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Old Apr 23, 2010, 1:30 PM   #1
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Default Neutral density filter

Hi, as a very new owner and user of an FZ38 I have a question that someone may be able to help with. I am intending to take this camera to Florida in a few weeks to take many pictures / film of the kids at the theme parks. Having looked around on the internet I have seen the posts regarding lens flare and saw the result of using an nd filter to help alleviate the problem, most notably on this video clip. http://vimeo.com/7091455
My question is this, do I just fit the filter and leave the setting on iA or can someone point me to some settings for general picture taking in hopefully strong sunlight?
My apologies if I come across as a total ignoramus when it comes to this sort of thing, it's because I am one.

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Old Apr 23, 2010, 2:26 PM   #2
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bensonboo-

Welcome to the folder and to the Panasonic P+S folder.

Firstly, you must realize that a ND or neutral density filter reduces the amount of light entering your FZ-35/38's lens. Thus, it is practically usable only in bright sunny conditions.

The lens flare that the FZ-35/38 and other Panasonic cameras experience is a result of imager design. A simple rule of thumb will save you from most lens flare problems. Just don't shoot directly into the sun or a strong light source.

I would suggest that you use NOT the IA Mode, but the P for Programed Auto mode. That will allow you to control the ISO setting more effectively.

So there, you have two possible solutions to coping with the lens flare problem.

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Old Apr 23, 2010, 3:04 PM   #3
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Hi bensonboo,

you can just mount the ND filter and leave all other settings as you prefer. The camera will adjust shutter speed automatically. You should just remove the filter again when you go indoors - otherwise exposure time will be too long to catch moving objects or persons indoors.

If you are satisfied with the iA mode you can stay with it - otherwise I would also suggest to go to P mode, which gives you for example the possibility to limit the ISO value and thus reduce noise in pictures at low light.

Have fun with the FZ35.
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Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783

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Old Apr 23, 2010, 5:24 PM   #4
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Thanks both for the replies, so I think I'll give the nd filter a miss, but in bright sunshine for taking pictures of my kids, do you have any suggestions on what to alter the P settings to? Or is it wait for a sunny day and experiment? I really am clueless even after reading the manual, maybe I should have gone for a literal point & shoot.
Thanks anyway.
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 5:50 PM   #5
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I'm having issues myself with over exposure and blowouts in fine details in the whites. The histogram only does so much. A ND filter would be helpful if you want to show motion by slowing down the shutter speed and can't crank the aperture down enough and everything is way overexposed. Then you have to know what ND filter to get as they are rated for different stops. I want to show motion of a fast Amtrack train and could not make the exposure dark enough with a very slow shutter speed.

I think a polarizing filter may help you in some of your reflection and over-brightness issues.

But here is where a real course in digital photography is needed as some experienced photographers have many expensive filters on hand in their toolbox and you need specific training to avoid a lot time costing trial and error and even then there is trial and error.

Last edited by Chris0383; Apr 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM.
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 5:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris0383 View Post
Im having issues myself with over exposure and blowouts in fine details in the whites. A ND filter would be helpful if you want to show motion by slowing down the shutter speed and cant crank the aperture down enough. Then you have to know what ND filter to get as they are rated for different stops.

I think a polarizing filter may help you in some of your reflection and over-brightness issues.

But here is where a real course in digital photography is needed as some experienced photographers have many expensive filters on hand in their toolbox and you need specific training to avoid a lot time costing trial and error and even then there is trial and error.
I don't think that it is so complicated. I found the Panasonic DMW-LND46E quite helpful for pictures in bright sunlight. I just put it on and leave all the settings as they are.

To reduce the risk of blown out white areas and overexposure I reduce contrast to -2 (under pict.adj.) and usually have EV set to -2/3. From my perspective it is preferable to have the picture slighty underexposed rather than overexposed and blown out - that gives you more possibilities for editing and corrections later on.
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Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783

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Old Apr 24, 2010, 7:18 AM   #7
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Lets give it a try Joho. I also see beach mode could be useful here.

Thanks

Last edited by Chris0383; Apr 24, 2010 at 8:24 AM.
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