Plain Aviation

the life of a planespotter and true avgeek

Tag: review

5D Mark IV – Real World Experience

Last week, I had the opportunity to take my new Canon 5D Mark IV out to the airport to put it to the test doing some aviation photography. After receiving it the mail a few days before I only had the chance to take a few test shots of my dog, so I was really excited to try it out for real. I had to buy a new CF card (as I don’t think SD cards do the camera justice), but I was able to use my 70D’s spare batteries on the new Mark IV. Before heading out I slapped on the Canon EF 100-400mm telephoto lens that I’ve been using been using with my old 70D, and I was all good to go.

Canon 5D Mark IV Unboxing

After too long a wait, the Canon 5D Mark IV is finally here. Though the first consumer batch only started shipping this week, I was lucky enough to have gotten my hands on a pre-order model before they were sold out.

I placed the order for my Mark IV on Tuesday of last week (August the 30th), and I took delivery of it yesterday (September the 8th). As I was one of the first people in Hong Kong to pre-order the camera, I also receive a miniature Hansa Canon model, an 8GB USB in the shape of the EF 16-35 2.8L III, and a SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD card as freebie gifts.

Dragonair Business Class A330 Review HKG-PEK

Dragonair is a lesser known carrier that is the regional sister airline of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific. Using an all-Airbus fleet of A330-300’s, A321’s, and A320’s, it flies from Hong Kong to various destinations in Asia. This week I was able to sample the Dragonair business class offering on a flight to beijing, so I decided it would be nice to share my experience.

CXcitement 1:200 Boeing 747-400 Model Unboxing

Yesterday I welcomed the newest addition to my 1:200 model airliner collection, which as of right now only consists of 2 aircraft (so realistically it can’t quite count as a collection). It is the CXcitement (not sure how to pronounce this? excitement? see-ecks-citement? Cathay-citement?) 1:200 Boeing 747-400  in Cathay Pacific Asia’s World City special livery (link to product page). I bought it for exactly 600HKD (or 77USD) at the big toy store near the check-in areas of Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1. As you can tell from the name, this 747-400 model is the official Cathay Pacific branded version, which they sell on their online store for the exact same price. While I wished for a 1:200 747-400 model in the standard Cathay livery, they are no longer produced and the only one I could find on sale was a second-hand version going for around 1380HKD (link to it here in case you’re interested). Not really worth it if you ask me.

Front of box

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 – Image quality test and review

I do a fair amount of general photography outside of planespotting, so I was in need of a standard zoom lens to replace the crappy kit lens that I was using (which came from my old Rebel SL1). I eventually settled with the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD, which many refer to simply as the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. Tamron makes two versions of the 17-50mm f/2.8, one with VC (Vibration Control, another name for Image Stabilization) and another one without (which is the one I’m reviewing). I was able to pick up this lens second hand for just over $200 USD, which is not too bad as it normally retails for $500, but is quite old. According to this test done by, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is supposed to have image quality on par with the much more expensive Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, which is regarded by many as a fantastic lens.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM – General overview

Recently I decided that I’ve been planespotting for long enough that I should upgrade to some new gear, so I went out and got myself the Canon 100-400mm Mark I, also known as “the planespotter’s lens” due to how popular it is among spotters. Now I wasn’t ready to go and dish out a bunch of cash, so I opted for a second-hand copy which I picked up for less than half of how much a brand new Mark II version of the lens retails for. The lens was quite old, having been made in 1999, but I found it to be in mint condition. Considering the lens cost me a fair price of $850 USD, I’m not sure who got the better end of the deal here – me or the shopkeeper.

Canon EF-S 55-250MM f/4-5.6 STM – Image quality test and review

 EF-S 55-250MM f/4-5.6 STM

on B&H –

on Amazon –

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Having recently retired my old EF-S 55-250mm STM lens after purchasing a set of telephoto “L” glass, I feel like it’s about time to write a review for it. While I am happy to have upgraded to a better lens, the EF-S 55-250mm STM has served me well and I’m somewhat sad to let it go. The image quality and design of this lens is more than acceptable given it’s affordable price.

photo 1 (10)

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