I had to visit Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County on business last week, It’s a little town about 20 miles east of Harrisburg, PA. It’s a great drive, 125 miles from Gaithersburg – you take 270 N to Frederick, then US 15 past Gettysburg until you pick up 81E near Harrisburg. Along the way, you pass by Cunningham State Forest and Mt. Mary College at the Maryland border, and its a pretty sight. There was snow on the ground too, and it was a very bright day. Indiantown Gap has a National Guard training center, and range. I was lucky enough to be there when the PA Guard was flying 2 of their A-10 Warthogs. Now that the Air Force does not use them anymore, it’s hard to see them anywhere. I had my Minolta and my OM-1 but since I had a 80-200mm zoom for the Minolta, I was able to take a few quick shots as they banked and flew overhead. Since the Maxxum AF lens is pretty slow (f/4-5.6), and I had fitted a polarizing filter which slows down the lens by another 2 stops, I had my doubts about whether I’d be able to get a worthwhile shot of a small dark object against a bright sky. I needn’t have worried – the Minolta’s metering was spot on, and here are the results – Of course, I wish I had my Tamron 70-300mm with me, but hey, that’s life. A slow 200mm is better than no shot any day. Besides, I had 400 ASA film in the camera, so I can’t complain.

A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’
A-10 Thunderbolt II ‘Warthog’

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Maxxum AF 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lens at 200mm, 1/350 sec on Fuji Superia 400 with a Polarizing filter.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.

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