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Old Aug 4, 2002, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default Coolpix 4500 Question

I am a new owner of a 4500, I use it primarily for macro shots of some of my animals. Here's a link to my gallery click My problem is getting the entire picture in focus using the macro mode. Anybody have any hints on how to make this work? I also am lacking a tripod which I'm sure will help. Thanks in advance... Charles
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Old Aug 4, 2002, 10:45 AM   #2
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The best macro shots are always those taken using a tripod. Shooting in macro mode the depth of field (range of focus) is very critical and usually quite shallow. The more light the better as the camera will use a smaller aperture thus giving you a little more depth of field. Set the camera to "A"perture priority and then turn the comand dial until you have the largest f-stop number.

The problem with this is that you usually end up with a very slow shutter speed so it requires a tripod and using the self-timer so there is no camera shake when the shutter fires. Of course this is only good when shooting still subjects. For anything moving you need at least a 1/30 or 1/60 shutter speed to prevent motion blurring. More light = faster shutter speeds.

If you're shooting macro mode with the flash then the shutter speed is locked at 1/60 sec or faster but the real shutter speed is the duration of the flash which is more like 1/1500 sec or faster.

The Coolpix's let you get very close in macro mode - like 1cm for the 950, 990, 995, 4500. The problem with this extreme close range is that the camera can actually block the light falling on the subject. This is one of the reasons that Nikon put the flash right next to the lens on the 950, 990 models. But flash at that range is harsh at best and creates nasty shadows. It's all give and take in macro mode but lighting is always the key, as is using a tripod and the self-timer.

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Old Aug 4, 2002, 10:59 AM   #3
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a tripod is a definite help. check out the mafrotto(bogen) 3001pro.
the capability to pull the center post and attach and manouver it on the right angle makes for a very versitile set of legs especially for macro. as far as the head goes i prefer ball type heads(great movement). good ones are pricey though your choice. i have 1 arca swiss(too much for that camera) and a acratech(light and efficient not cheap). there are many others.
good legs(stiff) arent cheap either. the 3001pro goes for about $109 for the legs and ctr post.

learn to use the manual capabilities of the camera to control depth of field. in macro that is the key. light is the other factor.

[Edited on 8-4-2002 by sjms]
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Old Aug 4, 2002, 1:58 PM   #4
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Default Thanks Guys..

Thanks Steve for saying it in english...the usual photography lingo means nothing to somebody who is new to photography. I have asked the same questions on other forums and you are the first person to explain clearly enough for a non-photographer to understand. Thanks again, I will take your advice and post before and after pictures later this week as I do not want to stress out the model (Green Tree Python) .. I will also take the advice of SJMS and purchase a tripod ASAP.....you guys are the best!!!
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