Monday, March 28, 2016

Fun and games with camera lenses and the T-28C moves on

Recently, I completed a project for the US insurance company that uses my programming skills and the fee turned out to be a bit more than I expected so I decided that I would treat myself. I have been concerned for some while that the only lens that I have for my camera is not up to the job of producing high quality images of small scale models so I went looking for a replacement. All of the advice that i got pointed me towards a macro lens. Macro lenses are designed for taking photos of small items and enlarging them with excellent quality. With this in mind, I asked on a few forums and the result was that I should look at a macro lens of around 90 - 100mm focal length.

On Friday, I went off to see Wex. They are up at Norwich and are only one hour away. They have a fantastic warehouse full of goodies.  Unfortunately, I forced the conversation my way. Firstly, I took a model along and only talked about photographing the detail of it rather then the whole thing. Secondly, I told them that I was looking at macro lenses so, guess what, I ended up buying a 105mm Sigma macro lens.

I got home to find that it took great images but enlarged everything so much that I had to stand a good way away to get a full model into the frame. I kept remembering John Rose's Israeli F-16i Sufa.

This beast is over 18 inches long. I would have had to stand 10 feet back from it to get it into the frame. I realised that I had talked my way into a mistake. I think that I knew what I had done as soon as I got home as Valerie asked me why I wasn't dashing to play with it!

I took it back next day. I explained how I had forced the conversation and this time I let the sales guy do the running. He spent a lot of time checking up on minimum focus distances and finally came up with the Canon 24mm f2.8 IS USM lens. IS means that it has image stabilisation which will help when I hand hold the camera to get a shot of a cockpit or such lie. USM means that it has a very quiet focus mechanism ( not so important) and 24mm means that I can get John's plane in full fame from about 2 feet but I can still focus down to 8 inches when I need a close up. The only trouble was that it was a good bit dearer than the lens I took back. Oh well. At least I now have something that will improve my images and give me less work and stress after the club meets. Here is my test image.

This is a cropped part of that image:

Here is a close up using the very close focus of the lens.

This is what I was after. A good overall shot and some close detail.

Now to my Trojan (T-28). This is a Sword kit and thus has no alignment pins or, quite often, mounting holes. It takes time to get it together but, given that time, it is a nice kit.  There are some silly things like the two control sticks in the cockpit are supposed to mount to the floor using butt joints! I drilled small holes to take them. The same is going to happen with the undercarriage. Also, the tailplanes are butt jointed. Thank goodness that Plastic Weld has a quick grip and very quick setting time. I have got to the point where I have given it an overall coat of white in preparation to checking all of the seams etc. Once happy, I will give it a final coat and then mask up for the red.

Here are a few work in progress images.

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