I'm confident all this practice photographing aircraft will be useful once I have a spare day with fairly kind weather and reasonably cooperative wildlife ... but I couldn't resist the opportunity to view the first flight of the year of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Different challenges are presented by propeller aircraft with the need to keep the shutter speed slow (to avoid the disconcerting sight of aircraft flying with their props not moving) accompanied by smooth panning to keep the subject sharp. When shooting at 1/125 second the props showed sufficient movement and most shots in a sequence were sharp, while anything slower was rather less predictable.
I need to improve the smoothness of my panning as well as programming one of the multitude of function buttons to allow me to quickly turn off vertical stabilisation when required! I also need to extend the minimum ISO to 100 (from 200) as the bright weather (not that I'm complaining) and minimum aperture of the lens often didn't allow me to achieve a slow enough shutter speed.
I have found the continuous focus works very well with aircraft using a large diamond of autofocus points (it can be any shape and any position up to a maximum of 225 points) although I will try offsetting it from the centre to leave more space in front of the subject for improved composition.
These autofocus settings should translate well to photographing birds in flight ... although slow shutter speeds giving very blurred wings perhaps less so, although I will give it a try!
All images taken on Panasonic G9 with Leica 100-400mm.