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New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:45 pm
by chris493
Hi All,

I'm new to the aviation photography business. I've read through some of these other similar posts but with the rate technology changes, I thought I'd best start fresh. Up until now I've only taken the odd picture with a small Sony Camcorder. Recently I moved to Surrey, about 15 minutes from Heathrow and 30 from Gatwick. I want to invest up to £400 for a decent DSLR camera and appropriate lenses that'll allow me to snap high quality shots for here and personal. Does anybody have any recommendations for beginner camera's, photo taking and best locations at EGLL/EGKK?

All advice greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Chris Brand

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:22 pm
by SIA6696
First off all buying the most expensive gear will not result in high quality images. The camera is only a tool.

Secondly it is the lens that makes the difference, cheap body+good lens=high quality, pro body+cheap lens=low quality.

Third, start off with a beginner body, all of canon's XXXD and XXXXD are good bodies. I recommend getting at least a 500D. It has a few more features then the 1100D and it goes for around the same price.

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:13 am
by chris493
Hi and thanks for the reply,

I have looked around and I have seen that I can get A EOS 1100D body only for £380, whereas a 500D body is £595. If i go for the EOS 1100D, what sort of lens would you recommend? Anything else that is required? If it helps, Im looking at amazon.co.uk as I've bought computer equipment from them before and they are cheap (er) than most of these other electronic stores.

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:51 am
by SIA6696
What lens depends on your budget. The majority of photos on the site are taken with telephoto lenses.
I recommend the 70-300mm IS USM, it is a decent lens and has very good IQ, it has a very fast AF and is solidly built. But make sure not to be confused with the DO or the L version, both are quite expensive and not really worth it, for that price you can get much better glass. Also stay away from the 75-300mm. It is a get what you pay for lens, i've had one and it is horrid past 200mm.
You should look at the lens lineup and see what suits you according to the lenses range and your budget. Then you should google it and read various reviews, and peoples first hand experience with it.

If you are travelling it would be a very good idea to get a decent camera bag. You want protection for your gear, I recommend Lowepro, their bags are well built and I find them more functional then the others.

Other then that you wont need much when starting off, later when you get more confident shooting and want to explore new techniques or just experiment then you can expand your collection.

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:03 am
by JakTrax
Quoting SIA6696 (Reply 3):
the L version, both are quite expensive and not really worth it

Jeez, some of the advice I've seen this past week on here really is misleading! The 70-300 f/4-5.6 L is one of the best lenses Canon have ever produced. Perhaps not worth it to you but I'd sooner have it than the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS.

What lens one chooses is entirely dependent on two key things:

a) How much you have or are willing to spend
b) What focal length you think you will require (in other words, how far away your subjects are at the airport(s) you plan to shoot at most)

The 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS isn't a bad recommendation - unless you want to shoot mainly at 300mm; in which case it just isn't up to the job.

I have said this in many posts lately and I'll say it again - you need the right tool for the job. Of course budget constraints can restrict this way of thinking so we can rephrase this to 'right tool for the job at the right price'.

Chris, tell us where and what you plan to shoot and give us an idea of budget and we can summise from that.

Karl

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:05 am
by scopedude
If the budget is really tight, EF-S 55-250 is a good lens. It's light and compact - very useful when I have to shoot through the fence.

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:27 am
by SIA6696
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 4):
Jeez, some of the advice I've seen this past week on here really is misleading! The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L is one of the best lenses Canon have ever produced. Perhaps not worth it to you but I'd sooner have it than the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS.

I'm not saying that it isn;t a bad lens, I'm just saying that you could get the much better 70-200mm f/4 IS USM, that is cheaper and much sharper, instead to the 70-300mm L. You could also get the much better 100-400mm that is only a bit more.

[Edited 2011-06-04 04:28:02]

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:16 pm
by scopedude
Quoting SIA6696 (Reply 6):
I'm not saying that it isn;t a bad lens, I'm just saying that you could get the much better 70-200mm f/4 IS USM, that is cheaper and much sharper, instead to the 70-300mm L. You could also get the much better 100-400mm that is only a bit more.

I have both 70-200/4 IS and 70-300 L - and sharpness between both are similar. Even at 300mm wide open the sharpness is very good with very low CA.

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:21 pm
by JakTrax
Quoting SIA6696 (Reply 6):
I'm just saying that you could get the much better 70-200mm f/4 IS USM, that is cheaper and much sharper

Not much better if you want to shoot mainly at 300mm though is it? I know you mean well but the advice you're offering here just isn't making sense. The 70-200 f/4 L IS WAS possibly (I say possibly because it depends on the copy and how it sits with any given camera) Canon's sharpest lens, UNTIL the 70-300 f/4-5.6 L came out. The 70-300 offers 100mm more, the very latest IS and improved sharpness, and is only around £120 more than the 70-200 f/4 L IS.

As for the 100-400, it's only 'much better' if you intend to shoot at between 300 and 400mm. In terms of sharpness he 100-400 is actually the least sharp of he three; but then again it offers the most range so it can be forgiven.

I'll say again - best tool for the job in hand, at the right price. Until the OP gives us more insight we can't make any positive recommendations.

Karl

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:46 pm
by chris493
Hi All,

Thanks for all your replies.

I'd say all up I have a budget of around £800-£1000 for absolutely everything.

My closest airports are Heathrow (10-15 mins drive to west side) and Gatwick (about 30 mins to west side). So I'm assuming that I'll mainly be sitting T5 side of Heathrow at the base of the 9's. Gatwick would be at west end too.

Is the EOS 1100D body suitable for a beginner? I know a bit about photography, just never really dedicated myself to it, which is what I am now wanting to do.

So my understanding is that a 70-300mm telephoto lens is what most guys use for their snaps, which I suppose makes sense considering the size of Heathrow for distance shots.

As I said, I'm on mainland UK so any cheap store recommendations are appreciated.

Kind Regards,

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:58 pm
by JakTrax
Quoting chris493 (Reply 9):
So my understanding is that a 70-300mm telephoto lens is what most guys use for their snaps, which I suppose makes sense considering the size of Heathrow for distance shots

A lot of people use them but mainly due to their affordability rather than their performance. Most tty good starting blocks there - all for under £1,000.

I use both the 70-200 and 100-400 for my telephoto shots, but it's the 70-200 that's usually attached to my camera. Excellent lens, and very good value!


Karl

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:43 pm
by HarryImp
Within your budget, maybe the 550D with the 70-300 IS USM (Not the L version)

Just a suggestion, but this looks like a decent setup, even though im a newbie. Would you be willing to go 2nd hand?

If not in UK then Park Cameras and Amazon seem to be the best priced !



Harry

[Edited 2011-06-16 13:44:33]

RE: New To Aviation Photography...

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:15 am
by Dehowie
What Karl said is totally correct and an excellent assesment of the lenses...other than the 70-200F4 being Canon's sharpest lens..
There are many lenses considerably sharper than the 70-200F4 but they all come with impressive price tags and less flexibility than the 70-200...but up to 4 times the focal length.
70-300 is an impressive lens with the balance of IQ and good focal range combined with solid build etc.