Airshow lens

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Questions thread
crazybadger
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Re: Airshow lens
In reply to slookabill, Jan 31, 2013

slookabill wrote:

As I'm planning to go to Oshkosh this year, I'm wanting opinions about a good lens to suplement my current lenses for my Canon 60D. I currently have the 18-135, and the 70-300 f4-5.6. I'd love some opinions on whether I should add a 2.0x teleconverter, or a combination of the SuperZooms(Canon 100-400L, Signma 50-500, etc). Thanks

Always wanted to get out to Oshkosh, just never worked out scheduling wise.

From my experience the lens you choose depends a little on what you want to shoot and how close you can get to the flight line. If you want to shoot prop planes, then you are looking at needing a slower SS (~1/250) to get proper prop blurr. For this, I find good IS on the lens as very important. But if you are more into jets then you can crank up the SS and not worry. The other thing is the size and proximity of the planes. If they are small or generally not that close, then you'll need a longer reach than if they are larger (or formations) or you can get right on the flight line.

From my experience the most common lens I see is the 100-400. Gives great range, has IS, and can be very sharp. My only concern for you is that you have the 60D. From my own experience and from what I've seen from a number of people around here, the 100-400 is very sharp BUT usually needs a fair bit of MFA to get the best out of it. When I used to use my 100-400 on my 40D, I actually was really dissappointed. In some ways my old 70-300IS produced better shots on my 40D than I was getting from the 100-400 (and yes the 100-400 had been to canon for calibration). But once I got the 7D (with MFA), the lens came into its own and is now my goto airshow lens. Really great option.

The other lens I like to use is the 70-300L. I often shoot with that on my 60D (my backup camera). Doesn't have the reach of the 100-400 but is a little wider which is nice for formations and has about 4 stop IS (v 2 stop on the 100-400). The improved IS is a real life saver sometimes when shooting the WWII era planes that are my favorite.

Cheers Mike

PS...don't forget your 18-135. Walking around and getting parked shots can sometimes be almost as much fun as the actual flying at some airshows.

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