This past weekend I spent a lot of time shooting for my upcoming book. Of course having some beautiful weather made it that much more pleasant of a way to spend a couple of days outdoors. Saturday found me fighting the long lines to get into Great Falls National Park and today I took a drive out to Bealeton, Va to watch the aerobatics of the Flying Circus. I arrived early and found a nice shady spot to park my car and then unloaded my gear for an afternoon of shooting.
My camera of choice for the day was my Nikon D7000. Every time I use it, I am glad I bought it and today was no different. I could have gone with a full frame body but here’s one thing I love about my D7000, it has a DX cropped sensor. I know that might sound a little crazy but sometimes less is more. So here’s the deal – when the planes are on the ground it’s easy to get a great shot with just about any lens (I used my 17-55 for the close-up stuff) But when the planes take to the skies, a long lens is definitely a necessity.
I started off with a 70-200 but that wasn’t nearly enough reach. I switched to a 300 and was almost there so I added a 1.4 tele-extender, which was perfect. I lost a stop of exposure but it was a bright, sunny day so I was stopping down a little anyway.
So why was I happy to have my D7000? Well, if I was using a full frame sensor like the D700 or D3, I would have been able to get a maximum focal length of about 420mm but since I was using a DX format, there is a 1.5 crop factor so it was like using a 630mm lens. Oh, and that 70-200 f/2.8, it is like using a 105-300mm f/2.8. Want to know the price difference between a 70-200 f/2.8 and a 300 f/2.8, about $3700. So if you are suffering from full frame envy, just think about how much lens versatility you have and rejoice. Bigger does not always mean better.
Here’s a few more shots from yesterday. Don’t for get to click on the to see larger version. And if you live in Virginia or might be passing through sometime and would like to check out the Flying Circus, visit their website [LINK] to get all the information on dates, showtimes, and more.