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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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About pyro-manic

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  • Birthday 02/12/1985

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    Weymouth, Dorset

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  1. Regarding "slowness", I meant specifically the focussing speed, rather than the small max. aperture. The Nikon 55-200 and 55-300 lenses and the like are cheap, low-end "consumer" lenses with rubbish focus motors that take a long time to get from one end of the range to the other. The Nikon 70-300, for example, is also a 5.6 lens but has a much, much better focus motor. f/2.8 is (very) nice to have, but not vital. It just tends to mean the lens is of generally higher spec, including the focus system. I would think the Sigma above would have a good AF drive too, given the intended uses. Nice pans, by the way. I'm terrible at those. Is f/11-ish the "sweet spot" for that lens, or was that in order to get the shutter speed down?
  2. I suspect the biggest problem you're having with the 55-200 (which isn't bad for what it is) is that it focusses very slowly, and at f/5.6 on the long end it's also quite slow. I used to have one and I struggled to get high enough shutter speeds for airshows (ditto for wildlife etc). The 55-300 is going to be exactly the same - it's slow (f/5.6 again on the long end) and slow to focus. My "airshow" setup (on my D7000 body) is a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, which is blazingly fast to focus, and very sharp. But it's also very expensive (I bought a second-hand one and it still took me a long time to save up for). It's also not quite long enough for airshow use, IMO - I usually have to crop a bit. A 300mm f/2.8 would be better, but that's way beyond what I can afford. Sigma and Tamron have both released highly-regarded 70-200/2.8 lenses in the last couple of years. They're still expensive, but much cheaper than the Nikon. Alternatively, for about the same money, Nikon do a 70-200 f/4. Obviously you're losing a stop at the wide end, but f/4 is still pretty good, and the lens is much lighter than the (huge and heavy) f/2.8. This lens has had rave reviews across the board. If you want 300mm, I'd go for either the Nikon 70-300 or the Tamron 70-300. Both are pretty good, not too expensive, and will perform much better than either your 55-200 or the equally slow 55-300. The Tamron particularly is meant to be very good at the long end (a bit better than the Nikon, in fact). Regarding colours being washed out, that's something not so much related to the lens but rather the exposure and your settings/post-production. I tend to dial in a bit of exposure compensation (usually +0.7 or +1) when shooting, and tweak the saturation, contrast and white balance etc. later in Lightroom to get the best out of the image. Whatever lens you have, for shooting I would aim to have a shutter speed of not less than 1/400, and higher if possible. If you have a slow lens, this might mean boosting your ISO quite a bit on a dull day. Set your frame rate as high as possible, and shoot in short bursts - you will often find that one of the burst "nails it" while the others are slightly out of focus. Oh, and always use your lens hood! Here's one I took about a month ago, at the Yeovilton show: Vulcan by pyro-manic, on Flickr That was shot at f/4, 1/2000 shutter speed at ISO 200, +1EV exposure compensation (because the sky and clouds were so bright). I then adjusted it in Lightroom, and cropped a fair bit of the edges away to fill the frame with the subject. You will find that because airshow lighting is so difficult, a bit of post-processing will be needed on most images. Shooting in RAW (rather than JPG) makes this much easier. I hope at least some of that is of some use....
  3. Nicely done! The orange does work very well.
  4. pyro-manic

    V22 osprey

    I'd like to build the VTOL from Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex at some point.
  5. One thing to bear in mind is that the larger the zoom range, the more compromised the lens will be. EG the 18-200 is a 10x zoom, and will not perform as well as, for example, the big, fast and heavy (and of course expensive) f/2.8 zooms which are usually about a 3x range (17-55, 24-70, 70-200 etc). Not to say that the 18-200 is bad - it's actually very good for a 10x superzoom lens - but it will not perform as well as one of the higher-grade lenses. It also very much depends what you will be photographing. A tele-zoom is not much use for landscapes, conversely a wide-angle is hopeless if you're intending to make portraits or product shots. I had the 55-200 (I recently sold it as I have upgraded to the monster 70-200/2.8) and it was a decent lens, if quite slow to focus - not ideal for airshows, sports, fast-moving children etc. Image quality was pretty good, and it wasn't too heavy, though it was plastic-y and didn't feel terribly robust. Of course, it's not terribly wide and so less useful for landscape type shots or as a "walkaround" lens. The Nikkor 16-85mm VR is widely seen as the best "standard" zoom for DX Nikons, though it's fairly expensive (and there have been rumblings for a while that it is due for replacement). The new Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 is highly regarded, and provides a good alternative to the 16-85 for a little less money. Pairing either of those with the Nikkor 70-300 makes for an excellent combination for relatively little money (expensive hobby, photography!) The 70-300 also features much faster focussing than the 55-200 or -300, which is much better for "action" shots. The new Tamron 70-300 VC is meant to be very good as well. However, don't discount the "kit" lenses - the 18-55 and 18-105 (I'm not sure which comes with the D5100) are actually quite respectable, the latter especially so. To further muddy the waters, Nikon have just announced a new lens (18-140mm VR) which could be an ideal general purpose "walkaround" lens, likely giving better image quality and better stabilization than the 18-200, as well as being cheaper. It should be out next month. Personally, I would avoid the huge-range superzooms (18-200, 18-270 etc) from all brands, and stick with the kit offering (18-55 or 18-105 Nikkor) for the moment. Once you've shot with that for a while, you can work out what you need from your next lens - do you want telephoto, or wide angle, or a faster aperture? The point of an SLR system is to be able to pick the lens you need for the job at hand - the "all-in-one" superzoom lenses are suboptimal to say the least.
  6. Well, instead of one long island like all previous British carriers, they cut it in half and stuck an elevator in the middle. Internal layout is also different - IIRC the engines are acutally quite high up in the ship rather than down at the bottom, so the large volume of ducting and trunking is reduced as much as possible. This is possible due to the all-electric drive system. It also eases maintenance and makes changing a turbine (if needed) much easier and faster. I think Trumpeter or Hobbyboss will get a 1:700 kit out rather quickly, but Airfix will do the big (and it will be big!) 1:350 kit later on, along the same lines as for their Daring-class kit. Good to see the ship itself taking shape, and I hope they actually get into service in a meaningful way (ie with a proper air group under Navy control) in a reasonable time frame.
  7. Some really nice photos there! I was there too, and it was indeed absolutely fierce. 32C! I'm finding myself envious of your lens' range - I can only get to 200mm, and your extra reach is telling! I've had to do a lot of major cropping, not ideal on an old 10MP body... My pictures are going up HERE if you're interested. Again, really nice stuff.
  8. Go and read "Consider Phlebas". Now. Nice tribute to a very talented man.
  9. I'd give the Mr. Color at least 24 hours after it's dry to fully cure before going over it. Ideally a couple of days.
  10. pyro-manic

    BAe Hawk FGR.2

    Wow, nicely done!
  11. They're all just buses with wings on. Boooooring! The last vaguely interesting one was the Tristar, with an honourable mention to the A340-600, just because it's huge. Favourites are the VC-10, Britannia, Connie, 727. Oh, and Concorde/Tu-144 of course, but they're infinitely cooler by default so can't really be lumped in with all the tin tubes...
  12. Wow, sexy! I love the Hawker bipe family, and this is just beautiful!
  13. Given that their fighters (Tomcat, Phantom etc) are £30-plus now, I can't see it being less than £40, likely more from Amerang. The good news is that the Yen has dropped in value recently, so prices from HLJ, Hobbysearch etc. are now much more reasonable than they have been for the past few years. Not as good as about 4-5 years ago (when the Yen was ~200 to the pound), but good nevertheless. Would strongly recommend looking at importing rather than supporting Amerang's gouging.
  14. Excellent man-cave. A pleasingly eclectic stash too!
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