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03-02-2013, 09:10 AM   #1
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Interior of B-17 in flight -which lens(es) to take?

My wife has surprised me with a ride in a B-17 tomorrow (Sunday). I'm excited, but nervous about gear. I'm going to take the K-5 w/o grip and just put an extra battery in my pocket. The flight is ~30 minutes long. After the flight there will be the opportunity to take ground photos. But the main question is -what lens(es) to take on the flight?

Sigma 30/1.4
Tamron 10-24
Samyanfg 8 FE

I'm thinking faster glass because the interior of an old plane is likely to be dark in places. I'm also thinking wider and AF are going to prove more useful. Also, weight and bulk will be an issue as the flight is booked full.


03-02-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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I would take all the limited lenses.
There are small enough to fit in your pocket although 70mm would be on the long side most likely but hey... it's small.

Last edited by Anvh; 03-02-2013 at 09:40 AM.
03-02-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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Enjoy the flight and keep it simple. Go with just the DA15.
03-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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For the inside, you want wide: DA15mm and Tammy 10-24mm. Consider possibly DA10-17mm if you can borrow one. You could using a flash but you should ask permission to use flash, without annoyng the pilots.

For outside shots, the DA18-135mm will give you the most flexibility. Possibly with the DA55-300mm for longer reach.

My 5 cents....

03-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
Enjoy the flight and keep it simple. Go with just the DA15.
What he said. Your main issue will be the bright light coming in from the various windows as opposed to the relatively dim interior. I would take the smaller lens, crank up the ISO, shoot in M mode, and have fun. If the 15mm is too short to cover all the shots you are planning, this might be a good time to put the 18-55 on the camera. Faster glass like your Sigma 30/1.4 might sound like a good idea, but unless you are interested in limited DOF, it might not be what you want.

03-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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My vote is take the 3 limited lenses with 15 mounted. I am jealous and know you will enjoy the flight.
03-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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I have some inside either a B-17 or a B-24, using my 10-17. You really do not need to compose, just shoot in full automatic, AF, so that you can enjoy the rest of the adventure. I'll try to dig them up and post them.

Bring the rest of your kit and leave them on the ground with your wife.....

03-02-2013, 10:21 AM   #8
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Am insanely jealous.....
I've not been in a B17 but have been inside other WW2 aircraft (on ground only) and they may look big but there ain't a lot of room inside. I'd only take a couple of lenses (I'd put a wide zoom on for flexibility) and make sure you savour the experience.


03-02-2013, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
For the inside, you want wide: DA15mm and Tammy 10-24mm.

Yeah that. I rode in a B-25. 10-17 all the way :-)

Bring ear plugs.

03-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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Samyang 8mm FTW!
Amazing for closed spaces, use a partial defishing program to make it look less distorted, and you're good to go!
Also, the DA 40mm is super small, so i would take it with me as well.
The DA 15 might be useful sometimes too.
03-02-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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That is totally cool! My choices would be the 8mm, the 10-24mm, and the 18-135mm. Just make sure to stay away from the bomb bay doors!
03-02-2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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Ahhh - aircraft and photography. Doesn't get any better!

I'd recommend the DA15 for the flight. You'll probably want interior shots as well as shots through the (limited) windows. The DA15 would provide some resistance to flare when you're shooting through a window. It should also offer a sufficient wide-angle for the interior.

Do you know if you will be able to move about the aircraft during flight? You might want to concentrate on photos of the various gunners' stations, especially the nose gunner's post. And cockpit.

Another suggestion - take a digital audio recorder if you have one. The sounds of the engines starting will be memorable.

- Craig
03-02-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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Another vote for the fisheye!

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03-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #14
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Definitely go WIDE.

I was inside a B-17 that came up here last summer. I only had my 18-135 and 18 was not enough for interior shots. Exterior could have benefited from a little wider for some shots, but the zoom was nice to work around everyone and everything.

It's going to be dark, and it's going to be up close.
03-02-2013, 11:34 AM   #15
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For interior shots, go as wide as possible. Your Samyang 8mm fisheye will be perfect. It will capture anything in front of you, no need to focus and it is as sharp (or better) as any of your other lenses. If it includes too much, you can always crop to the desired composition.

The fisheye distortion will actually enhance, in most cases, the natural curves of the interior of an airplane. Remember that there is no distortion in the middle vertical and horizontal lines, so if you frame the most linear feature to be along these lines, you get a more natural looking image. You can always de-fish a little or crop the corners for a more traditional look.

Unless this is a photo shoot event and you'll be dragging camera bags, tripods and lighting, for all exterior shots get the 18-135 and have fun.

Post some photos when done.

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