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04-26-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Smithsonian Air Space museum: What Lens

I have gotten into this good habit of taking my K20 in my Crumpler 4MH bag with me on my business trips. This week I am going to be in the VA/DC area and have a slow day where I can check out the air space museum. This bag really can only accommodate just the body and one lens attached.

Out of my lenses I think there were 3 that basically would work: Kit lens, sigma 18-50 f2.8, pentax 10-17 fisheye, & 50 f1.4. although a bit long.

I wound up taking the fisheye with me. Do you think this was the right choice? They have a Concorde on display, among several other aircraft, inside the building! So I was thinking the wider the better. I hope the distortion isn't too much of an issue. I am pumped and can't wait to check this place out!


---
I just realized that I posted this in DSLR and I meant to put in the lens discussion forum. Sorry folks.

04-26-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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I went there with only a 21. It worked out OK. Sometimes I wanted more reach to get photos of stuff hanging from the rafters far away.

It is a neat place, you'll have fun.
04-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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Sigma - you'll need a fast wide angle (lots of shiny stuff - flash won't be great).
04-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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As I recall, The Concorde is in a crowd of other planes. It will be difficult to single out much of the plane from some of the somewhat smaller aircraft grouped around it. You can get a fairly straight shot looking down from a walkway at the nose of the plane and a side shot of the front of it's fuselage. I only mention this to help you think about your shots.
I was in the museum last fall. The space shuttle Enterprise, Enola Gay and the SR-71 were the stars of the exhibits for me.
I'm sure a fisheye will get you some great shots but the straight lines of some aircraft should be valued as well. There are a few planes hanging above whose details will be out of reach will anything less than 100mm, I think.
I had a 24-60mm and a 50-200mm but a fisheye would have been fun.

04-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #5
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I believe a telephoto of some sort might be helpful. As you enter you are above many of the planes and the ability to take that long distance shot from above may be helpful.... Wish it was outdoors like the PIMA in Tucson....
04-26-2010, 11:15 AM   #6
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I've used just about every lens I own there except the DA 10-17mm fisheye as that has been a recent purchase. I've also used a flash. It was really helpful when using the Pentax F 100mm macro. It's not all airplanes, jets, and rockets. If you have a right angle finder you might want to bring it as well. Monopods are allowed, but not tripods. They even hassled me about a Ultrapod II.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is charging $15 or $17 now ( Can;t remember which), even for drop offs. This is to pay for an expansion that is ongoing. I haven't been there since they started, so I don't know whether this affects the current display area, or not.

There is a McDonalds for food, but I would suggest bringing your own and getting a locker for the day to store it and anything else you might bring.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Flickr Set

If you are looking to pick up any gear, Ace Photo is out in that area and carries some Pentax gear. Their on line listings for Pentax are larger than what they have in the store so don't get excited.

They also carry a ton of bags from a lot of manufactures. If you have ever wanted to just check out different options, this is the store to do it as you have full access to the bags. You don't have to keep asking a sales person to see another one. Crumpler, Tamrac, LowePro, Kata, Tenba, Domke, Billingham.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to Ace Photo - Google Maps

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 04-26-2010 at 11:22 AM.
04-26-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
I believe a telephoto of some sort might be helpful. As you enter you are above many of the planes and the ability to take that long distance shot from above may be helpful.... Wish it was outdoors like the PIMA in Tucson....
Dulles Airport had 13.5 feet of snow this year. Most of it came in two foot increments. You pretty much can have the place to yourself when it snows. Even a little bit of snow keeps people from coming out.

Thank you
Russell
04-26-2010, 11:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
As I recall, The Concorde is in a crowd of other planes.
They have the Concorde there now?!? Crap!!! I was just in Sterling at the beginning of this month!!!

04-26-2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
Monopods are allowed, but not tripods. They even hassled me about a Ultrapod II.
I specifically asked about monopods - they said can't use one in any of the museums, but you can carry it around if you "assure" the people you won't use it.

As far as the OP goes, just get a bigger bag or jacket with pocket and bring the 10-17 and 18-50.

If you really can only bring one, I'd go with the 18-50.
04-26-2010, 11:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I specifically asked about monopods - they said can't use one in any of the museums, but you can carry it around if you "assure" the people you won't use it.
Are you confusing the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the Mall? I used a monopod last year without issue at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, but things change.

Thank you
Russell
04-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
They have the Concorde there now?!? Crap!!! I was just in Sterling at the beginning of this month!!!


Camera: Pentax K10D Exposure: 1/15
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length:10 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6

Thank you
Russell
04-26-2010, 01:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
Are you confusing the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the Mall? I used a monopod last year without issue at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, but things change.

Thank you
Russell
The Udvar-Hazy is part of the Smithsonian Institution. but I too am confused as to which museum you're attending.

It used to be that the fee was for parking only (so one car, load up with lotso people - this is Udvar-Hazy). They're charging to go in? What do you mean by drop off?
04-26-2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
They're charging to go in? What do you mean by drop off?
If you weren't parking, but being dropped off by someone, you used to be able to state so at the far right gate and they would let you into the loop to be dropped off by the door. That has changed. I think you can still walk in from the gate without paying, but I'm not sure. The pricing is still by the car, not by people in the car.

Not too long ago there was even a bus out to the museum. I think it has been four years now, that the route was canceled. I've seen an airport shuttle pick up and drop off, taxis too, but not since the expansion, as I haven't been out there.

Thank you
Russell
04-26-2010, 05:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote

Camera: Pentax K10D Exposure: 1/15
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length:10 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Thank you
Russell
Great shot. Well done and thank you for sharing it!
04-26-2010, 06:19 PM   #15
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Sigma 10-20mm

I think the last time I went I took the Sigma 10-20 and Tamron 28-75.

Here's a shot from the Sigma 10-20 @ 10mm.
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