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Old Nov 27, 2007, 1:24 AM   #11
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I still think that the softness on the first picture was caused by the camera focusing on the branches that were closer than the birds. If the aperture was wide open due the light condition, just about anything beyond the focal point would be somewhat out of focus.Just a thought!
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 11:19 AM   #12
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Nice series Steve, its also nice that your daughterenjoys being withdad!. Steve,I think Tullio is wright concerning the sharpness of thefirst shot,the branches in front of the birds (left sideof the picture) aresharp. Being cold and shivering will add to loss of sharpness. :-)

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Old Nov 27, 2007, 12:16 PM   #13
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Thanks Emmanul for commenting. The daughter and I do get along well. Tullio may well be right, but it is hard for me to tell as even the shots that did not have stuff in front of the bird came out like that one, or (mostly) much worse. I do find it amazing how often the autofocus will either grab a stick in front of a bird or go right past it and grab one from behind the bird. Amazing and annoying both.

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Old Nov 27, 2007, 2:25 PM   #14
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How do you have your camera's AF set up, Steve? I usually avoid the multi-point focus setting to avoidproblems such as this. I think this setting works well when photographing landscape, where everything is at infinity, thus, no matter what the camera chooses to focus on, the entire scene will be in focus. I usesingle focal point (not macro, which is the smallest AF point you can have)in most cases. However, if I'm taking a picture of a bird sitting on a branch in the middle of a tree, then I use the macro focal point to make surethe camera focuses on the bird and not on any branch/leaf that may be surrounding it.
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 4:23 PM   #15
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I use the one that my FZ7 book calls spot focusing. That could be what you mean by macro. When I used the next size up; called one area focusing, the camera almost always grabbed anything but my bird. With the spot focus it does sometimes but much less often. Although, I used the High Speed version of one area focusing, can't remember if I ever tried the non high speed one. I do know that with the high speed one I have a terrible time with birds in flight due to the momentary freeze up. I don't get that, or if I do not near as long, with the spot focusing. And since I never know when a bird will fly I like to keep it one the spot focus.
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 4:46 PM   #16
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Spot focusing, that's what I meant. About the High speed focusing, when I first got the FZ18, I chose that mode. However, I noticed that the images were not sharp enough. I thought the softness wasbeing causeby the lens but then Istarted to think about the high speed focus feature. What is the camera actually doing? How come it can focus so much faster in this mode? Why having two AF modes to begin with? So, I changed the setting to normalfocusing mode and theresults were night and day. Does any one know what is actually happening in this mode? My guess is that the camera is simplycalculating the distance of the subject adjusting the focus tobased of itrather thanusing the contrast (edges) to focus on. In any case, you may want to change your AF settings to normal focusing instead of the high speedto see if the results improve.
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 6:41 PM   #17
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Here is a Spot Focus. I had to keep moving to find the spot with the least sticks in the way. Target was spots closest to neck. I'm lucky it did not lock onto that stick in front of his breast.


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Old Nov 27, 2007, 7:12 PM   #18
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That's one beautiful shot, Steve!
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