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Old Jul 22, 2004, 9:20 PM   #1
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I went out with my newly repaired Fz10 for a fun day of photography without having to haul around a ton of equipment. All photos below were done with the FZ10 and the Lumix 1.5 converter. I carried it around my neck on a strap and I must say that it was a pleasure. Yes, a tiny bit soft but catches the bird, the situation and the color, which I personally love. No flash required and no worry about light since it's an across-the-board F2.8 at maximum 630mm. which I did not change all day. I attempted some digital zoom again (temporary insanity), but quickly switched it off.

I didn't realize that this black had caught 2 dragonflies, one of those blue ones, unltil download.



I went back to my "owl" local to see how the FZ10 would perform, hand held with the teleconverter (Lumix one, not the other stuff). Distance was very similar to my 50-500 photos and I didn't need to set up tripods and screw in lenses. I'm personally reasonably happy with the result from a huge distance. Here are two. All other photos of this bird were taken with the 50-500, on tripod, and Rebel (in other strings not this one, thisstring and all photosis purely FZ10). With this one I pulled the FZ10 from off of my neck, that took about 2 seconds, focused with the manual ring, and shot the photo. I do not use anything but full manual with the FZ10 and I do not go above the lowest ISO, which is 50. The 2.8 aperture gives me enough light to play with that the ISO isn't a distinct horror. I'll leave it up to you guys to critique further on that matter.



Next photo (More closed in). This owl wasn't close, honest. This is a 1.5 converter applied to an already "optical" 420 zoom. Some have said that teleconverters don't lose light. I'm not sure what they mean because my Canon 1.4 converter "loses" light. However, this Lumix one does "not" lose any light whatsoever, and the 2.8 aperture remains.



Am I impressed personally? Yes, with both FZ10 and it's expensive converter.

Last of all, in this series, I've been trying to get a reasonable photo of a hawk. I know about 10 locations where hawks always are, and the exact trees that they perch on, but that hasn't helped me get a reasonable photograph with the Digital Rebel and "any" lens at my disposal. I went out today with the FZ10 and converter, and because of the dynamic "ring" focus and ease of use I was happy with the less than perfect but a heck of alot better shot that I got below.



Am I happy that my FZ10 is finally back?

Ah...yep.



One final and important comment: I am not dissing Canon, DSLRs or any other pro stuff. I'm suggesting that a darned good product in wildlife photography can be gleaned from the FZ10 and it's 1.5 teleconverter. No, I don't work for Panasonic, I just think that with this product Panasonic brings professionalism to the amateur, "go avery impressive degree" but not absolutely of course.



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Old Jul 22, 2004, 9:46 PM   #2
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Well, I'm impressed. Really impressed!

Is it comparable to your dslr/lenses combo? Nope. Is it acceptable given the price difference? Yep.

My own personal tendencies lead me to really like pictures 1 and 4. The blackbird is sharp and I'm impressed by your ability to catch the hawk in flight. My attempts with photographing flying birds have been awful.

I'm in a bit of confusion with regards to the FZ10, Norm. I was going to buy it and held off because of the new model announcements. Now, after the announcements and seeing lots of user discontent with Panasonic regarding lack of firmware upgrades for fixes to problems with the FZ10, I'm yet again rethinking. It's dangerous sometimes to think, you know? In any case, I've just about decided to just be happy with what I've got until next year and save up the money I otherwise would have spent towards an FZ10. That'll give me a bigger pool of moolah to buy something I really want. Am I being foolish?
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Old Jul 22, 2004, 9:53 PM   #3
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The good thing about these forums is that you have some substance to decisions made. That's a good thing for sure. I've been playing with the Rebel and I'll be eventually playing with the Mark II. I've been an artist for a very very long time, both in the visual arts and music. The "phile" thing is important to the philes.

No matter if it costs thousands, and even tens of thousands, to arrest the "phile" attitude.

I have nothing against philes, I'm one of them, but I'm not a phile who is raising kids since I'm not married so don't need to worry about that sort of thing. I'd say to anyone, if you can afford it, buy it. If you can't, then why the heck are you even considering it?

I'm simply second guessing my philedom in the still cam area. I don't see a whole pile of difference between my Rebel and the FZ10.

Thanks for the input


PS - good decision. Listen to zoomn and others who are even professional photographers and go out any buy an fz1 for less than $200.
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Old Jul 22, 2004, 10:43 PM   #4
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While all the malcontents with their FZ10's sit around malcontenting, I'm out their snapping away at birds and I love it. I like the high end digital cameras, you can get a nicer background... sometimes. But until there is some affordable technological leap in CCD sensor quality, I'll just keep taking lots of pictures at 4MP.

I could never find the Panasonic telephoto add on lens that Normcar has so I bought the Canon TL55. It is realitively light and gives me some more reach. Nothing is perfect with the long telephotos. I'm still learning how to get the best out of my camera but I've been very happy with the prints I get and the performance. I'd never get another camera without a stabilized lens.
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Old Jul 22, 2004, 10:48 PM   #5
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Good advice from both of you. I get lots of good advice on this board, but I don't always listen to it when I should.For now, I'm sitting tight with the camera I've got until one that better matches my desires (needs?) comes along.
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Old Jul 22, 2004, 11:38 PM   #6
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There is certainly something to be said for taking quick pictures and carrying a light camera. I know that all the gear I carry limits where I go. I try not to let it, but I'm sure it does. I considered a smaller all-in-one camera before getting the 10D. There are still days I wish I went that route. And then I see the results of my big lens and I change my mind.

I like that first one a lot. The few blades of grass in the way are a pity, but not much you could do about that. The dragonflies and the head turn make it special. Good exposure too.

I really like the concept of the second, but I think there is a lack of detail. Do you think it's the camera/lens or the distance and that the picture is reduced? The second owl one has more detail (From, I assume, the same location) which makes me think it was the reduction that lost the detail in the other one. Don't you just love the patter on their back? I think that would make a great inspiration for a blanket.

BTW, I'm VERY VERY jealous that you have an "owl location". I love owls and wish I could find them more often.

To answer you question about the loss of light and the teleconverter… its actually a very simple rule. If you put the Tc between the camera and the lens, you will loose light. If you mount the TC in front of the lens, you will not loose light (well, a badly made one could, I guess.)

Your lens gathers X amount of light, right? When you magnify an image, what you area actually doing is taking a small part of it and enlarging it. Well, the parts of the image that you don't use are thrown away… and that is the lost light.

When you put the TC on the front, you are taking a smaller portion of light and widening it. But this doesn't cost you light… no light it thrown away.

And that is a very good hawk shot. I like how you caught the light.

and Geoffs, do wait until you have the money and know what you need. I'm in agreement with Normcar. I don't have to fund kids and I have a lot of money stashed away for emergencies. So I can afford to plan and splurge on things like my big lens. Taking pictures with that you have teaches you several things.

1) What you really want to take pictures of and how well you can do it with what you have. This helps guide you to your next purchase. And don't discount size and weight. You might discover for the type of photography you do, that it matters more than ultimate picture quality.


2) How to get the best of what you have. This, I have to admit, I think I short changed myself on by getting the 600mm. I think there was more for me to learn about tracking and sneaking up on animals by using the 400mm and having to do it. How I can be further away and get the same shot (with less DOF and more difficulty with camera shake.)

Eric
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 3:15 AM   #7
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Well, I know what I'm going to go out and do this weekend. And it has something to do with my FZ10, and it's going to be a blast
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:24 AM   #8
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Normcar,

Great stuff, really like the first shot. My favorite is the 4th shot. I know how hard it is to get an in focus flying shot with that camera, you nailed it and an excellent exposure as well.

I agree with your assessment of the fz-10 fz-1 cameras. There is just something about the fun factor being there, ease of use and the photo quality is very good for the money spent.

I may be the least experienced photographer frequenting this forum, (I have had my camera under 2 months) but I can't tell you have much fun I have with my $280. outfit sneaking around out in my little undiscovered wildlife preserve and taking photos of opportunity.

Thanks mainly to the folks on this board I have learned a lot in that time.

Both by looking at your shots and reading the dialogue here and learning and by your feedback on my own shots. I remain impressed by how well folks here seem to get along and by the lack of photo snobbery of the more experienced folks.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
I remain impressed by how well folks here seem to get along and by the lack of photo snobbery of the more experienced folks.
And that is the reason I come back. A nice bunch of people and a good attitude. What more can you ask for! (Oh ya, and great pictures too!)

Eric
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 8:50 PM   #10
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And if you ever stop coming back, eric, I will fine you for cruel and unusual punishment. Your posts are the backbone of this forum as far as I'm concerned, a voice of both humility and knowledge that cannot be excelled.

Don't you dare go away!
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