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roger53 Jun 8, 2012 7:08 PM

FZ35 - Area-1 vs. Area-1 High Speed
I read the manual, but believe I am missing something basic. What is the difference between these two modes of focus?

The butterfly season will be here soon. Small, white butterflies have already arrived (cabbage butterflies, by some accounts). They are not interesting, nearly all white, but provide a glimmer of hope that better subjects are not far in the future.

I've tried several sessions with these cabbage "whites." In years past, I've seen many of them, but they are VERY difficult to catch. They are too skitterish to remain for a close shot. However, this Spring, they must be really taken with nectar of a particular plant. They are much more willing to remain in place for me to get a shot than I recall from 2011.

However, getting focus is a problem. I have tried Spot, Area-1, and Area-1 HS. I thought the HS setting would enable the camera to get focus more quickly. Time to get these shots is very limited, so giving the camera a couple of seconds to settle is expecting much. I am not seeing any change from one setting to the next. Should I be expecting better focus with small time period with HS?

I have used A setting (with AF Macro), as well as Macro/flower. I have gotten some better shots than 2011, but would like to get a better "hit" rate.

Any suggestions or comments regarding HS?


saly Jun 8, 2012 9:41 PM

Roger, I only use Spot focus setting when I'm shooting closeup (with LT55). So I'm afraid I can't help you.....

happy_peasant Jun 9, 2012 12:37 AM

What I found with my FZ35 was:
- In any setting tele macro is slower to focus than the same setting without tele macro.
- The one area focus with the small point was the best general purpose focus.
- The continuous auto-focus mode is hardly worth using due to hesitation when you try to actually focus while pushing shutter button down.

As far as high speed focus, that might help you with flighty butterflies and birds. I found it worthless for moving targets, but what I did use it for was quick shots. Pushing the shutter button all the way down to take a shot as soon as the camera is pointing at the subject without any of that halfway down and then the rest of the way like the book says.

Hope this helps.

eysha Jun 9, 2012 2:43 PM

That's interesting Steve, i am going to try the high speed and see what happens.

roger53 Jun 15, 2012 7:37 PM

I'm sorry I have not reported back. Thanks for the replies.

After seeing the "Bug Mix" (by catalex..), I just about hung up my camera. I know that I will never reach that level of shooting.

However, I went back to trying many different schemes. I don't any difference between Area-1 and Area-1 HS. I have found that spot focus seems the best. I also experimented with Q-AF and C-AF, but without a discernible difference. I have tried AF-Macro/flower setting, as well as A setting (at 2.8).

The last couple of days, I've tried a new scheme, and have found the highest percentage of "hits." I've tried AF/AE lock. All of my shots recently have been of working bees, typically about 3/8" long. My goal is to get a distance of about 1 1/2", lens to subject. The bees are not very compliant with regard to hanging around for me to get the shot off. I have watched them enough now to understand their patterns of working a flower, so get myself into a position where I expect them to be. With the AF/AE lock, there is no lag -- get the position, and fire.

I think I might work with just AF. Does anybody know if AF requires the longest lead time, with AE taking a brief instant?

My conclusion at this time is that I am better at getting the right position, with a preset focus, than to expect the AF to get settled before firing the shot. Not waiting for the lead time is very helpful in getting the shot at all. The bees only settle for a brief instant. Yes, if I get the locked setting right at 1 1/2", then I have to be at the same 1 1/2" for the shots. I'm not sure how to know if the lock is good when it is set. It appears the lock button is just like the shutter button, except the shutter isn't exercises. The focus and exposure procedures are the same for both cases. Does anybody know if I am right about this?

I am still working through the images. I will choose a few to post soon.

P.S. Yes, I have several BIF images -- not because I was intending to shoot them, but because the departure of the bee was quicker than my trigger finger! However, none of the BIF images really have good focus of the bee.

Does anybody else have experience in using AF/AE lock for these situations? If so, what have you learned?

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