Imperial War Museum Duxford

This is a fantastic museum, really well done, especially when you compare it to some other similar museums* in the UK that look a bit ragged round the edges in comparison IMHO. We’ve visited Duxford any number of times since living in London. My OH grew up in Cambridge (just down the road) and so had visited as a teenager. We decided that our son, Daniel might enjoy it and on Tuesday we set out for Duxford for a visit.

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The first main display, Airspace, concentrates upon British and commonweath aviation and includes a section which is great for kids.

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Walking across the airfield to the exhibition of American Aviation (for a long part of its life Duxford was a US Airforce Base) we came across a number of treats, the first of which was being buzzed by a spitfire which then landed next to us:

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The next amazing sight was the B-17:

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We walked past the civilian aviation exhibit, which brought to mind airlines trying to palm off old planes on the museum!

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Finally we reached the Amercian Air Museum. Don’t tell anyone but this is probably the best display.

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It is dominated by a huge B-52 which I find it hard to get excited about, but also includes an SR-71 Blackbird. These spy planes are truly amazing works of engineering and I recommend reading this piece penned by a pilot: http://gizmodo.com/5511236/the-thrill-of-flying-the-sr+71-blackbird

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Here is one of the engines, which looks to me like something from star wars, much like the plane:

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There are lots of other amazing planes in this exhibition:

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Taken on:

Olympus E-M5, 12-35mm, 7-14mm and 12mm lenses

Fujifilm X-Pro1, 18 and 35mm lenses

As a postscript I used the HLD-6 grip with the E-M5 all day and it was fantastically comfortable and the battery indicator barely budged. It is a worthwhile investment if you own an E-M5.

* I’m not really comparing this to volunteer run museums with no permanent staff, more to similarly large museums with similarly family focused displays… Some of which (in the UK at least) are a bit rubbish

6 thoughts

  1. That was a trip down memory lane! I grew up in Whittlesford, the village next to Duxford, and looked out over the airfield. I have many happy memories of visits with the Cub Scouts. The sound of the Battle of Britain flight buzzing the area was always wonderful.

    I really like the black and white photos.

    • Thanks for looking!

      For my general purposes at the moment, I prefer the E-M5. It has the lenses available now for almost any purpose – the 12, 25, 45 and 75 are fabulous pieces of glass. The X-Pro1 has superior IQ, no question, but there are only 3 native lenses. That said I think I prefer the 35mm Fuji to the 25mm Panny Leica (both 50mm equivalent).

      As a contrary view if you only plan to shoot 28mm or 50mm equivalent the X-Pro1 may well be better for you.

      I think this will be much clearer once the new Fuji zoom is out at the end of November. If it’s good I think you are down to taking them both out for a road test.

      Not a direct answer, but I hope that helps!

    • Whoops! Somehow missed your second question…

      If I could only have one, head says E-M5, heart says X-Pro1. That probably means the E-M5, but it would be easier if the pictures from the X-Pro1 weren’t so great…

  2. Thanks.

    I had been planning on the E-M5 + 12, 25, and 45 (which is free if you buy an OM-D at the moment). Then possibly the 75 next year.

    I’ve actually got the 25 sitting on my desk already, but no OM-D yet as my initial decision is wobbling on the X1P and XE1! It shouldn’t be this hard 🙂

    • Pinky, I sympathise, there are a lot of great cameras around at the minute. If you can wait for the XF zoom to come out that might help you make your decision or not! What about going to a camera shop and trying the X-Pro1 and E-M5 side by side?

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