Aviation Photography @ CYYZ

I have been away for a while, not flying (virtually) much - in either DCS or MSFS. Work has made additional computer usage once home feel like a bit of a drag. On a more positive note, I have taken up photography as a hobby - so here are some aviation photos, since I know this community will have some people that will enjoy them!

Equipment List

  • Canon EOS R10 Camera - Bought as a kit.
    (APS-C “Crop” Sensor - Canon has a 1.6x crop factor, so multiply focal lengths by that for the required equivalent focal length lens needed on a Full-Frame camera to get the same amount of zoom****.)
  • RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM - Kit Lens, Standard Zoom
  • RF50mm F1.8 STM - Prime Lens
  • RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM - Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • A technologically vintage Realistic Pro-32 Scanner (inherited) - tuned to scan CYYZ’s tower frequencies.
  • FlightAware IOS App
    (Better for looking at Departures/Arrivals list of an airport - doesn’t de-select the airport when you look at a flight and try to go back, unlike FlightRadar24.)
  • FlightRadar24 IOS App
    (Better for watching the radar/map view, as the aircraft position update “live”. FlightAware’s screen updates about every 15 seconds.)

() I have included all the camera shot info on the tool-tip/caption/label for the photos, hover your cursor on them to see it - this includes a converted focal length if using a full-frame camera.

October 16th, 2022:

Takeoffs: Runway 23, shot from Dixie Road at the 05 end of the runway.
Landings: Runway 24L, shot from Silver Dart Drive standing in line with the end of Runway 24R.

Day One Review

Catching the 747 taking off, I should have swapped to the prime for its much faster aperture, but I wanted to see what I could do with the 100-400 as it was new to me having only got it a couple days before. After the Flair photo, I ran out of battery and had to call it a night. This makes me want to get a fast(er) mid-range zoom lens - and those are pricey, so it will have to wait.

The 100-400 lens is quite nice in that I can use it like a spotting scope and easily see the opposite end of an 11,000ft runway from outside the perimeter fence and across the street. The only thing keeping those shots from being sharper is heat off the pavement and other atmospheric effects.

I found that the 1/640s shutter speed made getting clear shots when panning quickly to keep up with the jets easy, however on the Dash-8 you can see it gets close to stopping the blades. I have to experiment more with trying slower shutter speeds on turboprops and see if I can get a nice prop-disk in the photo.

October 22, 2022:

Same position off Dixie Road watching Runway 23 takeoffs this time around.

Enough for One Post

I have some more from a third day, which was quite foggy, that I’ll put up in a reply to this post as this one is already getting a bit long. Also, since @Victork2 recently tagged me in a post - I’ll return the favor. :rofl:


He missed you!
So have I! :sunglasses:


@Wes you have absolutely made my day today.

Awesome pics and AMAZING to hear from you mate.


Great pics Wes!!

Try 1/250 check it and adjust…

E.g this C-27 I got at Farnboro a long time ago.


A lot will depend on the situation, takeoff, the revs would be higher, so you can maybe get away with 1/300.

A slow pass from a warbird and you need to go lower… this is 1/160 for the Lanc opening pass at Waddo.


If this had been a panning shot, I’d be shooting a burst while tracking in the hope I wasn’t shaking to badly. May up it to 1/200, but still gets the shakes.

Edit: 27 is not 17 :man_facepalming:


Thats a spartan :rofl:

share discover GIF


Fingers fat…. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


haha one digit typo strikes again! (C-27 per Google)
If that is a C-17, then the A380 should fit in my pocket!

@keets - My next attempts were around 1/250, which will come with the next upload a bit later this afternoon after I take care of a couple errands. There also aren’t a ton of turboprops operating out of Toronto - the Dash 8’s aren’t rare but when I have been down at the airport, I have saw only a few at most out of a stream of private jets, 737’s, A32Xs & 787’s with a bit of other commercia jets splashed in.

We have a smaller local field nearby as well, CNC3 - which is private pilot flights and flight training, but the traffic around there is sporadic in nature from my observation otherwise I’d have practiced the settings on a bunch of C172’s already.


I was being overly facetious lol.

Fwiw. I think 1/250 is bang on, especially for british light and distance from the flightline


German fighters really look more natural with 3-bladed props imho. Although it appears those would be Spanish variants built post-war.


Correct bushon 109’s.


Nice to have you back @Wes !

Nice picas too mate. Soon you’ll be the canuck version of @Derbysieger :wink:


Welcome back @Wes. I hope I am not again stepping in controversy (that would be twice in one day!) by saying that you seem to have found the one, ONE angle that makes the A380 look airworthy.

There. I’ve said it. Attack me and you are really attacking Wes. How? I don’t know. You just are!


Technology has come far. I remember when that number was 1/1; maybe 1/15 with ISO 1000 and some Klieg lights.

There! I said it. See above…

Nice pictures :star_struck::+1:

As for faster mid range zooms you could look at getting an old EF70-200mm f/2.8L lens and use that with the EF-RF adapter.

For reference, I managed to get my hands on a pristine EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM for 1000€ a couple of years ago. It works like a charm on my EOS R and EOS R5 cameras and it’s one of my most used lenses (along with the RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM).

Haven’t done any plane spotting in years. Last time was probably 2014 at EDDL with my old EOS 50D and an EF70-300mm lens.



This one was taken a few years ago with the EOS R and the EF70-200mm f/2.8 at EDLK while going for a walk with family:



G-2 109…. Down at 1/200, though the light that day was quite good.


Shooting props and coming away with a clean shot is so hit and miss. It’s going to be doubly hard with airport departures as sometimes you get another go at an air show, whereas you have one take. :rofl:

Good luck with it and can’t wait to see your next shots.


October 30, 2022

It was a foggy day and I had missed the A380 coming into land which is something I still have on my checklist to do! I did switch to burst mode for taking these photos and then paired down what I had to only 70 “finalists” - which is more than needed to post here - as some are just start/mid/end of a single burst/pan on one aircraft. For some I’ll post multiple shots to establish the environment.

Everything was shot from Dixie Road, with the early arrivals landing on Runway 05 and the later takeoffs using the opposite end, Runway 23.

Establishing Shot

When I first arrived, having missed the A380 - I could not see very well even across the street. The sun pushed some of the fog away, but it fought back as you’ll see shortly.

The First Set - From Clear to Grey in a Snap

Back to Scheduled Various-Aircraft Photos

Ending the Day off with a Burst of A380!


Most of the smaller aircraft earlier in the day had their flights cancelled or diverted as we were CAT-II/III conditions in the worst of the fog early on, so I managed to catch one Dash-8, which was done at 1/250s - a bit slower shutter would’ve been a bit better but that already improved over the 1/640s.

I have more to reply to here, but I will do that in another reply from this one now.


Ah, such a compliment! I hope to do as well as him in time.

These last shots I just posted may include some triggering A380 angles - viewer discretion is advised. :rofl:

NOICE! And the side-on aspect changes the effect of shutter speed as well. Another thing to remember.

My friend, that is such a good suggestion that you have stumbled upon a story of another EF lens. Allow me to make a long post once and brace for…

The SAGA of the lens!


Our story begins with my decision to purchase the RF100-400mm lens, seeing as how the last photos I shot as the Quinte International Airshow in with my Dad’s Nikon D3000 left me wanting more and something different. The D3000 is only 10MP, surpassed by my iPhone these days so I wanted something with more pixels. His lenses are the kit 18-55 and a 55-200mm (Nikon’s crop factor is 1.5x so multiply by that for full-frame equivalent requirement to match) - and I found myself bridging the “55mm gap” as I called it often, which was one problem - but the other issue was that once airborne, and even at the full 200mm (300mm on full frame) the aircraft were still very small in frame. I wanted more reach. The 100-400mm gives me not only double by the max focal length, but once you add Canon’s 1.6x crop factor - you’d need a 640mm lens on full-frame to match.

The 100-400mm lens is much cheaper than longer length telephoto, which are also mostly primes. The lens was $880CAD at Henry’s - our local Camera gear chain, which also is basically a monopoly…

So I ordered it:

Ordering online these days is usually straight forward and I haven’t had an issue buying online since trying to get my TM WH in 2013. As a national brand, I thought this would go well with Henry’s and wasn’t too worried about the cost for an online order. Henry’s showed In-Stock, which is supposed to mean it is available at the Vaughan warehouse, which is a town over from me and should arrive quickly.

  • Thursday, Sept.29: Lens Ordered
  • Monday, Oct.03: “Shipping Soon” notification - “order is packed and ready to ship”
  • Wednesday, Oct.05: No updates. Contacted support live chat. They investigate. Turns out order is coming from the Vancouver, BC store… they seems to have packed and forgot to get it to Canada Post for delivery. I am told they will get it out and me the tracking number that evening, which they do.
  • Thursday, Oct.06: Order gets moving and reaches the Richmond, BC airport Friday. Over the weekend, which was a holiday weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving on the Monday) the post office air-mailed it over to Toronto. It was ready to get on to local delivery Tuesday at 4:00 AM - so far, awesome!
  • Tuesday, Oct.11: I excitedly grab the box from my mailbox when I get home from work, open it and then…

We got the wrong item!

I saw 24-70mm f/2.8L and thought - MY GOD, this is amazing a $3000CAD lens!
But no, that is EF not RF so now I cannot use it, without said adapter, and it is only retail for $2500. They also sent the wrong lens protector - right brand, wrong model - which was sized for the 100-400.

I thought about just keeping it as I am basically $1620 ahead at that moment but:

  • I’d have to buy the EF-RF adapter, $130 for the basic one OR $260 for the control-ring version.
  • I’d have to get a lens protector to fit this lens, about $70-80
  • I’d have to rebuy the 100-400mm lens for $880
  • I’d have to buy the lens protector I actually wanted for the 100-400, another $60

Sell the EF? - No, while retail is $2500 the used market they go for $800 or so, in “like new” condition - wouldn’t cover buying the lens I actually paid for.

Then there is the fact that it just isn’t what I ordered and somebody at Henry’s was going to get in major crap for this mix up. So back to the live chat I go, and to get their attention that the order was wrong, I said “you accidently sent me a lens worth 3x what I paid for” and sent them a photo.

Correction time

Luckily, chat was still open as it was 7PM my time, but 4PM in Vancouver. The chat agent got the Vancouver store on the line, verified my order was still on the shelf there - and sent me a return shipping label. My post office closed at 9PM, so I re-packed the stuff and dropped it off that night.

For the troubles of them forgetting and the mis-shipping my order, the CS guy sent me a $100 gift card. The chat was all level-headed, I was livid (internally), but the CS reps have been excellent so no need to ruin their days and raise my blood pressure!

Being a short week, I was worried I wouldn’t get the lens for the weekend - I wanted to be going to the airport having already missed a weekend from them forgetting to ship it initially, even if it had been right. Canada Post pulled it off, and I had it on Friday the 14th - and it brought the shots at the start of this thread two days later.

Next Up...

Well that is my story for the day! I do have other lenses on my wish-list, but they will have to wait for the hobby budget to be refilled sometime later. I still need to catch the A380 coming in to land - those flights are daily, but I can only really go out on the weekend - and it arrives around 8:30AM.


If you hadn’t mailed that back, I was going to see what you wanted for it!

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Ha! Ebay mate! Saw lots of them there under a grand. A few sellers asking for $1500.

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The Air Canada livery is so catchy, both the old and the new. The black edging on the flight deck windows make even the 737 Max look sexy. If you want to see the very picture of boring that’s the result of years and millions of dollars of brand market testing, look south.