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Thread: Air Show Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    16

    Air Show Advice

    So tomorrow I am heading out to an air show and I spent some of today playing with the camera in Manual mode to get an idea of how it would act.

    I arbitrarily decided to use 1/2000 shutter speed with ISO at 400 using the Sony 300mm 4.5 - 5.6 zoom. I took a shots at a distant tree branch and compared the images changing the aperture in sequence.

    I attached F9 which seemed to be the better of the bunch, but why does it start to get noisy as the aperture went down to 16?

    For this type of light is the 400 ISO appropriate? 200 was too dark but I could post process if that is the better way to go.

    I will need to keep the shutter fast.

    Thanks in advance for fine tuning advice!



    ----------------------
    Main Information
    ImageDescription : SONY DSC
    Make : SONY
    Model : DSLR-A300
    Orientation : left-hand side
    XResolution : 72/1
    YResolution : 72/1
    ResolutionUnit : Inch
    Software : Image Data Lightbox SR
    DateTime : 2009:05:15 16:14:47
    YCbCrPositioning : co-sited
    ExifInfoOffset : 232
    Sub Information
    ExposureTime : 1/2000Sec
    FNumber : F9.0
    ExposureProgram : Manual
    ISOSpeedRatings : 400
    ExifVersion : 0221
    DateTimeOriginal : 2008:01:24 22:39:51
    DateTimeDigitized : 2008:01:24 22:39:51
    ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
    CompressedBitsPerPixel : 8/1 (bit/pixel)
    BrightnessValue : EV9.6
    ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
    MaxApertureValue : F5.6
    MeteringMode : Division
    LightSource : Unidentified
    Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
    FocalLength : 300.00(mm)
    MakerNote : SONY Format : 29662Bytes (Offset:782)
    UserComment :
    FlashPixVersion : 0100
    ColorSpace : sRGB
    ExifImageWidth : 3872
    ExifImageHeight : 2592
    ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 30432
    CustomRendered : Normal process
    ExposureMode : Manual
    WhiteBalance : Auto
    FocalLength(35mm) : 450(mm)
    SceneCaptureType : Standard

    -----------------------------------------------

    ImageDescription : SONY DSC
    Make : SONY
    Model : DSLR-A300
    Orientation : left-hand side
    XResolution : 72/1
    YResolution : 72/1
    ResolutionUnit : Inch
    Software : Image Data Lightbox SR
    DateTime : 2009:05:15 16:17:36
    YCbCrPositioning : co-sited
    ExifInfoOffset : 232
    Sub Information
    ExposureTime : 1/2000Sec
    FNumber : F16.0
    ExposureProgram : Manual
    ISOSpeedRatings : 400
    ExifVersion : 0221
    DateTimeOriginal : 2008:01:24 22:38:35
    DateTimeDigitized : 2008:01:24 22:38:35
    ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
    CompressedBitsPerPixel : 8/1 (bit/pixel)
    BrightnessValue : EV9.3
    ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
    MaxApertureValue : F5.6
    MeteringMode : Division
    LightSource : Unidentified
    Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
    FocalLength : 300.00(mm)
    MakerNote : SONY Format : 29662Bytes (Offset:782)
    UserComment :
    FlashPixVersion : 0100
    ColorSpace : sRGB
    ExifImageWidth : 3872
    ExifImageHeight : 2592
    ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 30432
    CustomRendered : Normal process
    ExposureMode : Manual
    WhiteBalance : Auto
    FocalLength(35mm) : 450(mm)
    SceneCaptureType : Standard
    Contrast : Normal
    Saturation : Normal
    Sharpness : Normal
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Here's what I would do? Forget M mode and set it to aperture priority.

    Use 300mm, aperture of about F/8, and keep the shutter speed at 1/250 or greater to freeze the planes (think that should be enough?). Keep the ISO at 400 or less (lower the aperture if you have to). Also play around with longer shutter speeds and panning with the planes for some cool effects. I've never shot an airshow, Don can tell you more, but this is what I would do.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    16
    Interesting... After I posted this I found an Air Show forum. They didn't talk about photography but I just installed a firefox ext which allows me to see the camera's settings.

    I was convinced I needed a high speed.

    As it turns out most of the photographers were using ISO 100 in A priority. Their Apertures varied from about an 8 to 12. So I took the camera back out and noted that with an f/8 under the sun, it shoots around 1/400 which may be plenty so long as I lock on the plane LOL!

    Cool. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Yeah I was guessing, you should be just fine, have fun!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool A wing and a prayer

    Here are a couple of shots I got at the Oshkosh AirVenture, last year, under sunny conditions.

    Name:  F-22_Panorama.jpg
Views: 1077
Size:  199.7 KB
    A700 w/ TAMRON 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD lens
    @ 360mm - f/5.6 - 1/2000 sec - ISO-400 - Spot Focus - Spot Meter - Sp Mode


    Name:  Heritage-Flt-(4).jpg
Views: 781
Size:  285.7 KB
    A700 w/ TAMRON 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD lens
    @ 230mm - f/5.6 - 1/2000 sec - ISO-400 - Spot Focus - Spot Meter - Sp Mode



    I was convinced that 1/2000th would freeze just about anything flying that day ... so I went with Shutter Priority for these.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-15-2009 at 04:42 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    16
    Interesting. I am getting the basics down now. I spent the day on the Sony web site and reading some threads.

    Your camera chose a larger aperture to get more light in but you are losing depth of focus... I guess when shooting planes from that distance, it wouldn't matter much.

    I think I am going to set up both modes and switch back and forth. I will have A priority mode set up for the smallest I can get while staying above 1/500 as the chosen speed.

    Then I will take other shots at S pri 1/2000, if it's cloudy I may drop the speed down.

    You used Spot focus and spot metering. I haven't messed with those settings. Any particular reason for spot?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Talking Here spot!

    Okay ... what's with spot?

    Spot-focusing allows you to take images when the subject is focused upon. When you are in high-speed shutter (it is called "Continuous Advance" on the A700),
    the camera will NOT fire until you actually have your subject autofocused (AF-C) on. If you have clear sky ... no focus is declared and the shutter stops firing,
    as the camera cannot achieve a 'contrast' focus with nothing out there (if you are in MANUAL FOCUS (MF), it fires focused or not. When you center and line up
    on your subject ... focus locks, the shutter releases and the 5 fps begins. It can save you some framing time, when those jets are barreling down the flight
    line at 600 mph. Just hold down the shutter release ... the camera does its job and when your subject is centered ...

    BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!


    You do not want to have wide-field focus going or you could be focused on any distant flag or someone standing next to you. Anything solid in the frame ... BAM!
    It can be painful to find all your shots ... mis-focused because there was something ELSE in the darn frame with your subject. Spot focusing ... it is hit and
    no miss, unless the subject exceeds the constraints of the frame ... then you wind up with something like these two shots below happening, where the camera finds
    its solution faster than you can frame it. At 1/2000th sec, these shots rip off as fast as the camera can go!

    Name:  f-22-nose-miss.jpg
Views: 766
Size:  124.8 KB

    Name:  f-22-tail-miss.jpg
Views: 726
Size:  121.0 KB

    I wound up making a "panorama" of these two sharply focused shots and produced the one I had posted, earlier, in this thread. So, yes, when you have lemons ...
    you can still make lemonade.

    Here is the Memory Recall settings I use to get me quickly set up at the airshow ... and I vary from there.

    Name:  High-Speed-settings.jpg
Views: 707
Size:  173.8 KB

    As far as DOF goes ... at a distance of 500-feet, Aperture of f/5.6 and focal length of 300mm ... you are looking at DOF of 198ft.
    If your spot focus is accurate, the airplane will fully fit in that window.

    Obviously, the 70-300 f/4-5.6 lens cannot go wider than f/5.6 zoomed out to 300mm. It is just impossible, so this MANUAL setting works fine. and you should not
    need to vary it, unless the clouds come up.

    Also, you can turn off "SSS" ... because at 1/2000 sec, it has NO EFFECT on the camera's sensor and might even goof up the shot. I just turn it off when I shoot the
    airborne flight-line shots. I use AdobeRGB Creative Style because I plan on printing these, occasionally, and I want every ounce of color I can get from the shot
    when I do. If you do not plan on printing them and only posting them on the web, I would use Standard.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-15-2009 at 09:29 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    Air Show Advice

    IF IT'S ON FIRE AND COMING AT YOU..RUN!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by SONYNUT View Post
    Air Show Advice

    IF IT'S ON FIRE AND COMING AT YOU..TAKE A PICTURE!!!!!!!
    Fixed it for you.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    92
    Originally Posted by SONYNUT
    Air Show Advice

    IF IT'S ON FIRE AND COMING AT YOU..TAKE A PICTURE!!!!!!!


    Then run.

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