ALexeu
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Tips For Contrail Photography

Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:34 pm

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
 
oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:47 pm

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]
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whisperjet
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:47 pm

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
Nobody is perfect - not even a perfect fool.
 
klintrepid
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:29 am

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+
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hangarrat
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:53 am

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?
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ALexeu
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:17 pm

Thanks for replies,

Do you move your camera when you take a pic of contrail a/c? what exposure?
 
oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:03 am



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.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
paulinbna
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:22 am

You have to very lucky out of about 1000 attempts I have about one that made it in the data base.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers



This was shot at 400MM.
Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
 
viv
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:53 pm

Frosty mornings, when the air is clear and the low sun illuminates the bottom of the aircraft, are best.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
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ThierryD
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:04 pm

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


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thierry Deutsch
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thierry Deutsch


 

Thierry

[Edited 2008-01-22 05:07:32]
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fergulmcc
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:27 pm



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 
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timz
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:06 am



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

Why?
 
Jawed
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:22 am

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

Quoting Timz (Reply 11):

Why?

 
timz
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:36 am

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.
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:25 am



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
Erm, is this thing on?
 
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jid
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:58 am

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]
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oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:32 am



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.
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cpd
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:00 am



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.
 
klintrepid
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:52 pm



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)
~its a JEEP thang~
 
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dvincent
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:13 pm

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.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
sulman
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:09 am

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
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
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cpd
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:52 am

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".
 
Stealthz
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:04 am



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
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:25 pm



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
Erm, is this thing on?
 
klintrepid
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:32 pm



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)
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cpd
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:16 am

I don't venture out that often - when I'm not taking photos of planes in spare time, I'm a flight-sim developer.  Smile

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 22):

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

Unfortunately, I'm not a regular photographer there - it's more like once in a blue moon. I've gotten a few photos accepted on here already, but I think my main problem now is getting the sharpness/softness in editing sorted. I think mostly it's that my screen is very, very sharp - and what looks good on my screen, if I look at it on the 21" Eizo Flexscan I use at work - it does look much softer. So I'll use my old Sony CRT as a double check.
 
jonzofon
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:30 pm

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?
jonzofon
 
Fly747
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:36 pm



Quoting Jonzofon (Reply 26):
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?

Not a chance.

Ivan
 
jetmatt777
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:13 pm



Quoting Jonzofon (Reply 26):
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?

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.

I have a question, I'm getting ready to buy the Sigma 135-400 f/4.5-5.6. If I bought a 1.4x t.con could I get decent contrail results mounted on an EOS 400D? And would you know if I would still have AF, or would I be stuck with MF? A little off topic but I'm in no mood to start a thread  Wink

-Matt
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
klintrepid
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:25 pm



Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 28):
I have a question, I'm getting ready to buy the Sigma 135-400 f/4.5-5.6. If I bought a 1.4x t.con could I get decent contrail results mounted on an EOS 400D? And would you know if I would still have AF, or would I be stuck with MF? A little off topic but I'm in no mood to start a thread  

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)
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jetmatt777
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:35 am

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, that 757 was at around FL350, I cropped in alot though, but it is possible, Note: That was with a cheap 100 dollar lens, your results may vary.

MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Matthew Bridges



Quoting Klintrepid (Reply 29):
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.

That sucks, why do most cameras lose AF when the Minimum lens Aperature get above F5.6-6.3?

-Matt
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:03 am



Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 30):
why do most cameras lose AF when the Minimum lens Aperature get above F5.6-6.3?

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 converter) and the variation in contrast isn't enough for the AF to use it effectively.
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fergulmcc
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:27 pm



Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 30):
That sucks, why do most cameras lose AF when the Minimum lens Aperature get above F5.6-6.3?

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 disable the AF above f5.6
Only the 1D series as a complex dual AF system that allows the camera to AF up to and including f8, but not above it!

Take care

Fergul  sun 
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dvincent
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:56 pm



Quoting Fergulmcc (Reply 32):
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 disable the AF above f5.6
Only the 1D series as a complex dual AF system that allows the camera to AF up to and including f8, but not above it!

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...  Wink
From the Mind of Minolta
 
hangarrat
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:20 pm

Here's the lens for contrail photography:

http://www.canonfd.com/mirrorlenses/pages/page10.html
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Fly747
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:23 pm



Quoting HangarRat (Reply 34):

Should be fun to handhold  Wink

Ivan
 
hangarrat
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:53 pm



Quoting Fly747 (Reply 35):
Should be fun to handhold

It comes with a mount, not unlike an antiaircraft gun:

http://www.canonfd.com/mirrorlenses/pages/page09.html
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Fly747
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:02 pm



Quoting HangarRat (Reply 36):

Yea, that was supposed to be a joke, how would you handhold 220lbs/100kg?

Ivan
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:17 pm



Quoting Fly747 (Reply 37):
Yea, that was supposed to be a joke,

Yeah, I got that. I just think the mount, with attached seat, is impressive. Big grin
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ilpavone2004
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:26 am

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 telescope (about 250-300mm or 10''-12'' diameter). telephoto lens would never arrive where a telescope arrives and even if there's not autofocus, i'm sure everyone can do it manual focus. I'm going to buy pretty soon a dobson 12'' gso telescope especially for contrail spotting. If you just want to have an idea about taking photos with a telescope you can visit the forum where i post my images and you'll find really great images.

http://www.luchtzak.be/forums/viewforum.php?f=25

Best Regards,

Mattia
 
oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:03 am



Quoting Ilpavone2004 (Reply 39):
you'll find really great images.

I'm impressed.

My limit is my old Tamron 500mm mirror lens and 2x converter which (at 800ASA) produces the likes of

Big version: Width: 600 Height: 489 File size: 50kb


EK205 A6-ERH over Manchester last weekend
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ilpavone2004
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:19 am

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 telescope such the dobson i'm going to buy i have a focal lenght of 1500mm and a diameter of 300mm, so much light gathering and low iso speed. Btw for contrail spotting pictures the perfect focal lenght is about 2500mm (with a non full frame dslr) but most of this depends on the size of the aircraft! With a 747/777-300/A340/A380 and such big beasts a focal lenght of 2000 mm is already good, but with small aircrafts a focal lenght of at least 2000-2200mm is needed. I'm talking in order to take a photo with the aircraft in the full frame, no cropping. Much depends also from the angle of shooting and sun position. For any other tips or advice just ask or visit that forum!

Regards,

Mattia
 
oly720man
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:16 pm



Quoting Ilpavone2004 (Reply 41):
so much light gathering

Yes, it's the big hole at the front that seems to be the most important.

Quoting Ilpavone2004 (Reply 41):
I'm talking in order to take a photo with the aircraft in the full frame

Following a plane with my lens combination isn't especially easy, trying to keep a plane full frame must require a very steady tripod (and hands) and easy to move tripod head.
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ilpavone2004
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RE: Tips For Contrail Photography

Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:23 pm



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 42):
Following a plane with my lens combination isn't especially easy, trying to keep a plane full frame must require a very steady tripod (and hands) and easy to move tripod head.

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'll be quite difficult but when you're used to it's quite simple. Even more simple if the aircraft has got a contrail because you can use the contrail for following the aircraft.

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