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Old Aug 24, 2004, 9:47 PM   #1
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Just got my new (not used; not refurb) 4500. My main use will be extreme close-ups. Last night, my initial attempts failed -- couldn't get the lens to focus in macro mode at all. Then, I fiddled with various settings -- wish I could remember exactly what I did! -- and suddenly, I was able to get the macro focus mode to work beautifully. Today, again, I'm having all sorts of problems -- it won't focus at all or it focuses perfectly in exactly the same settings and lighting environments. Turn it on, it works; turn it off and back on, it won't work. Either the camera is defective (probably not), or I don't know what I'm doing (more likely).

Current settings:

Scene Mode: Close-up (double tulips in lower left corner of LCD)

Focus Mode button: Macro (yellow tulip upper right corner; it changes to white -- why???)

No flash

Size: 1200

Quality: Fine

F: 3.5 but it changes on its own all the time

White Balance: automatic

Single AF (but it chatters constantly anyway)

The lens is about 3/4" - 2" away from the subject in a room with bright sunlight (same place I've been taking great macro shots for years with my "antique" Sony Mavica, but 1/3 of a megapixel just doesn't cut it any more) as well as in a room with 250 watts of artificial light. Sometimes, the 4500 will focus (when button is halfway depressed), and sometimes it won't.

With these settings, when I turn the camera off, then back on, the zoom is somewhere between W and T, and without doing anything, it seems to focus nicely....or not. Very unpredictable. If I manually zoom back to W, it won't focus at all. Does the manual discuss the zoom when in Macro mode?

And what is the flashing red hand I get all the time? Can't find a reference to that icon in the Manual or at the CoolPix site. Whatever it is, it can't be good.

Other bits of info: using battery it came with, fully charged last night, now showing about 50%; using flash memory starter card; box the camera was shipped in was not damaged in any way; most shots I've loaded into my computer are very reddish or golden (I can adjust that out with my image editor, but I'd like to know how to get the color properly balanced and to get white background to be WHITE).

Any help or referrals to good tutorials would be greatly appreciated (I read dozens of the FAQs for the 4500 at the Nikon site). I need to get working with this camera ASAP.

Thanks very much.
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Old Aug 24, 2004, 11:48 PM   #2
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The simple secret to Nikon macro focus mode: Enable macro mode and then slowly zoom to mid-range, the macro flower turns yellow indicating that you have now reached the "sweet spot" and the lens will focus so close that it will scare you :shock:

To capture GREAT macros - use a tripod - use the self-timer - use Aperture mode and stop the lens all the way down (largest F number). And practice, practice, practice!
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 5:55 AM   #3
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I spent the last four hours reading scores of posts on this topic, here and on other forums. What a lot of information people have shared! And amazing, inspiring photos, too.

I now know what that red hand means (camera shake -- you'd think there'd be an entry in the user manual).

And I'm anxious to try different white balance settings to get the yellow out. Made myself a cheat sheet of the icons.

I did see lots of posts about the yellow tulip and finally understood what it meant.

I'll try the settings you suggest, Steve. Thank you. So frustrating being a rank beginner!

There's a green spider living in my indoor palm. Tomorrow, he gets his portrait taken!
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