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Old Dec 10, 2006, 9:34 AM   #11
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Many cameras have a separate button for auto-exposure/auto-focus lock. When have the exposure/focus that you want, you push the button and hold it while re-framing the image. Then, while still holding the ae-l/af-l button, press the shutter release and shoot the picture. On most Nikon cameras, the ae-l/af-l button is on the back of the camera where you can push it with your thumb while using your "trigger" finger to push the shutter release. Not sure about your camera.

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Old Dec 10, 2006, 12:36 PM   #12
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nhmom wrote:
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Thanks for the tips, guys.

Iwill have to go back and look, but I don't think it is the lens as the photo of the impeller I'm pretty sure I took with the same lens (Pentax 18-55mm) and I'm pretty sure I was only 2-3" away from it. I'll have to recreate the scene. That one was taken under a very bright fluorescent light, though. And, the moth was through the glass with the woods in the background. But, I had made sure that it was the green pine needles, not the bark that was behind it.

The moth must be frozen dead as it is still there this morning. So, I get some more attempts now that I have a little more time today.

I know with an old p&s I had I would have to do as someone mentioned and focus on something else in the same field plane and then reposition the lens. But, I still have not mastered the button on this one to be able to do that. It is so touchy. I'll get it half way down and when I move the camera I press the button. Guess I could use the delay, I just keep forgetting.

I'll have to experiment with this. The lens manual says the minimum focus distance is 0.25m (0.82 ft) or 9.84". I know when experimenting when I first got the camera I was trying to focus on a dragonfly and I swear I was right on top of the thing before it would focus on the body of it.

I'm attaching the fullimage photo of the dragonfly. It's not crystal clear because the camera had been left on ISO 3200 and I hadn't realized it. But, this was taken hand held at probably 1-2" from the bug with the 18-55 mm. I just kept getting closer and closer to fill the frame and managed to get this.
i don't think you were as close as you think you were, Nhmom. your dragonfly was shot at 55mm, which on your Pentax is equivalent to about 80mm. an 80mm lens 3" away from the d'fly would fill the frame with little more than his head and perhaps half his wings and body. the fact that you have all of his wings and body in the frame, withroom to spare, means you were definitelyfarther away than you thought. it's actually quite common for people to think they're much closer to objects like this than they really are. and given that your lens has a minimum focal distance of about 10" - which is within that range i mentioned for lenses of this type - i'd guess you were actually about that far away when you took this shot. very few DSLR lenses will focus at 2-3", and they're generally very expensive;i don't knowof any"kit lenses" that will.

as an experiment, i set my 24-135 on my 30Dat 55mm (since my 30D and your K100D bothuse APS-sized sensors, iused the same lens setting) and framed a shot of a small leaf with about the same width and length as a dragonfly's wings/body (since i couldn't find a dragonfly in the house to try it on! :?).my lens has a mininum focus distance of something around 9-10", so i could not get a focus lock, but at 55mm, from 3" away, i couldn't get anywhere near the entire subject in the frame. that tells me you were probably shooting from the minimum focus distance you mentioned, not 2-3 inches as you thought at the time.
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Old Dec 10, 2006, 6:53 PM   #13
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Squirl033 -From what you described, you are right, I must have been farther away than I remembered. I just know I kept getting closer and closer to the thing trying to get as much of it in the frame as possible and still have the camera focus on it. I wasn't yet comfortable using the manual settings.

I'll have to remeasure the distance for the impeller shot then. But, I was sitting in a chair next to a side table and shooting straight down on the table while sitting. I don't think there was enough space for 10" between the lens and the table. Interesting.
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