Wollongong Airshow and 600mm lens at crosswind limit

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Jabs767
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Wollongong Airshow and 600mm lens at crosswind limit
5 months ago

Last weekend there was an airshow at Albion Park just south of Wollongong about 90km south of Sydney.

The show known as the 'Wings over Illawarra' gained a new name, 'Winds over Illawarra'.

The show was billed to feature a number of vintage aircraft including Spitfire, Mustang, C47, DHC-4 Caribou, Super Constellation, F/A-18 Hornet and a recently restored CAC Avon Sabre, one of only two in the world.

The day dawned with a forecast 35 knot crosswind on the only open runway consequently preventing most aircraft from getting airborne.

The Hornets arrived early in the morning and landed in the strong crosswind which I then discovered proved hand holding a 600mm lens and D4 an almost impossible task.  Even with the lens hood removed, it was still a hand full.  The 500mm on the other D4 was no better. The surprise packet for the day was the 80-400mm AF-S on the D800E which displayed amazing VR capability even down to 1/200 on the air ambulance helicopter that got airborne on a rescue mission during the show(?).

I have now discovered that the crosswind limit formula for shooting long lenses in windy conditions at airshows is 6000/lens focal length (mm) e.g.. 6000/600=10 knots!!!

Consequently many images were not framed well during the day and a lot of creative cropping was required in post production.  The extremely cold air and wind chill factor made for some reasonable sharp images with a complete absence of heat haze that usually frequents such shows.  Here are a few examples.

The only thing that was hot on the day!

At least the Hornet provided some entertainment on the day

The Avon Sabre provided some worries when it landed in the strong crosswind.

The wind didn't keep the birds on the ground though!

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