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Author Topic: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?  (Read 2332 times)

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Offline jasT1981

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Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« on: April 16, 2018, 05:41:19 PM »
Airshow season is nearly here, so that means one thing for me, new camera time.

Thinking of picking up a DSLR in the next few weeks and have been looking at the Canon EOS 700D, is this a decent camera, and does the 75-300mm lens suitable for airshows?

I've only ever gotten Bridge cameras, but been looking to upgrade recently.

Argos has this in stock, just about my price range, what is your opinion on it for airshows and aviation photography?

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7458552

thanks
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 05:42:45 PM by jasT1981 »

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 06:09:25 PM »
300mm is going to be disappointingly short for modern airshows, unfortuately, except for the slow passes / runway action / formations.  Last time I shot with 300mm was RIAT 2013 and even back then it was too short for flight, despite a 1.4x converter. 

Even a 100-400 is just on the edge of range now, though the Mark I Canons are good value now in the mid 300s upwards.  They've been displaced by the Mark II but still great glass for that price.

150-600s are airshow-standard now but start around 600 second-hand for an early Tamron. 

Bridge cameras are pretty amazing nowadays, though.  It might not be the time to be investing in new DSLR bodies given the mirrorless shift approaching.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 06:21:37 PM by smudge »

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 06:28:05 PM »
You'll find 300mm quite short, even on a 1.6crop like the 700D. That said, I've found that using a hi res body, I can crop in from 200mm and get some pleasing shots. If you've got the budget, the 100-400 is a good place to start, and even second hand, they're great - mbp do a lot of second hand stuff with warranties. Alternatively, if you can stretch to a 70-200 f2.8, stick a x2 teleconverter on that, and you'll have a 400mm 5.6 lens that is powerful for airshows, becoming 640mm f5.6 on the crop body There's a lot of TCs come up for sale round the 100 mark now and then.

Offline Chris0423

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 07:26:38 PM »
if a x2 teleconverter is an option, be careful as it may turn your lens into manual focus only which will be no good for flying aircraft. I made that mistake with my sigma 150-600. now have a 230 x2 gathering dust. I have a x1.4 teleconverter and notice very little derogation on the main lens performance.

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 07:27:23 PM »
As the other folk have mentioned 75mm-300mm isn`t going to be much use except for close in and slow passes,which the CAA have virtually done away with.
The 2 lenses packaged with that camera are fairly basic,neither has any anti vibration features,which is pretty much essential for airshow work.
I would suggest you buy a decent 2nd hand DSLR,and save up a little more,and maybe get a 400mm or 500mm zoom lens.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 11:30:39 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 09:18:35 PM »
if a x2 teleconverter is an option, be careful as it may turn your lens into manual focus only which will be no good for flying aircraft. I made that mistake with my sigma 150-600. now have a 230 x2 gathering dust. I have a x1.4 teleconverter and notice very little derogation on the main lens performance.

Most DSLRs won't autofocus beyond f5.6, so when adding a x2tc, need to be careful to start with a fast enough lens. The x2 will cut 2 stops from the lens, so starting with. A 2.8 will take it to 5.6 etc... the 1.4 cuts one stop so gives you a bit more flexibility at the expense of light. 

Combining the 70-200 with a tc, and the natural tc of a crop body DSLR gives you a very flexible package. Fit the tv for airshows, but take it off and you've a nice set up for general photography

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:27:28 PM »
I second the second-hand body suggestion; if you want to jump into the DSLR World put your money in glass first and body second.  The body will be obsolete in three years, lenses should last ten years that with care and luck.

Personally I've never bought a new body*, I just wait for the previous gen to filter down from the pros & rich-folk.

The 80D is the 'cheapest' Canon DSLR that will autofocus at f8, single centre cross-point for most combinations with converter.  So an f5.6 lens and a 1.4x would just hang in there.  I think the 7D2 is their only other one that does that for under 1000.


* well not since 1988!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 10:38:50 PM by smudge »

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 10:35:59 AM »
I second the second-hand body suggestion; if you want to jump into the DSLR World put your money in glass first and body second.  The body will be obsolete in three years, lenses should last ten years that with care and luck.

Personally I've never bought a new body*, I just wait for the previous gen to filter down from the pros & rich-folk.

The 80D is the 'cheapest' Canon DSLR that will autofocus at f8, single centre cross-point for most combinations with converter.  So an f5.6 lens and a 1.4x would just hang in there.  I think the 7D2 is their only other one that does that for under 1000.


* well not since 1988!

Seconded. All my bodies are second hand and I've never had a problem. I've spent the last while buying good glass - L series etc... and I can see the difference in moving from standard glass to pro glass. Changing the body can't do that. I'd recommend a 7D MK1, they're still a very capable camera, and can be picked up for around the 350 to 400 mark. I'm using one commercially still, although I'm in the market to upgrade (if anyone has anything on offer!)

Offline jasT1981

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 03:42:56 PM »
Thanks, I'll take a look into the 2nd hand. I am also now considering the P900 from Nikon, while a Bridge the Zoom is 83x optical :O

I didn't think 300mm would be good enough for shows now, I had noticed some cracking shots from 300mm lens however it seems they were all a good few years old before the displays got pushed out further.

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 04:20:32 PM »
Thanks, I'll take a look into the 2nd hand. I am also now considering the P900 from Nikon, while a Bridge the Zoom is 83x optical :O

I didn't think 300mm would be good enough for shows now, I had noticed some cracking shots from 300mm lens however it seems they were all a good few years old before the displays got pushed out further.

Unless you're buying a full frame camera, consider that your 300mm will actually be a 480mm lens, from the natural crop factor of the camera - then you're getting into some serious territory, with the great IQ of a DSLR. Good luck!

Offline jasT1981

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 01:23:38 PM »
I think I have settled on this, the Kodak Astro Zoom PixPro AZ901. 90x Optical zoom. Don't think I would get anywhere near that with a DSLR for the price range I have.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7006193

My only issue now is getting batteries for cameras :/ They are no longer able to be posted to NI apparently due to royal mail regulations on packages that go via air,  so it may be a lot harder to get batteries. I got caught out on this last year when I ordered batteries for a phone and camera for the RIAT weekend.

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 01:26:00 PM »
I think I have settled on this, the Kodak Astro Zoom PixPro AZ901. 90x Optical zoom. Don't think I would get anywhere near that with a DSLR for the price range I have.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7006193

My only issue now is getting batteries for cameras :/ They are no longer able to be posted to NI apparently due to royal mail regulations on packages that go via air,  so it may be a lot harder to get batteries. I got caught out on this last year when I ordered batteries for a phone and camera for the RIAT weekend.

Try calumet on boucher road for batteries

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 01:26:31 PM »
There's a chap in Maghaberry does batteries and has Facebook and internet ads for his business.

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 07:41:36 PM »
I gave in and bought the D700 today. Was one of those yes or no decisions when I was in Argos today. Wanted to get a DSLR for a while now, even if its not great at airshows. It will be great for other things.

My dog is going to be very annoyed tomorrow when I get it set up and use him as a test subject  ;D

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 09:05:58 PM »
I gave in and bought the D700 today. Was one of those yes or no decisions when I was in Argos today. Wanted to get a DSLR for a while now, even if its not great at airshows. It will be great for other things.

My dog is going to be very annoyed tomorrow when I get it set up and use him as a test subject  ;D

Health to enjoy! DSLR - perfect for airshows! Have a look at lensforhire.com - you can hire a massive Nikon Telephoto to put on the front of it Newcastle weekend!

Offline jasT1981

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2018, 11:36:26 PM »
Thanks, I will deff check it out for Newcastle.

I may have also bought the 90x optical zoom bridge tonight... mostly for overflights. I tried to explain to a friend and he just shook his head.


Offline jasT1981

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2018, 09:20:04 PM »
So, why did none of you warn me I need an advanced degree and 6 years Starfleet training to operate a DSLR?  ;D

My dog is fed up being used as a test subject.




« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 10:22:24 PM by jasT1981 »

Offline jasT1981

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2018, 12:49:41 AM »
Took the DSLR and bridge to Cosford, Birmingham and London this weekend. I don't think I can go back to a bridge now, it got used twice the entire weekend and just felt so bulky awkward to use.

75-300mm wasn't too bad for an airshow but I can see why you said it would seem a bit short for photos of displaying aircraft.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 12:51:03 AM by jasT1981 »

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Re: Would a 75-300mm lens be good for airshows?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 08:10:42 PM »
Took the DSLR and bridge to Cosford, Birmingham and London this weekend. I don't think I can go back to a bridge now, it got used twice the entire weekend and just felt so bulky awkward to use.

75-300mm wasn't too bad for an airshow but I can see why you said it would seem a bit short for photos of displaying aircraft.


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