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Biggin Hill 2005 D2X/200-400VR

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Pete Lethbridge, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. I took these over the weekend with the D2X and 200-400VR. I calculated the keeper rate at around 10%. These are some of the ones I liked. I must confess its a real challenge getting clean pictures at 1/500s shutter speed for the prop driven aircraft. I also used the Gitzo 1228/Markins M10/Wimberly Sidekick.

    Hope you like them

    Supermarine Mk V Spitfire (which I believe served at Biggin during the Battle of Britain)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The same aircraft landing
    View attachment 15074

    Hawker Hurricane (Also served at Biggin)
    View attachment 15075

    Taxiing Spitfires (into Sun)
    View attachment 15076

    A pair of close formation P51 Mustangs
    View attachment 15077

    Sea Vixen (Early carrier jet)
    View attachment 15078

    Bringing things right up to date the Eurofighter Typhoon
    View attachment 15079

    The rest can be found here
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    Those are sweet pictures..
  3. Thanks Dave

    I like the Sea Vixen best, in the original image you can zoom in to an amazing level of detail.

    With a hit rate of only 10%, I need to practice my panning more.
  4. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Pete, the images that you posted are wonderful, you nailed those shots. It is definately tough panning aircraft and shooting lower shutter speeds to retain some movement in the propellor...you did very well on the images that you posted. Thanks for sharing.
  5. awesome work!
  6. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I can almost hear the RR Merlin engines singing their tune. The Spitfire is ACE but the pair of Mustangs make me what pump my fist in the air!

    These are truely wonderful captures. Thank you for sharing them.
  7. Great job!

    Those images bring out the essence of those old war birds.

  8. Those are super shots Pete. So clear and well saturated. They don't come any better.
  9. Thanks everyone, here are some more you might like..

    Hellcat (Steven Grey's at the controls)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    P47 Thunderbolt
    View attachment 15081

    Mk IV Spitfire
    View attachment 15082

    Now this was the hardest shot at 1/160 shutter speed (by mistake), however I got luck with the panning and it created a nice effect with the background.
    View attachment 15083

    PBY Catalina
    View attachment 15084

    Stearman Wingwalker
    View attachment 15085

    F86A Sabre
    View attachment 15086
    View attachment 15087

    Tornado GR3 putting on the brakes
    View attachment 15088

    Finally an SU26
    View attachment 15089
  10. Another great series. You had a good day shooting these old birds.
  11. Pete

    The second series is great also. You hit the mark on them.

    BTW that is a Bearcat not a Hellcat.
    My father flew both of those 'Cats.

  12. Thanks Gordon

    Yes, it was really the first true test for my 200-400. I also got very sunburnt...but learned a fair amount about the camera and technique.
  13. Johan


    Jun 18, 2005

    Stunning pictures !!! Those images are very crispy and sharp, great colours as well. You also did a great panning job, nice to see that you didn't use ultra-high shutterspeeds. Great Britain has lots of small old airfields. I have been to the U.K. this year and I have to say that Britain has beautiful countrysides, lots of old buildings etc ... . I love the atmosphere. I find all of that back in your pictures.

    ps: Looks to me that the D2x and the 200-400mm make a dream team.

    Keep up the good work Pete

    Kind Regards

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2005
  14. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    Ok. that PBY is now my favorite followed by the F86 Sabre. Lets see some more. Surely if you are like me you have another 1000 or so shots. :) 

    Thanks for sharing.
  15. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    From one plane shooter to another Bravo!

    Getting those props to blur right is a bit of a chore, I tend to keep my shutter around 1/250 for the big lower RPM engines on the big bombers and larger fighters, and up to 1/500 for the smaller planes.

    Good use of the 200-400. I tend to use my 300 f4 AFS for my plane shots since it is easier to pan with than my 200-400VR. ( in fact a lot easier!)

    Nice work.

  16. Pete,
    Hi, these are extraordinarily great shots. I loved every one and that includes those on your website.

    Question... Do you think the 400 shot at f4 lens would have yielded better than a 10% satisfactory shot ratio using the same tripod/head setup?

    This question comes up from time to time, fixed or telephoto. I have been holding off for the day that I yet another $5000 or so of disposable income. But someday I will make the leap. Perhaps you have compared your experience with someone else at the air show or other shoots or have some experience with fixed vs tele zooms.

    Thanks for sharing your great shots, you have do great work.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2005
  17. Scott...

    I think a prime (if this is your question) is always going to be lighter. However, I found that at some points I wanted to reduce further than 200 to get the shot, so I definitely think you need the ability to zoom. This issue is not so much with the lens, its more to do with panning technique at slow shutter speeds (1/500 for prop plans to get prop blur). You are struggling with a fast moving plan and slow shutter, so your technique has to been spot on. With jets, you can crank the shutter speed up as far as it will go, because there are no moving parts to worry about.


  18. All great shots.
  19. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  20. Hi Paul

    Its not the weight that causes the issue, the sidekick is an absolute must as it allows you to balance the camera and lens perfectly.

    I did have a fair amount of OOF shots, which I can only attribute down to my less than perfect technique. It was the first time out with the lens (believe it or not, I've only had it 9 months or so!). When I say 10%, there were more shots in focus, but they were of the same scene. When you pan and press the button, it can rattle off 10 shots before you know it. So, by about mid-way through the show I'd filled 3 4Gb cards. Of these I've only used approx. 60.

    I've found some more I like, so I'll post these up over the weekend. I'd like to thank everyone for the comments though, very encouraging. :smile:
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