Showcase Tamron 300mm f/2.8 60B SP LDIF

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by cooltouch, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    I attended the annual "Wings Over Houston" airshow last weekend, and dragged four cameras along with me -- my NEX 7, a Canon EOS XS DSLR, a Nikon F4, and a Pentax 67. For lenses in addition to the above Tamron, I brought a Canon EF 75-300 II for the EOS, a Nikkor 70-300 ED for the F4 and a 45mm wide for the Pentax 67. Whew. I used a roller-style piece of carry-on luggage to carry it all.

    I mounted the above Tamron to my NEX 7 and used that outfit for the entire airshow. The results were mixed. It's a heavy lens, so I brought a monopod to relieve the weight when shooting. But I often found the monopod awkward to use, and ended up removing it several times during the show, especially when the aircraft were flying overhead, or close to it.

    I say that results were mixed mostly because I had a lot of trouble following the aircraft with my NEX 7. I've been attending airshows for over 30 years, so this wasn't my first rodeo. But it was my first one using the NEX. Often, because of bright daylight conditions or because of reflected images onto the camera's screen, it was difficult to use, just trying to follow the aircraft with the display. But attempting to use the viewfinder was even worse. First, it's a LOT dimmer than the optical viewfinders in my other cameras, even the small squinty one in my EOS DSLR. I'm used to being able to track fast moving objects with both eyes open, following it with the eye not held to the camera, and centering the object in the frame with the eye at the viewfinder. For some reason I don't quite understand, this was a very difficult task with my NEX. Mostly difficult because it didn't work. That is, when using my other eye to "find" the subject, I found that it was nowhere to be found in the viewfinder. Which resulted in my casting about, looking for it, and which resulted in missing a LOT of shots. Very aggravating. But I persevered. Out of about 500 images I took with the NEX, I got some 80 to 100 keepers. Not so bad, I suppose, but not as good as my averages even when I used to shoot slides.

    So anyway, following is a small group of some of the best images I shot last Saturday. And even though it's a small group, it's a lot of images. So be patient.

    Flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, the USAF Thunderbirds were the main act, albeit the last one of the day. By that point, I was pretty worn out from slinging around that Tamron 300mm all day. It was mid-afternoon and the high overcast resulted in slower shutter speeds or a more wide open lens setting. At airshows I don't like to go much below f/8 when shooting aircraft on the wing, to insure some depth of field. But because this reduced the shutter speeds so much, I had to bump up the ISO from 100, which is where I like to keep it to minimize noise, first to 400, then to 800. I had to use noise-reduction routines on almost all the images. I used Paint Shop Pro X8 and Photoshop v6 -- Noise Ninja with PS6, and PSP8's own internal routines, which are actually quite good.

    Most of my Thunderbird images came out looking like this, or worse:
    At this magnification, it doesn't look so bad, but at its original resolution, it is below par.

    Here's a shot of the Thunderbirds from the ventral side:

    And the classic right side up/upside down flyby, showing off the F-16's distinctive silhouette:

    There was another aerobatic team on the show's event list. This was a team from France, flying Czech-built L-39 Albatross trainers, sponsored by Breitling.


    The only other current-technology military jet flown at the show was a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. The pilot put the aircraft through pretty much a standard set of paces, except for one high speed pass, where he actually broke the sound barrier. Boom-BOOM-ROAR! I've been to a lot of airshows and this is the first time I've ever been to one where a participant broke the sound barrier. And there's nothing quite like the sound of a military jet in full afterburner. Talk about loud? If you've never been to an airshow where modern jets perform, imagine the loudest noise you've ever heard, then multiply it about 10 times and stretch it out so it lasts for at least a half-minute while the jet's flying around the immediate neighborhood.



    This next jet was quite a treat for an airshow enthusiast. I've seen these jets (might have been the same one, I dunno) on static display at airshows since the early 1990s, but this is the first time I've ever seen one fly. From what I understand, there are only two left in the world that remain flight worthy. The Messerschmidt ME-262, the bane of the German skies in the closing days of WWII.



    Later in the show was another rare sight -- the ME-262 flying in formation with a P-51 Mustang and a British Supermarine Spitfire:


    Speaking of a P-51, this was the only one at the airshow. It was a beautiful example, with all that polished aluminum, but it's actually a bit odd seeing only one P-51 at an airshow.

    The Spitfire that made the show was a very nice looking warbird and one I don't recall ever seeing before. Some folks can tell which Mark it is just by looking at one, but I'm not expert enough at ID'ing the Spits. I'd post pics of it but for some reason I'm getting X's where the photos should be. Dunno why.


    I actually have quite a few shots of different aircraft I took at last weekend's show, but I don't want to overload things in one single post. I'll add in some of the rest in a future post.
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  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Great captures!
    But the resolution(?) on some photos looks a bit weird...
  3. GabrielPhoto

    GabrielPhoto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Yes the tend to look like some "Creative" mode was being used or something like that.
  4. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    Well, the resolution wasn't consistent from one shot to the next because I had to crop almost all the images -- some a lot more than others. Fortunately having 24.3 mp to work with allowed me the freedom to get most all the crops done without them looking too weird. And then I resized the images before I uploaded them here to a horizontal value of 1500 pixels (except the verticals, in which case the vertical dimension was 1500 pixels). Also, because almost all images required -- imo -- some noise reduction, this affected the final images as well. I was actually playing around with different noise reduction routines and found that a couple are a bit too heavy-handed, requiring a bit of sharpening afterward to bring back some of the lost resolution. But by the time I had figured out a better way to handle things, I'd already processed a few hundred images and I just didn't feel like going back and redoing them all.

    The whole process of working through all the images took me several days and I found that I was doing a better job of noise control and resharpening at the end of this long ordeal than I was at the beginning. Plus, some of the images were borderline anyway, and trying to rescue them probably added somewhat to the "creative" effect. Oh well. Actually, of the above images, the only ones that pass muster with me the way they appear now are numbers 6, 7, and 10.

    I have more -- better ones that tend to show this great lens in a more positive light. And here are some of them:

    There were two North American B-25 Mitchells at the show, but I managed to get keepers for only one of them. This first image was an experiment in "photoshopping." The B-25 had just taken off and its landing gear had retracted only about halfway. Plus, the bottom left corner of the image was occupied by a spectator who managed to get in my way. I cloned all of the stuff out that I didn't want. You can tell if you examine the photo closely, but I don't think most folks would notice. This photo was also cropped, but I think there's enough detail left to give you a good idea of what this lens is capable of.

    Not quite as sharp as the above image -- the hazards of manual focus, even when using focus peaking and locking down the focusing collar -- but it's still quite acceptable to me:

    A Grumman TBF Avenger. This one ended up being sharp enough where you can count the rivets -- if you wanted to.

    And following in the dive bomber/torpedo bomber vein, the Douglass Dauntless SBD dive bomber:

    And the Curtiss SB2c dive bomber. This one is the only example in flight worthy condition left in the world. I have photos of this one and another from an airshow six years ago, so I guess something happened to that other one.

    A reasonably sharp photo of a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk:

    And a decent photo of the fighter the Japanese called "The Whistling Death," the Chance-Vaught F4U Corsair: DSC00412_f4u_corsair_1a.

    A reasonably sharp image of a Grumman F8F Bearcat that required both luminance and chrominance reductions:

    And finally (for now) a shot of one of only two Mitsubishi A6M Zeros that are left flying in the world today. This is the only one with the original Nakajima Sakae engine. The other one has a Pratt & Whitney installed.

    That's it for now.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
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