A mainly airshow related question

Snowy55

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I am attending the Warbirds over Wanaka airshow in New Zealand next month and am looking at getting a good Micro 4/3 body and have already been steered towards the OM-D EM-5 although the OM-D EM-10 is well priced and very appealing. I am also attracted to the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II. A small form factor for portability is preferable and the OM-D and 75-300 seems to fit the bill.

I already have a Sony A7 and 28-70 kit lens with is serving me very well except for my longer telephoto airshow 'needs'. I also have a range of legacy Minolta Rokkors. I look forward to trying those on the OM-D with an adaptor that is on order. The IBIS could be very handy with the Rokkors.

Having recently found the aircraft specific thread I see there are number here who share my interest so am hoping for any tips or corrections if I am on the wrong track in any way.
 

Snowy55

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Well, as I am no longer attending the airshow in NZ I have some more time to consider my options. I have had a chance to handle an OM-D EM-10 in store. It sits neatly in the hand and the thumb grip is a nice touch. I'm still considering but I'll most likely be getting an OM-D EM-10, the two package lenses bundled with it here in Australia plus the 75-300mm. I can easily fit a Sony A7 and FE28-70mm plus an OM-D EM-10 and 75-300mm in my satchel style camera bag. No need for lenses changes in dusty environment.
 

Canonista

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I've previously only done one air show, and I brought my Canon kit (5D + 24-105L; 40D + 100-400L (effectively a 160-640 on an APS-C sensor) with me. The AF tracking of the 40D was quite effective in combination with the lens IS, and I had decent reach. The Oly 75-300 will give you comparable reach, and it's very good value for the money. My only question would be the AF tracking capabilities and IBIS of the EM-10. If you're going to do a lot of air shows, you may want to rent the OM-D to see if it really suits your needs.
 

Snowy55

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Thanks for the suggestion Canonista and for your reply. I appreciate what you say. After a lot of reading I am aware the AF tracking may not be the match of that Canon gear. Airshows are an important but not dominant part of photography for me and I'm content to trade that level of performance for compactness and portability. No doubt I shall have to practice my technique but If I can get a few good shots of aircraft taking off and landing and some in the air then I will be happy. The extra reach offered by the 75-300 will be handy for other types of photography such as well so will not go to waste.
 

Savas K

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You'll be happy shooting distant static subjects with the gear you've selected. As to air shows, you'll be expending a lot of time and effort to come away with a few that you'll like, but for the most part it will be frustrating. Especially when action happens close to you, which could be a rare but juicy shot, and the camera mis-focuses or focus travels throughout it's range while the opportunity evaporates as quickly as it appeared.
 

Snowy55

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OK Savas K. I hear what you are saying but the thread Matero refers to indicates it can be done. Iansky can certainly bring home the goods! Perhaps the 100-300 Panasonic might be the better option. In any case I am not deterred. I suspect it has a lot to do with technique.
 

Savas K

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OK Savas K. I hear what you are saying but the thread Matero refers to indicates it can be done. Iansky can certainly bring home the goods! Perhaps the 100-300 Panasonic might be the better option. In any case I am not deterred. I suspect it has a lot to do with technique.

If you re-read my post, I did not say that it cannot be done and I stand by my words. As to Matero’s link, I participated in that thread supporting Iansky’s workmanship.

Here’s a posting of mine in someone's thread dedicated to comparing the Olympus and Panasonic long zooms, in which I post a few air and land images. A page later I go on to describe the difference I discovered in using the Olympus body as compared to the Canon for air show work. https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=39760&page=4

As far as Canon is concerned, acquiring sharp images of extreme action is trivial. These employ a 5DII body and 70-200 f/2.8 lens with a 1.4 TC to extend the reach.


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laser8

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I just went to an airshow for the first time and got extremely good results (as far as I'm concerned) with a GX7 and the 45-175. Maybe 10% of the shots were misfocused, so I really do not know what more one can expect. Shutter priority, 23 area autofocus, lowest burst or even single shot, not the slightest problem.

If there's one thing I can recommend from my very limited experience, is to avoid e-shutter unless you are after that specific effect, and to keep both eyes open - it's much easier to find the subject than wonder around the sky with the limited FOV at over 60-70mm.

Here's the link to the post with the pics:

https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=63135
 

Snowy55

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I went ahead and purchased a 75-300. Time will tell what sort of results I get but I do value the light weight combination the E-M10 with grip and 75-300 gives me. I will have my Sony A7 with 28-70 FF for static aircraft and closer action and the 75-300 for longer reach.
I'm very pleased with the 28-70. Hope it is OK to post a non Olympus derived image. Here is an example:

P40 by Barry Pate, on Flickr
 

Snowy55

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If you re-read my post, I did not say that it cannot be done and I stand by my words. As to Matero’s link, I participated in that thread supporting Iansky’s workmanship....
I certainly wasn't trying to argue with you and in fact you are right Savas K. I thought I had better let you know that. I have tried very hard to get some good aircraft shots with the 75-300 and the EM10 but I guess my skill level is not sufficient to do so. The combination is great for static subjects but it was hunting for almost every shot. Some didn't gain focus at all. A real pity but there it is. It is not enjoyable. Perhaps the EM1 might be a better body to use with it's hybrid PDAF but that is not an option for me. Great shots with the 5DII by the way.
 

OzRay

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When shooting against the sky, put the AF into multi-area (using all focus points) or at least the next option that will cover the aircraft, as that gives the camera the greatest opportunity to lock onto the aircraft. Against a clear or cloudy sky, the aircraft will offer plenty of contrast to the AF to lock on and stay locked. Single point is a right pain and will make AF very difficult.
 
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