USAF Air Museum Dayton Ohio Lens?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Fmrvette, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    USAF Air Museum Dayton Ohio Lens? Resolved!

    Gang, after a couple of failed attempts we may actually get to the museum this summer (the Princess of the Exchequer conceded over lunch that she owes me a couple of days there).

    I did a little research and it appears that the museum may be dark in spots and that exhibits are hung overhead limiting the ability to get position for some shots.

    I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has been to the AF museum and what gear recommendations they may have.

    My widest lens (not including the 7.5 fisheye) is the 12-50mm kit lens, followed by the 14mm Panasonic. From what I've read the 12mm kit zoom is too slow as is the 7.5 fisheye, and the 14mm is not wide enough.

    My specific questions revolve around "how wide" and "how fast" a lens is required to capture images in the museum.

    I would be mounting the lens on an E-M5.

    I'm considering the 7-14 Panasonic, the 9-18 Olympus, or the 12-40 Olympus if my existing gear simply won't do (even though f/4 is slower than the 12-50mm kit lens the zooms are faster once the focal length increases). The 12mm Olympus f/2.0 is of course also under consideration if 12mm is wide enough (I am primarily a prime shooter. Primarily, that is :biggrin:). However for this particular venue a zoom might be the better choice.

    I've shot at a number of other museums but am particularly concerned with the Dayton location this time around.

    Thanks!

    Jim

    Edit to the original post: After a number of folks gave excellent advice and were kind enough to share photo examples I've decided on the E-M5, the 20mm f/1.7, the 14mm f/2.5 and "something" wider and faster (probably to be rented from Lensrentals). Many thanks to all who responded and if you've not seen the example photos there are some very nice shots herein (not, obviously, taken by me).
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I have been there many times, as I used to have the Air Force Avionics Lab as a customer.

    It is a fantastic place but the lighting is fairly dim -- probably to protect the artifacts from fading.

    If I were going back I would have my standard travel pair: 9-18 and 14-140mm. I would expect to shoot mostly the 9-18. At a minimum I would have a monopod, but I would probably call ahead to see if a tripod is allowed. I would expect to shoot ISO 1600 or 3200 unless I had the tripod.

    No matter how wide your widest lens is, it will not be wide enough for many shots that you want.

    Having steaks at the Pine Club is worth some effort. It defines the classic steak house in every way.
     
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  3. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    My own experience is with the Air and Space museum in DC and the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. For those places, I found the 14 to be nearly perfect. Here's a little gallery from the UH Center, all with the 14 on an E-PM1:

    http://drd1135.smugmug.com/Airplanes/The-Udvar-Hazy-Center/

    I can imagine that the Oly 12 f2 would be nearly perfect. What is the 12 mm kit lens?
     
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  4. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    The 12-50mm variable aperture lens came with the E-M5. I've not been able to come to grips with it (just doesn't feel "right" to me :confused: ) and it's slow at f/3.5 at the wide end (although faster than the f/4.0 alternatives...as long as it's not zoomed out).

    Thanks for the smugmug link!

    Regards,

    Jim
     
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  5. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    If I have to pony up for the 9-18mm lens I won't have money for steaks :biggrin:.

    Thanks for the response, Oldracer.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I always forget the wide end of that kit lens is 12. The 14 will often work, and the 7.5 and the 12 will be well stabilized by the EM5's IBIS. You can usually handle lower shutter speeds with lenses that wide. Your current collection will probably work. You have all the inexpensive options covered, so the only ones left (that I know of) are definitely going to cut into the steak money.
     
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  7. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Excellent advice, all round. This is how I will do it when I do it again.

    The B-36 comes to mind here. Dad crewed one of these out of Carswell in the 1950 timeframe. Awesome is not an overused word in this context. Enjoy!

    woof!
     
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  8. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Thanks Woof! I guess my concern on the Oly 9-18mm is/was the variable aperture - so it's good to hear from those who have 'been there, photographed that' :biggrin:.

    I flew right seat in OV-1 Mohawks in Vietnam and had NO problem getting them framed in a 55mm (equivalent) lens - but they were a wee tad smaller than the B-36. And I was photographing the 'hawk outdoors which helped with the ASA of 25 :thumbup:.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  9. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    256
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    I guess if you want an inexpensive option to go wider with the kit you already have, you could consider the Panasonic wide angle adapter thatr fits the 14mm. See this thread:
    https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=27752&highlight=DMW-GWC1
    I have one, but haven't shot with it in museum type conditions, so I can't say how well it would perform.
    However, would still leave you with money for steaks :smile:
     
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  10. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    I must make it there before I retire my shutter finger. Not only am I a vintage combat aircraft buff; I once wore the uniform of that branch decades ago.
     
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  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Udvar-Hazy is as different from Wright-Pat as any thing could be. Spacious, bright, ... Wright-Pat is not Udvar-Hazy. I have not been to the main Air & Space museum for many years but IIRC it is much more like Udvar-Hazy than it is like Wright-Pat.
     
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  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Buy (used) for the trip, sell when you get back. Net cost probably under $50.

    (But I'll bet that you fall in love and keep it.)
     
  13. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Ah, you know me all too well...

    Regards,

    Jim



    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Yep, Wright-Pat has the exhibits lit with spots with much lower ambient light levels than Udvar-Hazy. The IBIS of the E-M5 is a little strange in the sense that as shutter speed drops shake becomes visible and then works better. I can usually handhold it at 1/15 sec. and that would probably work with the 12-50 & ISO 1600-3200 at Wright-Pat.
     
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  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Ok, I learned something new. Take the fast lenses to USAF museum.
     
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  16. Palmguy

    Palmguy Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Mar 3, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    I spent an afternoon there last summer and had a Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40L with me at the time....and didn't find myself wishing much for any other lenses. A few more mm at the wide end would have been nice at times. Improvised stabilization by resting on the railing to stop down to make the backlights more appealing like in the shot below.

    IMG_6645_zpsdd36ffe4.
    19mm, f/22, 4s, ISO 3200

    I don't think your fish or your 14mm are too slow. The fisheye could make for some interesting shots there, in fact. I do think a UWA zoom like you mentioned (P7-14 or O9-18) would be useful however.

    If I ever get back to SW Ohio, I'd like to go back...very cool place.
     
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  17. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    I'm not sure I can give any specific advice in the light of what's been given in the thread already.

    BUT - I do recall that when I last went to the museum at Wright-Pat (a decade ago) it was dim, and the exhibits were packed in tight (there was a lot of kit). So wide and fast it has to be!

    When I went there, it was with a 35mm film SLR.

    I'm envious - it's a fantastic place, but several thousand miles away from here! Although we do have lots of great aircraft museums on this side of the pond too, most of which I've been to.

    Rob
     
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  18. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Brian, thanks very much!!!

    I'm scheduling two days there (assuming the Princess of the Exchequer doesn't change our plans for yet a third time).

    I'm good with the 14mm and the 7.5mm...and a new monopod (there are some new ones out with features my decade old Canon 100 doesn't have - like feet!).

    :2thumbs:

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  19. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Hi Rob!

    It's about 3 hours south-southeast of me, a little under 200 miles. If I still had my Nikon kit I would be good to go, but I decided early on with :43: to only buy lenses and accessories that I would actually use rather than replicate everything in the Nikon bag.

    I've not bought fast/wide :43: up until now because I've been able to make do with what I've got in the gadget bag. I just don't want to be caught without the required gear at the museum if I can avoid it (and I don't want to buy something I won't use, either :wink: ).

    The Princess of the Exchequer has been to Europe (to visit one of our kids who was stationed there with the U.S. Army) but neither of us has been to the U.K.

    It's on my "to do" list but the bank seems to have other ideas :biggrin:.

    Ohio may be the closest I ever get to the 8th Air Force.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  20. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
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