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Old Dec 11, 2005, 5:14 PM   #1
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Hi all

I've been using the FZ10 for a couple of years with great joy.I just gotthe FZ30 earlier today and I'm telling you, every shot is crystal clear, pin sharp and astoundingly beautiful. The ring focus and dial-controlled aperture/shutter settings are a miracle. What GREAT buy.

But because there's all this control, I've been playing. And for some reason,I just can't control the depth of field perfectly in every shot.

Take a look at the two attached pic below. The top pic shows the effect I was after. I never used the FZ10 manual focusing or aperture settings more than once at the beginning, so I'm no pro at doing this. I set the dial to A (for aperture performance) and set the camera to f3.2 (for some reason it wouldn't go down to 2.8?).

Now, the top shot is a fluke. I got it right maybe 3 times out of a 100 with this lavender. This is what I wanted - focused foreground, blurred background. But on just about every other attempt, the foreground would simply blur and the background came out clear (like the bottom shot).

What is it that I'm doing wrong on the bottom shot every time? Why can't I always get the top effect with a wide aperture and dial set to A?

Loving the camera and loving this forum. Where would we be without the FZ30 and the net? :-)

Would appreciate your help and will be posting more questions as I discover the joys and nuances of this new friend.

All the best

Jason
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Old Dec 11, 2005, 5:44 PM   #2
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Try spot focus to lock onto that lavender bloom (2nd shot) OR on the side of the lens barrel switch to MF and use the manual focus ring and adjust for the bloom
AF is being confused by all the stems of the lavender either way will work
with AF you must get the beep and the green dot locking onto the subject you want to be sharp and this will also be evident in the EVF.
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Old Dec 11, 2005, 6:53 PM   #3
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I've made 2 different mistakes that have ended with similar pictures. The first possibility is that the AF mechanism was confused. I didn't think about boyzo's solution (thank you! What a great alternative). If I'm close enough to the flower, I put my finger next to it and that's usually big enough for the camera to focus on, then remove my finger just before pushing the shutter down the rest o fthe way.

The other mistake I've made is that I've used the zoom to get the photo I wanted, and have been too close. If I'm taking a small flower and I can't get any closer than 3-4 feet, I'm tempted to use the zoom to fill the frame. I've occasionally zoomed too much and gotten out of focus range (the more you zoom, the further away you have to be from your subject - at max telephoto it focus starting at 2 m or 6.56 feet). Knowing that in my head is different than translating it into actual picture taking.
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Old Dec 11, 2005, 7:17 PM   #4
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Without a closeup lens and FZ30 in macro mode zoom to 3X and this gives you both a working distance and nice image size works for me.

The image / subject / must look sharp in the EVF after having achieved focus lock / alt is manual focus which for me is very good.

But yes min focus distance is critical you NEED to get a feel for that in normal or macro modes when zoomed in.
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 12:17 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for some great hands-on tips. I'm going to try the following tonight:

1. Spot focus, again. I did give this a shot yesterday but I didn't use the manual so I might've been off with something.

2. AF Macro + 3x zoom max. I've got a good feeling about this one!

3. The finger test - I'm not above trying this if it works every time

4. Manual focus is going to take some time to get used to. Because the middle of the pic magnifies while focusing, it's difficult to see when the lavender is precisely sharp. Or is there an easier way to do this perfectly every time too boyzo?

Thanks again for the help. Will let you know how it goes...
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 10:57 AM   #6
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although i haven't done this myself, i believe there is a menu setting to turn off the auto zoom in manual focus mode. i do love this camera!
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