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mx330
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Blurred Winglets When Panning

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:36 am

Hey folks...

I was trying some low shutter speed today as weather sucked.

Went down to my regular shooting TV 1/30 to 1/60 and I started noticing that some parts of the aircraft are in perfect sharp focus, but some others (most times the winglets) are well out of focus / blurred.

Its been the first time I try to pan with the combo Canon 5D MkIII + EF 70-200 f2.8

I had never experienced this... though had always used the 100-400L and on a 7D, 40D, 20D etc.

Has anybody experienced something similar?

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks a lot.

Juan
All Canon! EOS 5D mk III, 8mm, 17-40, 24-105, 70-200 f2.8, 100-400L
 
IL76
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:09 am

I guess you didn't have science/physics class in school?

It has nothing to do with your camera, Juan. The only thing you can do is to use a longer lens and be further away from the plane. Most successful (full sharp subject) panning shots were made with a long focal lens.

E

Edit: see this old post. Unfortunately my drawing is long gone. Just Need A Quick Opinion (by Pilot kaz Jul 21 2005 in Aviation Photography)?threadid=192935&searchid=193014&s=Panning+blurry#ID193014

[Edited 2013-01-26 23:20:50]
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:32 am

Quoting IL76 (Reply 1):
It has nothing to do with your camera, Juan. The only thing you can do is to use a longer lens and be further away from the plane.

Yep.

The blurred winglets/other parts are due to different parts of the airplane moving at different angular velocities relative to you. So if your panning is keeping pace with the nose, then the tail may be blurry.

This is dependent on horizontal position as well as distance from you. If you're panning with the fuselage, then the near winglet will be traveling faster than you are panning, and the far winglet will be traveling slower.

Think of your viewfinder as a sheet of paper on which the airplane is drawn. As the airplane is approaching, it takes up more and more of that sheet of paper, and the relative position of the various parts of the aircraft is changing. That's the blur you see. You can keep one part of the aircraft fixed on the sheet of paper by panning, but you can't keep the whole aircraft fixed.

The difference in relative angular velocities decreases as the subject distance increases, which is why longer focal lengths tend to minimize this sort of blur. Of course, then you get into more difficult panning.... 
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je89_w
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:51 pm

You could overcome this by placing yourself on a vehicle/moving platform next to the runway and match the same speed as the aircraft. Now whether the airport/security/police/logistics allows this is an entirely different story.  
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:23 am

You can always try bumping up the ISO a notch (or wider aperture if available) so you can keep the shutter speed up if longer lenses and distances may not be a convenient option. Just remember that a wider aperture for the same subject distance and focal length yields a shallower Depth of Field:

A quick check using a DOF calculator for the 5D series shows that at 200mm and a subject distance of 300 feet, f/4, the depth of field (focus) is 177.5 feet...which isn't even enough to cover the wingspan of most widebodies. All else being equal, shooting at f/2.8 yields a DOF of only 119.3 feet...And this doesn't even take into account that the near-focus point tends to be about a third closer to the center of focus than the far-focus point, so your close winglet will really be struggling to stay in focus.

In comparison, at 400 feet distance, you're looking at 337.1 feet DOF at f/4, and 218.8 feet DOF at f/2.8, which is still either clipping the wingspan or cutting it close to maintaining span-wise focus under those conditions.

Most likely, depending on how far away you're shooting, you'll need a combination of 1) higher ISO to raise the shutter speed to prevent wingtip blurriness, which is sufficiently high enough to also take into account the change in: 2) higher aperture to maintain sufficient Depth of Field so the winglets stay in focus.
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dvincent
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:34 pm

Quoting je89_w (Reply 3):
You could overcome this by placing yourself on a vehicle/moving platform next to the runway and match the same speed as the aircraft. Now whether the airport/security/police/logistics allows this is an entirely different story.  

Ah, but that's not panning, that's trucking.  
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dazbo5
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:38 pm

Quoting je89_w (Reply 3):
You could overcome this by placing yourself on a vehicle/moving platform next to the runway and match the same speed as the aircraft. Now whether the airport/security/police/logistics allows this is an entirely different story.

I know that comment was made in jest, but it sort of sums up what I feel about some of the screening on this site at the moment, unrealistic.

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
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Quoting je89_w (Reply 3):
Now whether the airport/security/police/logistics allows this is an entirely different story.

Of course, there is also the issue of getting my car up to 150mph.

Obviously, it's time to upgrade equipment.  

Also, I realized that this:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
This is dependent on horizontal position as well as distance from you.

...is redundant. The horizontal position in your viewfinder changes because the distance is changing. If all parts of the airplane stayed a constant distance from you (so, it's flying in a circle around you), then you don't have to worry about this kind of blur.
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sovietjet
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Generally if your shutter speed is less than about 1/60 you will get blurryness during a panning sequence under any angle except the perfect side-on (or perpendicular). At the perpendicular position all parts of the airplane are moving at the same speed relative to you so it minimizes the chance you will have the nose sharp and tail blurry, etc... This of course is valid if no actual motion blur is there in the first place (you nail it perfectly). Panning is hard, lots of scrap images are normal. But when you get that nice sharp one it's always worth it. Bonus points if you catch the strobe as well  
 
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mx330
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:42 am

Thanks for your comments guys.

Now it really makes sense. I had never panned with less than 300mm lenses since normally the runways are far away.
This time I was on Vegas (where you are really close to the action) and gave it a try.
When I tried the far runway with my regular 100-400 it was ok.

I'll try some of the tips provided here.

One again thanks for the answers, and Ed, no they never teached me photography on science class  
Jerrold, that trucking method seems nice!

Juan
All Canon! EOS 5D mk III, 8mm, 17-40, 24-105, 70-200 f2.8, 100-400L
 
Ychocky
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:15 pm

Panning is a skill I have not reliably mastered. It comes and goes like the tide. Here is an example from my own collection. Could I have done anything differently?

D3000 70-300 VR @ 86mm 1/60 f8

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10035383@N00/8076176888
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Blurred Winglets When Panning

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:54 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 8):
At the perpendicular position all parts of the airplane are moving at the same speed relative to you so it minimizes the chance you will have the nose sharp and tail blurry, etc...

Actually, even when it's perfectly perpendicular, the parts of the airplane are still moving at different speeds relative to you. After all, it only stays perpendicular for one infinitesimal amount of time.

Quoting Ychocky (Reply 10):
Could I have done anything differently?

Well sure you could. Shoot at a wider aperture - I shoot down at F4 when the light is low. And looks like you shot at ISO100; you could easily bump that a few notches.

But I'd be pretty happy with that shot.
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