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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Morning everyone.

    Having recently upgraded from the Nikon D3000 to the D5000, I was wondering if anyone out there would be willing to share their experiences and tips on how to get the best out of the D5000, in regards to photographing aircraft, both moving and static. I had my first real outing yesterday shooting approach shots in excellent lighting conditions, however I was left a wee bit disappointed in respect that the shots were coming out very soft. I use a Nikor 18-55, Nikor 55-200 and a Sigma 50-500 lens. Any general advice would be most welcome.



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    Last edited by fotojack; 04-26-2011 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Rick M's Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000

    Hello Dave and welcome to the site! It would be helpful if you would post the pictures and the data so we can offer suggestions on what might be causing the softness in your shots.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    AxeMan - Rick S.'s Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Dave, I shot a "Fly In" last summer with my Nikor 55-200 with great results. One of my favorites is in my galley, taken at 200mm with a D3000. The "Rick's" agree, please post some photos along with what lens you used.

    I suspect the photos you are disappointed with are from the Sigma 50-500. I looked that lens up on Amazon and see that it's an f4-6.3

    Welcome to the site. Trust me you came to the right place for advice, this group can set you on the right track.
    Last edited by fotojack; 04-26-2011 at 07:04 AM.
    © All images posted by Richard Souvign are the property of Richard Souvign (AxeMan - Rick S.) and may not be copied, downloaded, saved, printed or posted on other sites without the owners written permission.

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  4. #4
    Junior Member

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft
    Thanks guys. Sorry for the late reply but I have been offline for over 3 weeks due to router problems and changing ISP. I have attached two shots for you to look at, both taken with the Sigma 50-500.
    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft-ph-eze1.jpg

    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft-dsc_0009a-3-.jpg



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    AxeMan - Rick S.'s Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Dave, I'll save you the trouble, everyone is going to ask about the EXIF Data so here it is folks

    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft-capture-klm.jpg
    KLM Shot

    Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft-capture-emirates.jpg
    Emirates Shot

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    PavementPilot's Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    With the fast shutter speed, I think camera shake can be ruled out.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    goz63's Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Dave, I did some shooting of an air show here at Scott AFB last fall, you can see some of those pics in my gallery. I would recommend using an aperture of between f9-f11. That is the sweet spot of most lenses. I shoot in A (aperture mode) most often. It controls the DOF the way I want it too. With some good day light you won't have to worry about shutter speed at that aperture setting. You will be fast enough. Most of the shots you have listed are at relatively slow moving aircraft anyway. Unlike the F-16 I was shooting. Even then the shutter speed I was using froze the jet nicely IMO.
    As for the lenses you have, the 55-200 might work well for you if you are close enough but for sure the 500 (the Bigma) will get you enough reach. I don't have any experience with that lens however. I did own a 55-200 and it has decent IQ just not a ton of reach. I ended up with the 55-300 and that was perfect for me for an airshow.
    Also if you want to get some good sky contrast make sure you are not in an over cast setting. I also like to shoot in "vivid" on my D90 to bring out the color in the sky. Some like to use a skylight filter or use the camera to simulate that. I prefer the blue for contrast and don't use skylight.
    Hope this helps.
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  8. #8
    Junior Member

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Thanks guys for your advice. Hopfully the weather will be ok this weekend.

  9. #9

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    Right now I don't really see why you complain. Do you have real issues with the sharpness?

    What focus mode did you use? For moving subjects I usually use AF-C with 21 points dynamic area. That way I get my shots of moving birds and other things approaching me in focus and sharp with the tracking. That's on my D300 by the way, but it should also be possible to get those settings on a D5000 I guess.

    The 50-500 is a great lens and you can get really sharp shots with it, but it takes some time to get used to the focal length on a DX body. I practiced with my 150-500 really hard (over one week, every day 2-3 hours) until I was finally able to get results I wanted and expected.

    Here are some shots a guy I know took with the 50-500 of running dogs at dog races (sorry the website is from Germany and in German): http://www.speed-pictures.de/gallery32/index.html

    He is using a lot of Sigma lenses as a professional, don't worry about the lens being bad too much or something.
    Last edited by Calgary 617; 05-19-2011 at 06:47 PM.
    Greetings from cowtown, Hendrik!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    KWJams's Avatar

    Re: Nikon D5000 photographing aircraft

    My suggestions from what I have learned with my D5000 is if you have the white balance on auto you may want to try different settings depending on conditions. Under "Set Picture Controls" try Vivid to get more snap to the colors of the planes and the sky and then study the histogram to find a good exposure value.

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