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An Introduction to Aviation Photography

By Charles Falk
October 27, 2001

Aviation photography is as old as powered flight itself, as it started the same day that Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17th, 1903. Some guy with a camera was there and recorded the event, and photographers have followed aircraft around the world ever since.


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Photo © Mark Garfinkel


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Photo © George Canciani


Why do we get involved in this strange hobby? Running to the airport at every opportunity to click pictures of noisy, smoky aluminum tubes is hardly logical (at least that is what my wife keeps telling me). You don’t get much exercise, unless you count the contortion and balancing acts that we must sometimes perform in order to get into position for a shot and the weight of your camera bag, ladder, lawn chair and ice chest that you have to haul around.

Don’t bother looking for the logic. There isn’t any. This hobby is based on the total opposite of logic – passion. The idea of flying has been a human passion ever since we first saw the clouds, birds, stars, and other things in the sky, and we wanted to see them up close. After numerous and most often fatal attempts at flight, the 20th century finally brought with it the possibility of fulfilling the dreams of so many who came before.

The modern aircraft, particularly the large commercial ones designed to transport several hundred tons of passengers and cargo, is a tremendously complex piece of machinery made up of the better part of a million individual components, all designed to be mass produced and serve continuously and safely for decades.

Airlines have now become, instead of ships, the principle mode of transportation from one part of the world to another. As such they are the ambassadors, or flag carriers of their respective countries to one another. As such, aircraft are often attractively painted to advertise their origin, and to tell a little about their home to the inhabitants of the country being visited. . A good example of this is Qantas’ “Wunula Dreaming”, with its kangaroos depicted in the aboriginal painting style of Australia.


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Photo © Andrew Hunt


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Photo © Frank Schaefer


Some airlines will paint all sorts of stuff on their planes, sometimes serious, like the promotion of a charity, sometimes business oriented, and sometimes just for fun. After all, you have to paint an aircraft anyway (otherwise its bare aluminum skin will corrode), so you might as well have it look nice.


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Photo © Dayot Jean-Charles


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Photo © Yoshimitsu Kai



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Photo © Dietmar Schreiber


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Photo © Peter Unmuth - Vienna Aviation Photography


Likewise, we spotters are often different from one another. Some are interested in all planes, of all sizes, colors and origins. Others are just interested in a particular airline, or of a particular aircraft type, or are only interested in collecting photographs of unique, one-off paint schemes. Some take pictures just for their own pleasure; others buy, sell and trade photographs with other spotters. Some people only like approach shots, others takeoffs, and others the difficult-to-get “ramp” shots. Some don’t care what medium it’s in, slides, prints or digital. Others accept only a particular format, like Kodachrome 64 slides in cardboard mounts.

You get the idea.

What I’d like to talk about here is a basic course in aviation photography – what’s involved, how to do it, when and where, etc. This first installment deals with the actual tools you will need. The next installment will go into techniques and other issues.


PRINCIPLE EQUIPMENT



Let’s start with the basics. For aviation photography, you will need a camera. Duh. But there are several hundred cameras available, and at least a dozen accessories for each, making for a dizzying number of possible combinations to choose from. In addition, depending on whether you want to scan and upload your pictures onto the internet (or simply keep them on your hard drive for storage or as wallpaper), you will also need a scanner and photo editing software.

Camera Body

The standard camera setup for the aviation photographer consists of a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, using 35mm film.


The advantages of the SLR vs. other types of camera (except for digital – more on that later) are:
  • Interchangeable lenses, and even the cheaper quality SLR lenses will still be far superior to pocket-camera optics.
  • Current zoom-equipped pocket cameras are limited to around 150mm focal lengths, maximum. In most cases, this will not be sufficient. SLR lenses come in any length, up to the 1200mm, crane-elevated models (just kidding about the crane).
  • You also have the possibility of getting extra focal length with 1.4x and 2x converters or you can use a variety of filters to create special effects or to simply improve the colors.
  • It’s modular, so you can grow your kit over time, instead of having to chuck the whole thing away if you get something better. I still use my old camera bodies and lenses as backups.
  • The SLR has much greater performance capability than the pocket camera, speeds of up to 1/8000th of a second are possible.
  • You can specify exactly what you want the camera to do, from speed or aperture priority, full automatic, or fully manual. Pocket cameras are normally fully automatic, which will frequently not perform as you need.


As far as the body (the SLR camera without the lens) is concerned, whether it is a $2500, top of the line Nikon F5 or Canon EOS 1v, or a much cheaper model which you can get for a couple hundred dollars (good used cameras can be found for even less), it won’t make a huge difference for most people. All the body really needs to do well is to hold the film flat, and, if you use automatic modes, perform some calculations that will generally be just about as accurate as with a higher priced model. The advantages of the higher-end models will be higher shutter speeds (not much use unless you have expensive lenses anyway), and faster speeds for “machine-gun” shooting. No really big loss. I recently went nuts and bought a Canon EOS 1v, and have yet to find a situation with it that my tired old EOS Elan II couldn’t have handled when it was in better shape.



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Photo © Matsushita Masashi - aozora karugamotai -




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Photo © Samuel Lo



Lens

This is definitely the most important part of your equipment. The lens is what will determine whether the image is sharp, has good contrast and balanced lighting (i.e. no vignetting). The zoom mechanism will determine how “close” you can get, and by its smoothness and easy of use whether you can quickly capture that image well in-frame, close to full-frame and centered.

The basic kit should include 2 zoom lenses. A 28-75mm lens (or thereabouts) for close range shots, and a long range zoom, going from 75-300mm. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive lenses (called “consumer-grade” lenses) available for all SLRs which will go out to around 300mm. If used properly, such lenses will serve well. So-called “professional lenses” are much heavier, will give a better image in terms of sharpness and contrast, allow you more speed by letting in more light, and are MUCH more expensive. But most spotters manage to take fine pictures without these high-end lenses, if they learn to use their consumer-grade lenses properly.



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Photo © Christian Albrecht




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Photo © Edward Pascuzzi



Film

You have a basic choice whether to use slide film (also called color reversal or positive film) or print film (negative film).

Prints are the easiest, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have a slide scanner. You can use just about any flatbed scanner, which have now become extremely common. Prints are also the easiest format to thumb through, show your friends, etc.

However there are a few things to know about prints and scanning from prints.

Firstly, the print itself is a second-generation image. The first generation, original image is the negative, which is the redish-orange film strip which you usually find in a little pocket of the envelope they gave the prints to you in. A second-generation image will never have as much detail as the original, unless you have it professionally blown up to poster-size prints. I’ve seen some labs give absolutely awful prints, but taking the same negative to another lab, I would get far better results.

Secondly, you are at the mercy of the operator of the printing machine. One of the advantages of the printing process, and one of the reasons why prints have become so popular over the last 20-30 years, is that if the picture is under/over exposed, or has too much blue, or green, or whatever, the operator can adjust it so that the print has more balanced colors, and is correctly exposed. Nowadays, machines can even do this automatically, and the operator will often blindly approve what the machine recommends. This is fine for holiday snapshots, where you are not too terribly concerned with the image quality, but it is murder on aviation pics. I’ll have more on development a little later.

Slide film has always been the medium of choice for serious aviation photographers. Looking at a slide, you are looking at the original, first-generation image, with all the color and detail that the film was capable of capturing. However, they are more difficult to browse than prints, as slides are much smaller and you will need some kind of viewer to see them properly.

Both slide and print film are made by a variety of manufacturers and come in a number of types.

Kodak and Fuji are the first and foremost names in photographic film. There are others, such as Agfa, Ilford, Konica and countless generic brands, but Kodak and Fuji films are the most widely available and have spent the most money in developing high quality films which provide the best color, sharpness and grain performance.

Films are also manufactured with different kinds of light, and for different levels of sensitivity to light. The most common are “Daylight” films, which constitutes 99% of all sales, and is the type recommended for aviation photography. There is also “Tungsten” film, made for indoor shooting with artificial light, and Infra-red film, which provides very interesting results for artistic photography. However Tungsten and Infra-red films are never used for normal aviation photography, and are usually only found at professional photo shops.

Apart from the manufacturer, the most important choice the aviation photographer must make is what light sensitivity film to choose from.

While the older DIN measurements are still used by some “old-timers”, the ASA measurement standard is the most common. Print films generally come with ASA ratings of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000, and most recently 1600. The higher the ASA number, the more sensitive the film is to light, which will allow higher speeds which in turn reduces the probability of producing blurry pictures. But nothing is free – there is a tradeoff for that higher speed capability. The higher the light sensitivity, the lower the image quality will be. Films with ASA ratings of 200 or higher (dubbed “fast” film) will have noticeably more grain, less sharpness and poorer color performance than ASA 100 or lower (called “slow”) films. Aviation photographers will almost always prefer image quality, so ASA 100 is the film of choice for them.

Slide film also comes with different ASA ratings. As more professional photographers (not just aviation photographers) prefer to use slide film and often desire the highest possible image quality, slide films with even lower ASA ratings (and higher image quality) are available, the lowest ASA rating commonly available being ASA 25.

Kodachrome slide film, at both ASA 64 and ASA 25 ratings, have been considered the standard aviation photography film for some 40 years. Its proprietary development process (K-14 instead of the more usual E-6 process) ensures that only Kodak labs can do the processing, in principle providing a level of comfort to people who might buy or trade the slide that the slide has been properly developed and will remain intact for many years (Longevity of Kodachrome having been proven since the 50’s). It is not however the highest quality film available in terms of color and grain however. Fuji’s Provia 100F and Sensia 100 are rapidly gaining a following.



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Photo © Jan Mogren




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Photo © Walter Pietsch



Development

OK, so you have spent the day at the airport, and you have a few rolls of film to have developed. What do you do now? You want to see the pictures you shot, of course. You will probably want to see them as soon as possible and be tempted to run down the 1-hour photo development shop.

Hold it right there! The part of the U.S. Declaration of Independence which says “All men are created equal”, does NOT apply to photo development labs! They are NOT all equal.

Photo development is a fine science. Chemicals must be changed often and regularly, and must be held at temperatures with a precision of sometimes within 0.1 degree centigrade of the manufacturer’s specifications. Immersion times are similarly timed very precisely, and the operator of the printer (for print films) should have a decent knowledge of photography himself to judge whether the machine’s automatic adjustments of color and exposure are actually what are desired. Any changes of time or temperature may not result in immediately apparent problems – you may only find out that processing was badly done after a few years, when your precious slides or negatives which you have carefully stored in a cool, dry place, start changing colors. Properly developed and stored films and slides should last up to 100 years without significant color shifts.

The 1-hour lab may be fine for casual holiday snapshots, but if you really care about your pictures, you will take them elsewhere. The 1-hour labs are staffed by people with just the minimum training on how to operate the machinery, and are probably a little too worried about making money to change the chemicals often and regularly, and you will often get photos with inaccurate colors, too much or too little grain, sharpness, etc. The fact that they have a 1-hour turnaround requirement and dozens of people arriving at the same time will make them hurry through processes which they should be taking their time to do properly.

Do your pictures a favor - find a professional lab for them. It isn’t that difficult. Visit a couple of professional photo shops (not the photo section of a department store, but a real, specialty photo shop) and ask for their advice on who is the best lab in the area. Ask other experienced spotters. Interestingly, in my experience, the best slide processing lab is rarely the best print lab, and vice versa.



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Photo © Stephen Liard




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Photo © Tommy Mogren / Viking Slides



Scanning

Some spotters just live for their slide or print collections, don’t own a computer, and are perfectly happy looking at their slides and prints and maybe trading them with other spotters. However, since the Internet revolution, increasing numbers of photographers are interested in getting their pictures into a computer, and uploading them onto their web page or a larger web site such as Airliners.net. Getting your pictures into your computer means scanning. There are essentially two types of scanners – the flatbed scanner and the film/slide scanner.

The flatbed scanner has been available for over a decade, and have become cheap and common accessories on PCs, costing as little as $99. The flatbed, as the name suggests, has a flat glass surface on which to put a photo or document, a cover to hold the document firmly in place, and a tracked light source and reader which crawls under the glass to scan the image using reflected light. Optical resolution goes up to around 1200 dots per inch (dpi) on recent models, sometimes even more. Do not be fooled however by interpolated resolution, which can sometimes go as high as 9600 dpi. Interpolated resolution means nothing – optical is the real resolution. For our purposes, resolutions of more than 300 or 400 dpi are overkill in the case of scanning photos, because prints from the lab generally are printed at a resolution of somewhere between 300-400 dpi (on a 4x6 inch print, this translates into roughly 2.2 to 3.8 million pixels), and often, because of less than optimal use of the equipment, effectively less. However for the purpose of creating scans of roughly 1024x600, or 615,000 pixels (a typical picture size on this web site), a flatbed is an acceptable option.

A film/slide scanner is more recent, and is still relatively expensive compared to a flatbed scanner (although their prices have come down significantly over the past few years, and will continue to do so). The negative or slide is held in place, and a light source illuminates one side as the reader scrolls down the other side. As the sensor is reading projected light, rather than reflected light of a flatbed, the results generally provide more vivid and true color. Film scanners, as they don’t need to scan as large an area as a flatbed, have optical resolutions of up to 4000 dpi, which will result in a picture of over 20 million pixels. As ridiculously high this may seem, as you are working from the original negative or slide (which is said to contain between 100 and 200 million effective pixels of data per frame), this allows you to really dig deep into the picture and extract details, like the text written in tiny letters over an aircraft door.

So a film/slide scanner is the scanner of choice, but should still be considered a bit of a luxury because of its price.



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Photo © Chris Sheldon




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Photo © Propfreak



Software

If you’ve scanned your picture, you will probably not be entirely happy with the raw scan. You will want to crop out parts of the picture, or the edges of the slide frame. You will probably want to enhance the photo by sharpening it, or adjusting the colors or the luminosity. To do this effectively, you will need some photo-editing software, such as Adobe’s Photoshop (considered the standard for such software), or equivalent software such as Corel PhotoPaint. Both these programs are rather expensive (similar in price to buying MS Word or Excel). One piece of good news: Photoshop has a “Lite” version which ships as complimentary software with some scanners (something to think about when shopping for a scanner), which should be sufficient for most people.

There are also a variety of less expensive photo-editing programs available either via the internet, or by browsing in your local store.



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Photo © Sam Chui




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Photo © Aaron Liu




OTHER EQUIPMENT



Finally there are a few items which you will probably need although some might not be considered critical.

Software

If you want to keep archives of your pictures on your hard disk or on CD-ROM, a good program to have is one which allows your to see all the pictures on the disk or directory in thumbnail format, organize them, and to print indexes with the thumbnail and any relevant info you like. While there are many more out there, my personal favorite is ThumbsPlus 4.5, which is available for download at http://www.cerious.com/. It is fully functional for 30 days, after which you have to buy it for about $79.

If you are going to have a large collection of pictures, you will probably want to organize them somehow. The best way to do this is by setting up some kind of database on Microsoft Access or Excel. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no program or macro to do this for you, and you will have to set it up yourself. As the design is highly personal, depending on what you want to achieve, it is difficult to propose a system for someone else to use; however the forums on Airliners.net are a good place to ask for advice.

Loupe

A loupe (French word meaning “Magnifying Glass”) is mostly useful for looking at slides, but can also be useful when looking at negatives, such as when you can’t read the registration of an airplane on the print, and want to try to read it on the original negative. Most loupes come at around 4x magnification, but can also come at 6x, 8x and 10x ratings. At 10x, you can count the grain on the film. Prices range from just a few dollars for a plastic loupe, and up to nearly $100 for a 10x Leica loupe.

Light Box

Mainly useful for slides, although good for negatives as well, a light table is simply a flat light source that has been tuned to simulate daylight and on it you can place a slide and look at it through a loupe. There are small versions with LED-type light with a completely flat surface, up to and there are large boxes with light bulbs inside and a translucent cover with grooves that will hold your slides. Many people build their own light tables as well.



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Photo © Don Boyd




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Photo © AirNikon





Digital Cameras

The latest technology, theoretically ideal if you are going to put your pictures onto the Internet, is the flood of digital cameras coming onto the market. Such cameras would allow you to access your pictures as soon as you get home and download the photos to your computer, saving both the time and expense of processing.

Point-and-shoot digitals have been around for several years now, however their optical quality and final results are comparable to the results gotten from a point-and-shoot 35mm or APS camera - the lenses are simply not up to par with the level of quality standards demanded by aviation enthusiasts in general. Up until the year 2000, I would have not seen digital cameras as a truly viable alternative.

In 2000 and 2001, a new generation of digital cameras came on the market from Canon, Nikon and Fuji - the Digital SLR at prices, while still very high, were within reach of some amateurs. The quality of the images captured by these cameras compare very well to top-quality slide scans. The Digital SLRs have all the advantages of the 35mm SLR, including the ability to use different lenses to meet the circumstances, and full control over shutter, aperture and focus settings. An intermediate variety of digital camera has also appeared, with the image quality almost as good as the Digital SLRs, but with non-interchangeable zoom lenses, which may not have the flexibility of the SLR, but provides very good pictures within its limits.

With these recent advantages, Digital cameras now truly are a valid alternative. However:

1) Digital SLRs are still very expensive - generally over $3,000, compared to 35mm SLRs, which can be purchased for as little as one-tenth of the price.

2) Digital cameras are developing so fast that the $3,000 camera you buy today will likely be obsolete within a year. (for example: in early 2001, Nikon's $4,000 D1 was the top of the line. 6 months later, the D1X has come out with improved resolution and logic, nobody wants the D1 anymore.)

3) "Purists" will say that the original slide (or negative) will show the true measure of the photographer, with any mistakes being apparent and unalterable. As a digital image can be easily altered, and that there is no unalterable "original", I have heard comments about digital being considered as "cheating".

4) If you are interested in selling/trading slides, forget it. You will be able to sell prints however.

Financially, Digital has its advantages. If you shoot 200 rolls of 35mm film in a year (like I do), and pay $15 per roll including purchase and development (about what I pay), the Digital SLR pays itself off within a single year, not even counting what you have to spend on a good 35mm slide scanner.

In the end, the decision to go digital is highly personal, and depends on what you want to achieve. If all you are interested is posting pictures on the Internet, and you have the funds for the initial outlay of cash, then digital is probably for you. If want to have original slides for 20-30 years down the road, or are a "Purist" in any way, you should look elsewhere.

You might also want to wait a few years until the technology stabilizes which will allow a top-quality Digital SLR to remain current without being overly expensive. At the moment the technology and the products are evolving very fast. In any case, I would avoid all forms of point-and-shoot digitals, purely from an image quality point of view.


WRAP-UP



While an investment of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars is not really necessary to indulge in plane spotting, if you want to be serious about it, a certain investment in a decent basic set of equipment will be necessary to fully enjoy the experience. I know spotters who have passionately held on to this hobby for over 40 years (they have terrific slides to show as well) who never got around to getting beyond inexpensive second-hand SLRs, and don’t mind about it because they have learned how to use their equipment properly.

Now that we have gone over what you need to do some plane spotting, the next step will be to learn some of the techniques and skills to be applied, as well as figuring out how to get to the best places for photography.

Happy spotting!

Written by
Charles Falk

22 User Comments:
Username: EGGD [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-27 12:31:50 and read 32768 times.

Hi Charles, great article.

You did use some examples of digital photographs though, so i guess some might be misled about what sort of quality you will get out of a print/slide.

I agree about the development, 1 hour photo is not an option. I would definetly go out of my way to find a decent lab to develop photographs.

Regards

Dan

Username: Lanpie [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-27 17:19:17 and read 32768 times.

Hi Mr. Falk

Very good article about aviation photography. You are giving a lot of informations about getting the right equipment and types of film and how to proceed afterward.

Regards,

Pierre Langlois

Username: PUnmuth@VIE [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-27 19:55:56 and read 32768 times.

Hi Charles!
Great article. Very useful and well done
Congrats
Peter
P.S.: THX for using one of my pictures !

Username: Tappan [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-28 15:24:19 and read 32768 times.

Well done! Lots of pasion (and time) involved in your presentation is well appreciated!!!!
I am happy to have a photo in their as well.
Cheers
Mark Garfinkel

Username: OH-LZA [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-28 15:36:51 and read 32768 times.

GREAT Article, Charles!
Very helpful for me.
Thanks a LOT for writing it!

Alexander Holst

Username: CcrlR [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-28 16:21:01 and read 32768 times.

Really great article Charles. You explain it really good to me. Now I know what to buy and what to use. thanks a lot for writing it too. Did you ever get your pics in magazines? I want to know.


regards
Carl Robinson

Username: Henryjr [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-29 16:09:49 and read 32768 times.

Great article Charles!

Really well written and interesting for both the beginner and the "pro".

Regards,

Henry Jr Godding

Username: Ikarus [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-30 00:58:36 and read 32768 times.

Cool article, but a stupid question: I always thought 1-hour-labs were the best of the lot? After all, they are at least standardized, almost world wide, and the few films that I had developed there have the best colours of all my photos... (Usually I avoid them because they are too expensive :o )

Anyway. Big section missing: Johan's account number for bribes to accept my pictures on this site. The one bit that still needs covering.... :D

Regards

Ikarus

Username: Colinsensei [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-30 05:58:40 and read 32768 times.

Hi Charles,

Sorry about the mix-up. At any rate, your "draft" is a very good and informative story. Thanks for sharing it with us. I know that I learned a lot, and I'm eagerly awaiting Part II--the fully edited and approved version!

Colin Saunders

Username: Sushka [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-30 14:23:56 and read 32768 times.

Hey thanks for the lesson on airliner photography!
Well Done

Username: Cfalk [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-30 16:17:03 and read 32768 times.

Ikarus,

The problem with the 1-hour places is that they will be inconsistant. I know one, in a mall, where the guy will do a pretty good job if you bring the films to him on a Tuesday morning, when there are only a few people, but will do a terrible job on a Saturday afternoon, because of the rush. And this is a place where the guy happens to be the owner of the shop, and has been doing this for many years - this in itself is rather unusual. Most such shops are staffed by low-medium skilled labor, who are simply told what buttons to push. 99% of their customers don't mind this, as they are getting pictures of their beach holiday or the new dog. But why run the risk with pictures where the image qualty is paramount, and every little bit of sharpness or grain or color shift can make the difference between a confirmation note from Johan or a rejection notice?

A pro shop may be a bit more expensive, and you might have to wait a day or two extra, but I've found it to be worth it.

Cheers,

Charles

Username: Aloges [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-31 12:50:16 and read 32768 times.

Great article, Charles!

I would like to ask you this: What do you think about APS cameras and photos? Since I took my only photo on Airliners.net with a Canon Ixus pocket camera, I wonder if the result would have been better if I had used normal film material. (photo: window view, A320 LA, film ASA 200)

Achim Loges

Username: Cfalk [User Info]
Posted 2001-10-31 13:10:38 and read 32768 times.

Achim,

I've never used APS, so I can't reall talk from experience. However in principle, APS negatives (or slides) are smaller than 35mm film, therefore giving a result with lower resolution than 35mm.

You have to remember that APS was developed for the casual photographer, mainly in the form of pocket cameras, quick and easy to load, without needing to spool film, etc. I have heard there are a few APS SLRs around, but I've never seen one, and pocket camera optics just don't have the sharpness you really want, and the smaller negative will just make matters worse.

But, if a plane happens to get close enough that you can get it full-frame, and where you don't need to zoom into the negative too much, it should be possible to get an acceptable scan off of APS. But overall I think APS is rather limited.

I admit I would love to have some of the APS features on 35mm, like the ability to quickly change films on the fly, saving of certain parameters onto the film, etc.

Charles

Username: TomH [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-03 16:24:01 and read 32768 times.

This is a broad subject and you have nicely layed it out in concise, undertstandable terms. Somewhere in the FAQ this article should be mentioned as recommended reading for newbies.

Great work, Charles!

TomH

Username: Silverfox [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-06 23:43:04 and read 32768 times.

Charles,
as a long term (40 plus years) photographer of aircraft, and now in the business of selling cameras etc, i found your article extremely interesting and yes an old dog can be taught new tricks.
Thanks everyday you learn something new
Best wishes

Username: Trintocan [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-07 10:39:50 and read 32768 times.

A lovely, well-written article. Excellent for the beginner in the field.

Trintocan.

Username: MDL_777 [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-12 02:22:33 and read 32768 times.

Charles,

Excellent article - very comprehesive. You've really given me a good idea of where I need to be someday as far as equipment. How do you feel about photo CD's? I've had mixed results, some pictures have come out really well, while other pictures had problems where the tint was off, or there were streaks, noise, etc. I guess it really depends on the lab. Do they scan from the negative when they place the photo on CD? I assume so. Again, thanks for the great article.

Michael

Username: Cfalk [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-12 11:21:22 and read 32768 times.

Your experience seems to match others' who have tried Photo-CD - the quality varies widely. The best thing to do is to take a negative of good quality, and give the same negative to as many labs as you can and compare the results. I've seen Photo-CD files which looked almost as good as a top-notch slide scan or Digital SLR file, and others that looked absolutely awful. Like you said, it all depends on the lab.

Yes they scan the negatives for the process.

Cheers,

Charles

Username: Craigy [User Info]
Posted 2001-11-17 15:57:04 and read 32768 times.

Great article on the equipment. I can't wait for the follow up, which I hope will contain the techie bits on taking the actual photos.
Thanks,
Craig.

Username: Rol [User Info]
Posted 2002-01-06 11:28:30 and read 32738 times.

Hi Charles,

your article is smashing! I tried to print it with the print-button of my browser - didn't work. My question: Is there a way to print this article? If not, could you mail it to me as a word document?
Thanks in advance.
Roland

Username: Irasna [User Info]
Posted 2002-05-18 12:08:55 and read 32520 times.

Dear Mr. Falk,
In your very well-written article you state that Digital SLRs have all the advantages of the 35mm SLR. Does this mean that prints/transparencies taken with a Digital SLR would also give as good printing results (in web offset printing, for example) as those shot on a 35mm SLR? Which is to say that when Digital SLR prints/transparencies are drum-scanned in high-res, will there will be any loss in sharpness, etc. or not? Could you also let me know whether photo editors are now readily accepting photo material shot on Digital SLRs ?
Many thanks for your help.
Javed Ansari

Username: DC-10 Levo [User Info]
Posted 2003-03-12 19:22:48 and read 32239 times.

Thanks for a great report Charles. It's really helped me.

DC-10

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