I was at the Weston Super Mare show and go to the Swansea show as well. These are similar coastal events. I use a full frame camera with a Canon 300mm F2.8 L IS for the larger aircraft and add a 2 x Mk3 extender for the small aircraft (or a 1.4 if I am near the center of the flight line). Your 70-200 will give you excellent results but bring along the Sigma for when it's too short. You will have plenty of time to change lenses so I would suggest just taking the 7D.
Thanks for the info.
The last time I did an event like thus was the flying boat seaplane event at Southampton Water, I was shooting film and video alternately, neither of which turned out well due to loss of focus on the event.
I am very wary of deciding in advance to change lenses on the beach in case the wind should get up, salt and sand are bad enough on the outside, on the inside it would be terrible!
Plus I have had a couple of camera failures, one the 40D shutter failed and I had to resort to my 300D, the other was Magic Lantern, the 7D and my brain not playing well together, I wasn't ready to go live with ML and between us I had my 7D doing strange things and had to uninstall ML right at the crucial point in a ceremony to get a normal functioning camera back, fortunately I was carrying the 40D so used that whilst the 7D recovered!
I went to Farnborough with a 7D, 70-200II and 2xIII, I kept the TC on for 60% of the day I think. Didn't need it with the Vulcan. Whilst I did occasionally want more reach, it was only the smallest of planes (WW1 battle recreation) and when the Harrier was hovering (I was just too far down one end of the runway). With things like the Red Arrows, some of the wider shots I took were at 70mm to get more of the overall formation in, I don't know if you shoot that type of shot, but its worth considering.
I'd have thought you could crop from 400 on the 7D to get the equivalent of the 40D + Sigma combo without too much loss of quality? Would save on carrying an extra lens/camera!
Wish I could go to this but I'm working sadly. Going to Clacton on Sea on thursday though, looking forward to the Vulcan again (who doesn't ) but I wish they could have got the P51, that put on a great performance last year!
Thank you for your thoughts.
When I was at the Southampton event the Harrier hovered right in front of me, I had to cover the camera for most of the performance and turn my back during the bow due to the grit and salt spray thrown up! I love the Vulcan, such a beautiful aircraft, and the noise well.....
I do take shots of the overall display for things like the Red Arrows, also I might get some general wide angles of the crowd. I was not sure I would need the 2x III but from what you say I guess I will most of the time, I will be adding/removing it as little as possible, see reason above!
I would recommend the Sigma 150-500, with a caveat that I don't actually have it, but that I have tried your other alternative and it doesn't really do it for me in that situation.
At the focal lengths where it really matters, I feel confident that you would get better plane pictures both optically from the 150-500 lens and physically from being able to handle / pan / zoom, especially at the 500mm end which is really what you need for taking really good plane photos. Even a "wide angle" plane photo with several planes is going to call for a very long focal length, unless the planes are extremely close (roaring in your ear drums kind of close).
I doubt that the 70-200mm with the 2x extender (resulting in 400mm) is going to compare to the quality of the image you'll get with the 150-500 lens at 500mm with no extenders.
UPDATE: I think I'm wrong. I had heard that the 150-500 was really a pretty great lens overall, but I have just Googled some image comparisons and some of them seem to show that the 70-200 II is sharper, even with the disadvantage of a 2x teleconverter attached, and even comparing Canon details at 400mm equivalent focal length vs. Sigma details at a true focal length of 500mm.
(And if those comparisons I read are true, then really 150-500 lens is NOT a great lens at all like a lot of people have been saying, but a terrible lens.)
All that I can say based on my personal experience is that I am NOT satisfied with the quality of the 70-200mm II in this kind of situation with teleconverters. But the 150-500mm might be even worse.
Thanks for your input.
I will say that the 150-500 responds well to AFMA, the images I got in the past were not great, but since FoCal entered my arsenal and tested the 150-500 the images are sharper, though not on the same level as the 70-200 with 2x.
I was thinking of ditching the 150-500 but it is with me for the foreseeable future now, the quality is not that bad if you can't afford Canon glass of a similar focal length!
As for how close the planes are, I think from what I have heard that they are pretty darn close to the crowd, statements like they flew over the pier place them pretty close, but then one persons view of them flying past the end of the pier is another persons view of them flying over the pier!
So no one would pair the cameras and lenses the other way round then?