The Red Arrows and the X-T1
Yesterday was Scotland's National Airshow at the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune, just a few miles from our home base in Dunbar. I hadn't been to an airshow since I left the Royal Air Force in 1996 and I thought it would be a good opportunity for another high speed test the new Autofocus software on the X-T1.
The stars of the airshow was going to be a display by the world famous Red Arrows, the RAF's aerobatic display team and with the Hawk jets moving at speeds in excess of 400mph I decided this was going to be the display to test the version 4 software to the max.
Using the XF50-140mm f2.8 I set the X-T1 autofocus to AF-C and to single point AF but switched to zone tracking halfway through the display. The 50-140mm, with its 210mm equivalent maximum focal length probably isn't long enough for single aircraft displays but for the nine aircraft display it was perfect as the Red Arrows flew right in front of us at low level. The new Fujinon super zoom, with its reported 400mm (600mm equiv) maximum focal length will certainly be a big plus for airshow photographers when it arrives.
The other settings on the camera were aperture priority at f4, with +1 exposure compensation dialled in, and the motor drive was set for 8 frames per second. I use a fast SD card in my X-T1 and the memory buffer only hit the limit on two occasions during the display and cleared in less than a second so I could continue shooting. I do tend to shoot in 3-5 frame bursts, so filling the buffer is usually not a problem.
As you can from the results on this page the X-T1 coped very well with the high speed jets. It certainly helped that the AF wasn't confused by the background. I have found that cluttered backgrounds can confuse the continuous AF and my default now is to select a single AF point. But here the zone tracking AF worked very well.
For the 50-140mm the long end of the zoom was a little short so I can't wait to try the new 1.4x converter in the near future which will add more pulling power to this superb lens.
I will be posting more images from Scotland's National Airshow 2015 tomorrow.
For more information on the National Museum of Flight CLICK HERE
For more information on the Red Arrows display team CLICK HERE
Images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 and a XF50-140mm f2.8 lens.