lens advice - aviation photography

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Ximensions, May 7, 2008.

  1. Ximensions

    Ximensions TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi,

    I'm looking for a good lens that will allow me to take close up shots of aircraft departing/arriving and general aviation photography. Got any suggestions? I'm very new to SLR... so any help appreciated. At the moment I've got a Nikon D80 with the standard kit lens. I'm not really satisfied with the zoom on it at the moment, won't let me get as close up as I would like.
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NJ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well your gonna want a Tele zoom. Whats your budget?
     
  3. Ximensions

    Ximensions TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'm not sure what my budget is at the moment - I want to see what's available or what you'd suggest.. maybe then I'll have a better idea. I don't want to buy something cheap that won't work well for me, at the same time I don't want something so expensive that it'll make me homeless. :)
     
  4. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    South Africa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi

    You wont go wrong with the 70-200 VR 2.8 and then add a teleconverter such as the 1.7 to give you max 340mm.

    Very sharp, very fast and you will be pleased with the flexibility and the image quality. It may however break the bank though.

    Just and example, visit my site at www.christwine.com and have a look at the aviation images. Only a few posted so far but all those airliner shots were taken with that setup.

    Also have a look at airliners.net and see how many nice sharp images were taken with the same lens and tele converter if needed.

    Otherwise I have just aquired the Nikon 300 F4 prime which dare i say it but is even sharper than the 70-200 but you will lose flexibility as you wont be able to zoom at all (one focal range) but add a 1.4 tele on to that and you got a 420mm 5.6 lens which is exactly what I needed.

    So it depends on how much flexibility you need but my recommendation is the 70-200 as you can use that lens for just about any type of photography!

    Good luck
     
  5. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I recommend a 70-300VR Nikon lens, its lighter and also my friend has the D80 and 70-200Vr and he said not only is it very heavy, but it was stupid to spend double the money on the lens when the body was half the cost.....
     
  6. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    South Africa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The lens is so much more important than the body! Usually the big investment is in the lenses which usually does cost more than the body...

    I too have heard the 70-300VR is decent but once you try the 70-200, nothing else can touch it (if its image quality thats important to you - yes it is heavy but its 2.8 fast glass!)
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,093
    Likes Received:
    3,762
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    hmm I don't know nikon - but if the 70-200 is anything like the canon equivalent (and I strongly suspect it is) then I would also recomend it with the teleconverters. With the canon you can also get up to the 2times converter with good quality (and if you are shooting planes you will often be in good light).
    Also another agreeing with pushingTin - the lens is where most of the quality of a shot is after the photographers own skills. Getting high quality glass (lenses) is really a must if you really like the hobby and intend to keep going for years. High grade lenses are the sort of things you can get and keep for life - bodies change and evolve every 5-10 years but lenses don't.
     
  8. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    11,770
    Likes Received:
    109
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    One very good lens for aviation photography is the Sigma 50-500mm.
    My mate uses one for his shots http://www.9g-photography.fotopic.net/
    The reason I suggest it is because you can zoom out and get the wingspan of a A380, IL-76, C-130 or AN-224 for example but also because at 500mm you can fill the frame very easily.

    One lens to stay away from is the Sigma 80-400mm OS lens as the focusing would struggle to keep up with military jets, would be ok for the civil stuff though.

    I use Canon myself and use a 70-200mm F2.8 with and without a 2x extender and also a 300mm F2.8 with and without a 2x extender. some shots here
     
  9. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    South Africa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    One thing to bear in mind with the 50-500 is that its a monster (nicknamed the Bigma) and a very heavy lens which makes it difficult to handhold. Yes you can get some sharp shots but mostly with a tripod/monopod or good support. I used to own one.
     
  10. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm gonna disagree here, the lens makes the camera, and most serious photographers will spend many times more on glass than bodies.

    But, I think something like the bigma might work well, just a small aperture at the long end, 6.3, I think, but air shows are usually in bright middle of the day sun and larger DOF is probably necessary anyway, so for the versatility factor, it would probably be a good way to go. I know that I would come in handy here in St.Louis, the air shows are often over the river, and the planes flying right over the river down low, would be too close for a 300 or 400 mm prime.
     
  11. Ximensions

    Ximensions TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, UK
    I just had a look at the price of a 70-200 lens and it's over £1000! On the other hand the 70-300 is around £200 - £300.. I'd love it if money wasn't an issue.. however till I get paid to fly passengers around the world I'm a bit low on mana! Didn't realise a lens would cost over 1k. I looked at the sigma and it costs £500. Let me know if these prices sound about right. :)
     
  12. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Roaming the globe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This is why you need to look at a lens purchase as a 10+ year investment.

    Which makes a £1000 lens a £100 per year, less than £10 per month.

    Easy! :mrgreen:
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

d80 lens for aircraft photography