Nikon D200, 18-200 VR ED Lens, Robinson R22 helicopter


START (click here)

GALLERY (click here)

At a recent airshow, introductory helicopter lessons were offered (and ordinary passenger rides). I've always wanted to fly a helicopter and this was also a golden opportunity to see if the Nikon 18-200 VR lens was effective for aerial photography.

To make a long story short, Mountain Air Helicopters has a superb program and an ideal place to train (airfield elevation of 4470 feet, class G airspace) and the little Robinson R22 helicopter is ideal for training and aerial photography. As you can see, the quality of the photos is excellent even through the bubble but out the open door it is perfect.

Full disclosure: I should mention that the flight was terrifying for the first few minutes although not as bad as your feelings when you go over the hump on a really big roller coaster. The Robinson helicopter is reportedly very sensitive on the controls, you don't need to move them very much and I found that to be the case. A light touch and small movements work just fine. I should also mention that I did not approach this introductory lesson totally "green", I have studied fixed wing and helicopter operation and worked many kinds of aircraft with flight simulators.

The following pages constitute a slide show and photo selector.

The slide show itself is intended for sequential viewing of a collection of photographs.

Each page includes in its title bar, and underneath, the file name of the photo. This is useful when corresponding to someone about the photo.

To advance to the next photo: Clicking on the photo advances you to the next photo unless you are on a thumbnail or zoomed photo, in which case clicking it takes you to the 'normal' size.

Below each photo is a set of links (buttons) to advance, return, or exit the slide show.

To download an image: Right click the image and choose "save image as."

Each photo includes a button to ZOOM to a larger size. This size is intended to fill the screen for closer inspection, or for saving as a computer 'wallpaper', or for download to your disk for use in newsletters and other medium-resolution needs.

Each photo includes a button to zoom HUGE to the largest size. The largest size is typically 2,560 by 1,920 pixels (5 megapixel camera) or 3,264 by 2,448 pixels (8 megapixel camera). These sizes are suitable for full page printed advertising.

A thumbnail gallery is available for visually selecting photos. If you choose this option, clicking a thumbnail puts you into the slide show at the photo chosen; from there the slide show proceeds with the remainder of the show.