Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:03 pm

ATC & Lens

Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:09 pm

Hi guys im a big plane enthusiast and want to be able to listen to ATC convos aswell as taking close up pictures of planes. So with the ATC towers what device can i pick up for 50-100 quid which will allow me to do that and will it need to have the 8.33Mhz split feature as i read somewhere it will?
as for the lens what sort of lens is good for pics about 100-200 metres from the runway? i use an old sony SLR at current.
Posts: 5755
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: ATC & Lens

Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:56 pm

There is a wide selection of radios here, though some are discontinued.

Comments re: 8.33kHz (not MHz)

As for the lens, what planes? Cessnas or A380s?

If your maths is up to scratch you can calculate the viewing angle for an aircraft at a distance.

tan (half view angle) = half length of aircraft/distance.

e.g. B737-800 at 100m, length is 40m -> tan(half angle) = 20/100 = 0.2.

View angle = 22.6deg.

From the wiki page this horizontal view angle is for a lens just above 85mm.

For an A380 at 100m the angle would be 41deg, so a focal length just less than 50mm.

You won't want the aircraft to fill the viewfinder completely so the angle will be a bit bigger and the focal length a bit shorter.

You'll have to check what you can get for a Sony SLR to cover from perhaps 40mm to 200mm. This may mean 2 lenses. Sony bought out Minolta so you should be able to get Minolta Maxxum AF lenses for your camera or Sony A mount.

There are some 18-200mm lenses for the more recent digital cameras, e.g. Sigma and Tamron but you may need to try them out with a local camera shop to confirm they work with your camera.
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