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David Franks

Mirrorless for Aviation Photography

Question

Not sure if this is the proper forum for this question or not. Please let me know if it's not or if its already been asked before. I shoot mainly aviation and it's getting more and more difficult to carry 10 - 15 pounds of gear all day in the Texas heat where I do most of my shooting. Starting to take a day or two just to recover from a show. Explored switching to mirrorless a few years ago and found that the gear wasn't quite up to the challenges of ground-to-air and air-to-air aviation shooting, specifically in continuous tracking and the speed of the electronic viewfinder. I'm hearing that now the latest models may be up to task, especially the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II. My question is two fold; 1) is there anyone on the site successfully using mirrorless for aviation photography and 2) what would be the equivalent M23 lens for the Nikon 24-120mm f/4, Nikon 70-200mm f/4 and the Sigma 150-60mm f/5-6.3 lens?  Thanks all -

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On 07/07/2018 at 09:13, Dallas said:

 

Is this also the case with RAW shooting? 

Yes.

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On 07/07/2018 at 09:42, Dallas said:

That would definitely put a damper on the enjoyment of this type of photography, for sure. I can't understand why Fuji would be applying that to a RAW file though. Maybe voice concern about it to them? 

The same thing happens with Nikon DSLRs.

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On 16/02/2019 at 15:24, Mike G said:

David, to answer one of your original questions, a direct mu-43 equivalent to the Nikon 24-120 is the Panasonic Leica 12-60mm 2.8/4 Vario-Elmaret a little cracker!

An equivalent for a Nikon 70-200mm is a Panasonic 35-100mm 2.8


Mike Gorman

 

Lumix G9 , GX8 - Leica 12, 15, 20, 25, 42.5 - 8-18, 12-60, 35-100, 45-175

 

 

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Mike's choice is a good starting point. 

 

It would pay you to work through the Panasonic and Olympus web sites and see which lenses might suit your style of shooting.

 

Also consider the older 4/3 lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic,  e.g. the excellent Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 which can be used via an 4/3 to M43 adapter.  Works good with x1.4 teleconverter.  But best used on an E-M1 grade of camera with their dual phase and contrast detection AF systems.

 

Within the current Olympus M43 stable there are the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, the 12-100mm f/4.0 Pro lens, and the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens.  And the expensive 300mm f/4.0 Pro lens.  

 

Also there are  75-300mm, 12-200mm, and 14-150mm lenses in the premium and standard grade Olympus offerings.

 

Panasonic have a very desireable 100-400mm offering.....

 

You are spoilt for choice I'd say.   :)

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Just took the Fuji X-E3 and 55-200 zoom for an outing at the weekend.

Airshow01.thumb.jpg.0dc6a7a99bfd9761fc507853af27e8d4.jpg

First effort with this combination.  Previously I was shooting with a Nikon D7000 and 70-300 zoom, so given both have the same physical sensor size, I'm down by 100mm focal length but do get more pixels.  Didn't have any issues with the viewfinder  - it was fast enough even if I wasn't. Focus was generally OK, although it didn't always seem to keep up with a 5FPS burst - there might be the odd frame in the sequence that missed focus.  

 

The main problems I had were probably done to me not setting the camera up right.  Previously shooting with the Nikon my default shooting mode had been P, with occasionally S for situations like this.  For the Fuji, I've generally been in M, which isn't really where you need to be in fast changing conditions.  

 

Additionally the day was hot, but variably overcast - sometimes the sun would break through but then disappear again.  Even with just the 200mm lens, I was loosing shots due to heat haze.  I was also missing shots due to the changing light and not adjusting settings fast enough.  Despite having a nice easily accessible exposure compensation dial, I often forgot to use it and underexposed the planes a bit.  

 

One I'll blame someone else for was the sequencing of the aircraft - they tried to make a bit of a realistic scenario but that meant there would be fast jets, which I wanted to keep the shutter speed fast for then helicopters or prop driven planes that needed a slower shutter speed to get some blur of the props/blades.  It was particularly frustrating to switch from the jets to the Chinooks, which needed a really slow shutter speed to get some blade blur (under 1/200 compared to the 1/1000 I was using for the jets).  It did add some interest to the show, but added to the challenge of photographing it.

 

Perhaps I'll create a seperate thread once I get round to processing all the images - I managed to shoot off over 600.  90% of that were out of one battery charge, with the battery topped up from a USB power bank towards the end.

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