Airshow equipment decisions

tomcat

I'm New Here
Mar 21, 2015
11
0
I will travel to two airshows in summer. I am not familiar with shooting planes. So, I ask for some advice please.
I own two crop Cameras, the Canon 80D and the Canon 7D Mark II. From my girlfried I could get an Canon 6D Mark I, if I need it. As favourite lens I will use the Canon 100-400mm Mark II and for planes more far away, I have the Canon 500mm 4 L Mark II and the Extender 1.4 Mark III. For static planes the 35mm 2 and 50mm 1.4

I will take two Cameras with me. I am not convinced to take my two crop Cameras with me. Should I combine my 500mm prime lens with the Canon 6D and the 100-400mm lens with the 7D Mark II? The image quality would be better if I move up in ISOs. What would you do?

Which minimal shutter sheep is best for jets? 1/1250s? Maximal ISO 800?

Thomas
 

andrei1989

EOS RP
Sep 1, 2014
391
84
31
i would suggest to put the 100-400 on the 7d2 for flying planes, the zoom is good to have and at airshows planes will fly closer to you so forget the 500. on the 6d maybe put something wider but again, a zoom: 24-70/100

as for shutter speed generally faster than 1/1000 but you could also go slower to 1/200 to catch the motion of the propeller
 

ajfotofilmagem

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 23, 2013
2,375
74
Bahia Brazil
For airplanes with propeller speeds over 1/1000, and the jets at least 1/2000. I agree that the 100-400mm ii has enough range in APS-C bodies, and lighter weight will allow more flexibility to change the framework.

Those who have photographed rapid action with a 6D, complain about the delay in focus and low success rate in this situation. And I think that ISO 1600 will be well on the 80D and 7D Mark II.

The image below is T2i + 55-250 STM @ 250mm ISO800 F5.6 1/1000, quite Crop. Even aircraft "slow" when they move in different directions, you can not freeze the motion with only 1/1000.
 

privatebydesign

Garfield is back...
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,122
3,290
120
ajfotofilmagem said:
Those who have photographed rapid action with a 6D, complain about the delay in focus and low success rate in this situation. And I think that ISO 1600 will be well on the 80D and 7D Mark II.
The importance of "tracking sensitivity' can't be overstated in these situations. Make sure you go to page 307 in the English manual to C.Fn II:1 and turn it up to +2, this one small change makes a massive difference to the AF performance.

I'd go to C.Fn II:3 and 4 and put them both to 'Focus' too.
 

RJF

Jul 15, 2016
4
0
Can't agree with some of the advice posted here, 1/1000th is generally too fast for most propeller aircraft. It might be fine for some aerobatic aircraft operating at high rpm, but any warbirds or light aircraft it will be too fast.

When i shoot aircraft with propellers i would never go above 1/500th and ideally work between 1/60th-1/250th. For Helicopters that goes down further with 1/250th being about the maximum i would ever shoot at. As for the Jets basically anything 1/800th and above is good. I doubt you will need to even get to 800 ISO, most days you will be in the ISO range of 100-400, unless its a really dull day.

Which airshows are you going to be attending? That may dictate what gear is best due to the distances of the flying displays varying greatly between venues.

Based on the gear options you mentioned i would be taking the 7DII and the 6D, and using the 500mm on the 7DII and the 100-400 on the 6D. Most of the bigger aircraft and formations aren't going to fly as fast or erratically to need the reach or frame rate advantages of the 7DII (or 80D) so the 6D+100-400 is would be more than capable for that. The jet displays are going to be flying faster and are a smaller subject so the 500mm on the 7DII will allow you to fill the frame more, focus better and have more fps to capture the action.

Hope this helps!
 

ajfotofilmagem

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 23, 2013
2,375
74
Bahia Brazil
RJF said:
When i shoot aircraft with propellers i would never go above 1/500th and ideally work between 1/60th-1/250th. For Helicopters that goes down further with 1/250th being about the maximum i would ever shoot at. As for the Jets basically anything 1/800th and above is good. I doubt you will need to even get to 800 ISO, most days you will be in the ISO range of 100-400, unless its a really dull day.
Welcome to the canonrumors.

You could post any pictures of airplanes in flight, with shutter between 1/60 - 1/250?
Thank you.
 

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
1,995
180
Hi tomcat

You might want to check out this

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18673.msg545026#msg545026

Some great advise throughout and roundabout p49

Regards
 

privatebydesign

Garfield is back...
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,122
3,290
120
ajfotofilmagem said:
RJF said:
When i shoot aircraft with propellers i would never go above 1/500th and ideally work between 1/60th-1/250th. For Helicopters that goes down further with 1/250th being about the maximum i would ever shoot at. As for the Jets basically anything 1/800th and above is good. I doubt you will need to even get to 800 ISO, most days you will be in the ISO range of 100-400, unless its a really dull day.
Welcome to the canonrumors.

You could post any pictures of airplanes in flight, with shutter between 1/60 - 1/250?
Thank you.
Unedited complete image 1/250 sec. Plus 100% crop.
 

Attachments

RJF

Jul 15, 2016
4
0
Thanks for the welcome!

Sure, here are some old images of mine with various settings.

This one was shot at 800mm (400mm f2.8 + 2x) at 1/250th


Again, 800mm 1/250th


400mm 1/250th


800mm 1/100th


800mm 1/250th


You can see with most of these shots you wouldn't want to go much higher with the shutter speeds as the propeller blur would reduce further. As i said in my earlier post the type of aircraft (and its power setting at the time) will greatly vary and dictate what shutter speed is appropriate.
 

RJF

Jul 15, 2016
4
0
ajfotofilmagem said:
In fact, I was more curious to see airplane pictures with shutter 1/60, and it is not during takeoff. ::)
Here is a shot at 500m 1/100th, at this angle any slower shutter speed would have blurred the nose or tail (or likely both). Sorry for the compression, the original file looks better but this was just taken from a low res version i had online but you get the idea.



I have heaps more at varying slow shutter speeds that i'll try find later.
 

2n10

EOS RP
Aug 25, 2012
640
0
57
Sparks, NV
Hi rjf,

Great shots. Where were they taken?

I agree with the shutter speeds rjf suggested generally. I think you can go a little faster if you do not mind seeing the individual blades instead of the circle as we normally perceive the prop motion.
 

jarrodeu

EOS M50
Sep 18, 2014
47
0
Colorado
pbase.com
Depends on the plane and how much power they are using.
This is not quite full disk at idle and 1/25


And this plastic plane is full disk when 1/125


Keep in mind that full disk is extremely hard to do when flying and over-rated. As long as there is a little movement in the prop, you will be fine. Just don't want it stopped unless you want to simulate an engine failure.
To me the one below is just fine.
Jarrod

 

Halfrack

EOS RP
Sep 14, 2011
668
1
+1 on stating the show's you'll be shooting. The planes get close, and sometimes it's fun to get them in formations so having a wider option than the 100mm is handy. Really though, the 7D II + 100-400 II is gonna give you a lot. The 80D with a 50-100ish lens really does help - especially if you get buzzed. Faster shutter speeds for jets, but yes, with the slower aircraft, I've had some of my shots called out for popsicle stick propellers.
 

2n10

EOS RP
Aug 25, 2012
640
0
57
Sparks, NV
jarrodeu said:
Depends on the plane and how much power they are using.
This is not quite full disk at idle and 1/25


And this plastic plane is full disk when 1/125


Keep in mind that full disk is extremely hard to do when flying and over-rated. As long as there is a little movement in the prop, you will be fine. Just don't want it stopped unless you want to simulate an engine failure.
To me the one below is just fine.
Jarrod

Lovely shots Jarrod and I agree full disk can be overrated.
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
848
204
Propeller/rotor RPMs drive shutter speed considerations. The maximum RPM depends on length of the blades. The helical (rotational +translational) velocity of the tips is limited by the speed of sound, generally the upper limit is 0.85 Mach. Exceeding this produces noise and loss of efficiency due to the shock wave. The engines typically spin much faster and drive the blades through a reduction gear.

Some examples: A Spitfire with 3.3 meter blades on a Merlin engine with a 2:1 reduction gear has engine RPMs in 2400-3000 range with propeller RPMs in 1200-1500 range. A C130 with a 13.5 foot blades with a 13.54:1 reduction gear has engine RPMs up to 13820 with propeller RPMs of 1021. A Piper Cub with 74 inch blades driven directly spin up to 2300 RPM.

Helicopter rotors are longer so RPMs are lower. A UH-60 BlackHawk gearbox reduces from 20,000 engine RPMs to 258 rotor RPMs for its 16.36m rotor diameter. A UH-1B Huey gearbox reduces from 6,600 engine RPM to 324 rotor RPM for its 13.4m rotor diameter. A Sikorsky S-64 SkyCrane gearbox reduces 9,000 engine RPMs to 185 rotor RPMs for is 22m rotor diameter.

Fast shutter speeds will freeze the blades, slow shutter speeds will blur them. Depends on the effect you want to achieve. What works well for one plane/helo might not work well for another. It might be worthwhile to bracket your shutter speeds.
 
Jan 16, 2014
1,318
247
www.kbvp.com
Excellent explanations dcm.
I'll add the panning issues at slow shutter speeds.
When going for prop blur, the aircraft's speed and distance from the camera can produce very different results.
The approach angle is also to be considered.
Typical airshow shooting has a large distance(radius) compared to shooting 500mph planes at the Reno Air Race pylons. When shooting at short distances and panning, different parts of the plane will have a different speed relationship to the center of frame, resulting in motion blur. This gets really crazy when shooting for full prop blur. Picking a spot to shoot from that is about the center of the turn radius provides best results for nose to tail sharpness but lessens the prop arc circle to more of a side view.
My other consideration is DOF. If I want multiple aircraft in focus, I tend to go heavy on the aperture, resulting in a higher ISO to keep the shutter speed up.
My strategy is to start shooting at higher shutter speeds- 320 to 500, depending on prop rpm. Once I have a keeper, I start dropping the speed. When you go through all the time, effort, travel & money, it's a pisser to walk away with nothing.

Hawker SeaFury 924 / Reno Air Races © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Chino 2016 F7-F Tigercat 3850 © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Reno 2015 VooDoo pylon 6714 © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Nevada County AirFest T-28 takeoff blur 2386 © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Nevada County AirFest 2015 B-25 takeoff 1744 web © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Tim Decker buzzing me © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

Strong backlit shots can be messed with until the pixels scream "stop"!

Rare Bear & Strega battle it out © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr

With jets, I just crank up the speed :p

Super Hornet Star Wars Canyon © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr


dcm said:
Propeller/rotor RPMs drive shutter speed considerations. The maximum RPM depends on length of the blades. The helical (rotational +translational) velocity of the tips is limited by the speed of sound, generally the upper limit is 0.85 Mach. Exceeding this produces noise and loss of efficiency due to the shock wave. The engines typically spin much faster and drive the blades through a reduction gear.

Some examples: A Spitfire with 3.3 meter blades on a Merlin engine with a 2:1 reduction gear has engine RPMs in 2400-3000 range with propeller RPMs in 1200-1500 range. A C130 with a 13.5 foot blades with a 13.54:1 reduction gear has engine RPMs up to 13820 with propeller RPMs of 1021. A Piper Cub with 74 inch blades driven directly spin up to 2300 RPM.

Helicopter rotors are longer so RPMs are lower. A UH-60 BlackHawk gearbox reduces from 20,000 engine RPMs to 258 rotor RPMs for its 16.36m rotor diameter. A UH-1B Huey gearbox reduces from 6,600 engine RPM to 324 rotor RPM for its 13.4m rotor diameter. A Sikorsky S-64 SkyCrane gearbox reduces 9,000 engine RPMs to 185 rotor RPMs for is 22m rotor diameter.

Fast shutter speeds will freeze the blades, slow shutter speeds will blur them. Depends on the effect you want to achieve. What works well for one plane/helo might not work well for another. It might be worthwhile to bracket your shutter speeds.