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F-15 "Eagle" banking


PS-CS unsharp mask and curves


© No images may be used without express written consent of the author

From the category:

Performing Arts

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First time shooting with a 300mm prime. I used a 2x TC, shot in AI

Servo mode, and found the shots to be slightly soft and on the dark

side. Any suggestions for shooting air shows?


Can I get away with a 400mm f/2.8 prime that is not stabilized if I am

going to be panning all day?


As always, any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated.

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you reach out for advice, ask openly for help, and the "holier than thou" idiots on this service slap 4/4 ratings on the photo without a single word. Well.. I have on word for them... LOOSER!
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I would offer suggestions, but I'm still drooling at the idea of buying (or even having access to) a 300mm f2.8 prime lens...


I would imagine that the jets are pretty dark compared to the sky. So if you don't mind the sky being totally blown out, I guess you could spot meter.

As for suggestions specific to that sort of lens, I'm afraid I can't offer much help. Personally I thought they looked pretty decent - but I don't have access to the full res photo, so I can't see the softness you're talking about...


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If you can't see the softness, then maybe I am being over critical. I rented the lens to shoot the show and will be taking some more in two days as there will be another air show only a few hours from my home. I rented (are you sitting down?) the 400mm f/2.8 only thing is it's not stabilized so I will have to shoot with a mono pod. Will post as I find the time. Thank you BTW for commenting on these photos.. I really appreciate it.
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norm you dont have to worry too much about 400 mm on a 10d, i started with the sigma 50-500 which is also non I/S also mounted on the front of a 10d. i now shoot with a 400do I/S with a 1x4 extender on the 10d giving an efective focal length of 896mm hand held with shutter speeds down to 1/180 sec. you might like to try shooting props in tv mode and jets in sports mode. and dont let the buggers who give you 4/4 a second thought as i have recieved 2/2 on some of my aircraft shots, by the way i think this is worth 6/6 . ta ta for now....M
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Again, thank you so much for taking the time to view and comment on my photos... I did take a leap and rent the Canon 400 f/2.8 to a show yesterday and hand-held it with a 2x TC for an effective FL of 1,280mm. The lens was non-IS and let me tell you all I can say is there must have been something wrong with the 300mm lens as ALL of the images shot yesterday were sharp as a tack!
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I shoot with a 10D (Partial metering, AI Servo, then switch between centre focus point and any focus point depending on how I feel!) and a Sigma 170-500mm that is non IS. This lens is pretty sharp when used at F/8, so I always set the dial to Av, and select F/8 when shooting jets, and adjust ISO accordingly between 100-400 to get shutter speed not slower then 1/750. If this can't be achieved at F/8, then I just open up a stop or two.


For props and rotors, I set dial to Tv and adjust shutter between 1/180 and 1/350 depending on the speed of the plane. Sometimes I adjust ISO to try and keep aperture at F/8 for the sharpness, but I don't always remember!


Sometimes I need to increase EV comp by +1/2 or +1 stop, by 1 of 2 ways - i)use the screen to check exposure, and if too dark, crank up EV for next pass; ii) If you can see bright sky in the centre circle (i.e. the partial metering circle) in the viewfinder it will underexpose the plane, so crank up the EV. If memory isn't an issue, set EV to +1/2 and bracket, with AEB set to -1/2 and +1/2, and fire away. That way, you'll get shots at between 0 and +1 EV, and one of them is bound to be OK!


I also have the params set with sharpness at max, contrast up 1 notch, saturation up 1 notch.


Anyway, I hope that helps. Feel free to look at my portfolio and see the results for yourself!


Nice pic BTW, but I don't like the coarse black frame!



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Just had a read of Martin's and Alex's input and I have also been trying to get sharper images. My better results, with what used to be Martin's Sigma 50/500 lens, came also from using sports mode and taking as many shots as possible. If I use any other setting for jets then I also get softer photo's(i.e. Av mode)dispite setting sharpness preset to Max. I feel that the problem may be due to the focus lock and how quickly one follows the beep to fully pressing the shutter button. On the down-side, I suppose it could be the lenses at fault as I have noticed that most of my sharper images are as the aircraft have turned away. Check this one out with your lens just incase it needs recalibrating. I noticed your newer photo's with your hired lens are pin sharp and enjoyed viewing them. I'll pop some ratings up after I have looked again. My newest folder is "Wheels and Wings" which contain a few Veteren racing cars. You may enjoy a look.
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