nwc100
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:17 am

My New Camera And Some Advice...

Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 pm

Hi everyone just wanted to say thanks for the camera advice in this post http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...tion_photography/read.main/323673/ In the end a bought the sony A200 with kit 18 70 lens and also a tamron 70 300 and have purchased a couple of 4gb cards for it, All in it cost me around £380 and i can get £30 cashback on it, with a free bag thrown in as well so very pleased with it and how the camera handles.

So I was hoping somebody could take a look at a few of the pictures I have taken the last few days and give me some advice.

The photos are here http://myaviation.net/search/search.php?uid=6605 I have been shooting them in RAW as I have read here that is the best way and trying not to shoot with full length with the tamron as per other advice i have received.

I have tweaked them a little with photoshop but not 100% certain im going in the right route, I have looked at some of the walkthroughs I found on here and have tried to follow them.

Any advice is more than welcome and i look forward to some sunnier weather as its a bit cold to stay out for too long at the moment!

Thanks in advance Nick
 
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TupolevTu154
Posts: 1918
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:10 pm

Nick,

Congrats on your purchase, you'll soon be taking fantastic shots!

The one big thing that stands out in your photos is size. Ideally a photograph should be 1024x683, which gives a certain ratio (I don't work in ratios so I can't give you advice on that). I personally upload at 1200(width)x800(height) in pixels. Yours are far lower in height than they should be.

The next piece of advice would be to shoot with your back to the sun. Alot of these shots are backlit and therefore dark. It also looks like you've cropped the shots alot, giving them a poor quality (see the grain and distortion). Use the lowest ISO as possible for the light conditions and you'll get around this problem nicely, or fill the frame with the shot instead of cropping to fill.

Tom Big grin
 
nwc100
Posts: 88
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:14 pm

Tom

Thanks for your advice, The size was one of the things i had the most problem with when i change it in PS using the re size option I can see the change in quality, I will try to fill the frame more with the actual plane when taking the shot then.....If i can get the plane in full frame I take it then I wont need to do such a big crop on the pictures helping to retain some of the quality?

Sadly the sun at the moment is just to the front of this spot and you end up with everything back lit like you say, come the summer this is then lit from behind and is obviously a lot better.

I had a look through the data for the 747 picture which was shot at f7.1 1/250 and ISO100 does that sound right or do i need to change my settings....I have been trying different settings to see what looks good.

I'm just starting to get used to this camera and I realise the weather is not so good for it the moment but I figure if i can get a few reasonable shots now i should be able to do a bit better in the summer!!

Thanks for your help and I will try to put it into practice next time I go out.

Nick
 
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TupolevTu154
Posts: 1918
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:38 pm



Quoting Nwc100 (Reply 2):
.If i can get the plane in full frame I take it then I wont need to do such a big crop on the pictures helping to retain some of the quality?

Exactly right.

In Photoshop, when you click on the crop tool, there should be two boxes on the tool bar, type 1024 and 683 in those boxes like the picture below and all your shots will be cropped to the exact same ratio.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Toml/untitled-9.jpg

After that, re-size via the normal method (Image>Image size). Make sure "Constrain Proportions" is ticked and type in 1024 in the width box, and there you have it.

Tom Big grin
 
nwc100
Posts: 88
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:24 pm

Tom Thanks for that work through have had a go today with some of the pictures I have which are closer to full frame and they look a bit better, i think i really need to wait for the weather to improve a little bit to get some better shots, but will still go out in the mean time.

If you dont mind me asking you another question do the settings for the camera look right or not! for what im doing ?

Thanks for very much for your advice and time Nick
 
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TupolevTu154
Posts: 1918
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:37 am

Quoting Nwc100 (Reply 4):
If you dont mind me asking you another question do the settings for the camera look right or not! for what im doing ?

If you're referring to what you said in an earlier post ( f7.1 1/250 and ISO100) then that sounds fine to me, providing you have a steady hand. f7.1 is a decent aperture, if light begins to fade then take that down another notch to f6.3. I tend to shoot f8.0 if it's a decent sunny day.

1/250 is a little slow, and if you have an unsteady hand it won't do you any favours. As a general rule (which is always being suggested here), always use a higher shutter speed than the focal length you are using. For example, if you're shooting at 300mm, shoot no slower than 1/300. If you're shooting at 200, no slower than 1/200. I don't usually stick to this rule though, I have image stabilization on my lens so it makes life easier  

ISO100 is what you want to be on for as much time as possible. If the light conditions don't allow it then up that to ISO 200, lengthen your shutter speed or your aperture. However, the higher the ISO the more grain you're likely to get and the image quality begins to degrade, a longer shutter speed and more blur, and a lower aperture the more out of focus a background will be.

Edit: As an example, the above ELAL shot I posted was taken at 96mm, ISO100, 1/500, f/8.0.

Have fun!

[Edited 2009-01-02 03:39:45]
 
topgun3
Posts: 260
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:14 am

I'm a Sony/Minolta shooter too.....and my suggestion is (if you plan to do this more seriously), is to invest in some QUALITY glass. Camera bodies will come and go, but it is the lenses that will really determine how good your pictures are. Also, you don't want your equipment to be the limiting factor of the quality of your photography.

I have learned this lesson the hard way (by spending lots of money on cheap lenses) before I got the lenses I should have in the first place.

The equipment that I use now is:

15mm Sigma F2.8 Diagonal fisheye
16mm Minolta F2.8 fisheye
28-80 Tokina F2.8
80-200mm Minolta F2.8
300mm Minolta F2.8 Prime

I have about 10 other lenses, including the new 70-300mm G SSM Sony which I don't use much because it can't compete in quality to the ones I mentioned above.

After you have the right equipment...all you can do is practice, practice, practice....because it makes perfect  Smile

If you have any more specific questions...don't hesitate to ask....I'll be happy to help other Sony shooters like yourself.
I'd rather be flying.
 
nwc100
Posts: 88
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:20 pm

Hi Topgun

Practising is the name of the game I guess, sadly i havent been out all week the weather has been so bad, not raining just very cold ( for here, around 0c) and is very overcast and grey, So really im looking forward to the warmer weather a bit more and then see what happens, I will defintely stick with the gear i have at the moment and then look again after the summer and see how things have progressed from there.

Overall i am very pleased with the a200 i got, When i was first out looking I got into the Nikon D60 but the extra cost of that finally put me off, The sony worked out about £85 cheaper than the equivalent Nikon set up, Better in my pocket than someone elses!!

I have been considering taking back the Tamron 70 300 I bought with the camera and exchanging it for the sony DT 55 200, I have taken about 400 pictures with the tamron so far and im not certain of its quality compared to the kit 18 70 that came with the camera and it will only cost me an extra £40 to do the swap.

I will go out the end of next week and see what I think then. Its nice to hear from a fellow Sony user, Doesnt seem like there is many of us about!

Nick
 
topgun3
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:27 am

RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:44 pm



Quoting Nwc100 (Reply 7):
I will go out the end of next week and see what I think then. Its nice to hear from a fellow Sony user, Doesnt seem like there is many of us about!

You are right, there isn't so many of us...but we are still #3 in popularity....not that it matters.

I think Canon & Nikon users should thank Sony for stirring up the DSLR market a bit and forcing more innovation and lower prices into the marketplace.

As far as 3rd party lenses, I am more impressed with Tamron and Tokina over anything from Sigma.
I went on Dyxum.com and looked at some reviews of lenses there. If you can find one used, the Tamron - AF 70-210 F2.8 SP LD seems like a good fast lens.

I even had a 70-210 F4 beercan which was a very decent lens for the money (Used for as low as $100).

I wish you could try my 300mm F2.8 prime...that thing is old, but works like a charm.

Well...good day for now,

Mark.
I'd rather be flying.
 
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dvincent
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:46 pm

Nick,

It's a shame you're in the UK and not the USA, I just replaced my Beercan 70-210 f/4 with a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. For $699 USD (probably 400 pounds in the UK less in the UK with VAT) the Tamron really is a stellar performer. I haven't used it yet in an aviation context but I have in shooting indoors and it is just spectacular.

I would have sent the beercan your way for under market value, but alas the international shipping makes it difficult!

I'm glad to hear you went with the a200 (welcome to the Sony/Minolta club!) and I think if you're looking for a decent telephoto you should be looking at the old Minoltas, like the 70-210 f/4 or the 75-300 Big Beercan (just like the old beercan but longer). They'll both serve you pretty well until you decide to put down the pounds for a high end lens. Another useful lens is the 100-200 f/4.5. It's useful because it can fit through a fence! I don't use it often but I keep it around just in case.

I liked what I saw in your MyAv link and I think if you get the sun behind you and shoot at f/8 on a good afternoon you'll get some good results. It'll take you some time to get used to your new camera, but when you do I think you'll be very pleased. i would also suggest looking into Lightroom (which is another Adobe product) to organize and develop your RAW photos and then do all of your final edits in Photoshop.

If you have any more questions just post in here and I'm sure either Mark or I can help.  Smile
From the Mind of Minolta
 
jrowson
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:18 am

RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:02 am



Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 3):
Exactly right.

In Photoshop, when you click on the crop tool, there should be two boxes on the tool bar, type 1024 and 683 in those boxes like the picture below and all your shots will be cropped to the exact same ratio.



After that, re-size via the normal method (Image>Image size). Make sure "Constrain Proportions" is ticked and type in 1024 in the width box, and there you have it.

Don't you just crop and re-size in 1 go? Type 1024 into the crop box and then right click to change from cm to px and then 683, change to px in the other one and it crops and re-sizes in one go rather than having to crop to the correct ratio and then going to image size and resizing.
James Rowson
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5546
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:51 am



Quoting JRowson (Reply 10):
Don't you just crop and re-size in 1 go? Type 1024 into the crop box and then right click to change from cm to px and then 683, change to px in the other one and it crops and re-sizes in one go rather than having to crop to the correct ratio and then going to image size and resizing.

You could but there are disadvantages to that,
Cropping to dimensions leaves you with a high res image (or should if your framing and composition is halfway decent) that lends itself better to -
A/ editiing and adjustment
B/ printing should you decide to do so.
Cropping to resolution reduces those options significantly.

Tom has set 1024cm x 683cm in the crop box, that will give him an image the exact aspect ratio (3:2) of his original and one acceptable to Anet. He could have chosen any other numbers 3cm (or inches) x2 cm or 10x15 or 12x8 etc, the important thing is to select cm or inches and leave the resolution box blank.

Because I print much of my work, certainly far more than I upload here, I try to crop as little as possible and work with the highest pixel count image I can, only after I decide to upload here or elsewhere do I resize for web display.

Has that helped or only further confused.

Cheers

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
topgun3
Posts: 260
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RE: My New Camera And Some Advice...

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:39 pm

I agree with Chris,

I always fix my pictures at the highest resolution, and just save a second copy at 1200x800 for upload purposes. Many times I get contacted by someone wanting to use my photo and if this is needed for print, only high-res version will do. This way I don't have to Re-fix the picture for that purpose.
I'd rather be flying.

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