Airshow with X-T20 + Fringer Adapter + Tamron 100-400

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Heeyond New Member • Posts: 8
Airshow with X-T20 + Fringer Adapter + Tamron 100-400
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I've been wanting to shoot with superzooms for a long time, for some particular landscapes, and occasionally, flying stuffs. I had my hands on the Fuji 100-400 in store, it's a great lens but is unfortunately wayyy over my budget (even a good used copy in my area is about $1900), plus I want to save money for a 35/1.4 or even 56/1.2.

So after some research I decided to go the adapter route. The current solution, Tamron+Fringer, is about CAD $1300. It was a blind buy and they arrived just on time for a big test--the Abbotsford Internation Airshow.

Disclaimer: this is not meant to be a review of the Fringer, Tamron or Fuji equipment I used. The image quality is only as good as my amateurish photography skills and..this was my first time using superzooms, so a lot more practice is needed.

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Settings:

X-T20 ver 2.01: lossless RAW, High Performance Mode, Tracking Mode 2 (ignore obstacles), AF-C with medium zone focus, 50/50 CH at 8fps and CL at 5fps, shutter at focus priority

Fringer Adapter (1st gen. Standard version) ver 3.00

Tamron 100-400: VC Mode 1, AF Limit customized to 10m-infinity (customized with the Tamron Console), manual override is disabled so if AF fails, it fails

Shooting condition: abysmal weather for an airshow--periodic rain mixed with overcast, visibility is ok but clouds are pretty low, USAF Thunderbird had to cancel, 20°C

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Impressions:

Bottom line is I don’t feel this combo was holding me back from achieving what I wanted to achieve.

Focus at max aperture (f4.5-6.3) is quite fast, as fast as XC 16-50 at 50mm, quite remarkable considering this is a much longer lens and has much more glasses to move. There is no back-and-forth hunting at 99% of the time, meaning phase detection points were utilized with the adapter.

At F8 or smaller it will limit to contrast-detection only, for fast flying planes this means near zero hit rate, so I never used it.

About less than 2% of the time, it focused and shutters fired but shot was missed (at focus priority). Though it almost never lose focus during a tracking sequence. This is good enough for me.

Even with focus priority I don’t feel any slowing down in fps with this combo, it was able to keep the 8fps or 5fps rate until buffer fills up.

I took about 2500 shots and only had to delete about 50-100 that missed focus.

Here are some of the photos, cropped & processed in LR.

Heavy downpour near noon time, at one point we are not sure if the entire show will be cancelled.

DH-115 Vampire

Douglas DC-3

A-1 Skyraider "Proud American"

US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet

US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet

BOOM!

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

CF-18 Hornet "Ad Astra"

CF-18 Hornet "Ad Astra"

CF-18 Hornet "Ad Astra"

VROOM!

Snowbirds

Snowbirds

Snowbirds

RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III, big guy

CC-177

CC-177 turns

CC-177 at full reverse thrust

And finally, the combo on tripod (when I was resting, otherwise it was handheld all day long)

 Heeyond's gear list:Heeyond's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Fujifilm 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 II Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3
Fujifilm X-T20 Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3
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