thanks for your remark, drmikeinpdx.
I too did a lot of airplane photography when I still had my A-1 and my T-90. With my FD 2.5/125 mm and my FD 4.0/80-200 mm I made great shots. The advantage of that type of 35 mm SLR was something that I never read, but in my opinion was fantastic. Even if you could not afford the most expensive Pro SLR-bodies, you could achieve Pro-results. If you just saved and bought the good lenses, and would use a professional film (who remembers: to be stored in the fridge te retain optimal color balance!
In that way you could get the same results as the pro, because the SLR-body (although it determined the ease of use, reliability etc.) had no real influence on the resulting photo.
With digital SLRs that is completely different. It gave manufacturers the possibility to differentiate and build optimised cameras for different situations. That is good.
But it took away the possibility for enthusiasts to get 'pro-results' on a relative budget in the way I just described. That is bad.
That said, todays digital SLR's have an image quality that surpasses the old film, perhaps not always in 'atmosphere', but certainly in capturing details. And post-processing and printing is so much easier than spending hours in the darkroom for only a few prints. So, to be honest, I would not go back to that age.
And yes, I like to think that manual focussing was something that gave good results for fast flying aircraft too. Every pass of a plane I had at least 2 excellent sharp photos. Alas, modern digital cameras do not support manual focus in these circumstances. The lenses rotate very little for a given change in focus, so it is easy to 'overshoot'. And the digital SLR bodies do not have the split focussing screen of those days, which makes accurate but also fast focussing a real challenge. I can honestly say that I tried manual focussing with my 70D and that this is not good for my mood.
So I think you can say that the old technique no longer works: it is simply no longer supported by the camera bodies and the lenses.
Thanks for your repy, Orangutan.
You are right with your remark that a properly exposed image is the base for everything else.
Of course, my exposure is off at times, but that is not what I meant. In sunny circumstances the underside of a plane fuselage and wings gets several stops under-exposed. The same for the wings of a BIF. That is a fact I cannot change.
I have seen photos taken with a Nikon that seem to give more room to 'pull up' details in the shade than my 70D. That is required, because I cannot control the lighting when shooting airplanes in flight or birds in flight. Of course I could say "the light is too harsh, so I won't shoot photos today", but then I would miss many opportunities. So that is why I am looking for a different camera body. I hope this explains why I look for a better (Canon) body, i.e. a body with a better sensor.
And judging from several tests, the 80D could/should give me better lattitude to correct sub-optimal lighting of the subjects in my photos. It is sad it does not have the 7D MKII's elaborate AF-system. But then it would not doubt be more expensive than the 7D MKII is, so there is no sense for Canon to do so.
Thanks for your explanation, ajfotofilmagem.
I did not know that about the DXOmark method. Because for birds and planes I usually work at 400 ISO (800 ISO if I really must), I am more interested in that higher ISO performance.
This means, I guess, that what I read at DPReview is more relevant than a DXOmark test would be.