#2. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Murieta, US
I'm still learning how to get the most out of my D800 and haven't done many airshows recently, but here's some things to think about.
You many want to use a lighter lens (maybe your 70-300). Carrying the BigMa around for a day is going to be very tiring. The D800 has enough resolution to deal with the shorter reach.
I know it's stating the obvious, but with all that available resolution, the D800 can expose less-than-stellar panning technique as motion blur. Faster shutter speeds can help.
Use shutter (or manual) mode, and set the shutter speed to allow an appropriate amount of prop motion, while minimizing the potential for (non-prop) motion blur. For prop blur, I've had reasonable results using 1/100th or 1/125th second exposure. For fast moving jets, try 1/300th or faster.
I'd stick with RAW, but that's mostly a personal preference.
Here's some non-D800 specific considerations;
Unless you're photographing the static display, forget using a tripod. I find a tripod more of a hindrance than a help. That said, a tripod positioned to photograph the runway could be a great place to park the BigMa when you're resting your arms between displays.
Pay attention to background. A large amount of plain blue sky adds little to enhance an image (I know that's a rarity in the UK, but you can always hope). Similarly with take-off/landings, the background can add unnecessary clutter.
With a little forethought, the D800 will give you some great images.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of (much better) advice from the Aviation forum people, so I'd recommend asking your question there too.
What airshow are you going to? I used to live in your neck of the woods, and (back in the day) was a regular attendee of Farnborough and International Air Tattoo.
#3. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 0
If background will be shiny (who knows) do not forget to set compensation about +0.5 to +1.5, to avoid silhouetting. In my experience very well working setting of AF-C AUTO on D800, especially if you gonna use long lens. Try it before, I've never worked with long Sigma, Nikkors only. Good luck! Dimitri
#8. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 0
Fort Collins, US
Dave, I'd definitely use a monopod for that lens. I use one with my 200-400mm Nikkor. It'll do a couple of things. First, your images will be sharper. Second, you'll be able to take more images since you won't be nearly as tired at the end of the day. I suspect that you'll be quite tired hefting that huge lens around all day, even with your size, without some kind of camera support.
As someone else mentioned, for the "air" part of the airshow, I usually use manual exposure. The exposure difference between a shiny P-51 and a dark Spitfire would be many clicks of the compensation wheel. Set the exposure, then check once in a while.
For propeller aircraft, the shutter speed should be less than about 1/160th second. Otherwise, you'll stop the prop resulting in an unnatural looking airplane. For jets, I set use the widest aperture the lens has. That will allow the fastest shutter speed possible.
When shooting ground displays, patience is a virtue. I've often waited many minutes for people to get out of the way for a shot. Be ready, though, because an opening never lasts more than a second or two at a busy show.
#9. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 8
I may see you at RIAT, I'm there both days to see some old friends. I seem to have the best luck with my D800e set to spot metering rather than trying to sod about with manual on the actual flying displays. Those fast jets are to damn quick for me in my old age! I'm taking my 300 F2.8 VRII with 1.7 and 2.0 TCs plus my 70-200F2.8 VRII and 14-24 F2.8 for the ground displays. Found to my dismay last year that the 24-70 F2.8 was lacking a bit in the wide angle due to the sheer amount of people there. I could get in close to the aircraft but couldn't get many good photo's of the whole aircraft due to people. Take plenty of water and a hat, it's gonna be a hot one!
#10. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 0
Well, I had a great day.
Unfortunately there was too much linear grey cloud in the sky to get get any dramatic shots (unlike last time when it was ….. very atmospheric.
I've tried a number of the settings / tidbits of advice, and now just need to look att the photo's.
The major surprise was how hard it is to get a good shot of the prop based planes without freezing the prop completely whilst keeping everything steady (even with a mono-pod)……… need some / lots of work in that area.
The other area of surprise was the autofocus……… again I think I need lots more practice with the various options.
_________________________________________ when your enemy comes - welcome him when he goes - send him on his way _________________________________________
#11. "RE: Any advice for Airshow settings?" In response to Reply # 10
Did you go on Saturday as the cloud base was horrendous and it was a really flat day weather wise. I concentrated that day on the static displays. On Sunday, it was different day altogether, great light later in the morning, thankfully just as the Vulcan came out to play!