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Airplane photography trouble: Is the EOS 4000D or EF 75-300mm lens to blame?

I_ask_questions
Apprentice

Hello, i am a relatively new photographer and i mainly photograph planes and i shoot on a canon eos 4000d and EF 75-300mm zoom lens both are used and cleaned. Anyways, im not really happy with the results i have got and ive done my research to figure out how to get better and have applied those new skills but still not happy and is looking into getting a new lens, a sigma 150-500mm lens and was wondering if thats the case or my camera is the issue

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

The 75-300 is not one of Canon's best endeavors.  It lacks IS and is not known for its sharpness.

The Sigma lens you are considering is a great lens for wildlife and would also work pretty well for shooting planes at Airshows.  The 4000D / T100 is a very basic entry level 18MP camera with a Digic 4+ processor. Max shutter 1/4000 and 9 point AF.  It's at it's best outdoors in daylight.  It should be more than enough to get some great photos with a lens that is better suited for capturing subjects at greater distances.  The Sigma would offer this.

Do note, that you'll need to practice a bit.  The Sigma 150-600 is a longer and much heavier lens.  Many shoot with it handheld, but a tripod might also be something to consider if you are shooting for extended periods.      

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.7.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

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3 REPLIES 3

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

The 75-300 is not one of Canon's best endeavors.  It lacks IS and is not known for its sharpness.

The Sigma lens you are considering is a great lens for wildlife and would also work pretty well for shooting planes at Airshows.  The 4000D / T100 is a very basic entry level 18MP camera with a Digic 4+ processor. Max shutter 1/4000 and 9 point AF.  It's at it's best outdoors in daylight.  It should be more than enough to get some great photos with a lens that is better suited for capturing subjects at greater distances.  The Sigma would offer this.

Do note, that you'll need to practice a bit.  The Sigma 150-600 is a longer and much heavier lens.  Many shoot with it handheld, but a tripod might also be something to consider if you are shooting for extended periods.      

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.7.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

stevet1
Whiz
Whiz

I_ask_questions,

If I read this right, the max shooting speed on your T100 is 3 shots per second.

If you are shooting planes, you might be happier if you saved up and got a camera with a faster burst shooting mode.

Steve Thomas

 

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

HI and welcome to the forum:

Shooting aircraft is, like most activities, an acquired art.   Certainly, I agree with my colleague Rick that the EF 70-300 is both a poor optic and not a suitable range for shooting aircraft.   I have shot a few shows myself and can support the idea that the Sigma 150-600c is a great lens (one of my respected colleagues, Ebiggs1 also recommends the Tamron 150-600 as well), and has enough focal range flexibility for this kind of activity, with the following provisos:
You need practice to focus and track aircraft in flight.  For propeller-driven aircraft, what you want to do is have fast enough shutter speed to freeze the aircraft, but get some propeller movement - as per this example.
Shutter speeds will vary with the conditions of light, speed of the aircraft and propeller this comes with experience and practice.
Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 100-400L @ 400mm, f/10, 1/500sec, ISO-200Canon EOS 7DMkII, EF 100-400L @ 400mm, f/10, 1/500sec, ISO-200
You should become so familiar with the controls of both lens and camera that you don't have to break your concentration of following your subjects.
You would be wise to consider getting a monopod to support the weight of the lens for long periods - the action will likely be full-on, so you will otherwise be supporting the camera + lens combo for extended periods.  A tripod is not really practical for both speed of tracking and space amongst the many other photographers.
Finally, do your research on the locations at which you will shoot, so you know what are the best places to set up and likely get there early enough to occupy such a spot and get hold of a copy of the program so you have some idea to plan your shooting.  You will need a couple of cards and batteries for your camera.  It's a good camera for its period (I still have one), but it will not be as good at tracking, focus and frame rate as a more modern unit.  Still, the lens is the critical element here, I think.

There is a review of the Sigma lens at an airshow:


There are many videos with tips from experienced airshow photographers about shooting air shows, and I would encourage you to check some of them out: (1) using sigma lens at air show - YouTube


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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