View Full Version : Another shot

W J Pearce
10-04-2003, 01:42 PM
I've been meaning to post some more pics but between my real job and my family (I'm not sure which is more demanding), I have not had any time to go through the photos. In fact I still have not looked at all that I have taken from Reno. But here is one until I can get more done.

Bill Pearce

W J Pearce
10-04-2003, 09:22 PM
See Three Sea Furies

W J Pearce
10-04-2003, 09:31 PM
Here is the start of Sat Gold. In the original Dago is on the far left of the frame. It would not have looked good at 600x so I crop around the "pack". Sorry Dago.

W J Pearce
10-04-2003, 09:39 PM
But on Sunday, I got him. Hello Dago. Image quality is not the best but hey.... You get what you pay for.

Bill Pearce

10-05-2003, 12:49 AM

I've been really impressed with the photos you've been posting. I was on the fence before but they have help to convince me that digital is the way to go for the in the air shots. Just curious, but have you printed any of them and if so how do they look?


10-05-2003, 04:51 AM
The Bear's tail rides low. Wonder if the wing incidence should be reset. Look at what it does to the thrust line compared to the other planes. Maybe the leading edge cuff will solve this as well. Can't argue with success. Peas

W J Pearce
10-06-2003, 07:24 PM
Hey Rick,

First, you must consider the source; I am not a professional. I went digital about 5 months ago so I don't have a wealth of experience. This is how I believe things to be.

The computer screen resolution is 72 dpi (dots per inch). Most printers have a max output of 300 dpi. For the highest, crystal clear quality you would want to print out as close to 300 dpi that you can get. The bottom limit is around 150 dpi. If you have a really sharp image, you can go below that but understand the correlation between dpi and image quality. The lower the dpi, the lower the quality, the further back form the photo you need to be for it to look good.

The images above are a good set to speak of. The Bear photo is sharp and is a crop. I can print that one out much easier than the Sunday Gold Start. As you can see in the Sunday Gold Start, it is close to its limit of being an acceptable shot (but hey, I was over a mile away, handholding a 500mm lens, standing on the back of a tug). So in the Sunday pic, I can get away with printing it at half the posted size; not real big but okay for some things. The Bear photo has much more left in it so I can print that much larger than the Sunday start.

The neat thing is there are programs/Photoshop plug-ins (Genuine Fractals (sp?) is one) that will take an image like the Sunday Gold and add in more data so you can print it much larger with little quality loss from the original. I've used it a little bit and it works well.

I don't print too many of my pics; virtually none. Most are just sent to friends and family via email.

Bottom line is that there are many things that you can do. Virtually limitless if you have the cash flow (I don't). Thinking back, I think most of the ones I posted would come out quite nice at 8x10. That is as large as my printer prints. Some would come out fine even larger. Wayne would know much more that I do.

Hope this helps

Bill Pearce

10-06-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by W J Pearce
Wayne would know much more that I doHeh Heh... LOL... a long time ago, in a place far far away... (Sparks, Nevada, actually) I was a budding "rock star" using another fellow's bass to learn on... I'd had it in my possession for several months and he showed up to retrieve it. He'd heard me when I first started and not since.. I was playing when he walked in.. He walked up, smiled, bent forward and whispered these words, which I'll never forget, into my ear....

"Get any better and I'm going to have to break your arm"...

True story and... let it ring well in your ears grasshopper! ;)

Bill.. you're really good.. I mean, REALLY good... you've got the steady hand and your nailing the focus. I could just whimper and say, yea.. it's all them Megapixzels and all.... :mad: but I'll just leave you with my fellow bassist's words... :eek:

Watch it bud... ;)


W J Pearce
10-06-2003, 11:08 PM

If you break my arm, make sure it is the right one. If you break the left, it will be in a splent and I will use it to steady the camera, becoming a human tripod.

Seriously... thank you. I consider that quite a compliment; especially coming from you; one who knows the digi-tricks.

But be careful not to inflate my ego too much or I'll be forced to post photos that "real" photographers wouldn't let see the light of day. No I'm not talking about those when I was young and needed the money; I'm talking about the screw-ups, poor timing, wrong settings, and plan "what the hell was I doin' here?" shots.

Once again,


Bill Pearce

10-06-2003, 11:14 PM
Bill... I'm sure you have some bad ones, everyone does but your good one's are too good to be luck.. ether that, or that's one hell of a camera and why in hell am I spending two and three times as much for what I'm shooting with!

Seriously.. Obviously, you're shooting really steady, I can see the shutter speed by looking.. I'm going to venture a guess, somewhere around 1/320 to 1/400?

Even if you were shooting at 1/500 (which I don't think you can get that much prop blur with) you're still shooting rock steady.. Are you using the auto focus or manual?

You're nailing it. Period..

PS.. yes, I'm still jealous, and yes, I'm still gonna break your damn arm! :eek:

10-07-2003, 08:59 AM
I gave up playing the bass when I realized that I was never going to make enough money to live off of by playing Ramones cover tunes.

I know we all have a lot of pictures that could have been perfect if only...but what do you consider an acceptable success rate? Of the 13 rolls of film, 468 slides, that I exposed between Friday and Sunday I had about 250 that I felt were worth taking the time to run through the scanner. Of those 250 about 100 where taken of airplanes in the air. Of those 100 I would say maybe 10, probably less, are of a quality that could be printed out 8x10 and look decent. The rest are OK for a 600x400 jpg but would need some serious Photoshop work to make print quality. I'm extremely pleased with the majority of the other 150 ramp, pits, and static shots that I took but get frustrated in with the air shots. By looking at Bill's shots, and others using digital, I'm convinced that it would be a definite improvement (statement not meant to take anything away from Bill or anybody else). It is just apparent to me that digital has progressed way beyond the capabilities of film for that type of photography. I still prefer the color richness and warmth provided by film, and will probably stick with it for ramp and static photos, but am tired of wasting it on subject matter where my success rate is around 10% or less.


T. Adams
10-07-2003, 10:42 AM
I never thought you could get nice shots handholding a 500mm lense. I know it is a zoom, but still.

While I was in Reno I saw this gentleman walking around with a EOS 1V, and a 500 f/4L. I was thinking this guy is nuts, even with the "IS" I can't see how you could get good shots. Then I realized who it was. It was Dominique from Europe. I can't remember how to spell his last name, so I won't try. I have seen his web site though. He has made a believer out of me. Some of the stuff he does is remarkable. I was whining about carrying my 70-200 f/2.8 with the 2X on it, around.

Lets see, new 500 f/4L is $5500, updated 1D (or 3D, or whatever Canon decides to call it, when they finally get around to updating it) about $3,000. Wow, I'll be sticking with film for awhile, I have a new house to pay for in Feb., so I'm jealous too!!:D

Rick, one thing that really is nice about digital, which I'm sure Wayne will agree with is the ability to change ISO settings.
I only use 100 speed film to cut down on grain, and with converters, and low light, sometimes your screwed.
I know the new Canon 10D can make remarkable images at very high ISO settings. The autofocus is just too slow for fast action though. The top of the line 1D is a much older camera, with lightning fast autofocus but does not give you very good image quality over ISO 400. That's why I, and every other Canon shooter are eagerly awaiting the update to this camera. I may just have to dig deep, and save so I can get one.

W J Pearce
10-07-2003, 05:56 PM
Tim: There is a replacement for the Canon 1D. It is called the 1Ds and is 11 mp. It's MSRP is $8000. If you'd like I can post some ISO 1600 pics I took of a/c after sunset on Sunday. All that I have posted were at ISO 200.

Rick: Personally I think the best film exposure can beat the best digital exposure. But I think the best film exposure is 1 out of a 1000 and the best digital is slightly better than the average digital exposure that occurs about 990 out of 1000.

Anyone: Most of the photos I took, and those that I have posted were not taken at 500mm. The 500mm end of the Sigma is a bit soft and very hard to handhold. I'm away from my home PC tonight but when I get back I will post a photo that I took that is a good/bad one. It was taken at 317mm and 1/30 sec, HANDHELD. But, eventhough the aperature was a f32, it is over exposed. But others at 1/500 are fuzzy, such is life.

I went digital because I was tired or the bozos at the photo lab f***ing up my prints. It cost me a lot which I'm a bit embaressed about. Truth be know... I sold my 67 Camaro to cover this "hobby". My wife says that I "reallocated hobby funds."

Bill Pearce

T. Adams
10-07-2003, 06:10 PM
The price on the 1DS is WAY, WAY out of line. That is why I did not mention it. It is not as good a camera for fast sports action either. At last years Superbowl, Sports Illustrated went completely digital, all 1D's though, no 1DS's. Also the 1DS is full frame so you lose the crop factor. For this reason it is aimed more at the nature photographer crowd. The 1D has a 1.3 crop factor. Hopefully this spring Canon will update the 1D, or bring out the digital version of the EOS 3 I use now.

Also, sell my race car to pay for this, I don't think so.:D

10-07-2003, 08:41 PM
Anybody had a chance to look at the specs on the Digital Rebel that Canon is coming out with soon? I've seen that some of the photo outlets have started to accept pre-orders. The price is low enough that you wouldn't need to sell the car or take out a loan on the house to purchase but is the performance there? I'm waiting to see some reviews on it before I ask Santa to put it in my stocking.

I agree that finding a good photo lab is absolutely critical. I'm fortunate that I have a professional lab 1/4 of a mile from where I work and I haven't had a problem with them yet. On the Monday after the races I dropped off my film and half was normally exposed ASA 100 and the other half was pushed by one stop to 200. They handled it all flawlessly. The post that I put up a couple of days ago of Voodoo passing the telephone pole was with film that was pushed. That extra stop makes a big difference and the increase in grain is minimal. I have been less than satisfied in the past with some of the better known photo chain stores and the way that they have handled my film.


W J Pearce
10-07-2003, 09:14 PM
Well, the car had turned into a garage queen. Besides, now I can concentrate on the other 5 (the 54 GMC is up first).

Digital Eos Reveiw (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos300d/)

10-07-2003, 10:40 PM
Since you all are talking about camera options and mentioned it............ I recently stepped up and got the Canon 10D. So far I LOVE it! Am posting a take-off shot I took from inside a pit, up a couple of rungs on a ladder. Was trying it out for the action stuff so just put it in full auto, using 300 Sigma lens - not bad for first actions and all auto. But... that said have been wondering about what zoom would be best for the flying stuff as most of them did turn out slightly soft and a little far away. Wondering about the Cannon 400IS - not willing to carry or hold anything bigger.

Based on the threads above sounds like soft focus is a part of the Canon EOS system but I'm not ready/willing to cough up the BIG bucks yet, this was enough for now! Have to say that one reason I waited was for the digital to get better, hate waiting for lab processing, worrying about if they will mess them up and there's the cost and then the scanning to be able to use or print them. With digital you can at least tell if your settings are fairly on, if you need to re-shoot and you can dump the bad ones to free up space. This digital is the best thing since sliced bread as far as I'm concerned and better yet the 10D takes a 1GIG card!!! That's around 400 pix at full image setting! I'd take this over the Rebel (old or new ones) or any of the film cameras any day. Just my .02c worth.

10-07-2003, 10:46 PM

nice shot! I'm getting really envious of you guys and your new cams! My "old" trusty D1 has never been all that sharp at any distance and, well... currently it's teets down at Nikon for repair. I smell a new body in my future... *sigh*

As for the soft shot (not that this one is) My Tamron 30-300 is really soft at anything beyond maybe 150 or so... it's pretty nice down on the small end but really goes to poo out on the far end..

Similar with the Sigma 50-500.. were you using Soop's lens? If so, isn't it a Tamron??

I bought the Nikon 80-400VR down at Reno from another shooter.. verdict is still out as to how happy I am with it.. It certainly is a lot lighter than the Sigma! Which would be nice, once I get used to *not* having the weight and over correcting the lighter Nikon..


10-07-2003, 11:10 PM
Hey Wayners,
Nope it is my new Sigma lens that got with the camera. Got a package deal that and a 28-80 plus bunch of other stuff including the 1 gig card (which I really love). I'll be messing around with it for awhile trying out different settings and maybe even try manual focus too with some coaching from Soop I hope. I don't think I can gracefully use the Nikon lens, think it's needs an adapter of some sort. Anyway will have to see but does everything else just great, sharp and sooo soo easy. Have some beautiful close up's of some flowers et al. Need to use it more that much I know - Nellis will be good practice.

Here's one more t/o from the pits. A couple of others am saving for you later. :)

10-07-2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Firecat
Have some beautiful close up's of some flowers et al. Ahh.... :D .... watch out for that stuff around here Pat... ;)

This is a pretty rough bunch.. they might not understand ;)

Oh.. this is a REALLY funny post at a Nikon forum I frequent and is very relevant to this subject.... anyone need a camera??

CLICK HERE FOR CAMERA FOR SALE (http://www.nikond1.net/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002718.html)



Kilo Hotel
10-08-2003, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by rpzo
Anybody had a chance to look at the specs on the Digital Rebel that Canon is coming out with soon? I've seen that some of the photo outlets have started to accept pre-orders. The price is low enough that you wouldn't need to sell the car or take out a loan on the house to purchase but is the performance there? I'm waiting to see some reviews on it before I ask Santa to put it in my stocking.


Here's a full review of a pre-production Digital Rebel on dpreview.com:


My sense is that the 300D/Digital Rebel is a defeatured, plastic-body 10D. With a 'starter' lens (EF-S 18 - 55 mm) it will sell for under $1000. Say what you want about the feature set or the plastic body, this changes EVERYTHING. I bet Sony's kicking themselves around the block over the competition for their upcoming DSC-F828 prosumer digicam, which at $1200+ looked like a winner before Canon announced the 300D.

BTW, Nikon is about to release the D2H, designed from the ground up for action/sports/photojournalism. Only 4 megapixels, but with super fast autofocus and a burst mode of 8 fps for 5 seconds; now that's flying. Only $4K for the back ;-)

To address another post concerning success rates: on a recent trip that included 2 days at Reno I shot 5000 frames with a 5-megapixel Oly 5050Z, of which I judge about 150 worth printing at 11x14 or larger (I'm judging by aesthetics as well as raw image quality). Of course, many were air-to-ground shots in turbulence at 110mm zoom, aiming the camera blind out the vent window of the motorglider, but I'm still not displeased with the ratio of keepers::dreck. Here's a link to a few preliminary shots from that trip posted on Ofoto.com; there are more in the hopper if anyone's interested--just drop me a line to stevez-at-acm-dot-org and I'll add you to the notification list.


BTW, you have to register with Ofoto to see the album, but it's free and they don't bite.

T. Adams
10-08-2003, 10:22 AM
Firecat I assume you are talking about the 100-400mm IS zoom. If you search photo.net, naturephotographers.net, and photographyreview.com you will find many who love it, and many who do not care for it at all. I too looked at this lense, but because of all the negative reviews I bought the 70-200 f/2.8L, with IS. This is one lense you will be hard pressed to find a negative comment about. I even tried to find one used to save money but could not, because nobody gets rid of them, at least the IS version. If you put this lense on a 10D with a 1.4X, and with the crop factor, you have a 448mm f/4 lense at the long end that will still auto focus with a 10D.

Remember a 100-400mm with a 1.4X WILL NOT autofocus on a 10D. Once you go higher than f/5.6 with the Canon's you lose autofocus, unless you have a 1D, or 1Ds.

Also the Digital Rebel is out and is shipping at $899 from most places, and yes it is basically a bare bones 10D.

10-08-2003, 01:11 PM
Oops, I forgot that this forum is all motor driven or the mega-dollar team sports how silly of me to have gotten artsey for a moment :D

As to the early question about just how many good shots should you expect to get out of certain number of rolls. Not too sure that there's a number but can say that many years ago when working with fashion photographers they would shoot many many rolls just to get one or two that we would consider for print. Even though they were moving it was pretty static compared to the a/c and speeds we're dealing with here so I'd have to say lots of rolls until maybe you've been doing it 30+ years maybe then the ratio would go down a little.

That aside thanks T. Adams for your input, I appreciate it as am still in the learning mode with all the hardware and operating options. I'll learn best by doing and at least with the digitals it doesn't cost time or money for those bad shots, just hit delete - very cool. Aside from a/c plan to also use the lens for other action things like dog trials, horses in various movement actions (jumping/working), Eagles in the wild etc and other nature critters which is why I'm accumulating feedback. Also thanks for the links to those 3 sites, there is so much on the web now one could spend a lifetime in a night just doing searches!

Thanks again and happy clicking to all.

T. Adams
10-08-2003, 03:36 PM
Just a warning, if you want to shoot critters, and birds you need serious (exspensive) big glass. It gets addictive, you'll be lusting after those BWL's (big white lenses):D

One of the best I have ever seen at amateur bird photography said the ideal outfit is the 10D (due to the crop factor) and the 600mm f/4L. Yeah right, what he fails to mention is, that single lense is close to 7,000 freaking dollars!!:(

10-08-2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by rpzo
I gave up playing the bass when I realized that I was never going to make enough money to live off of by playing Ramones cover tunes.How True Rick,

LOL... yea, for me, it was Grateful Dead and the like but *sigh* it was a fun time in my life that I'll never forget! Some of the guys I played with actually made it over the top but I don't really think I envy the lifestyle!

I know we all have a lot of pictures that could have been perfect if only...but what do you consider an acceptable success rate? <...snip...>, but am tired of wasting it on subject matter where my success rate is around 10% or less.

Rick, that's really up to the individual.. Certainly, even the best shooters have a pretty high "Oh $hit" factor.. With film, that can get really spendy!

On the surface of it, the pro level or prosumer level digital SLR's seem very expensive... certainly, when I was one of the first to jump in with my D1 back in 2000 when they were going for five grand (OUCH!!!) it seemed like a lot of coin and it was!

I've never sat down and really done the math but somewhere in there, I think I broke even on film and processing costs. If you figure a rough ten bucks a roll for good slide film (including developement) you're going to shoot up a minimum of $100. a day at any given event. With digital, I can shoot that amount of digi shots for each race and it costs me nothing other than the effort to process all those shots (something to consider, certainly is the time involved!)

There is "excess" possible in this.. it does not really make any sense to me to take 20 shots of the same thing, for instance, having the camera on motor drive shooting a static airplane 20 times with the same angle, settings etc.. Now in action shooting, sometimes by just holding down the trigger and hanging on, you wind up with stuff you don't even know you have until you look at the images later.. that IS an advantage and at the speed of this sport, it's sometimes the only way you can successfully shoot the action.

Back to the bottom line of what percentage is acceptable.. for me, I take what I get. This year, I had camera problems and, I switched lenses to one I was totally unfamiliar with, during the event... NOT a good idea. I never achieved "zen" with the new lens and what I *did* manage to get that was good or really good was pure luck.

I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm shooting action, I rely on getting into a zone. If I try hard to get a shot of a particular airplane, I almost always knock myself out of that zone and have a hard time nailing it.. It'd be hard to explain in words what that "zone" is but I'm sure you all know what I mean.. It's when you just lose all thought and can totally focus on what you are doing.. Like driving a car fast... if you think about it too much, it's not usually that smooth, if you fall into the "zone" you "just do it" and it comes together..

Shooting a motorsport like air racing is something that you don't get a lot of tme to practice in real conditions, just like the racers, we're limited to the events that are available to us.. Airshow work helps a lot in getting into that zone.. adapting to your equipment and having a good feel for it helps a lot..

I'm certainly not the best shooter, not by a large margin! I don't have the best glass, nor the best body (anymore) nor am I blessed with the steady hands of youth. But I get good, or lucky or whatever, once in a while and if I get one really really good shot for the entire week at an event, I'm happy. If I get a lot more than that, then I'm really happy.. When I look at my crap, I try not to become discouraged, though, it's sometimes not that easy!

In the image I'm attaching, I'd have to claim some luck. When Tom arrived on Saturday, I was totally out of position in the Bear Cave. We heard him coming, I moved as fast as I could to get the camera ready and get out there to get the shot.. I was actually walking when I snapped this one.. actually, the distraction of being out of position, walking and all the rest, probably let me get into the "zone" where, if I'd have really been trying, I'd have missed it..


Original date/time: 2003:09:06 15:01:00
Original date/time subsecs: 26
Exposure time: 1/320
F-stop: 12.0
Focal length: 320.0000
Exposure bias: -0.6667
Metering mode: Spot
Exposure program: Shutter priority
Digitized date/time: 2003:09:06 15:01:00
Digitized date/time subsecs: 26
Modified date/time: 2003:09:06 15:01:00
Modified date/time subsecs: 26
Image description:
Scene type: Photograph
User comment:
Nikon ISO speed: 0,200
Nikon color mode: COLOR
Nikon quality: FINE
Nikon white balance: SUNNY
Nikon sharpening: NONE
Nikon focus mode: AF-C

10-09-2003, 12:59 PM
it was Grateful Dead and the like but *sigh* it was a fun time in my life that I'll never forget!

Agreed, I wouldn't trade the memories for anything. One band I was in even did a cover of the Dead's Friend of the Devil, only with a punk beat.

but am tired of wasting it on subject matter where my success rate is around 10% or less.

I must have been really frustrated when I wrote that. I think it was because I was going through a bunch of slides that I took at the Santa Rosa airshow back in August. My 2x converter had started putting an extremely noticable blue tinge in the center of some of pictures and I was attempting to fix it with photoshop. More wasted film, but what frustrated me even more is the missed opportunity. I had flight line access for that airshow.

The hobby of photography, music, or whatever is about the pursuit of perfection, the perfect performance. The problem is that if your serious about the pursuit you will never achieve that perfection. You may come close but, speaking for myself, I have never been completely satisfied with a picture that I have taken, except for one. It's that pursuit that drives you to keep spending money on film, cameras, guitars, amps...to keep going out and shooting frame after frame when you know that only 1 in 10 is going to be worth showing to anybody else. Hi, my name is Rick and I am addicted to taking pictures of airplanes.

I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm shooting action, I rely on getting into a zone.

I know what you mean. I refer to it as the zen approach to photography. Knowing the scene, what's going to happen when, instictively making the adjustments to exposure, focus, and framing. Knowing what that picture is going to look like before you release the shutter. Just being part of it.