Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43) - Updated

Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43) - Updated

Postby Hatstand on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 10:01 am

What a cracking day out last Sunday. Overcast, misty and chilly morning gave way to glorious sunshine by mid/late morning, with a pleasant breeze. It stayed that way for pretty much the rest of the day. The traditional relaxed "family picnic" Old Warden atmosphere seemed to be back, after the rather "busy" season premiere.

Fantastic lineup, excellent and entertaining displays. Brilliantly themed. My first time to see the Sea Vixen, and what a great display that was. Other highlights... well it was pretty much ALL highlights...! Especially good to see the Swordfish, Seafire, Corsair, and Bearcat up close, Old Warden-style. Subjectively, the flying didn't seem as far away as the Season Premiere show, although the focal lengths of my photos tell a slightly different story...

1. Sea Vixen
Image

2. Sea Vixen
Image

3. Sea Vixen
Image

4. Seafire
Image

5. Seafire
Image

6. Wasp, kicking up a storm (of cut grass)
Image

7. Wasp
Image

8. Gypsy Moth, Tutor, Magister
Image

9. Gypsy Moth
Image

10. Avro Tutor
Image

11. Chipmunk
Image

12. Chipmunk
Image

13. Lynx
Image

14. Moraine Saulnier MS317
Image

15. Moraine Saulnier MS317
Image

16. Moraine Saulnier MS317
Image

17. Swordfish
Image

18. Swordfish
Image

19. Swordfish salute
Image

20. Spitfire
Image

21. Spitfire
Image

22. Harvard
Image

23. Bristol Scout
Image

24. Bristol Fighter
Image

25. Sopwith Pup
Image

26. Grumman Wildcat
Image

27. Corsair
Image

28. Bearcat
Image

29. Bearcat
Image

This was my first time using a micro four thirds camera at an airshow.

At the last Shuttleworth Season Premiere airshow, the new CAA restrictions took effect, which pushed the planes further from the crowd... and for the first time at Old Warden, I felt a bit limited by the 400mm equivalent reach of the trusty Panasonic FZ1000 superzoom that I normally use there. I still got plenty of nice photos, but regardless - I figured I'd do better with 600mm+ reach for this show...

In the past, I would have turned to my aging FZ200 superzoom + 1.7x teleconverter, which I use for "big" airshows like Duxford and RIAT. (12MP and 600mm equivalent... but it needs the TC to outgun the FZ1000's 20MP at 400mm)

But... for quite some time, I've been looking for something to replace the FZ200 setup... hopefully something that wouldn't need the teleconverter, which is rather inconvenient. All the current superzoom options are gimped in one way or another in my opinion, except Panasonic's own replacement for the FZ200, the FZ300. Basically the same camera, but weatherproofed, improved AF, and souped up firmware. Nice, but it still needs the teleconverter for my purposes.

Then Panasonic announced their Leica-branded 100-400mm M43 lens (200-800mm equivalent). Woo. On a M43 body that would be roughly the same size and weight as my FZ200+TC setup, roughly the same reach with a 16-20MP M43 body... but with significant boosts to speed, performance, features/functionality and IQ.

I had hoped to have the 100-400mm lens by now, but that lens is in short supply and there's no telling when my pre-ordered one will be shipped. And I didn't really fancy using the FZ200 setup this weekend... it's such a big step back compared to my FZ1000 in everything except reach.

So, I pressed my new Panasonic GX80 micro four thirds body into temporary airshow service instead. Not ideal - I actually bought it to use at figure skating competitions, because of its quiet mechanical shutter and compact size.

(I had intended to use the older and larger Panasonic GX8 for airshows, due to its sizable grip and weatherproofing. I went as far as buying one... and it was a fantastic camera... but then I heard about "shutter shock" issues with certain lenses... including the 100-400 according to reviewers... at precisely the shutter speeds I need to use for blurring aeroplane propellers. Oh dear. So I returned it, and now I'm patiently waiting for a new weatherproof model with the same shockless mechanical shutter mechanism that was introduced in the GX80...)

The lens I used was a Panasonic 45-175mm (90-350mm equivalent) which was also intended for figure skating, at venues where lenses the size of my Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro are not welcome. On its own the 45-175mm doesn't have enough reach, but it is fixed-size internal-zoom, so I am able to stick my 1.7x teleconverter on it and get 155-600mm equivalent.

It worked very well! A bit unbalanced with the TC attached, I occasionally missed having the FZ1000's wide-angle available, and definitely not a long-term solution... but significantly better results than my FZ1000. Better IQ and dynamic range, AF was more confident and reliable. Zoom (although still motorised on this lens) was way faster and more responsive. If anyone has reached the stage where they want something better than a compact superzoom... and/or would rather not be carrying huge and heavy DSLR lenses... M43 is well worth considering. Not too big and heavy, excellent performance and image quality, and a mature selection of lenses available.

I note that half of my keepers were at focal lengths over 400mm equivalent... a quarter were at the maximum 600mm... and I was still cropping heavily into a lot of my photos...!

Sorry for rambling...! Well done, if you read this far! ;-D

Hope you saw something you liked! More to come later, mostly from the ground displays...

EDIT: MORE ADDED BELOW
Last edited by Hatstand on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Goodbye 600D... Hello FZ150!
Hatstand
UKAR Supporter

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby I.Winfield on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 10:56 am

Some great shots there! Really like 28.
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/i_winfield/
Twitter: @IWinfield1
I.Winfield

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby paullangford on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 6:45 pm

Excellent....can't pick a favorite :up:

Paul
User avatar
paullangford

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby PanamaMan on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 7:08 pm

Now we're talking! :biggrin: I think you have worked wonders with that lens combo, the detail holds up very well indeed.
I think the GX80 will come to be recognised as a game changer for Panasonic for all sorts of reasons. But as you are so ably demonstrating, m43 has really come of age for airshow photography.
Now all we need is our 100-400s!!
Anything less than 900mm is wide angle
User avatar
PanamaMan

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby ArthurG on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 10:55 pm

Lovely images. :worship:

It really was a grand day out, wasn't it. We must have been walking up and down the crowdline at roughly similar times, it certainly beats sitting in one place all day.
ArthurG

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby Airwolfhound on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 11:36 am

Some very nice pics here :clap: :clap:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)
Airwolfhound

Re: Old Warden "Fly Navy" (non-DSLR, M43)

Postby Hatstand on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:29 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone! Here's a few more...

30. Sea Hurricane
Image

31. Have Mercy! Been waitin' for the bus all day
Image

32. Magister
Image

33. Lysander
Image

34. After I put it back together, I had these bits left over... Hmmm...
Image

35. Swordfish starting up
Image

36. A visiting Stearman
Image

37. Polikarpov PO-2
Image

38. Blackburn B2
Image

39. Mew Gull
Image

40. Nosey! Mew Gull and Sea Hurricane
Image

41. Sea Hurricane pilot Paul Stone gives a talk on what it's like to fly it
Image

42. Merlin
Image

43. Scan Eagle. It was much smaller than I expected. The Navy chap there told me some interesting stuff: It's launched by catapult, and retrieved using a vertical cable held out by a thing like a cherry picker. They fly the drone into the cable, the cable slides along the wing and gets caught in the latch at the end. The captive drone then flies round and round the cherry picker - a state that its onboard avionics detects, and cuts the engine. Apparently they have developed the ability to launch and retrieve the Scan Eagle using a quadcopter drone, so it can be deployed from much smaller vessels.
Image

44. Swordfish. It's old. It's allowed to be wrinkly.
Image

45. Are you looking at ME?!
Image

The vehicle and static-display photos were taken with my FZ1000 superzoom. Flying shots were taken with my GX80.

PS. Thanks ArthurG, I corrected my mistake ! ;-D
Goodbye 600D... Hello FZ150!
Hatstand
UKAR Supporter


Return to Airshow Photos

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: K213 and 22 guests