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P-51 Mustang Fly-by, Love This lens
Lens: DA-L 55-300 Camera: K2000 ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/1500s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: geezer52, 05-24-2010, 08:58 AM

While at Skydive Elsinore this past weekend, this P-51 did a low altitude fly-by. My K2000 (which now has well over 10K shutter actuations and still going strong) was set on F-8, for continuous AF, using all 5 focus points. The lens was the DA-L verion of the 55-300 and I think acquits itself very well. First shot is the approach, 2nd is basically at a right angle to me, the 3rd shot is 100% crop from the 2nd shot. Pretty good detail I think. Check out the photographer in the back seat of the plane. Only PP was some slight tweaks to exposure, no sharpening applied

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05-24-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
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Very cool. You didn't ask for CC, but I was listening to a podcast yesterday & Bourne & Kelby were talking about photographing race cars & airplanes. They pointed out that, ideally, you want the body of the car/plane stopped & sharp, but the wheels/props showing some motion.

Having that fresh in my mind, I saw your first excellent pic & noticed the prop was "frozen in time." Maybe I wouldn't have noticed it had I not just heard that podcast, but now it jumps out & looks unnatural.

However, I still love the first picture!
05-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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That first shot is a good one. The background looks good as well as the aircraft's angle. A slight blur of the propeller would look a little more interesting, but... I mean come on. It's a P-51! Admired by many and justly so. Well, except for a few Germans.
05-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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Agree a bit more blur on the prop would be better. For most of my shooting at Elsinore I leave the camera set at F-8 and forget about the shutter speed because for the most part it doesn't matter as much for the shots I take. For this I had short notice of the approach and just went for the shots with the settings I had. I didn't know what shutter speed was used until afterwards - I was just hoping it was fast enough.

05-24-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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Perfect - what I nice group of shots - great job!

05-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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Great shots. One thing to remember is, these old airplanes were powered by 2-speed Packard engines that didn't turn very high RPM's.
05-24-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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2nd shot is great!!

I just realized that the Mustang is a 2 seats plane! :P by the way, does anybody know what's the belly air intake for????
05-24-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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Ya can't beat a P51....gotta have the R/R Merlin engine of course!
Bloody awesome shots...I'd love to have taken them with my Spotmatic &SMCs!
Cheers, Pickles.

05-24-2010, 10:47 PM   #9
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Great shots mate well done, i love the p51's. And the spitfires also, the sound of the v12 merlin is music to my ears
05-25-2010, 01:33 AM   #10
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Very nice shots, the second in particular looks great.
Next time you soon some planes, I also suggest that you look at stopping your shutter speed down to vary the amount of blur on the propeller. Of course this can make it harder to get the plane sharp, but I recommend you try it.
Thanks for sharing
05-25-2010, 04:01 AM   #11
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love that heavy metal!! the 55-300 is the swiss knife of pentax lenses imho..... never let me down..... thanks for sharing, dave m
05-25-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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Shooting ariplanes in motion is not easy, I know. I've experienced this myself some 20 years ago, exposing more than 4 rolls of 36 exposure film to get a few real keepers.

Now for some C&C, if you don't mind.

Composition would be a bit better if the airplane was a bit off-center (on the right to suggest getting closer, on the left to suggest getting further away). A bit of cropping could actually make this very good shot even better. I suggest a slightly panoramic cropping on the second pic.

And I agree with NewportPreacher: a slightly slower shutter speed would've helped blur the propeller just a bit more (but then it might have been too slow to freeze the aircraft, maybe).

Overall, very nice shots.

On a sie note, I must say I LOVE this aircraft. One of my all-time favorites!

Keep posting!
05-26-2010, 10:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andres Quote
2nd shot is great!!

I just realized that the Mustang is a 2 seats plane! :P by the way, does anybody know what's the belly air intake for????
In original form, it wasn't a two-seater at all...

The belly scoop provided cooling and intake air for the engine and was place there because it created the least amount of drag in that location. Or at least the air stream there offset the drag due to increased airflow to the engine, etc..
But, since it took 144 days from inception to prototype, maybe the belly scoop just looked pretty under there and the advantages were incidental!?
05-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #14
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Fact - the Ford motor company named a certain line of their sports cars after the P-51

Fact - the P-51 originally flew with the RAF

Fact - While initially equipped with the P-40 Warhawks, P-39s and P-47 Thunderbolts, the Famous Tuskeegee Airmen became known for their prowess in the P-51 Mustang

Fact - The last American USAF Mustang was F-51D-30-NA AF Serial No. 44-74936, which was finally withdrawn from service with the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1957.
05-28-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Great shots mate well done, i love the p51's. And the spitfires also, the sound of the v12 merlin is music to my ears
+1 on the shots.

About the sound of the merlin engine. We had one in the engineering labs at uni. The sound in an enclosed space was brilliant


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