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Tips For Contrail Photography  
User currently offlineAlexEU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8257 times:

I use 4x optical zoom, so my contrail photography sucks. I can't identify a/c.

-Which optical zoom do you use?
-Do you shoot on automatical or manual?
-How do you identify airline and aircraft?

Any other tips are welcome.

Regards

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOly720man From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8249 times:

Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):
-Which optical zoom do you use?

Not a compact.... 400mm lens or 300mm+2x converter on EOS300D


MyAviation.net:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photographer © Andy kennaugh




MyAviation.net:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photographer © Andy kennaugh




MyAviation.net:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photographer © Andy kennaugh


Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):
-Do you shoot on automatical or manual?

Usually aperture and compensation. Set aperture to F8.

Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):

-How do you identify airline and aircraft?

Photos usually good enough to ID airline and type. Online for actual aircraft...

groups.google.com/group/mantma2

fairly regular posts as planes go over manchester, otherwise other posts with log of day's passings.

[Edited 2008-01-12 08:48:28]

User currently offlineWhisperjet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8249 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Hi,

I think 4x optical zoom is just not enough to identify aircrafts as they are just too small in the pictures.
Sometimes, depending on the weather and the cruise altitude of the aircraft it is possible to read the registration (at least partly) on the bottom side of the wing which makes identification really easy.

If it's not possible to recognize the registration there are other hints to identify the aircraft/airline. The most obvious ones are the number of engines (of course) and the shape of the fuselage and the wings. But there are also smaller things like winglets (especially to distinguish between the different 737 and 747 series), visible tires (737) and many others.

In general it is very helpful to use the database for identification. If you have a clue about the model of aircraft you can try to find out the airline comparing the small, visible parts of the livery (colour of the engines etc) to pictures in the database.

Stefan


User currently offlineKlintrepid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8177 times:

I have a 50-500mm lens with a 1.4x converter that equals 700mm (over 10x I think) That is still not enough to read regs.
I shoot at f6.3-f8 depending on the light. I try to use ISO 100 but it usually ends up being ISO 200+


User currently offlineHangarRat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8161 times:

I have a manual focus 300mm f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter that would give me an equivalent of 900 mm with my D200, but I haven't tried it yet.

Any thoughts on how hard it would be to focus that rig? What sort of tripod set up could I use?


User currently offlineAlexEU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8037 times:

Thanks for replies,

Do you move your camera when you take a pic of contrail a/c? what exposure?


User currently offlineOly720man From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8001 times:



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 5):
Do you move your camera when you take a pic of contrail a/c?

Yes; follow the aircraft.

Quoting AlexEU (Reply 5):
what exposure?



for this one 1/640 F8 400mm -0.67 200ISO

The photos of ZK-OKG and HB-JMB (in my first post) were both at

1/1250 F8 400mm -0.67 200ISO

On a sunny day, exposures of 1/800 or 1/1000 should be easy to get.


User currently offlinePaulinbna From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7995 times:
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You have to very lucky out of about 1000 attempts I have about one that made it in the data base.


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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers



This was shot at 400MM.


User currently offlineViv From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7978 times:

Frosty mornings, when the air is clear and the low sun illuminates the bottom of the aircraft, are best.

User currently offlineThierryD From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7971 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):

-Which optical zoom do you use?
-Do you shoot on automatical or manual?
-How do you identify airline and aircraft?

- 18-200mm optical zoom lens
- semi-automatic
- by registration / livery


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Photo © Thierry Deutsch
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Thierry Deutsch


 

Thierry

[Edited 2008-01-22 05:07:32]

User currently offlineFergulmcc From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7956 times:



Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):
Which optical zoom do you use?

The big fella at the back with a x2 TC and the 1Dn

Big version: Width: 682 Height: 1024 File size: 633kb


I also use a tripod with the Manfrotto ball head, my arm gets a bit tired holding that weight up.

When using the 500/4 with the x2TC gives me an f8 but I will still try stop down a bit more to f11 or so, depending on light, to improve the quality.

Take care

Fergul  sun 


User currently offlineTimz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7914 times:



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 1):
Set aperture to F8.

Why?


User currently offlineJawed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7911 times:

How To Find Sweet-spot F-number For Lens (by Jawed Dec 29 2007 in Aviation Photography)?threadid=295205

Quoting Timz (Reply 11):

Why?



User currently offlineTimz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 7901 times:

f/8 might be a good rule if VR/IS can be taken for granted. (Or maybe not.) But if by chance the photographer is trying to shoot contrails handheld without VR/IS, he'd probably do better to concern himself more with shutter speed than with using the f-stop that would be sharpest with the camera on a tripod.

User currently offlineGPHOTO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7881 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting AlexEU (Thread starter):
-How do you identify airline and aircraft?

You could try something like the SBS-1.

http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/

Best regards,

Jim


User currently offlineJid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7876 times:

I use 350mm no IS and use similar setting to shooting anything else. I will us a mono pod though when I have been on the beer the night before!
In processing I will use edge sharpening as you don't want to add any noise into the sky.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jid Webb



For ID I do as Jim says above an use an SBS unit, making sure that the clock in my camera is correct, then you can add comment to your shot like..

Quote:
Routing New York to Dubai flight UAE202 positioned over the top of the MCT VOR. Bearing 100 degrees - 39,000ft - 580Kts.

There are also OTT groups on yahoo and google etc where reg data can be obtained.
Jid

[Edited 2008-01-23 00:00:14]

[Edited 2008-01-23 00:01:27]

User currently offlineOly720man From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7859 times:



Quoting Timz (Reply 11):
Set aperture to F8.
Why?

From experience with my 400mm lens, F5.6 just isn't good enough and F11 means a too slow shutter.

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 14):
You could try something like the SBS-1.

If such devices are allowed in Serbia.


User currently offlineCpd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7853 times:



Quoting Klintrepid (Reply 3):
I have a 50-500mm lens with a 1.4x converter that equals 700mm (over 10x I think) That is still not enough to read regs.
I shoot at f6.3-f8 depending on the light. I try to use ISO 100 but it usually ends up being ISO 200+

That's the Sigma 50-500? I think it's more to do with the fact it doesn't seem to be as sharp as a prime lens. Comparing it against my 300mm Nikkor, the Nikkor seems much sharper.


User currently offlineKlintrepid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7828 times:



Quoting Cpd (Reply 17):
That's the Sigma 50-500? I think it's more to do with the fact it doesn't seem to be as sharp as a prime lens. Comparing it against my 300mm Nikkor, the Nikkor seems much sharper.

Yes it is not as sharp as a prime. But its still not close enough. (it a combination of soft/not enough reach)
Here I will post some examples so you can decide...

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l93/klintrepid/IMG_9322.jpg

(crop)


http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l93/klintrepid/IMG_9264.jpg

(sorry I don't have 100% crops right now)


User currently offlineDvincent From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7822 times:
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The 50-500 has two major flaws at 500mm - heavy light falloff (vignetting) and minor softness due largely to camera shake. Even the smallest vibrations are felt in the image quality.

I've tried to do contrails with it before but my timing with them hasn't been all that great; has less to do with lens quality.


User currently offlineSulman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7779 times:

Is that last image on a full frame sensor? The vignetting is noticeable. I've been tempted to save up for a 50-500 as it seems like a great mid-range lens that would give me that extra reach during Airshow season (having a 70-200 with a 1.4tc gets pretty limiting for smaller aircraft) it's also very reasonably priced. The big seller for me is that a few people use it here and they always seem to get great results with it.


J


User currently offlineCpd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7776 times:

Have a look around on some of the major photography stores in the used sections, you can pick up some quite decent lenses at great prices. Just keep searching.

I have the 50-500 Sigma, and while it can be useful as a one lens does nearly everything solution, as mentioned above, the slightest, tiniest shake at 500mm and your image is ruined. Wind also provides a challenge with it. It also drops back to F6.3 very quickly.

I think a prime lens with a TC is a better solution for quality, but it doesn't have as much flexibility. If you want to zoom out, you "walk out".


User currently offlineStealthZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7770 times:
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Quoting Cpd (Reply 21):
Wind also provides a challenge with it

Found that as well, but as much Aviation photography(not all as some would like us to think) is facing away from the light, taking the lens hood works a treat.

CPD, from the location of your profile pics I can make an educated guess where you are bases(surprised I haven't seen you, I tend to notice other Bigma users) it can be breezy there and taking the lens hood off a useful strategy... remember to face camera away from the spray though between shots.

Back to topic.. contrail shots with the Bigma can be tricky due to camera shake and softness at the long end, reading regos.... never worked for me! But then few of the AC transiting SYD at high level have regos where you can see them anyway

Cheers


User currently offlineGPHOTO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7755 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 16):
Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 14):
You could try something like the SBS-1.

If such devices are allowed in Serbia.

That's a good point. Would be worth anyone checking with Kinetic before parting with any money!



Best regards,

Jim


User currently offlineKlintrepid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7728 times:



Quoting Sulman (Reply 20):
Is that last image on a full frame sensor?

These were taken with a 350D at 700mm hand-held, thats right hand-held!  Smile
Hence the reason they don't look so good.

I have no problem with the bigma at 500mm and camera shake. (hand held)
(But everybody is different)


25 Post contains images Cpd : I don't venture out that often - when I'm not taking photos of planes in spare time, I'm a flight-sim developer. Unfortunately, I'm not a regular phot
26 Jonzofon : I know this is a bit off topic, but if you don't have an SLR camera is there any hope it will be accepted by Airliners.net?
27 Fly747 : Not a chance. Ivan
28 Post contains images Jetmatt777 : I'm no expert at Contrail Photography, but from the sounds of things, it's hard enough to get one accepted with a DSLR, much less a point and shoot.
29 Klintrepid : You would not have AF with that combination. You might be able to do the "tape the pins" trick, but the AF is very bad. (hunts and not accurate)
30 Post contains links and images Jetmatt777 : Didn't even bother uploading to A.net on this shot, way too many issues, You can get decent results with 300MM, but now where good enough for A.net, t
31 Oly720man : I think it's because the AF relies on contrast in the image and I think it's just too dark when the (equivalent) aperture is too small (with a conver
32 Post contains images Fergulmcc : Quite simply not enough light getting though for the AF system to work effectively and probably because Canon have built into the camera system to di
33 Post contains images Dvincent : Of course me and my Minolta buddies have been able to AF down to f/8 since the first Maxxum AF 7000 in the 80s...
34 Post contains links HangarRat : Here's the lens for contrail photography: http://www.canonfd.com/mirrorlenses/pages/page10.html
35 Post contains images Fly747 : Should be fun to handhold Ivan
36 Post contains links HangarRat : It comes with a mount, not unlike an antiaircraft gun: http://www.canonfd.com/mirrorlenses/pages/page09.html
37 Fly747 : Yea, that was supposed to be a joke, how would you handhold 220lbs/100kg? Ivan
38 Post contains images HangarRat : Yeah, I got that. I just think the mount, with attached seat, is impressive.
39 Post contains links Ilpavone2004 : Hello to all! I'm a contrail spotter and i just wanted to say that to get good images doing this hobby you need a telescope. Possibly a really big tel
40 Post contains images Oly720man : I'm impressed. My limit is my old Tamron 500mm mirror lens and 2x converter which (at 800ASA) produces the likes of EK205 A6-ERH over Manchester last
41 Ilpavone2004 : Well just think that with your tamron at first you have a lens diameter of about 100mm (not more i think) and then the focal lenght is 1000mm. With a
42 Oly720man : Yes, it's the big hole at the front that seems to be the most important. Following a plane with my lens combination isn't especially easy, trying to
43 Ilpavone2004 : Well when you buy a dobson telescope, it is sold with a dobson mount that permit easily to follow the aircraft. For sure the first time or times it'l
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