So here's a thing, after the Whitehaven Festival I've got the bug to move up in the equipment stakes as the little Fuji I have is not quite up to the job if for no other reason than it is about 1fps
Found a decent deal for a Canon EOS 1000D (3fps) similar spec to the 450D and better than the 400D as cost is a factor, going up a model is not really an option.
Now the package comes with a 28 - 80 zoom and a 2x convertor. At home I have an oldish Helios 70 - 200, and a 2x for this, that I can get a convertor to use with the Canon in manual mode - not an issue as the Zenith it matched was full manual anyway.
The main question is: - does this range, effectively 28 - 160 in auto and 70 - 400 in manual, seem reasonable for most aviation photography? Obviously for anything more specialist Canon fit lens hire is available (one of the reasons behind this choice)
Shooting flying aircraft in manual mode can be very limiting. You could probably find a Canon 75-300 USM MKIII lens for about £100 second hand if you hunt around a bit. It's worth registering with sites such as... photography-on-the.net/forum/ or www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/ ... as they usually have a shed load of lenses / bodies up for sale and you should be able to bag a bargain.
As for range of the lenses i would say that unless your going to shoot airliners at Manchester / Heathrow then 300mm will be about OK, anything less and you would be struggling in some situations.
This whole thread screams disapointment to me. If you are going to get the 1000d make sure you buy the kit with the 18-55is lens.It's better to have at least 1 ok ish lens than 2 poor ones.You should also try and get the kit with the 55-250mm is lens. Modern camera sensors absolutly chew up and spit out older poor lenses.Stick a 2x tcon into the equation and your pictures will be like mush.There's only a handful of lens's made today that take a 2x converter and give decent results. I would aslo seriously condider picking up a second hand 40D rather than a 1000D.Picking up a used 20D or 30D and spending more on a lens will give you far better pictures than the combo that you are considering. Also,don't forget that the smaller sensor on the range of Canon cameras you are considering effectively multiplies the focal length of your lenses by 1.6.This means that the 28mm you are considering in reality becomes nearly a 50mm lens.That leaves a very big gap at the lower focal lengths. Hope this helps.I hate the thought of someone spending good money on a camera and hating the results that they get with it.
Gary, I considered most of those points but there are some political factors involved.
The focal length issue may work to my advantage though. The convertor issue is nothing new, film had issues but I'll have to see to what degree they are different in a DSLR. Regarding the lens quality I have found number of comments suggesting the Helios lenses are up to the job (they are/were soviet good copies of zeiss lenses) though no doubt there are comments taking the opposite view as well.
But I've made my bed as it's now on order, just need to find some aircraft to try it on
Westie I think you are going to be pretty dissapointed with the bulk of your 'airborne' aviation pics with the set up your proposing I would say getting anything even half in focus by doing it manually will be nigh on impossible its all down to if your happy with a large majority of flying shots being OOF (out of focus) fair enough some of these old Manual Lenses are very sharp indeed but having no autofocus for fast moving aircraft is not a thing I could imagine getting even half decent results its your cash but I think in this case a higher end Point and shoot would probably be a better bet my 2p Chris
Folks coped back then without automation (and were limited to 36 shot or 72 using half frame 35mm fim unless they had paid big bucks for a motor drive) and still produced excellent photos.
The set up easy, chose, an ISO setting matching the light conditions (bright - 200 or 400, dull - 400 or 800 in the UK the actual light conditions do not actually alter that much over a short period anyway), an aperture to give a suitable depth of field, set the speed to give the correct exposure based on the inbuilt metering. At this point if the speed is too low adjust either or both of the other two factors. (or set the speed and set the others to suit)
As for focusing most of the time the setting will actually be at infinity, though it may change if zoom is used (as an example the video camera I was using at Whitehaven was operating at infinity most of the time).
Looking at the lens, to focus from 2m - 20m is a 90deg turn of the combined focus/zoom ring where your left hand is anyway to stabilise the camera, from 20m to infinity a 2 deg twist (the 135mm telephoto I also have is the same rotation from 30m to infinity) . Zoom is push away for lower pull back for higher on the same ring.
Going back to the close upshots, the kit includes a .5x wide angle convertor, but of course you can always use a zoom lens, stand back a bit and get some excellent shots by playing with the depth of field.
Chris I actually have a decent Fuji point and shoot, the biggest problem is the continuous shot speed is about 1fps! All other factors are acceptable on it.
P.S If any one wants to try a bit of old style photgraph I still have the original toatally manual Zenit EM body (and obviously the lenses) to play with!!
As long as you can get a half decent shot to start with then its possible to turn it into an amazing shot with the likes of Photoshop (not something i'm anywhere near good enough at yet as the guys on here will tell you) i'm not saying you can "polish a turd" but i'm sure you can get some great images. Looking back at my large piccy collection i see that 90% of the shots i have were taken at infinity setting.
Just rechecked to source of the adaptor ring, seems I can also use AP
The following lenses can all be used on EOS bodies with full range focus to infinity. You can use full manual metering, or aperture priority auto. There is no auto diaphragm or open aperture metering function. The exposure needs to be made with the lens set to taking aperture. This means the viewfinder image will darken as aperture decreases. There will be no aperture read-out in the viewfinder. Get into the habit of focussing at full aperture, then stop down to taking aperture before making the exposure.
Just to keepit up to date, camera arrived on Monday with a reasonable selection of "extras". Some useful some not! Since then I've added a battery grip & been given a Slik tripod (I got a tripod with it & already had one) No it hasn't the got facilities of the higher end models, but I'm more than happy with it as it will do the job.
Was messing about with lenses yesterday
With supplied lens
135mm telephoto in AV mode on the camera
Live View test with the same lens,
As for the zoom it appears to have some mistyness on one of the internal elements so if I get the time (and for the hell of it) I'll dismantle it!!
In the meantime found a Sigma (70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Zoom lens) on ebay for £100 that should arrive early next week.
Oh and I made my own remote auto-focus/shutter release from bits I had, cost £1.99 for the plug though!
Just to finish this off, time moved on. Picked up a Sigma 70 - 300 off ebay for £100 which is giving good results, then a Cosina 19 - 35 wideangle for £50. OK not the most expensive of lenses but I'm happy with the results. Just taken delivery of a Nissin flash gun that is Canon compatable. Also get given a decen Slik tripod.