D800 and D4 does Avalon

Started Mar 9, 2013 | Discussions
Jabs767
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D800 and D4 does Avalon
Mar 9, 2013

Just a couple of shots from the 2013 Avalon International Airshow that has just been finalized in Australia.

The Airshow consists of 4 trade days and two and half days of public days.  The trade day show is culminated by a Twilight Airshow on the Friday evening.

This part of the festivities usually challenges photographers with backlit subjects in the late afternoon through to darkness and fireworks and flares in the evening.

A number of aircraft have flares attached or fire off explosives.  Some like the Lockheed Super Constellation are renowned for their flaming exhausts and old world sound.

The images attached were captured with the D3S, D3X, D4 and D800E.

I have been particularly impressed with the performance of the D800 as this the first use I’ve had with it at a show.  It performed flawlessly and will definitely replace my D3X.  It excelled in high write speed from the buffer to card far better than the D3X and only just beaten by the D4’s speed.

The high ISO performance was excellent and easily beat the D3S or D3X.

Lenses used ranged from the 200/2 through to the 600/4 VR II.

The AF capability of the D4 and D800 excelled with minimal shots lost due to soft focus.  Most were lost due to framing trying to keep up high pan rates with small FOV and fast small subjects.  The only times the AF marched off I attributed to dust on the front element as Avalon can be a very dusty environment.  After a good clean each night the problem were alleviated the next day.

Some shots were lost due to softness attributed to heat haze or shimmer.  This particularly obvious when after a cool night and some threatening showers, the next day everything was incredibly sharp.

Enjoy the images.  More can be found at www.johnabsolon.photoshelter.com .



Jet Powered Salto Glider

Temora Aviation Museum's Mk VIII Spitfire

F/A-18F Super Hornet

Number 4 of F/A-18F Super Hornet Formation - # 1 crosses in the background

RAAF C-17 on Approach (D800 with 600mm handheld)

USAF F22 Raptor

Matt Hall's MSX-R

RAAF 127 BAe Hawk

RAAF C-17 Fast Flyby

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Jabs767
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 9, 2013

Just a few more;



Breitling WingWalkers

Melissa Pemberton (Shutter speed just a little too high)

HARS Catalina and AP-3C Orion

Tin Stix Flypast

USAF C-17 with 'Tornadoes' on each inboard engine!

RAAF CAC Avon Sabre operated by Temora Museum

Otto the Hughes 300 with flag

USAF F22 Raptor

RAAF BAe 127 Hawk

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Jabs767
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 9, 2013

And the awesome Raptor in its first ever flying display down under!



The F16 on the other hand grew a beard!



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Daniel Clune
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Nice
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 10, 2013

Great pictures. I have yet to be at an air show with the F22 and iam in darn country that makes them. Tough too shoot with fixed focul length lenses. You did a great job.  I always use my airshow lens the Sigma 50-500 OS.

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Jabs767
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Re: Nice
In reply to Daniel Clune, Mar 10, 2013

Daniel,

Thanks for that.  Yeah I used to use the 200-400/4 but at this show a fiend of mine was using it as I wanted to try and get some images mainly with primes to see how they went in comparison.

Apart the weight carrying around half a tonne of gear, I was quite happy.

These were all taken handheld. After 6 days, my back was killing me.

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Catalana
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 10, 2013

Claps hands... Stunning images that had me glued to the monitor.

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Van Griff
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 10, 2013

Jabs

Absolutely spectacular images!!!

My favs are the first Raptor taking off in the previous set . . . love the afterburners and jet wash . . . and the similar Raptor in this set is equally magnificent!!!

You have a fab gear set . . . and your images prove it . . . very nicely done!

My father was a Flight Engineer in the RCAF in WWII and flew in Catalinas . . . so particularly interested in your Cat image as there are only a handful flying world wide now.

Any more Cat images you can share . . . would love to see anything you have!

Again . . . a spectacular series . . . thanks for sharing!

Best,

VG

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Jabs767
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Van Griff, Mar 10, 2013

VG,

Thanks for the comments.

I certainly do have some more Catalina images.

I spent most of today sorting out images from the last week, I have over 600gb to sort.  I have many Cat shots of it airborne as well.  I'll get them up as soon as I can.

I have been busy with lots of D800 air to air images for a client that need to be sorted first..

Thanks again for looking.

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Van Griff
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 10, 2013

Jabs767 wrote:

VG,

John

Thanks for the comments.

Pleasure . . . awesome portfolio . . . including your website images!

I certainly do have some more Catalina images.

I spent most of today sorting out images from the last week, I have over 600gb to sort.

That can be a daunting task!

I have many Cat shots of it airborne as well. I'll get them up as soon as I can.

Excellent . . . looking forward to seeing them!

I have been busy with lots of D800 air to air images for a client that need to be sorted first..

Thanks again for looking.

Something about aviation images that get's my juices flowing . . . particularly when great action images . . . very nicely done!

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Best,

V G

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Terry WCN
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Van Griff, Mar 10, 2013

to Jabs767 : great photos...thank you;

Just one question, please: which one ( D4 or D800) is your favorite body; just imagine you're limited to one body: which one ?

thx

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mothergoose
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 10, 2013

John, you're a magnificent photographer. These are outstanding. The exposure and focus is quite perfect. I like your sailboat shots even more.

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thomo
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 11, 2013

I love the shot of the PBY Catalina - a classic aircraft. it's amazing that people are able to keep them flying after so many years. A great capture with the other plane coming in above - thanks for posting.

I can't wait to get some really long glass (ie 500 ~ 600m).

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Ray Soares
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Amazing pics! Congrats! nt
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 11, 2013
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Ray Soares
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Glenn Bloore
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Fantastic shots John!
In reply to Jabs767, Mar 12, 2013

John,

I have been away from the boards for a few days so sorry I missed this thread earlier.  Great shots as usual.  Wow, do you carry alot of gear....lol

How was your first time seeing the Raptor?  Amazing isn't it?  I spent a great deal of time with the team their first 2 years and was always impressed and amazed whenever I saw it.

I am happy to hear your positive report on the D800 and I love mine and my D4 as well.  I still think the D800 and the D600 are about 1/3 stop lighter than my D4.  What do you think?

Thanks for posting and the shots on your website look great.

Glenn

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Jabs767
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Re: D800 and D4 does Avalon
In reply to Terry WCN, Mar 12, 2013

Terry,

Sorry about the delay in getting an answer back but I have had trouble logging into dpreview for the last couple of days.

If it came to only having one body at an airshow, I suspect that it would be the D4 as I love the AF speed and accuracy and the ability to tailor the preset focus point for landscape and portrait separately.  Not of course to mention the frame rate of the D4.

I use a pumping technique on AF ON button to get the AF to recompute particularly on subjects that are crossing at high speed.  The AF system tends to compute for one closure rate but as the rate of closure changes, I feel I have to get to recompute to get the best results.

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Jabs767
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Re: Fantastic shots John!
In reply to Glenn Bloore, Mar 12, 2013

Glenn Bloore wrote:

John,

I have been away from the boards for a few days so sorry I missed this thread earlier. Great shots as usual. Wow, do you carry alot of gear....lol

How was your first time seeing the Raptor? Amazing isn't it? I spent a great deal of time with the team their first 2 years and was always impressed and amazed whenever I saw it.

I am happy to hear your positive report on the D800 and I love mine and my D4 as well. I still think the D800 and the D600 are about 1/3 stop lighter than my D4. What do you think?

Thanks for posting and the shots on your website look great.

Glenn

Glenn,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes I do seem to carry a bit of gear and I ended up being the butt of a few jokes in the media pit at Avalon from those that know me.  One fellow took a photo of the gear and posted it somewhere instantly getting multiple 'likes'.

Admittedly we lined up my friends gear as well to make it look better.  Between us we had a few Nikon bodies with 28-300, 70-200/2.8, 200-400/4, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4 and 600/4.  Later for the twilight show I swapped the 200/2 in there as well instead of the 500 and 600mm.

Nikon was definitely more prominent this year than previous with all the major Melbourne newspaper guys also shooting D4.  Even the couple of USAF guys that joined us had D3S.

All shots were handheld including the 600mm and on a couple of occasions I put the TC14 on it as well.

By the last day of the show my foldup trolley suffered a structural failure with the 2 Pelican cases on it when it slipped and the handles broke.  It's supposedly good for 125 kilos though.

The Raptor is just incredible in its manoeuvrability but I suspect a 'noise' seeking missile would the way to go to get one!!  It is quite noisy compared to the Super Hornet.

The F16 jock seemed to have a few problems with his landings though managing to bounce at least once every day. The best was 3 bounces!!!  On day 5 he even had to perform a last minute go-round.  Not sure why as nothing was said on the tower frequency.

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