I decided to try my hand at aviation photography this weekend, with me I took the Sony 70-300mm G lens and the Sony a6500. I headed to the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) which is the largest military airshow in the world.
**Please Note: Unless otherwise mentioned no post processing has been applied to the image samples in this guide except for cropping. Full resolution SOOC JPEG images are available to download. RAW files are also available but password protected to help keep my hosting costs sensible. However, I do provide the username/password to all members of our community forum. All images are copyright protected and may be used for personal use only.
I’ve only recently purchased the 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 G lens, so was keen to see how it compared to the only other long zoom lens in my collection – the Sony 70-200mm F4 G lens.
Here are some of my shots from the day:
I’d been walking around and was completely unprepared for the B-2 flying over, I just pointed and shot. Unfortunately I didn’t really have the best settings locked in so it came out a little soft.
I’m quite picky with my photos, and don’t really feel like I shot anything this day that I’ll be hanging on the wall anytime soon. That said, the extra 100mm of reach over the 70-200mm certainly paid dividends here, although I still found myself wanting for a little more reach.
I felt that the 70-300 performed very well, focusing was fast and I was happy with the color rendition. As for the sharpness at 300mm, it’s maybe not quite as sharp as the 70-200mm F4. After reading the DXOMark review for the 70-300mm it appears this lens is sharper when you stop down to f/8.
I shot most of my shots this day at f/5.6 accept the B-2 pass which I shot at f/9 and 1/320 only because I was fiddling with the settings and wasn’t prepared for it. So unfortunately it’s hard to compare this shot to my others due to the slower shutter speed. This is something I’ll have to test another day.
I’ll definitely be heading back to RIAT in 2018, especially as it’s the 100th anniversary of the RAF and looks set to be the biggest RIAT ever. I also hope to visit the Mach Loop in Wales for the first time to try and photograph the low flying jets there.
If you also love shooting aviation with your Sony Alpha camera, then I’ve setup the Sony Alpha Shooters Group on Facebook where you can share your photos with fellow aviation shooters. I don’t have a niche aviation focused group setup, but if there is enough interest I may consider it.