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Fiveholer
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Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:01 am

Hey guys, I have an opportunity coming up soon to shoot some air to air between 2 Cubcrafters "Top Cubs" They are Super Cub clones...look it up. Big grin Anyway...never done air to air obviously. I was wondering which lens is gonna be best. I would really like to shoot with my 70-200 2.8 but I don't know if that will be enough or if I would need the reach of my 100-400. Anyway, quite excited and don't know quite what to expect.

Danny
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maiznblu_757
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:10 am

Danny,

I think you will want the extra reach the 100-400mm offers.


Canon 100-400mm
http://www.jetwashimages.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10002/IMG_3135.jpg

Canon 100-400mm


http://www.jetwashimages.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10002/IMG_3233.jpg

Canon 100-400mm


http://www.jetwashimages.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10002/IMG_3133.jpg

Canon 24-105mm F/4 L IS

http://www.jetwashimages.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10002/IMG_3196.jpg
 
eadster
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:36 am

Nice shots Chad!

Danny, I've done it a fair amount of times. I us a 60-300mm (old Pentax lens) and find its just right with windows open or closed.

I'm sure you'll have a great time and learn alot from it.

Martin
 
jetav8r
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:50 am

Unless the pilots have experience with formation flying I would stick with the 100-400. If he's a new formation pilot you'll want him as far away as possible!

Alex.
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:29 am

Quoting JetAv8r (Reply 3):
Unless the pilots have experience with formation flying I would stick with the 100-400. If he's a new formation pilot you'll want him as far away as possible!

Most of mine were full frame at 100-200mm...The close in shot with the kids was 130mm... When shooting air to air, its a lot easier to have one lens and the 100-400mm is the most versatile lens save the 28-300 L or the 35-350 L.

*I took a lot of shots, had some in the 200-400mm range as well.

[Edited 2006-08-23 03:33:29]
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:30 am

Good stuff Chad. I didn't know you had gone up with Steve as well. What kind of aircraft were you shooting from? Smooth day? I am worried about shooting long from a bumpy little Cub. Looks like the 100-400 will be my primary...and I would imagine it would be kinda tight having a 2nd body and/or changing lenses. Big grin

Danny
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maiznblu_757
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:44 pm

Quoting Eadster (Reply 2):
Nice shots Chad!



Quoting Fiveholer (Reply 5):
Good stuff Chad.

Thanks. We were shooting from a Cessna 172 and it was pretty smooth. You should have enough room for two bodies. What is your platform going to be?
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:36 pm

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 6):
Thanks. We were shooting from a Cessna 172 and it was pretty smooth. You should have enough room for two bodies. What is your platform going to be?

Either this:
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/N43CROK3781306Wide.jpg

Or this:
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/N4615OK3781306Wide.jpg

Gonna be kinda tight in there I reckon. Big grin

Danny
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maiznblu_757
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:12 am

Boy I guess. Going to be tough trying to shoot with that strut there as well.

This may be obvious, but, make sure you have a headset to communicate with the subject bird. That will make it much easier for you. When I did a photo job for a glider company on Oahu, I didnt have a headset. All hand signals. lol.

[Edited 2006-08-23 19:26:58]
 
aviopic
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:29 am

Quoting Fiveholer (Thread starter):
I was wondering which lens is gonna be best. I would really like to shoot with my 70-200 2.8

Well there is a lot to tell about this subject but in general the shorter the better.
Personally I refuse to use more then +/- 100mm for various reasons.
One tip: if you have a lens with "IS" switch it off(on the 24-105 anyway).

Willem
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
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Fiveholer
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:50 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 9):
One tip: if you have a lens with "IS" switch it off

Maybe I am naive (not maybe, I am, having not done air to air before), but why would I not use IS? Of course my 100-400L has it, but I also have the IS version of the 70-200 2.8. IS is a savior for me, I am so damn shaky. I don't know how I lived without it!

Danny
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maiznblu_757
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:15 pm

Danny,

Although the 24-105mm has a 3rd Generation IS system, its only got one mode... *edit: Still doesnt make sense as you would want the traditional IS engaged, and thats what the 24-105mm offers. ???????


When shooting air to air with the 100-400mm L IS or 70-200mm L IS, I suggest you shoot with IS engaged. (mode 1)

[Edited 2006-08-24 05:46:15]
 
aviopic
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RE: Anyone Shot Air To Air GA Before?

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:20 am

Quoting Fiveholer (Reply 10):
Maybe I am naive (not maybe, I am, having not done air to air before), but why would I not use IS?



Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 11):
Although the 24-105mm has a 3rd Generation IS system, its only got one mode... *edit: Still doesnt make sense as you would want the traditional IS engaged, and thats what the 24-105mm offers. ???????

I had high hopes myself although in the back of my mind I had doubts it would work for my applications.
The doubts won probably because the "IS" is invented to compensated for Human(low frequency) vibration where inside a Cessna 172, Piper Cub or any other similar little 1 engine A/C you will find a much higher frequency vibration.
It's my experience that the "IS" doesn't do much with that infect it goes crazy when you try to use your camera pointed downwards leaving you with nothing else then a very blurry image.

Don't get me wrong "IS" is a nice thingy and I am happy with my 80-400 but for short lenses or to compensate aircraft vibration it is not very useful.

Quoting Fiveholer (Reply 5):
I am worried about shooting long from a bumpy little Cub. Looks like the 100-400 will be my primary...and I would imagine it would be kinda tight having a 2nd body and/or changing lenses.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders


This was taken from an exact similar Piper Cup which is a nice machine to work from because you can open the side completely giving room for some nice angels apart from 90 degree that is due to the wing support.


Although this can be used to your advantage as well.


You can even lean far outside the aircraft to shoot backwards.


but it is tight and you catch a lot of wind.
I did not study aerodynamics but I think at 100kts indicated ias the wind force just outside in the prop's draft is probably close to double that figure.
Even inside sitting in the back with the side open you will be fighting the wind and to keep something as a 100-400 or even a 70-200 steady in those conditions is going to prove difficult.
Tip: don't wear floppy stuff(it is going to hurt you) and no cap on your head(you will loose it anyway).
Tip 2: if you want to use your lens hood tape it with sticky or even better high speed tape for the same reason.(you don't wanna loose parts up in the air).
Tip 3: at ground level it might be hot but up at 5000 or 6000ft in the given windy conditions you will be freezing cold in less then 10 minutes.
One drawback of the Piper is that it doesn't have much storage space you can reach during flight so I took only one body(no problem..... I have only 1  Smile ) and 1 lens..... the 24-105 in this case.
Tip 4: Talk to both crews what you are going to do, make something of a plan which includes at least: Where(for a nice back drop), angles you like(means maneuvers for the crew), communication frequency(there are special channels for a2a communication), altitude and probably most important who is in the lead.
It is common to have one A/C flying level(at the earlier agreed altitude) and dead straight(usually the slowest) so the other can do the maneuvers.
Personally I prefer the photoship is free to move so you are able to do anything that pops up but when a Viggen is the subject and a Piper the photoship there is little chance to do so, even the Glider out performs the Piper Cup without any difficulty in which case you have to turn the table.

Incase a Cessna 172 or something similar is your photoship you can take your whole camera bag with you(I do) and put it on the back seat(tie it down with the seat belt though...... you don't wanna have it end up in your neck).

There are at least 100 other things to think about(I can talk 3 weeks about this  Smile ) but you will learn them quickly and I think to have covered most important issue's.

Have fun and enjoy the ride,
Willem(who is off to Germany for hopefully the next mission)
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist

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