Here’s a few shots from Monday’s Toronto airshow (view at full size for detail):

What did I use?

  • A 1Dx camera, but the 7D would have worked as well, if not better (it’s a crop camera, unlike the 1Dx).
  • A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
  • A Yongnuo 2x lens extender, making that lens an effective 140-400mm f/5.6 lens.
  • My settings were: 400 ISO, 1/800 sec, f/7.1

Pretty much the same settings throughout the shoot. Watching, of course, for light changes.

Why those settings?

400 ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed. f/7.1 in case I get focus slightly wrong. 1/800 sec to freeze motion.

A few more:

You need to pan with the aircraft to keep them sharp. Set IS/VR to mode 2/active, if you have that option, and pan (move the lens with the object you are shooting).

Which way was I panning here?

A few last ones:

Only a little cropping was needed here, due to the tele-extender. The 7D crop body, as said, would probably have been even better (another 60% range!).


2 thoughts on “Air

  1. Nice pics, as always! I also brought my 200mm lens to this event but you managed to get more colour out of your shots that I was able to, likely because you found a better angle than I could to take some of the shots (most of the planes in this show fly against the sun when looking south from the CNE grounds, which was my vantage for this).

    I find it interesting that you were using a tele-extender which dropped your f-rating to f/5.6. I’ve done air shows with my 300mm f/5.6 lens and almost always end up with blurred photos (even when panning) and have found I get much better results with a faster lens and cropping the results.

    Have been thinking of buying a fast 300mm lens for things like this. What are your thoughts?

    (My pics from the recent Air Show in Hamilton earlier this year:


    • Interesting that you get blurred images. Even at 400 ISO I get 1/800 sec at f/5.6, which is fine: hardly any blurred shots.
      – what ISO are you at, and what shutter speed?
      – how are you holding the camera?
      – stabilized lens? Mode 2/active?

      Those are the first questions that occur to me.

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