myself and my partner in the helicopter as well, if possible...

04-26-2012, 05:18 AM   #2
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...My personal choice would be the ol' 18-55mm unless you like the look of the distortion the fisheye brings.
04-26-2012, 05:18 AM   #3
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I'd recommend using a lens you feel comfortable using in most situations. You won't be in a position to change lenses often in all likelihood. I would avoid the fisheye, and even the kit lens might feel a bit limiting at the tele end. When I did such a tour above Kauai island in Hawaii, I had a Canon S2 superzoom and I used it most of the time at various tele FOVs. But I took some great wider shots. So I'd balance between the kit and the 55-300 depending on your style.

Enjoy the tour!
04-26-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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I would think I'd want a wide angle view just because of what it is down there (the great barrier reef and many islands and very unique colored ocean and beach) ... but if I see the heart reef I'd want to zoom in for sure .... ;(

04-26-2012, 05:45 AM   #5
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18-55mm should work well.
04-26-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Yes, enjoy the tour and the flight; but please take this important notice.

Due to my experience in both photography and private flight (former marriage); that private aircraft aren't quite as well decked out (and smooth flying) as commercial flights. So if you could please **turn off** the SR settings in any Pentax camera. The vibration of most small aircraft is enough to actually damage the mechanism (the SR feature-mechanics). Sure there is always a chance that it will not be effetecd, but why take the gamble??

The camera should work fine without it.

Also even with a rubber lens hood - still avoid contacting directly the windows of the aircraft - and keep the camera in a soft sided but well absorbing case if you are not using it at the time
04-26-2012, 05:57 AM   #7
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Thank you all the people above.. I think I'll go with the 18-55.

I will remember to turn off the SR.. (I usually always have it on)
04-26-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
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Yep, helicopters can vibrate like hell... so I hope it'll be really sunny bright over in the Whitsundays, you'll need all that light for the quick shots

Last time I went to Hamilton Island (years ago) it was pretty drab weather... clearly made an impression on me, heh.

P.S I also suggest the 18-55

04-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #9
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I read April to June is a stunning time to visit, but I know the ocean weather can change suddenly during the day.. Hope I'll have some luck!
04-26-2012, 06:15 AM   #10
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Take a fast lens. f5.6 might not be fast enough for sharp pictures. Then set it to manual focus and focus to infinity. Aperture as low as possible. From my expierience the onyl way to get sharp pictures.
04-26-2012, 06:18 AM   #11
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I was on one a few years ago (Grand Canyon Tour) - believe I used the DA* 16-50. I did not turn off SR (never thought about it really) but I can see the point. It's a bumpy ride in general. I was very happy with most of the pictures. I tired to bump the shutter as fast as I could (ISO adjustment mostly).
04-26-2012, 06:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mace Quote
Take a fast lens. f5.6 might not be fast enough for sharp pictures. Then set it to manual focus and focus to infinity. Aperture as low as possible. From my expierience the onyl way to get sharp pictures.
I'll have a 55 1.4 and a 200 2.8 ... But I don't think the 55 1.4 is good for action modes at all..
04-26-2012, 06:36 AM   #13
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Fisheye is no good. You want great shots? Get a Pentax 17-70, razor sharp and save the kit lens for the beach and sand.

Helicopter shots was all this guy did. Great companion dvd too. Check it out from your library.

http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Earth-Above-Revised/dp/081098461X/ref=sr_1_2?s...5447460&sr=1-2

This shot was before I got back into photography and just took snapshots with a cheap $70 PS cam. Had to zoom in some. A WA would had been useless unless we hovered up close.

Last edited by slackercruster; 01-22-2013 at 10:18 AM.
04-26-2012, 06:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Fisheye is no good.

I used a cheap PS for this shot. Had to zoom in some.

You want great shots? Get a Pentax 17-70, razor sharp and save the kit lens for the beach and sand.

Helicopter shots was all this guy did. Great companion dvd too. Check it out from your library.

Amazon.com: The New Earth from Above: 365 Days: Revised Edition (9780810984615): Yann Arthus-Bertrand: Books
I was thinking about 17-70 Sigma... Which is better? Pentax f/4 or Sigma 2.8/4.5 ?
04-26-2012, 06:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by junototoro Quote
I was thinking about 17-70 Sigma...

Sure, good lens as well. You wont go wrong with either lens.

Just be set to shoot, the photo ops go by too quick to screw around. If your hiring a copter you can direct the shoot. If on a siteseeing flight you got to get the shot when you can. If you have a choice of seats, pick the one with the cleanest window to shoot through.

Good luck...and post the shots when you get a chance.
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