OM-1 at the Airshow.

I have been so preoccupied that I nearly failed to recognize that summer is nearly at an end.   This made attending the annual London Sky Drive my only photographic event of the summer.   Here was a chance to see some rare aircraft in action, and to try out the new OM-1 body.

The weather was ideal, cool with variable cloudiness and the lurking threat of a thunderstorm to present my preferred sky conditions.  I cannot imagine a worse background than a clear blue sky and an unfiltered midday sun.   I alternated between the OM-1 and the E-M1X, both have the aircraft tracking focus mode in C(AF)+TR in low sequential.

Grumman Northrop B-2 Spirit stealth bomber of 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB. In addition to revolutionary stealth radar evading technology, the B-2 also boasts high aerodynamic efficiency and a large payload allowing it to fly combat round trips to Afghanistan of over 40 hours in the air.   OM-1, ISO200, 1/1000s, f/5.6 420mm.


Northrup B2 Spirit stealth bomber of 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB.
B-2 Spirit stealth bomber of 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB.  This is an extremely rare appearance of this aircraft in Canada.  OM-1, ISO200, 1/800s, f/5.6 420mm.


MV-22 Osprey from US Marine Corp Air Station New River.
MV-22 Osprey from US Marine Corp Air Station New River.  OM-1, ISO200, 1/60s, f/5.6 420mm with ND8 neutral density filter but the big propellers spin too slowly to capture a full rotation without affecting focus sharpness of the aircraft.


RCAF  CC130J Hercules, 8 Wing CFB Trenton.
RCAF CC130J Hercules, 8 Wing CFB Trenton.  OM-1, ISO200, 150s, f/5 300mm, ND8 filter.   The six bladed propellers easily spun a full rotation at 1/50s exposure.  Amazing short runway takeoff capability for such a large aircraft.


RCAF CF-18 Demonstration Team
RCAF CF-18 Demonstration Team.  Canada will be transitioning to F-35s that will break a long tradition of operating only twin engine fighter aircraft to patrol the large remote land areas of the North.  OM-1, ISO200, 1/1250s, f/5.6 420mm.
P-51 Mustang of Stampede Aviation.  "Double Trouble too"
P-51 Mustang of Stampede Aviation, Port Stanley ON. “Double Trouble two”  Built in 1944 by North American Aviation, the P-51 was transformed when the British Rolls Royce Merlin engine was transplanted into its air frame giving it superior performance and for the first time the ability to escort Allied bombers deep into Germany and back.  As a consequence, by D-Day the Allies had establish complete air superiority over Europe and the Luftwaffe was no longer relevant.  This plane was owned several times until it came back to Canada finally in 2020.  OM-1, ISO200,  ND8 filter, 1/100 s, 420mm  f/5.6
F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team.
F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team.  OM-1, ISO200, 1/1600s, f/5 300mm.
F-15C Eagle of the Louisiana Air National Guard 159th Fighter Wing.
F-15C Eagle of the Louisiana Air National Guard 159th Fighter Wing.  OM-1, ISO200,  1/640s, f/5 300mm.
Thunderbirds Diamond formation featuring the F-16 Fight Falcon aircraft.
Thunderbirds Diamond formation featuring the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.  E-M1X, ISO200, 1/1000s, f/5.6 300mm.

The aircraft tracking mode on the OM-1 was rapid and flawless.  It was less impressive in the E-M1X, which understandably has an earlier implementation of this feature.  In the E-M1X it took longer for white rhombus’ to appear around aircraft and sometimes the camera became confused with prominent cloud structures or even people’s heads.  Half pressing the shutter release causes the camera to focus on the most prominent aircraft.  This mode allows you to frame the image in any manner you desire while the camera ensures the aircraft always remains in focus, anywhere in the viewfinder. 

Despite using only JPEGs, at ISO200 there is considerable dynamic range that can be exploited to tease out hidden cloud details in post.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Jim, Really great photos, some might be more impressive than others due to the aircraft type, but super awesome nonetheless.
    I’m using the E-M1 MK III, and have yet to get used to the focusing system – more specifically the tracking mode and possible settings. Coming from Pentax K-3 and Fujifilm X-H1, it is quite an adaptation.


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