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Archive 2011 · What lens for a chopper?
  
 
MikeW
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What lens for a chopper?


I'm going up in a chopper over thegrand canyon & was wondering if anyone has done the same & has a recommendation for whether a wide angle, telephoto, prime or zoom is best. Just shooting through glass like a tourist

Thanks,


Mike



Dec 10, 2011 at 12:43 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What lens for a chopper?


Mike,

head over to the Mustang Air to Air Board. They are some international pros over there who will be glad to give you the scoop.



Dec 10, 2011 at 01:09 AM
OccAeon
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What lens for a chopper?


I'm no pro, but if you are shooting through glass windows on a bright day, don't forget the polarizer (cuts right through the reflections -- you can't even tell there is glass, if it is clean/clear).


Dec 10, 2011 at 12:34 PM
LLondon
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What lens for a chopper?


Used a 24-70 this day in a small plane. This was at 70 from about 2000ft. A 24-70 would be as large as I would go due to space. If your right next to the window you will be hitting it with a longer lens. If your in the middle you would be hitting other people.


_DSC7219-2 by L.London, on Flickr

+1 on the MA2A



Dec 10, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Two23
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What lens for a chopper?


Shooting from plane. A few suggestions. First, use a zoom. Something like a 24-120 is perfect, or 18-200mm.. Usually anything wider than about 35mm isn't very useful. Set the camera for you get ultra fast shutter speed, such as 1/4000s. Be advised that looking through the viewfinder can get you airsick very quickly. I don't think a polarizer would help much as the plane will be moving too fast, but that will depend of course. Use a lenshood. Consider a soft black rubber lens hood you can press against the window. Consider wearing black long sleeved coat and black gloves to minimize reflection in the window. Remember that the single most important thing is fast shutter speed. You won't need much DoF.


Kent in SD



Dec 11, 2011 at 02:25 AM
cheeba
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What lens for a chopper?


Two23 wrote:
. . . Be advised that looking through the viewfinder can get you airsick very quickly. . .


Yup! I don't get even remotely airsick/seasick, but when I was shooting from a plane with a tele, I was about half a step from spewing by the time we headed in

I also convinced them to take the door off the plane - that helped a lot. They were pretty hesitant to do, but it was worth the time it took to convince them it was in my interest to not fall out of the plane so I wouldn't be too stupid once we were up




Dec 11, 2011 at 02:42 AM
 

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Rodolfo Paiz
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What lens for a chopper?


Since you're mostly a prime guy, and I don't think any of the gear in your profile really fits the need, I would borrow or rent a 28-300 (FX) ideally, or an 18-200 (DX) as a second option. Compose to taste, then go for that fast shutter speed.


Dec 11, 2011 at 02:58 AM
MikeW
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What lens for a chopper?


edited my profile, guess 24-70 is it. I have access to a 18-200 but would be more weight to travel with & i dislike that lens


Dec 11, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Rodolfo Paiz
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What lens for a chopper?


The 24-70 is a better lens, of course. I happen to like zooming in on certain features of a landscape, and I value the flexibility that a higher-ratio zoom offers enough to overlook the disadvantages of the 18-200. But that's where we get into preference and personal shooting style, so YMMV.


Dec 11, 2011 at 05:36 AM
Slug69
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What lens for a chopper?


VR is a must in a helicopter.


Dec 11, 2011 at 09:38 AM
Two23
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What lens for a chopper?


Slug69 wrote:
VR is a must in a helicopter.



I disagree, from my own personal experience. The key thing is fast shutter speed, such as 1/2,000s to 1/4000s. Here's why. The VR will never be able to cope with the rapid vibrations from a helicopter. Also, keep in mind that VR only works at speeds up to something like 1/500. Past that and it can't sample and react fast enough. Often, the VR will actually hurt sharpness at speeds much over 1/500s. The whole thing is to have a FAST shutter speed when on a plane. Also don't forget you are coping with motion blur of the ground unless you are hovering.

One other thing I forgot. Don't let the camera/lens touch the window or anything solid. Vibrations will be transmitted. What does work is to have one of those cheap flexible black rubber lenshoods on the camera. Press that against the window to cut out reflections. I still advise black gloves, long sleeved black shirt, and even a black ski mask if shooting out a window.


Kent in SD



Dec 11, 2011 at 04:35 PM
gugs
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What lens for a chopper?


You will indeed need fast shutter speeds, and most of the time you need a longer focal length than you think. Removing the door is an excellent suggestion. I never took pictures above the Grand Canyon, but when I shoot from a helicopter, I use a long lens (70-200VR) or a flexible lens like the 28-300VR. To get the proper shutter speed, you might need high ISO (I mean 400 and above) even on a sunny day. I would also recommend to do some trial and error during the first minutes of the flight to get your parameters right (ISO/shutter speed).

Guy



Dec 11, 2011 at 05:19 PM





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