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Camera Settings  
User currently offlinescottp From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 2 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

Hi I'm to using SLR cameras was woundering if anyone could recomend some settings to use for aviation potography I have a nikon D60 and a 70-300 mm lense

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedumbell2424 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 914 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6141 times:
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First and foremost: ISO 100. Almost always.

Secondly, find a good aperture for your camera and lens. For a nice day for me, it's usually around f8.0. A good way to test this is to take shots of the same exact thing at different apertures outside and compare results.

Thirdly, shutter speed. Unless you are panning, you need to be at least 1/500 seconds or you will get blurry shots. Even at 1/500 I still get a blurred h-stab from time to time.

Fourthly, set white-balance to auto.


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6113 times:

Hi

ISO 100....aperture F8. I use a Canon and always set camera on AV and always single point focus.

andy


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

There are no 'best settings' as shooting conditions can change, even in a couple of seconds. Different coloured aircraft can influence the way the camera meters/focuses; as can the way the light happens to fall at the time of capture.

This whole ISO100 myth is nonsense (no offence fellas) as the difference between 100 and 200 in modern DSLRs is hardly noticeable - if noticeable at all. ISO100 often will not give sufficient shutter speeds, so recommending it is contrary to this advice...

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
Thirdly, shutter speed. Unless you are panning, you need to be at least 1/500 seconds or you will get blurry shots

Even ISO400 is fine in most circumstances, and I'm never afraid to use it as I'd much rather deal with a slight hint of grain than get a blurry shot. Stick with ISO200 and you'll get far more keepers, while at the same time controlling noise much to the same degree as ISO100. By all means try ISO100 if the conditions permit but make sure it's 'safe' to do so - i.e. there is sufficient light for a decent shutter and the subject isn't moving too quickly.

To be honest, I'm less concerned about ISO than I am about nailing the shot. If you can get away with 100, go for it; but don't take unnecessary risks. Like I say, it's a minor irritation having to apply NR, but a major headache if the shot's unusable due to blur.

Having said all this, there are times when ISO100 is useful for decreasing the shutter speed, such as when trying to achieve background blur while panning, etc.

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
Even at 1/500 I still get a blurred h-stab from time to time

Not wanting to sound condescending but this sounds like technique rather than an insufficient shutter speed (unless of course the subject is a fast-moving fighter or you are pushing over 300mm).

Karl


User currently offlinedarreno1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6080 times:

Like mentioned above there are no 'best' settings, however I usually start out at iso 200 / f11 / 1/1000 on bright sunny days. I never use iso 100. I deal with any possible noise in Photoshop. As the day progresses and the light decreases or if the weather changes, I'll usually drop to 1/800. Sometimes I get to as low as 1/500 shutter speed but that's rare. For aperture I usually work in the f8-f11 range. And for iso, I switch from 200-400 as needed. I shoot raw only so even if some shots come out darker or lighter than desired, I can usually recover enough information to save the photo. I also never shoot in anything but manual mode.

[Edited 2011-04-14 16:41:19]


Nikon D7000 / Nikkor 105mm AF f2.8 / Nikkor 35 f1.8G / Nikkor 50 f1.8D / Nikkor 85mm / Nikkor 300mm f4 AF
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6072 times:

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
Thirdly, shutter speed. Unless you are panning, you need to be at least 1/500 seconds or you will get blurry shots. Even at 1/500 I still get a blurred h-stab from time to time.

I think if its just the h-stab that's blurry the problem is insufficient depth of field rather than a problem with shutter speed. Try risking a slower shutter speed and a smaller aperture (say f11). It is very unlikely you will see a reduction in quality using f11 rather than f8

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
This whole ISO100 myth is nonsense (no offence fellas) as the difference between 100 and 200 in modern DSLRs is hardly noticeable - if noticeable at all. ISO100 often will not give sufficient shutter speeds, so recommending it is contrary to this advice...

I disagree with this - or at least I'd say it depends. I would say that this is becoming more noticeable with the latest releases of crop sensor camera, due to the increased pixel count. There seems to be a strange curve to this - quality at 100 ISO has remained fairly consistent since my first D30 (that's D30 not 30D!) and, as you would expect, gradually deteriorated as ISO increased. Now however, I see a sharper decrease in quality at 200 ISO, but thanks to more advanced image processing, this decrease levels off providing much better quality at high ISOs than could be achieved before.

It seems to me that the manufacturers are concentrating on the headline specs of pixel count and high ISO capability, but at the expense of mid-range ISO performance.

This doesn't seem to be the case with full frame/pro-spec cameras.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
Even ISO400 is fine in most circumstances, and I'm never afraid to use it as I'd much rather deal with a slight hint of grain than get a blurry shot.

A completely reasonable approach - thank God we can still make choices about how we make the shot! Original poster please take note - people can give you useful guidance (preferably with reasons), but there is no 'correct' answer to your question. 3 photographers could shoot the same scene using 3 different settings and each produce a perfectly good, yet slightly different, final image.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4766 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6070 times:
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Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
First and foremost: ISO 100. Almost always.

Nonsense. You should use the lowest possible ISO that gives you the right shutter speed at your desired aperture. If that's ISO 400, 800 or even higher, so be it. Your priority should be a proper exposure and a sharp picture.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6048 times:

Quoting relic (Reply 2):
This whole ISO100 myth is nonsense (no offence fellas) as the difference between 100 and 200 in modern DSLRs is hardly noticeable - if noticeable at all. ISO100 often will not give sufficient shutter speeds, so recommending it is contrary to this advice...

I have to agree with you here. ISO100 is nice, but don't be afraid to bump the ISO if needed - and the results look easy enough to process. It's down to each person to learn what their camera is capable of and obtain the best results, rather than being constrained by internet forum dogmas.

Even F/8.0 shouldn't always be considered as the only aperture to use. If the light fades, and the shutter speed starts getting around 1/100sec, I'd rather open up the aperture (eg, go to F/6.3 or F/5.6) before I start increasing ISO.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
Your priority should be a proper exposure and a sharp picture.

Bingo - absolutely right.

[Edited 2011-04-14 19:29:05]

User currently offlineNWA330nut From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 115 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6022 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 7):
I'd rather open up the aperture (eg, go to F/6.3 or F/5.6) before I start increasing ISO.

Now are talking about on an entry level zoom lens like his 70-300? or are you talking about f2.8 cameras?

Quoting scottp (Thread starter):
and a 70-300 mm lense

Try to not use the very end of your lens. Lenses with variable apertures like yours will lose sharpness, thus the importance of keeping a higher f-stop.

Good Luck and happy Spotting!   


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6406 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6019 times:

Quoting NWA330nut (Reply 8):
Now are talking about on an entry level zoom lens like his 70-300? or are you talking about f2.8 cameras?

Either way, letting more light in by the time it gets pretty dark is more likely to result in salveagable pictures. Just down from the "optimal f/8". Chances are your photos might be turning out a little softer in comparison anyway due to the conditions so opening it up is probably going to increase your chances of being able to pan properly etc. and reduce the likelihood of wasted photos.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6013 times:

Quoting NWA330nut (Reply 8):
Now are talking about on an entry level zoom lens like his 70-300?

Well, if it's a 70-300mm VR, that's not so bad either - I was taking photos with some who had a D90 and the 70-300mm VR, and he used the same methods as I did - results were okay. At least able to give some photos that can be edited without too much difficulty.

Noisy images are harder to edit, because the noise-reduction itself can make the image look strange. So I'd always prefer to open up the aperture before increasing ISO if I can.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6002 times:

ISO for me is simply a tool in a three-way triangle that allows me to use my desired aperture at my desired shutter speed. I try not to go above ISO200 but if I don't get sufficient shutters at f/6.3 I'd much rather up the sensitivity than drop to a DOF-reducing f/5.6.

Speaking of that 'three way triangle', may I suggest to the OP that he reads a good book on photography to understand the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter? Only then will you be able to select the appropriate settings for the conditions at the time.

It's alright saying, "f/8, ISO such-and-such, etc." but in some circumstances these recommendations could be detrimental.

Karl


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5947 times:

hi
im afraid that the amount of times that i will be able to get to my chosen airport is only maybe 2 or 3 times a year.when it is a 250 mile round trip,i want to make sure that the weather and everything else are perfect.If i was closer to the airports,and could get there more often ,i would try different set-ups,but as it is, im staying with safe settings.i have used low light settings before and had rejections on most of them a few years ago,all for too much grain

Andy


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5865 times:

im afraid that the amount of times that i will be able to get to my chosen airport is only maybe 2 or 3 times a year

Quoting relic (Reply 12):
im afraid that the amount of times that i will be able to get to my chosen airport is only maybe 2 or 3 times a year

OK, I understand that, but the ONLY route to good photography is constant practice - surely there is something else you could be shooting locally? You don't have to keep the pics! And with digital, there are no film costs. There is nothing particularly difficult about aircraft - I can think of many more challenging subjects. You could learn a lot just shooting passing cars in various lighting conditions.

Bottom line - if you only take the camera out 2 or 3 times a year, you are never going to acheive quality results. Get out and shoot a variety of subjects and experiment. This is the way to learn the optimum settings for your equipment and prefered style.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinescottp From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5824 times:

Thank you everyone for your help I'll take everyones advice and go practice

Scott


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 5812 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 13):

hi

Trust me colin i can take good pictures of anything,and if you read the post correctly,i said i can only get to my "Chosen" airport 2 or 3 times a year.I have no interest in light aircraft,so local clubs do not fascinate me at all.
I havent got over 200 photos on here by just luck.I know a camera inside out and what settings to use whenever.I do not want a host of rejections when i do visit an airport,hence i always go safe.Looking forward to seeing some of your photos on here

Andy


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5776 times:

Andy,

I can't help but feel there was a little dig at Colin there. There are people who frequent the forums who take far better photos than you or I. Just because someone chooses not to display them here doesn't mean they don't have a clue what's going on.

I really do have to question your theory about 'safe' photos. If you shoot in good light most often then I dare say ISO100 is sufficient but most here would consider sticking it up to 200 the 'safe' option. If you are getting 'grainy' rejections at ISO200 it's definitely technique and/or poor processing - irrespective of how well you may know your gear.

I had a Canon engineer once tell me that there is virtually no difference between ISO100 and 200 on a 30D. In fact, many Nikons until a couple of years ago started at ISO200 (i.e. had no ISO100).

Karl


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5736 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 16):

Hi Karl

I think the point i was trying to make is that,having struggled to get photos accepted when i first joined Anet,over the years when your acceptance ratio increases and after finding settings which( and this is only my opinion) seem to be the right ones,isnt it easier to stick to a tried and trusted method.
I couldnt agree more,ISO 200 is safe and maybe i am stuck in my ways,but it suits me .
As you say in perfect light ISO 100.I never shoot in anything less.I live so far away from any large airports,i have to cherry pick my days down there.If you check out my photos,nearly all in the morning,with perfect blue sky.

Cheers
Andy


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5721 times:

Andy - my apologies - in my reply I got your post confused with the original poster who was looking for presets. My point - mistakenly directed, is that the only way to find out what works is trial & error.

I've no issue with anyone 'shooting safe', as I do myself if getting the shot (or getting paid!) is the priority,

Quoting relic (Reply 15):
Looking forward to seeing some of your photos on here

I used to have a few pics here, but ultimately had a number of issues with various rules, and thought it better to move elsewhere. I have enormous respect for A.net in general and its members but, after a period of time I found A.net was not a good match to the way I thought about photography.

My pics are viewable on another site (which I don't think I'm allowed to name here) if you really want to see them.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineRotate From Switzerland, joined Feb 2003, 1491 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5709 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 18):
My pics are viewable on another site (which I don't think I'm allowed to name here) if you really want to see them.

Which is a shame, cause I really liked them watching on here .... U ve been around from the beginning with very decent shots!



ABC
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5695 times:

Andy,

Fair play, and I guess old habits die hard! If ISO100 works well for you, there's no reason why you shouldn't keep shooting that way. But I have to say, I think it's not the greatest advice to always use ISO100 - especially if someone's just starting out.

Try ISO200 one day and I bet you won't see a difference.

Karl


User currently offlinen314as From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5679 times:

ISO 100 for speed

RAW or high Jpg for quality - shoot the highest possible.

For jets - shutter speeds of 1/250 to 1/750 is fine -

For props - do not use shutter speeds over 1/250 or you will get the common "digital photographer mistake" which is FROZEN PROPS! You want blur in the props.

For ground shots 1/250 is fine. This closes the aperture a little and you get better focus on the sides. Just like older cameras and film......basically the same style.

Shoot full frame .... avoid cropping.

Use fill flash even in day shooting to highlight the aircraft - or remote lighting in front and behind plane in night shots.

For good aviation photography - avoid cones, glare, heat haze, clutter, parts of planes sticking out of your plane, engine and canopy covers, fisheye lens (don't want the airliner to look like a glider), and long telephoto lens shot (over 400mm not recommended unless you are a very good pro at it).

Hope that helps.


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5665 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 20):
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 20):
Try ISO200 one day and I bet you won't see a difference

Karl

Will do ,im a bit stubborn,but there are alot more competent photographers on here who im glad over the years have given me so much advice,for which i am very grateful and i am always taking it on board.
Cheers Karl
Andy


User currently offlinerelic From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5662 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 18):
My pics are viewable on another site (which I don't think I'm allowed to name here) if you really want to see them

Hi Colin

My apologies for being defensive.Shame i cant see see your photos,i really do enjoy seeing different photographers work.

Cheers
Andy


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5650 times:

Quoting n314as (Reply 21):
For props - do not use shutter speeds over 1/250 or you will get the common "digital photographer mistake" which is FROZEN PROPS! You want blur in the props



Subjective. I nearly always freeze the props but it's intentional as I'm just too lazy most of the time to adjust my settings accordingly. What I do do is try and nail props bang side-on, so the frozen props aren't actually noticeable. I'd say most of the 'frozen prop' images you see here are down to laziness rather than a lack of knowledge/experience.

Quoting n314as (Reply 21):
Shoot full frame .... avoid cropping



I consider myself pretty good at filling the frame with my subject but I almost always have to crop a little bit. It's also very hard to get a perfectly level horizon where one's visible, and that too necessitates cropping.

Quoting n314as (Reply 21):
For ground shots 1/250 is fine. This closes the aperture a little and you get better focus on the sides. Just like older cameras and film......basically the same style

I must admit, I'm puzzled here.....

Quoting n314as (Reply 21):
Use fill flash even in day shooting to highlight the aircraft - or remote lighting in front and behind plane in night shots

Um. Why?

Quoting n314as (Reply 21):
and long telephoto lens shot (over 400mm not recommended unless you are a very good pro at it).

It's not really about being good at it - it's more about what the day's atmospheric conditions will allow. Shooting at 500mm is fine so long as you have a reasonable understanding of how the lens behaves; and providing the air is clear and cool enough. You could be the best photographer in the world but you won't get a good airliner shot at BKK distance shooting at 400mm.

Karl


25 belfordrocks : 1/500, f/8, auto ISO works in 99% of circumstances
26 photopilot : The old standby rule...... Bright sunshine, front lighting. 1 / ISO @ f:16 or equivalent.
27 cpd : Not that I doubt it, but, I'd like to see that setup... Especially at your typical international airport. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in
28 Post contains images vikkyvik : I was going to ask about that. As someone who doesn't shoot prop planes all that often (or, to be more specific, doesn't have a long enough lens to m
29 Post contains images javibi : There are as many "right settings" as camera users, it seems IMHO, the question you have to ask yourself is "what result do I want to achieve?"; only
30 JakTrax : We all have to admit that, the faster the shutter, the less chance of a blurry shot, so it's easy to see why people don't intentionally use slow shutt
31 Silver1SWA : Generally frozen props are considered undesirable. I am shooting an event for someone later this month. I know they expect that I know what I'm doing
32 javibi : I fully agree, but it seems more people than you could expect do not mind frozen props; I guess it all comes down to why you take pictures of airplan
33 stealthz : There are almost as many opinions in this thread as there are posts so what the hell I'll add mine. ISO100, f8 1/1000sec and bright sunny day, certain
34 Post contains images javibi : Perfectly summed up j
35 darreno1 : Frozen props, blurred props, blurred background, sharp background etc - all subjective. I shoot at higher shutter speeds and like my props somewhat fr
36 Post contains images vikkyvik : Right, I understand that. My question (perhaps not stated very clearly ) was why they are considered undesirable, and by whom, and for what reason. F
37 Silver1SWA : I don't have the answer to that, but I can give my opinion. I think a photo of an aircraft in the air with frozen props is rather lifeless. Besides,
38 ckw : That's really a very good question, and sort of gets at the heart of what photography is all about. When you take a picture you are translating a 3 d
39 Post contains images cpd : Well, the blurred props give the impression of movement - that the plane is moving, and is under power. That's why it's considered desirable - quite
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