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Advice And Tips For A Newbie  
User currently offlinemoncur From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 3 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7721 times:

Hi my name is Ste, i am new to Airliners.net, although i have been viewing some of the beautiful Aviation Photography for years on here.

I am new to aircraft photography and would appreciate any advice that i can get to achieve a magnificent aviation photo. I have a Nikon D1x with a 35mm F1:1.8, Nikon D1h with a 50mm F1:1.8.

Basically i am just wondering what would be a recommended lens to get 70-300mm Sigma or a 70-300mm Nikkor?
Or maybe even a different lens that you would recommend.

Thank you,

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7685 times:

For someone who is new to aviation photography, either lens will suit your needs well. The Nikkor is more expensive and I think a bit sharper, but I'm sure there are plenty of Sigma 70-300 owners who have taken many sharp shots with their lens.

Also, I know you didn't ask about it, but those are first-generation Nikon digital bodies you're using. If you have the budget for it, you may want to upgrade to something like a used D70s or D80. The fact that they are not professional bodies like the ones you have I think will be overshadowed by the obvious increase in image quality you would experience. The sendor on that D1h doesn't even have 3MP on it, today many cell phone cameras have more than that.

I rarely suggest a new body instead of a new lens, but in your case(and if you have the money) I would go for both a 70-300 and a newer body.

User currently offlinechuck9941 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7673 times:

I use a D80 and most of my shots in the database are with the Nikkor 70-300mm VR. It's worth noting that there are two 70-300mm Nikkors, one has VR the other doesn't and there is a big difference in price between the two. As well as quality I am told. If you choose the Nikkor you would be best suited with the VR version which produces good results up to 200mm or so and like most zooms is softer at the long end.

Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.
User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2400 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7669 times:

Quoting moncur (Thread starter):
Or maybe even a different lens that you would recommend.

what is your budget?

Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinemoncur From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7640 times:

Thank you for the response, my budget is roughly £2500 at the moment, hoping as it's my birthday today I will have abit more to add. I would like to upgrade later this year as I am happy with the two bodies I have, I have done many portraits with them and the quality is brilliant on them even with low mega pixel.

The nikkor lens I have in mind is the vr as it's obviously built better as the price shows.

User currently offlineEGCC777LR From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7564 times:

Hi Ste,

I have experience where you are coming from, I bought a second hand D1x and coupled it with the Nikon 70-300mm G (Sub £100 kit lens) not the more expensive VR version (£400 ish). As you can see below, this combination was used for these two shots so it is possible to get shots on here with that combination, but the sensor on mine was as dirty as hell (Didn't know that at the time....) and the quality above 1024px would be very difficult to get uploaded here

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Wood
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Wood

However my success rate was very low, and in fact I only managed to get these two uploaded years after they were taken when my editing skills had dramatically improved. When I was shooting with this combination at the time, I couldn't get one shot uploaded.

The first day I went to MAN with my new combo of Nikon D90 with 70-300mm VR lens I took this shot

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Wood

It was my first upload to A.net, from then onwards I have had some decent success and even graced the front page a time or two! Still, I have plenty of rejections to this day so an upgrade of gear is no guarantee! I never got to try the D1x with the 70-300mm VR lens so I cant comment on the combination, people have latterly said lust how poor a lens the old 70-300mm G is for longer shots, I can't comment on that as I am not a lens technician, I can only go by the results I had and they weren't that good! And if memory serves me right, the D1x didn't shoot RAW, I have to say that I find shooting RAW a god send for aviation, things move so quickly, the ability to tweak the exposure and/or white balance is a great backup for those moments when either you or the camera gets it wrong!

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions you may have


Flown On B704,722,732/3/4/7/8/9,744,752,762/3/4,772,77W,A319,A320,A321,A330,A388,L1011,F-50,BAE146,CRJ100, Dash-8. Left
User currently offlinemoncur From UK - England, joined Jun 2012, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7522 times:

Hi Jason, i think the photo's that you have taken with the D1x are great. i understand the big massive files as i have problems with that. Mine will shoot in Raw i would be lost without it.

I have just bought a Tamron 80-200mm F2.8, i wanted the wide opening not sure how good they are or much about it, so anyone who has had experience with one recommendations would be great.


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