Pictures from a plane, what settings should I use?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by snerkler, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Weather permitting I'm being taken out in a little 2 seater prop plane today, and obviously I'd like to take some pics. As a newbie photographer I don't know what settings to use.

    Reading Understanding Exposure the guy recommends an aperture size f22 to get front to back sharpness and obviously as I'll be high in the air and taking lots of scenary I thought this would be a good setting. However, the plane will be jiggling about, plus Ill be using a zoom at times (thought I'd take my 55-300mm lens) so I think I'll need a fast ish shutter speed. This would obviously mean ramping up the ISO which I'd rather not do as I want my pics to be as sharp as possible.

    So can anyone recommend the best setting/compromise please?
     
  2. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    F8 will be more than enough from a plane!! SS double your focal length at least.
     
  3. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Ok ta, so will it give good long range sharpness?
     
  4. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    16mm will look amazing too from a plane!!
     
  5. snerkler

    snerkler
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    I bet it would, but I'm going to want to zoom and I don't really want to be changing lenses in a plane. I think it'll be pretty cramped, and knowing my luck we'll hit a thermal just as I'm changing the lens and I'll drop it :eek:
     
  6. Jammyb

    Jammyb
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    Might be too late now, but I'd use the 16-50mm also, more versatile (cockpit and landscape options) and think you'll struggle with framing with the 55-300mm

    F22 gives a much larger DOF, to give 'front to back sharpness', but at the expense of actual sharpness, as diffraction will reduce the lens performance. As you can see here peak sharpness on your lens is reached around F4-5.6, drops a bit at F8 and will continue to drop from F11 to F22. All lenses do this.
    http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/730-sony1650f28?start=1

    Small apertures are required if you want your foreground and your background in focus, but I imagine you won't have any foreground from a plane.
     
  7. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Not too late as it got cancelled, bloomin weather :rolleyes:

    The reason I wanted to zoom was due to the fact we're flying over Chatsworth House, and also the dams in the peak district and it would be nice to take some closer pics.

    On a different subject I'm really struggling to take bird pics as I want to get a fast shutter (been using 1600 and struggling with this, let alone 3200), but am obviously using a zoom with a f5.6 max aperture at 300mm. I'm having to ramp the ISO up to 1600 and 3200 and getting noisy images. How do I get sharp freeze frame images with minimal noise? Admittedly it's a bit dull today, but I've been struggling in sunshine too :confused:
     
  8. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Holy moly, I've just discovered the world of RAW and how you can make a really noisy image look really clean :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  9. Jammyb

    Jammyb
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    There's two main reasons for blur, camera shake and subject blur. Easy to tell which is which, with subject blur your subject is blurry, but the background or any static objects should be sharp. If everything is blurry it's camera shake.

    300mm (450mm equiv) + the IS in the body should be no trouble from 1/450s hand held. Slower using a tripod/monopod or good technique.

    Sometimes if you set the camera into a high speed drive mode and fire off a few in one go then more will be sharp as the action of pressing the shutter button can cause shake.

    To be honest though 1600 or even 3200 should be no bother for your camera. You may be spending too much time looking at 1:1, I tend to use 1:2 these days and I'm a lot happier. Most of the crap you see at 1:1 wouldn't be visible in an actual print. You'd be surprised how much better prints look than on screen.
     
  10. snerkler

    snerkler
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    It's not blur, but noise/graininess. The reason I want to high shutter speed is to stop the motion. Here's a picture taken at 3200 ISO, 1/1000 shutter, f5.6. Noise is evident even before zooming in, especially looking at the fence in the background.

    [​IMG]

    It might just be me expecting too much, but when reading up on cameras it said DSLRs are significantly better at high ISO than compacts and bridges so I expected them still to be pretty sharp/noise free at 3200.
     
  11. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    I would try bracketing a burst of three 0.7, shoot RAW, find what your prefer. Only a spot on exposure hides noise, straight out of the camera.

    DSLR'S are not a straight forward tool, but you're getting it, eventually I will too!
     
  12. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Is that noise level acceptable for 3200 ISO then? I just need to know if Im expecting too much. No problem if I am, but at least I then know the limitations of APS-C's. Also, those birds are fast little buggers so I imagine they are quite tricky to freeze in flight, their wings are rapid :eek:

    Thanks for the hint re bracketing :smashin:
     
  13. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    Its hard to explain, but if you had exposed it better the noise would be better. If you had nailed the exposure and had that noise, then I would say you're at the limits of the camera, but you're not, as you learn your camera (and light) you will get better results with noise at 6400, but it takes time.
     
  14. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Ok, cool. Good to know the cameras capable of better if you don't have a numpty operating it :laugh:

    I don't understand what you mean yet, but hopefully I will. The light meter was a 0 when I shot the image and thought if this was the case then the exposure was correct. Guess it's not that simple then?
     
  15. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    You have three metering modes spot, matrix and centre, plus a histogram. Matrix is easily tricked, but usually perfect for landscapes. Spot is uber accurate and 'you' get to choose your exposure. Centre is a mix. My D7100 has a very, very accurate meter not every camera has and you learn if it needs tweaking.. ie shooting with an exposure compensation.
     
  16. Delvey

    Delvey
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    By shooting at a higher ISO then personally blur will look a lot worst due to noise. A shutter speed of 1/500 is more than enough to freeze action as well
     
  17. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Really. I shot at 1/1000 and the wings were still blurred :confused:
     
  18. snerkler

    snerkler
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    As I thought, and as we all knew, I still have sooooooo much to learn :smashin:
     
  19. shotokan101

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    ...but the birds motion through the air was frozen ;)
     
  20. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    Also remember keen birders, won't shoot in anything, but the best light, which comes down to the time of day, the best spots etc.

    Take 'Randy' he won't usually shoot under 1/2000 and will not go over iso800 even with his D4 or D800, let alone his D7100 as it kills the micro contrast in the fine feather detail. For what it's worth his preferred aperture is F5.6 FF and F4 Dx for birding.

    That's attention to detail, with light alone.
     
  21. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    Also at such high SS remember to turn off the image stabilization.
     
  22. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    Why ? (or is it "just because with a SS that high it doesn't matter ?") :)
     
  23. Member 79251

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    How about film ;) these are from a 99p camera :D

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  24. DolbyDan

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    On my lenses its as bad as leaving it on with a tripod, works against itself, not sure with the Sony in body hocus pocus, but my E-PL5 is the same. I believe some expensive Canon tele lenses have a setting for high SS so you don't have to turn it off.
     
  25. DolbyDan

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    Nice, but it couldn't even get both wings in it, get a refund :D
     
  26. Member 79251

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    For 99p I get the following: f/11 aperture and 22mm wide angle fixed focus lens. Shutter speed is also fixed at 1/125s ;)

    My planes only have 1 wing on each side.
     
  27. DolbyDan

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    so do mine :devil:
     
  28. DolbyDan

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  29. shotokan101

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    You might have mentioned that it was a Nikon! :p
     
  30. DolbyDan

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    :(
     

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