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New To Dslr Planespotting  
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6436 times:

Hello guys,
im new to planespotting with a dslr (did it with easier camera's for own use of the pictures before) but i want to shoot pics with A.net quality in the future...

I have a EOS 1100D (Rebel T3) with the Tamron AF 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD IF.
I searched the web for tutorials for plane spotting, but there are not really a lot of people out there with the same interests as we do.

So, what i do know is:
Shoot with shutter speed 1/250 or higher'
ISO 100
Aperture: I dont know.

With shutter speeds to 1/640 I still get shots that are not crisp and most of the times look moved. I want to take shots that are really sharp and crisp. Will a tripod help?
My camera does not have spot metering. It does have evaluative metering, center weighted and partial metering.

For example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98615123@N06/9243147028/
this is what i think is one of the shots that came out well.

Can someone please help me a little bit?

Thanks!

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 4006 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6429 times:

Hi Michael,

Unless both the weather and your equipment (camera and lens) are top notch, it's always a bit of a struggle with the available light. The faster your shutter speed, the shallower your depth of field ( a function of aperture), which means that instead of motion blurred, your subject may be partially or wholly out of focus. With your lens at 200 mm lens, you should probably be able to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/320th or 1/400th sec.

In the example picture, the aircraft is moving away from you, which means a larger depth of field is required. Results will generally be better when you catch the aircraft just in front of you. Of course, it's also easier when the aircraft is moving slower. You can also bump up ISO a bit, which also means you'll need less light, although pictures will be a bit grainier.

Be sure to keep the sun firmly in your back, and in high summer, try to shoot in the morning and late afternoons, when the light is much nicer. This will all help with your results. Where at Schiphol did you take this picture?

Peter 

[Edited 2013-07-08 15:11:16]

[Edited 2013-07-08 15:13:02]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6848 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6417 times:

Your photo isn't a bad start. There are some issues with it. It's soft in places, e.g on the tail and engine where the logo is a little fuzzy around the edges. Flickr isn't letting me see the full size image, but on the linked image the flap gaps are jagged. This may not the there on the full size image.

Did you do any editing on the image?

For consumer type lenses like the Tamron you'll find that the best aperture, or the aperture giving the sharpest images, will be around f8, so for starters you may want to use aperture priority and let the camera decide on the shutter speed. On any reasonable day the shutter speed will be faster than 1/250s. You may need to apply some exposure compensation if the photos are too light or too dark.

You may find with that lens that the quality may deteriorate at the highest focal lengths. With such a wide zoom range there are always optical compromises.

Review of the lens here

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/292-...al-if-xr-macro-test-report--review

For any aircraft that is moving, especially taking off or landing, it is easy to get motion blur if the camera isn't tracking the aircraft exactly, and that just takes practice.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6328 times:

Thanks for the tips!

Peter: the picture is taken at the Polderbaan spotters parking lot.

I was shooting shutter priority mode the whole day and did not pay any attention to the aperture...
Would f8 be a good aperture for moving aircraft and also not moving ones?


User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6848 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6315 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 3):
Would f8 be a good aperture for moving aircraft and also not moving ones?

Yes. The aperture of f8 for many lenses is what gives the image quality and sharpness. Looking at the linked review the best aperture for centre sharpness of the image is either f5.6 or f8. Using f5.6 may mean that some of the plane is out of focus unless it is side on to you, because the depth of field will be a bit shallower.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

That is the sharpest you are going to get with this superzoom. A dedicated telelens will give better results. The 18-200 mm is a walkaround lens , not one of the best tamron lenses, and is not expected to produce excellent images, it will only give decent images. There are some lenses from tamron that are very good and this is not one of them.

As, others pointed out, you can increase sharpness by stopping down to f8 or even f11. This will reduce the exposure, so you will have to either slow down the shutter or increase the iso, not ideal for a.net kind of shots, but it will get you close. I would suggest a shutter speed of atleast 1/500. Also, don't zoom to the very end, it may not be the sharpest.

[Edited 2013-07-10 08:11:36]

User currently onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 4006 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6238 times:

I forgot that a lens like that gives by far the best results at f./8, as others have pointed out. When the weather is so good, it's not a problem, but you'll often struggle with the available light like I described.

Not using the full zoom range of the lens is also a god tip. For a side-on shot of an A320 or 737, 150 mm should suffice at the Polderbaan. Light here is really best late in the day. It may be better to walk up the bicycle path a bit rather than staying at the parking lot. Your example pic is quite good, so you'll surely get there if you pay attention to the details.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6230 times:

Okay, i see. So what would be a good lens? Is sigma a better brand?
Next time i will try f/8 with aperture priority mode. What would be the best metering method in your opinion? Too bad the 1100d does not have spot metering...

Maybe i will also try to shoot static planes, just for learning. I would like to shoot the quality as seen on this site, but i have a long way to go


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10350 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6229 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 1):
In the example picture, the aircraft is moving away from you, which means a larger depth of field is required. Results will generally be better when you catch the aircraft just in front of you.

Looking at the EXIF, that photo was taken at 200mm, which means the aircraft was probably at least 750 feet away or so. At that distance, even an aperture of F4 will yield more than enough DOF (1930 feet of DOF, approx). Long as you're refocusing as it moves (or are on AF Servo), I wouldn't think DOF would be an issue (it's almost never an issue for me, except when shooting static displays at airshows, since I'm up-close-and-personal with the aircraft).

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 7):
Okay, i see. So what would be a good lens? Is sigma a better brand?

Don't immediately think you need a new lens. Figure out the limitations of your current lens by shooting with it....a lot. If you can live with those limitations, then great, you've saved yourself some money.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6221 times:

I was shooting ai servo with all these pictures actually. I am a little confused because everyone on the internet is saying how lower the aperture value, the smaller the area that is in focus is. So f8 would be a good aperture for like 100mm, and f4 for 200? I just want the pictures a little sharper

User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10350 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6214 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 9):
I am a little confused because everyone on the internet is saying how lower the aperture value, the smaller the area that is in focus is

I had to laugh at "everyone on the internet is saying..."  

They're absolutely right - a larger aperture (lower F-number) yields a smaller depth-of-field (distance range in which objects are in focus). The question is whether - with your camera, focal length, subject distance, and aperture value - it will actually affect your photo.

In general, DOF is affected in this way:

focal length: shorter = greater DOF, longer = smaller DOF
subject distance: closer = smaller DOF, farther = larger DOF
aperture: larger = smaller DOF, smaller = larger DOF (note that a larger aperture corresponds to a smaller number, so F4 has a larger aperture than F8)

So it's a matter of figuring out if changes to your focal length and subject distance will affect your DOF to the point that you need to change your aperture. For most of the aircraft shooting I do, it has negligible effect.

Here's an online DOF calculator:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

I will also note that I made a mistake here:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 8):
(1930 feet of DOF, approx)

That should have said 802 feet of DOF, approx. No idea where I got 1930 from.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2934 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6214 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 9):
So f8 would be a good aperture for like 100mm, and f4 for 200?

Most lenses are at their sharpest at around f/8-10. If you have enough light, there's no need to be using f/4, you're better off stopping down and using f/8-10. Every lens has its different sweet spot for sharpness though so a little trial and error is needed. Unless you need a wide open aperture, you're better of using something around f/8.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6214 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 9):
So f8 would be a good aperture for like 100mm, and f4 for 200? I just want the pictures a little sharper

DOF depends on the subject distance, zoom length of the lens and sensor size of the camera( &F-number obviously). Your lens cannot do f4 at 200mm anyway. I had a tamron 18-250mm for a month and i sold it, pics were ok upto 200mm had to use f9 and above ie, I had to pay real close attention to the aperture to get acceptable results, if for the same shot I used my nikkor tele lens, I could just click with shutter priority and not worry about the aperture for normal landing shots.

better lens options are 55-250IS from canon , cheap option or 70-300mm IS, or 70-200f4L all from canon, tele options are generally better from the camera manufacturer. only standard zooms like Tamron17-50f2.8 or 28-75f2.8 have good reputations. Even the tammy 70-300VC is getting some good reviews.

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 9):
I am a little confused because everyone on the internet is saying how lower the aperture value, the smaller the area that is in focus is.

These normally apply to portraits( etc.) where you want a shallow depth of field to isolate the subject from the background ( bigger the opening shallower depth of field).
For aviation you have to use the sweet spot of your lens for aperture, at 200mm for your lens wide open is f6.3, will not give sharp results, F 8 is not even 1 stop above F6.3, you may have to stop down even further.The distortion is very bad on superzoom lenses.

[Edited 2013-07-10 15:08:06]

User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6129 times:

So, i went to the photographing store today. They explained a lot of things to me. One of the things was a cheap solution to come closer to the planes. They Told me That i could use analog eos lenses on digital bodies as well. Is this really advisable?

I went looking on second hand websites and Saw some lenses. I stumbled upon this lense:
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5,6 USM

Any opinions?

Regards,

Michael


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2934 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6120 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 13):
i could use analog eos lenses on digital bodies as well. Is this really advisable?

As long as it's an EF or EF-S lens, it's fine.

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 13):
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5,6 USM

Any opinions?

It's an average lens, I have the IS version of it for travelling light. It's sharp enough and usable between 75mm and about 220mm, but starts to become soft greater than that. It's still usable though, but needs to be stopped down to get the best from it.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6103 times:

Or what i also Saw:

Sigma AF 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM ( a new one)

I think i want to save some of my salary for a couple of months, and in that time train with my current lense...
Im just 20 and have no other expenses other than my car and insurance. I still live at home and work fulltime, and if i may say, i make a Nice amount of money. So i want to spend something on my hobby

Does anyone have any experience with this one?

Thanks!


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2934 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6095 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 15):
Sigma AF 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM ( a new one)

I use a 50-500, the 150-500 is supposed to be sharper so it should be a good lens. It's a big lens though, it'll take some getting used to. Don't expect to get good results with it the first few times you use the lens. With it being a long lens, atmospheric conditions come in to play so if there's any haze or heat haze, you'll not get much use from it during the summer. You need to choose your conditions, time of day / year carefully, ie plan your shoots. 150mm on a crop body is also a lot of zoom so think carefully what focal lengths you'll need. You may need another body with a wider lens to compliment it.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

I want to save some money (i could buy it now but i have to learn to control myself) and then buy it in october. Luckily in october the temperature is ok in Holland.

And untill then try to shoot better with my current lens. The tips for the aperture (f8) and the shutter speed are really going to help me!


User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5464 times:

So: now my attention was drawn away from a high focal length to better quality lens.

For less money than the sigma 150-500 i can buy a CANON EF 70-200mm f/4L USM. When viewing reviews from this lens, everyone is saying nothing but positive things about it.

What i really don't see anywhere is what settings people use with this lens. Does anybody have experience with this one? What are good settings to use? What is the sweet spot?


User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6848 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5459 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 18):
What is the sweet spot?

All apertures, basically. Certainly some will be marginally better than others, but this is one of the best zoom lenses that Canon do and all photos should be sharp at all apertures, though diffraction issues will come into play at f16 and above.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10350 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5457 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 18):
So: now my attention was drawn away from a high focal length to better quality lens.

The very first thing is to decide what you need. 150-500 and 70-200 are vastly different focal length ranges. Do you need the range from 70-150? Do you need the range from 200-500? You can buy the best quality lens in the world, but if it doesn't cover the focal lengths you need, then you just wasted a lot of money.

With that said...

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 18):
CANON EF 70-200mm f/4L USM.

It's a great lens, especially for the money. It's plenty sharp even wide open at F4. Honestly, I don't even worry about a "sweet spot" with it. I just set whatever shutter speed I'm looking for, and adjust the aperture to compensate.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 20):

No, i think i don't need the extra focal length actually. I am only spotting in places where 200mm can zoom in on the front part of a 737 for example. Bigger planes like A380 dont need much focal length.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 20):

Will this lens improve my images, even with a entry level low end camera like mine?


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2934 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 18):
So: now my attention was drawn away from a high focal length to better quality lens.

On what basis? The first question you need to ask yourself is what do you need the lens for? Do you need over 300? There's no point in getting a 70-200 if you need 400mm for example. Then again, there's no point in getting a 150-500 if you are close to aircraft where 150mm, especially on a crop body is too much zoom. You need to consider what you actually need first, not just baser you decision on what lens is sharper.

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 21):
Will this lens improve my images, even with a entry level low end camera like mine?

Lens quality is far more important than the camera body. The most expensive or advanced camera body with inferior lens is likely to produce lower quality shots than a basic body with good quality lens. Equipment is only part of the story, you also need to know how to use it properly. With the best equipment available, if you don't know how to get the best from it, you aren't going to. A combination of good equipment and knowledge / experience is the key. Good equipment guarantees nothing.

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 18):
What i really don't see anywhere is what settings people use with this lens

As I mention above, you'll need to get a better understanding of photography and how cameras work. You'll then be able to answer that question yourself. Your question is impossible to answer as it depends on the lighting. Start by getting to know the exposure triangle and how each influence the other. Once you grasp that, photography becomes a lot clearer.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10350 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 21):
Will this lens improve my images, even with a entry level low end camera like mine?

As Darren says, the lens will generally make a lot more difference than the body. However, only you can determine whether a new lens will improve your images. I do think that it's important that you investigate what your current setup is capable of, before you go out and purchase new equipment.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineyerbol From Kazakhstan, joined Feb 2010, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days ago) and read 5397 times:

Quoting michaelvandijk (Reply 21):
nk i don't need the extra focal length actually. I am only spotting in places where 200mm can zoom

All modern DSLR's are good with their new sensors. Even your Canon EOS 1100D can create good photos like these:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=50993ec5b171813daeb50e633eae4b20
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Korea...d=50993ec5b171813daeb50e633eae4b20
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=50993ec5b171813daeb50e633eae4b20
I suggest you to keep your Canon 1100D and get Canon 70-200mm f4 L USM lens.



With best regards from Almaty
User currently offlinemichaelvandijk From Netherlands, joined Jul 2013, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5269 times:

So, i bought the 70-200 F/4 l yesterday.

Went to the local General Aviation airfield and tried it out. Sharper images than the Tamron.
I guess when learning more gives sharper images.

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/d1375027508.9723deshp.jpg

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/j1375028839.8879phvhc.jpg

those 2 currently in screening queue

What do you think of them


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