During the second week of January each year, the museum closes to the public for its annual spring clean and dusting of airframes. The week after, the ground floor of the Milestones of Flight was also closed for a few days while the Miles Mohawk and de havilland Gypsy Moth were moved out for storage and the Messerschmitt Bf 109G ‘Black Six’ was moved into the Bomber Command Hall and the Gloster Meteor prototype, Messerschmitt Me262 and the plastic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter model repositioned in the Milestones hall. This was not the reason for my visit though
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I find Hendon very useful for trying out different camera settings as each of the halls and buildings have different lighting conditions. On my last wander around the exhibits at Hendon I had used the on-camera flash of the Sony SLT-A35, with some very good results. This time I wanted to experiment with the ‘High ISO Multi Frame Noise Reduction’ facility. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) number was first used in film photography to indicate the films sensitivity to light with a low ISO number for bright conditions and a high ISO number for indoor or low light condition. The higher the number the more sensitive to light the image becomes and grain or noise becomes larger and more visible.
I had used the Hand-Held Twilight Mode at Hendon before with some very good results. The down side was that as it’s a camera function there is no control over the camera settings as they are set at F4.5 with a rather high ISO number of 6400. High ISO Multi Frame Noise Reduction works on the same principle as the Twilight Mode in that it takes a series of six images in rapid succession then micro shuffles them so that they line up and then combines the separate images to average out the digital noise. Although the camera has a built in Steady Shot function, I like to maintain a shutter speed in the low teens of about 1/10th to 1/20th second when using multi frame mode as it helps to cut down on blurring and for each shot it’s a juggling act of adjusting the ISO and F number to get a decent shutter speed.
Milestones of Flight
Battle of Britain Hall
Sony Alpha SLT-A35 + Sony/Carl Zeiss 16-80mm Lens, hand held, manual settings, automatic white balance.