Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Air Show of Tele Vues (and other stuff)

The CIAS or Canadian International Air Show hosted at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has been a yearly pilgrimage for K and I for the last couple of years on Labour Day Monday. Last year we tried a new spot a little closer to the show at the West Arm of Humber Bay Park. The East Arm would be preferred IF we didn't take quite the production with us. But because we have the means to actually photograph the show closer up, we don't have to go near the crazy-crowds at the CNE or pay a mint for parking as is always the case, never mind actually trying to find a parking spot. Our yearly pilgrimage starts fairly early in the morning as we want to get the best possible view from our location...typically we arrive around 9:30am for a 12:30pm start time...that might sound crazy, but it isn't given that you don't know how the crowds will be, even that far away. Not only that, the weather was gloomy for most of the morning leaving us wondering if the show was actually going to be given the green light.

To say we bring a "production" is an understatement. We don't pack light.

Pictured above from right to left, the Tele Vue Pronto and the Tele Vue 76, two Canon 30D's, an older Canon Rebel, two tripods, binculars and lenses, never mind what is not shown, the chairs, a table, food/cooler and the Alinco scanner for listening in.

We did manage to shoot through the Pronto but we mainly kept that as our visual scope and given it's age and era it was made, it is still delivering a wonderful image. Granted it was harder to track some of the aircraft at higher speed, but the view was crisp and bright, as expected. False colour? Yeah, but who cares.

Of course false colour can be a biggy when you photograph so the '76 was called in. Of course that's where the insanity begins.

Think about it. A 480mm Refractor telescope, with a crop conversion to 768mm with a manual focus trying to capture a fast moving object. Crazy. But it can be done with a lot of practice and patience. Don't expect a high success rate either. I would predict that one out of every two photographs will be a flop. One thing that helped was the Orion Field Flattener to help sharpen the image. For whatever reason, I seem to have an easier time focussing the '76 with it. Perhaps it's my eyes going. I don't know. Of course it will help with the edges, that is for sure. Also it's important to keep the shutter speed up as the '76 is working at f/6.3 and given the weather and haze was having an effect, I will find out how many shots suffered from too slow a shutter, if any actually did. Overall I found it fun to work with if not quite challenging. A challenge because not only are you trying to do so much at one time including trying to frame it too look nice, the target is moving and at times moving FAST. As aircraft approached our site, I would switch to my 30D and the 70-200 f/2.8 with the 1.4X telenegative to get a different perspective. Both combinations seem to have worked.

I have a boat load of images to process but check out this first image and I have found what appears to be a smudge on the sensor of my Canon Rebel. Ugh. Anyway, check out this cropped pic, desaturated and a little bit of sepia added of the planes approaching the CN Tower in the background. This was taken with the '76...

Early results look good.

I think it is fair to say that both K and I are fortunate indeed with two very good, reasonably portable, multi-functional refractors that again are proving their worth in some very unique circumstances.

Addendum: The photos are up and are a mixed bag of images where the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and 1.4X Telenegative and the Tele Vue 76 were employed. Enjoy! M:)

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