Link Posted 19/08/2011 - 22:54
I have been given a short helicopter flight as a birthday present.

Is it worth trying to take photos whilst in the air or will the 'window' give a distortation?

If it is worthwhile what lens and what settings would you suggest?



Link Posted 19/08/2011 - 23:02
Hi Dave,
All the images I have come across are all softened by the window. So not competition winners. But they will make great memories of your flight..
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses



Link Posted 19/08/2011 - 23:40
Lucky you! I would take a wide angle to capture the interior of the cockpit Dave, and a medium telephoto for picking off details of the landscape if you get chance.

cardiff_gareth wrote:
For the sake of lugging a camera with you I'd bring it just in case, but then again I'm the guy who took a camera into the theatre whilst my wife was having a cesarean section !

Shouldn't you have been there with her instead of watching a play?


Link Posted 19/08/2011 - 23:53
I take a helicopter or small plane on scheduled flights, once in a while and always take a camera (or two!).

On digital I have a normal zoom 17-50mm Tamron and put it in Av. Be prepared to switch to manual focus (avoiding focus on the window scratches) and adjust the exposure comp as you change from dark cabin to bright view in the window. Either that or have a wide bracket set up with RAW+ and select later.

I've also used a DLux3 to reasonable effect.

I take a second point and shoot compact. In my case a Yashica T4 which has a Zeiss Tessar T* 35mm lens. Loaded with colour slide film or colour film it just allows a slightly different end result.

I took a MZ-M last time with the 58mm Nokton attached and it was pointless. Too much faffing about.

If its a small craft and special charter you might get a window open for you.
Lurking is shirking.!
Last Edited by dougf8 on 19/08/2011 - 23:55


Link Posted 20/08/2011 - 09:31
These were taken 'through the bubble' in 2009, with a DA 50-135 on a K10 (at the short end!).
Not great shakes as images, but it may give you a better idea...


Link Posted 20/08/2011 - 22:32
I've done a fair bit of aerial photography in a Piper Warrior. OK, it's not a helicopter, but the flying height will be similar. The lens I used the most was an old FA 28-200mm ED/IF lens and I got some reasonable results, even through the scatched and dirty plexyglass windows.

You might be lucky and have a 'copter with an opening window.

Just don't forget, 'Clunk, click', you'll not want to fall out. Not more than one anyway.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 20/08/2011 - 22:33


Link Posted 20/08/2011 - 22:40
Just fly with the door open.


Link Posted 21/08/2011 - 18:57
I took a flip in a Tiger Moth, no glass in the way. The photos were taken with a Canon A95 so I'll not post here.




Link Posted 21/08/2011 - 19:22
Do you know what helicopter it is? You may be able to open a window. A 17-50 or 18-55 should do it, but take a tele zoom as well. What lenses do you have available?
Try and keep the shutter speed above 1/500th, and stop the lens down to f5.6 or f8. If you can't open the window, try and take along a bit of matte black card to shield reflections, and use a lens hood. On the ground, look where the windows are scratched and try to avoid shooting through the scratches.
Have fun!

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Link Posted 22/08/2011 - 20:34
Well what a fantastic experience Lovely weather

Difficult to photograph anything what with looking out of the window, reflections, bird shit, misting of the windows.... I will just have to go out again

A couple of pics

the helicopter

at last a clear photo



Link Posted 23/08/2011 - 22:50
I use to specialise in news pix from helicopters. Some have opening sections in the windows. If not, many have a facility to remove the door. It's not remotely dangerous because you are strapped in.

I covered a grand prix from a helicopter once. We flew from Battersea, put down in a field a mile or so from Silverstone and hid the door in a hedge, then collected it on the way back to London. Those were the days!

Why not ask anyway? Maybe the elf and safety does not stifle every thing yet.
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Link Posted 24/08/2011 - 04:16
A DA10-17 to snap the inside of the cockpit would be great. In fact hanging it out the window would be cool too. Don't drop it
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
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Link Posted 24/08/2011 - 08:38
cardiff_gareth wrote:
For the sake of lugging a camera with you I'd bring it just in case, but then again I'm the guy who took a camera into the theatre whilst my wife was having a cesarean section !

I don't remember seeing those photos in a thread here
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