Aviation Photography @ CYYZ

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.

Ahh, I see, you’re already experiencing G.A.S., good :joy:

revenge of the sith episode 3 GIF by Star Wars

If you don’t mind the added weight and size I can wholeheartedly recommend the adapter, you can get some great EF lenses for comparatively little money and they work fantastic on the new mirrorless bodies.

You’re going to have to unabbreviate that for me!

Ah I am caught as a tech enthusiast I want the new shiny model with all the new features! :rofl: Hence the R10 - I also looked at the RP (same price bracket) but the R10 is newer and more capable (despite being APSC, which it turns out can be an advantage when you need zoom!).

I’ll start another thread later to discuss and debate lens choices, it is a worthy topic itself.


Gear Acquisition Syndrome :joy:



American’s tail design is nice but they are otherwise plain.

I do like the Rouge scheme and one of Flairs (see that night photo in post 1). Westjet is good too.

Even so, most now are just white with accented tails & wingtips. Only Southwest wants to pay for a full paint job it seems.

Although I have seen some US carriers with the really old basic strips job, kinda like United’s 737s.

Oh heavily symptomatic here!

And they purposefully make it so you can’t get close to having it all without buying all the different lenses. Did I mention I still have to buy filters? And a telescope T-mount? And a full frame body at some point? And some speedlites? And a lightbox?


I feel you. The R10 is a much more capable camera than the EOS RP, it’s a good choice. I have accumulated a lot of gear over the years… A full set of studio flashes, keylights, a speedlite to trigger my flashes and then later a remote, a pretty nice lightweight carbon fibre tripod in addition to my banged up aluminium one, about 10 batteries etc …

A separate thread about camera gear is probably a good idea :sweat_smile:
I plan on picking up an RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM next week and of course I need to take it birding immediately. There are lots of geese and, if I’m lucky, eurasian cranes in the Rhine meadows this time of year. There’s also supposedly a pair of sea eagles living in a nature reserve nearby :smiley:


And so it is done!


November 20, 2022

I arrived behind the fence of the start of Runway 24L just in time to finally catch the A380 landing, however I had less than a minute to grab the camera and the radio and get ready to take the shot. It did not help that we had a few inches of snow the night before which delayed me getting out of the driveway by a few minutes - but that was really nothing compared to it being -5°C outside with winds of about 20kts gusting up to 30kts. Windchill puts that at feeling like -14/-15°C! Frosty!

I was having a bit of trouble getting the camera to focus, and I think that was honestly that my fingers were freezing, and I was too lost in the moment to notice. So nothing stellar here, but it’s an A380 damnit - we’ll enjoy it anyway.

A Note...

Add to Christmas List: Photography Gloves :cold_face:


Nice pictures considering the lighting conditions. Do you have your back button focus setup properly? If not we can go over the settings if you like. It’s essential to quickly get your focus to where you want.

I have some cycling gloves that work with touchscreens, highly recommended

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How‘s the procedure for shooting something with constant movement like a plane? With back button focus enabled.

Is it like this: Switch to AI Servo (in Canon terminology) and hold down the back button to permanently track the plane, then pull the trigger and release both buttons?

Kinda, yeah. I have two buttons setup for this. The AF-ON button and the asterisk button (*). When I press the AF-ON Button it switches to subject tracking with eye auto focus and it starts tracking immediately. The *-button simply activates the AF using the AF mode that I am currently in and focuses to whereever I have my focus point or area set (this is also set to Servo AF, Canons AF is so good that I don’t ever feel the need to use anything else). The half press on the shutter release only starts metering, it does not activate the autofocus. In either case AF is always tracking as long as I press the button.

When using autofocus, 90% of the time I use subject tracking with eye AF, the *-button really is only for pre-focusing and for situations where it fails or to get the AF back to my subject when it loses tracking and gets stuck on the background which can sometimes happen.

For landscapes and macro photography I use either manual focus or I use the touchscreen and then switch to MF on my lens to lock it in (it will focus wherever you touch the screen).

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That I am not sure! Throw the setup guide in the other thread.

Recalling now, the last thing I had shot before jumping out of the car for the A380 was static, so I probably has also forgotten to switch off one-shot and back to servo, the motion between shutter attempts would be too much to keep up considering how close I was to the plane (relative speed within FOV).

Previously airport trips, I had been using servo along with the one-point or spot focus, as the planes were always near-center frame - or that is how I would start, and then since I was in servo - I could offset the subject to one side and still be in focus anyway.

This helped with photos for Runway 23 takeoffs, as I would have transport trucks pass fully in front of the lens, so allowing area autofocus it would try to grab the truck. whereas in spot, it ignored it as the relative speed was probably too high - and continued focusing the plane once it passed with little to no disturbance.

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Funky. The stuff you can do with a modern AF is amazing. Seems that‘s where the last 10 years of camera development went into, mostly. Thanks for the writeup!

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Definitely. AF on mirrorless cameras is crazy good nowadays. It barely misses, even when your subject is moving erratically.
I have a quick setup guide here:

It should give you an idea how much you can customize the settings on modern cameras.

You can also tell the AF to ignore subjects entering the frame which might be something of interest for @Wes when he has traffic between his vantage point and the runway

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Got the print in today! :grin: