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09-14-2021, 08:10 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobIr Quote
I used my K-70 at an airshow in July. Used an older Tamron 28-300 lens. With low fly bus that way enough to get me close.

I set focus on continuous, Auto ISO for changing light conditions. I shoot aperture priority. It's tricky finding right shutter speed. You don't want to stop the propeller. A blurred circle is best.

Other tip...take lots and lots of shots as planes approach.

Here's link to a few of my shots.

AirExpo 2021 - Flying Cloud Airport - July 24th - Google Photos
Very nice shots. I wish the airshows that do occur near me had greater variety and more vintage style aircraft. While I got some great shots and had a good time, the airshow this past weekend did not have much variety - either in the static displays or the demos. Maybe this was an affect of the pandemic, but I recall a little more variety in past airshows at Pease.

09-14-2021, 08:13 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by BobIr Quote
I set focus on continuous, Auto ISO for changing light conditions. I shoot aperture priority. It's tricky finding right shutter speed. You don't want to stop the propeller. A blurred circle is best.
Why not switch to shutter priority when shooting at this type of event? Or hyper program?
09-14-2021, 11:06 PM   #18
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Un peu de mon expérience

J'utilise le 150/450 sur le K1 ou sur le K3-3 si j'ai besoin d'allonge... mais pas plus à main levée.
Pour les avions à hélice, ma vitesse moyenne est de 1/320 et pour les jets au moins le 1/1000 et jusqu'au 1/2500.
Le filé est aussi réalisable au décollage avec des vitesses de1/80, et moins si avions à hélice.
Concernant le mode, c'est TAV avec iso maxi bloqué à 6400. en essayant de s'adapter à la luminosité et de se rapprocher des 100 iso.
Pour l'ouverture, autour de 8, en fonction de la plage de profondeur de champ voulue.
Trouver le bon compromis vitesse ouverture est important et l'analyse des premières images est capitale pour adapter à vitesse et ouverture.
+ 1/3, 2/3 ou 1 est aussi souhaitable en fonction du ciel (un ciel trop bleu n'est pas forcément idéal)
Utiliser un APSC permet également d'augmenter artificiellement la focale, mais aussi la vitesse des rafales.
La prise de vue en rafales courtes permet aussi de fixer un reflet ou une situation spécifique par rapport çl'éclairage.

I use the 150/450 on the K1 or on the K3 -3 if I need more reach ... but no more hand held.
For propeller planes my average speed is 1/320 and for jets at least 1/1000 and up to 1/2500.
The yarn is also achievable at takeoff with speeds of 1/80, and less if airplanes with propeller.
Regarding the mode, it is TAV with maximum ISO set at 6400. trying to adapt to the brightness and get closer to the 100 ISO.
For the aperture, around 8, depending on the desired depth of field range.
Finding the right aperture and speed compromise is important and the analysis of the first images is essential to adapt to speed and aperture.
+ 1/3, 2/3 or 1 is also desirable depending on the sky (a sky that is too blue is not necessarily ideal)
Using an APSC also makes it possible to artificially increase the focal length, but also the speed of the bursts.
Shooting in short bursts also allows you to fix a reflection or a specific situation in relation to the lighting.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 09-15-2021 at 04:55 AM.
09-15-2021, 12:19 AM   #19
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I didn't see your request earlier, but this could be helpful for future airshow action too...

Pentax and aviation photography

09-16-2021, 07:24 PM - 3 Likes   #20
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I know I'm way late to this thread, but I find it interesting that much of the advice given is counter to what I do.

Using first the 55-300 ED and later 55-300 WR, I shoot Av mode at f/11 and let the ISO ride up to 6400 on the KP. I think with the K-5 I'd let it up to 3200 and the K10D no higher than 400. I may also add up to +1 on EV but not always. And of course, I shoot in RAW. That's it. It's a slight variation on "f/8 and be there" that has worked a lot for me, both at airports on regular days and at air shows. Check my Flickr albums for results, though I notice I've not done an air show yet with the KP.

On the topic of prop blur, getting a full disc as suggested by one poster can be a mighty challenging task for a moving aircraft. Prop and aircraft speeds will vary widely but I recently made some calculations for a Bombardier DHC-8 turboprop, and the aircraft will have moved 2.5 m (over 8 ft) forward in the time it takes the prop to do one complete revolution! Even allowing for the 4 bladed prop, that's still 0.625 m (over 2 ft). If you're anything like close (as you likely will be at an air show) that presents a challenging tracking solution. Different aircraft in different flight regimes could be a lot worse or a lot better and you'd have to really know your aircraft to adapt to each one!

Here's the fastest aircraft at the last show I went to. Shot parameters are f/11, 1/800, ISO 250. (That's one of the higher shutter speeds of the day. Looking at that section of the show — and thus relatively consistent lighting — they mostly range between 1/250 and 1/400, and all the props are blurred.)

Oh, and the reason for f/11 is that is where the ED lens was at its sharpest according to my testing. Recent testing I have done with the WR suggests it may do fine at f/8. And indeed I have some ED shots at f/8 that were fine.

When it comes to depth of field, I think you can pick anything you like. Again, a calculation I have done before. This shot is about as close as I can get to the runway at my local airport. The aircraft is shot slightly rear-quarter because it's tricky to fit it in at the 55mm wide end of the 55-300 when it's directly opposite. But let's assume the subject was small enough to fit comfortably. The runway centreline is approximately 113 m away, which is close!

55 mm focal length, focussed 113 m distant, and let's say you're really lucky to be using an f/2.8 lens — your DOF (on APS-C) extends from 36.3 m to infinity. More than enough to get the entire depth of the aircraft sharp. What about a smaller aircraft that requires some zoom? A fairly tiny Cessna 152 has a wing span of just over 10 m. Zoom in to 300 mm with that same generous-to-light, depth of field-robbing f/2.8 and you'll get 7.5 m in front and 8.6 m behind for DOF. Again, more than enough. Given most of us aren't going to be using f/2.8 capable lenses you can pretty much pick any aperture you want unless you're REALLY close. If anything in flight is closer than 100 m you're probably breaking some law. Stuff on the ground, of course, could be much closer, but then you're likely to be stuck on much shorter focal lengths. That Cessna 152 will still be entirely in the 55 mm DOF when 20 m away, and yes, the 7.34 m long aircraft will just fit in the ~8.5 m field of view at the focus distance.

That's why I pick the aperture where my lens performs best and just go with it. Creative DOF isn't really an option in these shooting scenarios. Leave those considerations for the arty shots on static display aircraft.

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