Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chino 2012 Airshow Pictures

As usual, we had a great time hanging out at the Chino Airshow.
The grandstand seats were MUCH better this year, being right on the flight line. Last year they were behind the walkway, and you couldn't really see much from them. They were so bad, in fact, that several times some of the staff came by and told us you could get a refund if you wanted to!
The weather this year was a lot warmer and sunnier than last year. My YF forgot to bring her sunscreen, and even though we took several breaks and sought out some shade, and some nice people sitting next to us offered some sunscreen, she was getting pretty cooked, so we left early, right after the B-25's got airborne.
The Planes of Fame Air Museum is a wonderful place, and if you ever get out to SoCal, it should be on your "Must See" list if you like airplanes. They have so much stuff in storage and on display that you can easily spend a whole weekend there just wandering around.
Stop in at Flo's Airport Cafe for some excellent chow if you make it there!

There's a few "duds" in the pictures, but most of them came out OK. I used my Nikon  80~400mm VR lens, and I'll never take it to an event like this again. It's slow to focus, loses auto-focus easily when you zoom on a moving subject, and is just too heavy to be lugging around all day. It's a very nice lens for what it does, BUT.....I should have taken my 80~200mm lens instead. This lens is one of Nikon's "Professional" line of lenses, being of all metal construction, and has lightning fast auto-focus. Since it was made back when film was king (yes, I still shoot film with my F4 or F100), so when used with a digital camera, it acts more like a 300mm lens, due to what's called "Crop Factor". I'll take the 80~200mm next year.

The planes in the airshow were fairly typical for Chino, but the guy in the little red Team Oracle aerobatic plane had everybody on their feet and cheering. One of the most impressive displays of flying prowess (and power-to-weight ratio!) I've ever seen.

Enjoy the pix!


  1. Wow. Most of my WWII favs, and an operational flying wing! I think I found it on Wikipedia - is it the Northrup N-9M?

    Gripe all you want about your lens, but you take some impressive pics.

  2. Thanks, Jeffro.

    Yep, it's the only one of Jack Northrop's Flying Wings left. It took them over 12 years to rebuild it.
    I've seen it fly before, but from quite a distance. It was at the Torrance Aire Faire one year, and I saw it flying around, but never this close.
    Shortly before Northrop's death, he was given a special 'preview' of the B-2 Spirit. He supposedly turned to his guide and said "Now I know why God let me live so long".
    The lens has good "reach", but I'm digging through the manual for it and my D200 camera to see if there's some way to make it not lose its focus. It's very frustrating to have a subject in view, and then change the zoom a bit, only to have the lens go from one end of its focus range to the other before it locks onto the target.

  3. Nice photos. You have some awesome lenses for your camera. Auto focus is a tricky thing. Maybe dynamic-area AF or Auto-Area AF? I tend to leave mine on spot focus and get into a jam with big zooms and large moving things.

    Airshows are a great way to spend a weekend.

  4. Nice photos, DrJim. Beautiful skies full of warbirds and vintage planes. Not a whole lot of better ways to spend a day.


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