After having the relatively new Canon RF 800mm and 600mm lenses for a while now I finally had an opportunity to put them through their paces on something challenging, not that Lions and Tigers aren’t challenging subjects, it’s just they don’t move as fast as a plane does.
I was hoping for a bit of a nicer day, but the sky had other ideas, most of the Bournmouth Airshow happened with a background of grey skies, sometimes moody, sometimes just grey. It’s been many years since going to an airshow so it was good to be back trying to capture some tricky fast moving objects, although it would have been even better with some better dynamic skies.
Probably the best shot of the day is the 8th shot down of the Red Arrows, just as they crossed paths, the detail captured given their speed and distance is incredible at 100% zoom, Canon’s RF f/11 super telephoto lenses are pretty sharp under the right conditions, especially for the relatively low cost when compared against some of the much heavier, much bigger and much more expensive lower aperture super telephoto lenses.
Here’s some highlights of the day, mostly in the actual running order…
The AeroSuperBatics Team made an appearance with some stomach churning wing walking, it was only the next day when one of the aircraft had mechanical problems and crashed into the Sea at Poole Harbour. Thankfully both the pilot and wing walker were unhurt.
The Red Arrows are always one of the highlights of any airshow, one of the best parts is where they cross paths with each other in what is called the Crossbow. It’s always great to capture a really exciting moment, it took a couple of attempts to capture it but eventually I did, just as two jets crossed paths and dead centre of the frame! Only the front aircraft is in focus though, as that’s the one I was tracking as it flew around to make a pass.
It’s hard to explain just how loud the Typhoon is as it pushed it’s afterburners and climbed and it’s always good to see the heat haze from them.
Sadly thought given their f/11 apertures neither lens really worked well for the dusk part of the display so I had to switch to my 70-200 instead, which just couldn’t get as close for some of the spectacular light shows and fireworks.
It was good to be back at an airshow after so many years, it reminded me how challenging capturing some of the fast action can be, especially with lenses that are not super fast and have a very long focal length meaning there’s not much margin for error. When you can’t zoom in and out it’s sometimes very hard to find the plane in the sky!
Posted in: Photography