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Old Aug 17, 2011, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default my first descent butterfly, but...

My first descent butterfly, but I am not sutisfied... What do you guys and girls think, is it good or there should be something more? I would like to have your criticism mainly about image quality.

fz38 with out any attachments, Program mode (1/40sec, F4.0, ISO 320), I had to use flash because I couldnt focus without, macro zoom, spot focus, spot metering
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 1:19 PM   #2
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Hi Kibaris, yes the FZ35 can produce a better image than this. I just don't think you had enough light to pull this shot off. 1/40sec is a hard speed to take a handheld shot at and not get blur. With the ISO at 320 you have a lot of noise. The key to getting better shots like this is light.

I tried to clean-up the image a little but I'm not very good at PP.

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Old Aug 17, 2011, 1:46 PM   #3
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it looks like you cropped it alot too.

get closer, fill the frame without cropping. and will need more light to keep the iso at 100.
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 1:47 PM   #4
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Thanks jj for your time!
I think focus is the bad factor about this photograph, but I have noticed that my fz38 cannot focus accuretely when the subject is very close (about 2-10cm) especially when the subject is small, and the background is in a distance, even in bright sunlight as the attached image. (Program, 1/400sec, f5.6, ISO 80)
Is it a camera's fault? I had the camera "...checked" by panasonic but they said that "...everything is ok"! Should I doubt their answer?
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 1:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
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it looks like you cropped it alot too.

get closer, fill the frame without cropping. and will need more light to keep the iso at 100.
No way to focus when I get close!
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Old Aug 17, 2011, 9:51 PM   #6
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I have shot many butterflies in the past few weeks. Yes, focus is the key, and sometimes can be very difficult. I have an FZ35, shoot in P mode, autoISO, autoWB, MacroAF, Area-1HS focus, center-weighted exposure. I rarely see the image in the LCD because of the best angle of the camera toward the subject. I am always looking for the ideal perspective on the butterfly. I shoot with a naked camera. I've abandoned the LC55. My intent is to get 1 1/2 to 3 inches from the butterfly, preferably about 2".

Timing is critical (nothing profound here with that assertion!). But, the camera takes so long to get focus, it is very tempting to push the shutter too soon. Many shots are missed because the subject leaves between the "half" position, and the "full shot" position. I have learned to be patient, missing many shots, but hoping the camera has enough time to get the focus. The other problem is getting the subject into the focus window. This is why I've learned "spot focus" does not work very well. It is too hard to get the spot aligned with the butterfly. Also, the butterfly usually does not provide a good focal plane for the camera to work perfectly.

I have gotten some pretty good ones lately, but also have soooooo many that are just "not quite there."

Yesterday, I captured a first for me, a Hummingbird Moth. They are about 3/4" long, fuzzy body, short antennae, and high speed wings. They don't land on a flower, rather they hover. Their movements are very quick and erratic. I felt good about getting any shots. Only one was worthy of keeping. The constant wing motion gives the camera nothing to get focus, just a fuzzy image. However, the one shot I did get was worth keeping. What is interesting is the successive placements of the vibrating wing. I can count six separate images of the wing, a translucent wing. The shutter speed was 1/250. To get six images in that shutter speed means the wing is vibrating about 1,500 times per second. Saving you the math, it means the wing is moving at 75,000-90,000 times per minute. To the naked eye, it is hard to see the wing. My point is these subjects with flapping wings, or nebulous shapes are very hard for the camera to get focus.

Here is one shot today that I would consider in the "better" category.

This shot is a "notch on the gun," so to speak. Monarch are quite rare here, and they are very flightly, unlike Swallowtail or Fritillary. I just happened upon this one and worked with him for more than 30 minutes to get 10 reasonable shots. The monarch is a magnificent butterfly. Last year, I got only one shooting session, despite many, many attempts. This one may be my only one of the 2011 season.
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 4:38 AM   #7
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Thanks Roger for your advice. My problem though, is that using the same settings as you suggest, my camera cannot often focus from that 1 to 3 inches distance. What should I do, in order to focus well??
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 6:31 AM   #8
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Are you certain the camera is set on AFmacro?

Perhaps you can work with more stable objects, such as a leaf, board, or at least something that provides a good focal plane. Work with these objects at 1-3" distance, and see if you can get good focus.

I am amazed at many of the bee shots on this Board. I've tried bees often, and have only a few good shots to show for my efforts. A bee is less well defined than a butterfly. At least a side shot of a butterfly, such as your posted pic, provides something pretty substantial for the camera to focus. A bee is far less defined.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 7:42 AM   #9
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Are you certain the camera is set on AFmacro?
I try to take my close-up photografs using MACRO ZOOM, instead of AFmacro, isnt it better?
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 7:54 AM   #10
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Look on Page 72 of the User's Manual.

Macro Zoom appears to be useful when using digital zoom. Digital zoom is beyond optical zoom, and is usually not recommended. I believe there is a switch to turn off digital zoom. I know that I never use it. Therefore, I never use Macro Zoom, rather AF Macro only.

I think you want to make this change (use AFmacro), and try some other shots at close range. That should help your focus problems.

Here is a shot I made yesterday, AFmacro.
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