Last checks by a solitary man underneath this behemoth of a flying machine, the largest airliner in the world. (you can just see his red hi-viz jacket by the main undercarriage) 500mm cat.
Looking down one and a half miles of runway, the atmospheric heat shimmer is obvious as the A380 is turned around after the display. 500mm Cat.
500mm Cat and the characteristic light fall-off of this lens is very obvious here.
Two shots taken on following days, this one above with 18-200mm lens at 200mm and f9 and the identical one below with the 500mm f8 Nikkor Cat
500mm Cat Interestingly you can clearly see the moisture being squeezed out of the air over the wings in this tight low-level turn.
This could almost be an air-to-air shot. 500mm Cat.
It doesn't matter how good your long-lens is, the atmosphere will screw you up. The weather wasn't hot, but the heat from the runway tarmac caused the images to shimmer like an oasis in the desert. I started off using a two-times converter to give me an effective focal length of 1300mm.
It seemed looking at the images on the back of the camera, I couldn't focus! The heat-shimmer made everything blurry. So I reverted to the prime 500mm and it helped, but the shimmer is still clearly visible. It wasn't until the aircraft was high into cool air that the optics improved.
On the runway pictures I used a tripod for steadiness, but shooting at 1/2000th of a second it wasn't really technically needed. What it did do, was help me focus. On the flying shots, I hand-held the 500mm and was surprised to get more than a few in focus!