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11-10-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
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Airshow lens advice

There's a small town airshow nearby today: Warbirds Over Monroe. I'm trying to decide what lenses to take.

My equipment choices:

Pentax:
Bodies K-3 (digital)

Strong Telephoto Lenses:
FA* 300, DA* 60-250, DA* 200, DA 55-300

Medium Telephoto:
DA* 50-135, DFA 100, FA 77

Short Tele:
DA* 55, FA 50 1.4, F 50

Normal:
FA 31, DA 20-40, DA 40

Wide:
DA 15, DA 10-17, DA 12-24, DA 16-50
8mm fisheye (Rokinon)

Multipurpose:
DA 18-135

There is also the option of taking the Olympus EM1 or Panasonic GX1 with the Panasonic 45-175 or an adapted Pentax lens.

I'm leaning towards the K-3 with the 60-250 and the DA 18-135 or 12-24. I would also take the hd da 1.4x as it is sunny and bright today.

But the sdm speed question is there... However the flexibility of the zoom range is helpful.

The lighter weight option is the DA 10-17, DA 18-135, DA 55-300.

The m43 kit is tiny which is nice given I'm going with family. If it goes my lenses would also include the 12-32 or 14-42 and a 20mm prime.

Thoughts welcome - bearing in mind the event is now and I may leave before you post (lol).

11-10-2019, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #2
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FA*300 and 1.4x TC.

Without knowing how far or near the planes be when flying for the show, if don't mind carrying extra weight, 60-250 should be good to have on hand.
11-10-2019, 09:47 AM   #3
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Since it will be bright and sunny I like your lightweight option. I usually bump ISO in airshows and car shows to keep shutter speeds around where I want while keeping optimal aperture. Similar to a TAv mode. Today ISO 800 is as clean as 200 a few years ago.
11-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #4
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Looks like I won't be able to go. My father in law is too tired and my wife isn't interested. Not keen on going without her. We will find something else to do. So please continue the discussion for the next time.

11-10-2019, 11:50 AM   #5
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I would love to get advice as well

I might attend this event

the " Kansas City Air Show " on September 26 and 27 2020 [ actually it is at the New Century Aircenter Gardner Kansas ]

the USAF Thunderbirds are returning after a 12 year absence to KC

_____________________

Pentax cameras

K 3, K 3 II and K 01

my lens choices:

PRIMES

SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4,
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM
SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF ) SDM
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 500mm f/8 Mirror (55BB)
_________________________

ZOOMS

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW
HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5 - 5.6 ED DC AW
__________________________

HD Pentax -DA AF rear converter 1.4 AW

I can't find any details about the show yet

don't know if I can get a pass so I can get close to planes or whether it will be just trying to catch them flying
11-10-2019, 12:05 PM   #6
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Huh, And I thought I had a lot of lenses (16). ... If I was headed to the air show I'd be taking my K3 (also have k1 & k50). Fast frame rate and buffer size, plus it's crop sensor. As far as a lens, it would be the 70-200 and I'd take the 1.4x converter. Gets you to 280mm on the lens and fov of 420 on the crop sensor. I'd flip a coin for a tripod with gimbal vs just a monopod. Then I'd just take the monopod, more mobile, less weight, smaller foot print. Might stuff a 35mm in my pocket, just cause. Just my opinion .
11-10-2019, 12:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roadboat24 Quote
Huh, And I thought I had a lot of lenses (16). ... If I was headed to the air show I'd be taking my K3 (also have k1 & k50). Fast frame rate and buffer size, plus it's crop sensor. As far as a lens, it would be the 70-200 and I'd take the 1.4x converter. Gets you to 280mm on the lens and fov of 420 on the crop sensor. I'd flip a coin for a tripod with gimbal vs just a monopod. Then I'd just take the monopod, more mobile, less weight, smaller foot print. Might stuff a 35mm in my pocket, just cause. Just my opinion .
my wife has been very good to me

and most of the lenses and the K 01 weren't new and thus lower cost

and almost all of the others were bought on sale
11-10-2019, 12:11 PM   #8
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In addition to what was previously mentioned, that DA15 might be really nice if you want to take any photos of aircraft on the ground.

11-10-2019, 12:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
In addition to what was previously mentioned, that DA15 might be really nice if you want to take any photos of aircraft on the ground.
I went to a Commemorative Air Force event in Topeka earlier this year and used my Sigma 10-20mm to get some nice photos of planes on the ground

Last edited by aslyfox; 11-10-2019 at 12:58 PM.
11-10-2019, 12:51 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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In my experience, there are two totally different shooting opportunities at air shows if you care about the planes.

Static display... planes on the ground. You’ll probably want the widest lenses you have, depending on how crowded it’s going to be and your tolerance for the wide angle perspective. I’d take my 16-50 on crop or my 20-35 on full frame, as examples...
Fisheye can be fun if you’re in to that...

Aerial performance... telephoto zoom here. You’ll likely have plenty of light, so optical speed is probably less important than focus and zoom speed. Another important component is where you’ll be during the show... if you can put up a tripod, the 150-450 may be perfect. If you’re walking the flight line, maybe the 55-300 on a crop body...
There are lots of folks who have the “right” shutter speeds to use for motion blur, particularly on propellers and aircraft that cross paths. A little blur can be very good there...

Finally, air shows can be their own street photography exhibition... don’t ignore that aspect... especially the kids...

-Eric
11-10-2019, 02:19 PM   #11
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Avoid SDM all together, set f8, manual focus just shy of infinity, and shoot away without focusing. Nothing you shoot will be closer than a few meters away anyway.
11-10-2019, 02:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Avoid SDM all together, set f8, manual focus just shy of infinity, and shoot away without focusing. Nothing you shoot will be closer than a few meters away anyway.
This is kind of what I was thinking. I shot manual focus for years in fast moving situations so the idea makes sense to me.
11-10-2019, 02:41 PM   #13
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would the same advice apply with the PLM system

HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM WR RE Review - Focusing | PentaxForums.com Reviews
11-10-2019, 03:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Avoid SDM all together, set f8, manual focus just shy of infinity, and shoot away without focusing. Nothing you shoot will be closer than a few meters away anyway.
For some scenarios, this doesn’t work as well as I’d like, but if your subjects are all in about the same place (say you got the good seats at show center), it works a treat...

-Eric
11-10-2019, 04:38 PM - 4 Likes   #15
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I love airshows! I carry two bodies (a K-r and a K5ii), a long zoom (Sigma 150-500), a couple of primes (an FA 100mm macro f3.5 and a Super Tak 200mm f4) an F 50mm f1.7 and a Vivitar 28mm f2 close focusing. Don't forget lots of batteries! And ear plugs. Thing happen fast at airshows and you don't have a lot of time to swap lenses. I seldom use the macro or close focus function but the lenses are sharp so I use the 100mm and the 28mm a lot. If you aren't familiar with airplanes the macro or closeup function might be useful for shots of engines, or instruments and such on static displays. I don't use a tripod or a monopod. They get in your way and they get in other spectators way. Someone will trip over them. I'm going to commit heresy here but at airshows I shoot jpegs only. Things are happening so fast that the camera buffer will quickly fill up with RAW images and you'll miss shots waiting for the buffer to empty. As TwoUptons mentioned there are two aspects of the airshows. For teams like the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels use a long zoom. For individual aerobatics you can use the longer prime. For static displays I like the sharpness of the 50mm and the 28. Stitched panoramas also work well for static displays.









Sigma 150-500




FA 100mm macro f3.5




F 50mm f1.7






Stitched panoramas
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