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Thread: Helicopter Ride

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Helicopter Ride

    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking of going on a Helicopter ride and I want to take some pictures of course. What kind of lens do you guys recommend?

    Sedali

  2. #2
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: Helicopter Ride

    Hi Sedali,

    IS lens is a good idea especially on long lenses. Lens hood is a must.
    Don't try to shot through the plexiglass especially with long lenses.

    It is tight inside so you'll want to carry as little as possible. Try to keep most of the stuff in your pocket so you don't have to reach for your bag.

    have fun.

  3. #3
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Helicopter Ride

    Thanks, Raycer. Good points. Looks like you have had the experience...

  4. #4
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: Helicopter Ride

    plexiglass was a tough lesson. one that I'll never forget... one of those what was i thinking moment.

    now let me know when you are going on a micro-g (zero g) ride. that's even more exciting than bumpy helicopter trips.

  5. #5
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    I agree...

    Shooting through a Plexiglas is not the best plan of action but, is often the only way to get a shot. You are unable (or the pilot is unwilling) to open doors or windows on some helicopter trips. Here are some tips I have garnered over my years:

    1. Shoot through open window or door if possible

    2. If #1 is not possible:
    ...try to clean portion of Plexiglas
    or
    ...try to shoot through cleanest area
    in any event:
    ...do not rest lens against Plexiglas
    ...do not shoot through Plexiglas using a polarizing filter because of moire effect
    however:
    ...If you are using a lens which can accept a rubber screw-in folding lens hood without vignetting, carefully placing the rubber (ensuring that the lens itself is not in contact) against the Plexiglas will reduce glare. This takes practice and I would not suggest attempting it in my first helicopter photo trip. Working this way, it is essential for the pilot to bank the helicopter since you cannot greatly change the angle of view by shooting down.

    3. Use highest shutter speed possible
    ...hopefully you will be shooting with a lens that gives good performance wide open or close to it

    4. Do not rest your camera against any part of the helicopter also do not support camera by resting your elbows on your knees. You will transmit vibrations from the helicopter to the camera.

    5. If possible use IS (or some other image motion compensation) especially with longer lenses

    6. If shooting with open door or open hatch; ensure security of your equipment. You don't want to lose expensive gear by having it drop out of the helicopter.

    7. Shooting with two bodies often frees you from having to switch lenses.

    8. Have your camera set up for shooting before you take off.
    ...ensure you have a freshly charged battery and an empty memory card
    ...have an extra battery and memory card avaiable (not in the pocket of your jeans)

    9. Communication with the pilot is essential
    ...use a headset and microphone if possible
    ...if not possible - arrange hand signals
    ...discuss flight with pilot beforehand as to light direction etc.

    10. A mid range zoom lens is usually the best. 17-50 or 17-55mm on a 1.6x camera or 24-105mm on a full-frame camera. Longer focal lengths often magnify problems from vibration. UWA lenses often include blade arc and skids in image. Also UWA lenses result in very minute image detail which may cause image to look uninteresting.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 28th October 2008 at 08:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Helicopter Ride

    Thanks a lot, rpcrowe. Still planning for it. Sedali

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