Hello IFC! Last weekend, I went spotting at Toronto Pearson. It was a beautiful summer day and my first spotting session in golden hour light!
Philippine Airlines (Lovebus Livery) A350-941 (RP-C3507)
China Southern (Skyteam Livery) B777-31B(ER) (B-2049)
Azores Airlines (Wonder Livery) A321-253N (CS-TSG)
Turkish Airlines B777-3F2(ER) (TC-JJP)
Delta Airlines B757-232 (N649DL)
Icelandair B757-256(WL) (TF-ISR)
Air Canada B787-9 (C-FGFZ)
Shot on Nikon D7500 with Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD
Thoughts on my new lens (only read if you're interested in buying, this is long)
I recently upgraded to this Tamron from my Nikon 70-300mm. If you’re looking to buy this lens, I’ll give you my thoughts. The first thing I noticed about this thing was it’s build quality. It’s primarily made of metal and is built like a tank compared to the plastic 70-300. I’m sure it doesn’t hold a candle to professional grade lenses like Nikon’s 200-500 or Canon’s 100-400L, but you can tell it was built to last. The sharpness of the lens was also a major point of focus for me. Compared to the Nikon, it is far, far, far sharper. It’s hard to tell in these shots because you can’t zoom in but this lens delivers crisp images, at least from 150-300 mm. Outside of that, it’s still sharper than the Nikon at equivalent lengths but it’s not on that crisp level. Autofocus is solid but for shooting aircraft you don’t need the fastest autofocus. The lens has two VC (image stabilization, essentially) modes, mode 1 for standard shots and mode 2 for panning. I originally started using mode 1 but the VC is pretty solid so I ended up essentially fighting the camera and wasn’t able to net sharp shots on moving subjects. However, switching to mode 2 allowed me to get those shots. There were two main complaints I had with this lens. The more important of the two is the amount of purple fringing I got. And while purple fringing can be removed, going over essentially every high contrast area of the aircraft with a brush is not my idea of fun. Even after using a defringing brush, you can still see hints of purple (see the Azores NEO around the registration). The second is that this lens requires a lot of rotation to go from 100-400. Trying to track an incoming aircraft can be annoying as it takes so many twists to zoom back to 100 from 400. It messes with your balance and you may end up with some blurred shots because of the unnecessary motion induced from this. Speaking of balance, coming from the extremely light and fairly small 70-300, this lens just felt…odd. When you’re holding it it’s a whole different balance. I’m sure I’ll get used to it over time, though. Overall, I would recommend this lens to anyone looking to up their spotting game. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as a first lens. I think its a little too expensive for that (MSRP $799, can easily be found for $600). Nikon shooters would probably be better off getting an AF-P 70-300 ($160) and Canon shooters the 55-250 IS STM ($250). Both of those lenses are sharp beginner lenses. You also should consider your home airport. If the spotting areas in your home airport are generally far from the action (think ZRH, LAX, SEA) this would be a good lens to get. However, if your airport mainly has spots under final approaches or near taxiways, this may not be your best choice. 100mm is a lot more limiting than you think, so you may want to get something like a 70-200 F4, or 18-400. If you want any more info shoot me a DM and I’ll try to help you out as best I can.
Questions, comments, concerns? Drop them below! Also drop a like while you’re at it :)