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User currently offlineCaptalves From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

Hi

I am an airline captain flying the Airbus A332/343/345, and also interested in aviation photography. Would like to hear opinions in which would be a good lens to use for taking pictures of planes from inside the cockpit whilst flying, and also from the ground of a planes flying. I have used the 18-200VR but feel that i need something with a little more reach and quality.

My equipment as follows:

Nikon D200
18-200VR f/3.5~4.5G

What i have looked at and like but in no particular order is:
Nikon 70-200VR AF-S f/2.8
Nikon 300 f/4D IF-ED
Nikon 300 f/2.8G IF-ED VR
Nikon 200-400 f/4G IF-ED VR
Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX DG HSM
Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX DG HSM
Sigma 300 f/2.8 EX DG HSM

I know these lenses vary in prices and quality, so im happy to hear pros and cons.
Final question, Fixed or Zoom lens? whats the view on this? (pun not intended) pros and cons again.

Thanks in advance,

Antonio

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePsyops From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

Welcome to the photography forum!

I don't think thee is any simple answer to your question - there are many options and personal preferences to take into account. You have listed some pretty fine glass as options you have already looked into.

I can give you my preferences, based on the set up I use with my Nikon equipment.

When I am either near home (and travelling in my own vehicle) or travelling for photography specific purposes I take the following lenses (all Nikkor):
10.5 f/2.8
17-55 f/2.8
70-200 f/2.8
200-400 f/4

The 10.5 would be great for cockpit shots, the 17-55 may work as well (never done cockpit shots), but could be tight considering on a D200 it is equivalent to a 27.2 mm lens at the short end.

The 17-55 is a big honking piece of glass considering the focal length range it has, so size and weight can be a consideration - you really have to try one mounted to a camera to appreciate it. It can (combined with a good operator) make some great images.
17-55:

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Photo © Peter Nickerson



The 70-200 is one of the best pieces of Nikon glass around. IMO this would be the first thing I would get. Mine is welded onto one of my D2Xs bodies. The 80-200 is no slouch either.
80-200:

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Photo © Peter Nickerson


70-200:

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Photo © Peter Nickerson



The 200-400 - this is serious glass and serious large. I have the 300 2.8 and like to use it for sports as the wider aperture allows for better OOF backgrounds in sports plus more light (aperture) for indoor sports. The 200-400 is very versatile though, and I use it for football, soccer and of course aviation. It does take some getting used to handling due to the size, a monopod is required for anything more than 2 or 3 frames. The 300 f/4 for aviation is great piece of glass, not too large and in aviation you don't need the wider end of the aperture.
200-400 examples:

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Photo © Peter Nickerson



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Photo © Peter Nickerson



When I travel on short hops where the aviation photography is a secondary attraction, I take my 80-400VR. Not as fast and perhaps not as sharp out at 400 but quite a few of my images on here are with this lens.

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Photo © Peter Nickerson



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Photo © Peter Nickerson



Hopes this helps. In the end, you can't really go wrong quality wise with what you have listed.

[Edited 2007-08-06 18:13:44]

User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1920 times:

Well, the 70-200 VR is one of Nikon's classics, but it won't give you any more reach than your 18-200. It will, however, work with teleconverters (stick with 1.4x or 1.7x to start) which I don't believe will work on the 18-200. If 200mm is enough range for you then this is an excellent lens.

The Nikkor 300/2.8 and 200-400/4 are fantastic lenses (although neither will work well in a cockpit!). If you're in that market the big question for you is speed vs flexibility: the 300/2.8's wider aperature will allow faster shooting, but if you mainly shoot in daylight that's probably not an issue. The 200-400/4's zooming versatility is very useful for events like airshows where you're shooting all different sizes of planes at a wide variety of distances. I went with the 200-400 for that reason. Both will work reasonably well with teleconverters...

For your in-cockpit shots, you might want to consider the 70-300 VR that Nikon released last year. It's more in the consumer range (price wise and construction materials) but it does produce excellent images. It's much smaller than the other Nikon lenses you mentioned and it's much lighter, so it would be easy to wield in a cockpit and wouldn't add much weight to the flightbag.
http://nikonimaging.com/global/produ..._zoom70-300mmf_45-56g_if/index.htm

B


User currently offlineCaptalves From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

Thanks for the replies.
I have to admit i have always like the 70-200VRf/2.8 since i got started in SLR photography and i keep coming back to it. I agree with the size issue in the cockpit even though the Airbus isnt that small but i guess something more compact would be easier like the 70-300VR you mentioned.

Any tips for taking air-to-air pics from the cockpit with re to shutter speeds etc. trying to find the best to capture a plane coming the opposite way with a closing speed of 1800kmph and 1000ft vertical seperation.

thks


User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

Quoting Psyops (Reply 1):
The 10.5 would be great for cockpit shots, the 17-55 may work as well (never done cockpit shots), but could be tight considering on a D200 it is equivalent to a 27.2 mm lens at the short end.

I find the 17-55 tight, but a good compromise between great image (the 17-55) and fisheye distortion (the 10.5) is the 12-24mm Nikkor. Some folks also seem to like the 10-20 from Sigma (or is it Tokina?) but I haven't used the third party ones so can't comment.

Quoting Captalves (Reply 3):
trying to find the best to capture a plane coming the opposite way with a closing speed of 1800kmph and 1000ft vertical seperation.

Can't help you there, haven't done anything that fast. But for autofocus, you'll probably get the fastest response using AF-C (continuous) and set the Lock-On time to "normal," "short" or "off." Apparently the autofocus lags if you set it longer, but I've only used "normal" or shorter, so I don't know how significant the lag is on longer settings...

B


User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1836 times:

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 4):
Some folks also seem to like the 10-20 from Sigma (or is it Tokina?) but I haven't used the third party ones so can't comment.

Tried the Sigma 10-20 last weekend for the very first time.
On my 20D it gives a wider angle then the 15mm fisheye, it's quite sharp and little to no distortion.
Big version: Width: 800 Height: 591 File size: 427kb

A side note: I took this image with the camera up side down to get the flash where it should be......... at the bottom  Wink



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offline777MechSys From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1832 times:
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Quoting Psyops (Reply 1):
When I am either near home (and travelling in my own vehicle) or travelling for photography specific purposes I take the following lenses (all Nikkor):

I thought you switched to cannon.  Wink BTW If you still shoot Nikon you need to get a new pass code to get into the KPAE Nikon Spotters Club. (Talk to Royal)

Quoting Psyops (Reply 1):
The 10.5 would be great for cockpit shots, the 17-55 may work as well (never done cockpit shots), but could be tight considering on a D200 it is equivalent to a 27.2 mm lens at the short end.

10.5 is awesome for cockpit shots.

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Photo © Erick Lopez
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Photo © Erick Lopez



User currently offlinePsyops From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1827 times:

Quoting 777MechSys (Reply 6):
BTW If you still shoot Nikon you need to get a new pass code to get into the KPAE Nikon Spotters Club. (Talk to Royal)

Did you guys oust me due to the impure Canon thoughts already so I have to re-apply?

Never fear, still have the "deuces". I am thnking of a late September/early October trip to KPAE.

You picked up a 10.5 obviously - looks great!


User currently offline777MechSys From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1816 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Psyops (Reply 7):
Never fear, still have the "deuces". I am thnking of a late September/early October trip to KPAE.

You picked up a 10.5 obviously - looks great!

We always enjoy having you in town. My trip to Whitehorse is falling apart.

I completely blame you for the 10.5mm. I never should have borrowed yours that day.


User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1418 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

Quoting Captalves (Thread starter):
My equipment as follows:

Nikon

Well theres your first problem.  Wink

Welcome to the photography forum.

Cal  airplane 



*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
User currently offlineDM From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1708 times:

Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 9):
Well theres your first problem.

Darn... Its supposed to be Canon isnt it??  Yeah sure


User currently offline777MechSys From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1686 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting DM (Reply 10):
Darn... Its supposed to be Canon isnt it??

Stellar observation!  expressionless  Nothing make it past you.


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