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forestcat44 Feb 24, 2006 5:43 PM

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here, be gentle. I've had my FZ30 a few days, trying to get used to it, test its limits, etc. Here's what I've done:
1. FZ30/Raynox DCR2020Pro on tripod, aimed at object approx. 50' away.
2. Took a shot with autofocus, 2 second timer.
3. Examined image on pc. Perfect focus.
4. Autofocused again on same object, adjusted diopter for clear image in viewfinder.
5. Manually focused to damn near perfection in viewfinder. Took the shot, 2 second timer.
6. Examined image on pc. Not in focus.

I finally did this because my manually focused shots up to this point were not in focus. I wanted to be sure it was not due to motion, diopter adjustment, etc.

Could anyone shed some light on this for me? A focused image in focus assist should result in a focused photo, no? I'm hoping it's pilot error somehow. The manual focus is one of the main reasons I chose this camera...

genece Feb 24, 2006 6:27 PM

I am terrible at MF and have been so even back in the old SLR days....I did not even do very well with the old K1000....lucky for me someone invented autofocus...But for the few times I need to do it , such as an animal in some brush....Ihalf press the shutter to lock the exposure while focusing......but if you do not want to touch the camera you could use manual exposure or use the AE lock button.

forestcat44 Feb 24, 2006 9:49 PM

You're right, in most cases the camera can focus better than I can. But a lot of the stuff I like to shoot is exactly as you said, wildlife in brush, etc. What I was finding was that the autofucus, even in spot mode, was not the way to go. Even though my manual focus efforts looked dead on in the Focus-Assist EVF, the pictures were out of focus. I'm trying to find out if this is something inherent in the camera, etc. Thanks.

genece Feb 24, 2006 10:05 PM

The point I was trying to make is unless you do something to lock the aperture the DOF changes when you snap the photo.

IMHO ..the exposure must be set before Manual focusing.

Actually the shutterspeed does not need set but the aperture does need set.

forestcat44 Feb 24, 2006 10:27 PM

Bear with me a minute, I suspect I may be missing something. The camera (in program mode) locks focus (autofocus mode) and the picture looks focused in the EVF and on the pc screen. All else equal, I switch to manual focus, the image looks focused in the EVF, but produces an out of focus picture. Are you saying that even in program mode, there is another variable introduced when manually focusing that can cause a composition that is "in focus" in the EVF to produce an out of focus result? If so, how can one reliably manually focus this camera? I searched the web a bit and don't see a lot of complaints about this, so I assume I'm doing something wrong/stupid. But what? Thanks again for the patience.

videosilva Feb 25, 2006 12:40 AM

I have been dealing with the manual focus dilema a few weeks now. I like you also bought the 30 for the manual focus. For those of you that have to ask, here is an example you have a bird or what ever between a few branches, the autofocus will focus on the branches and not what is behind them, thus the manual focus.

The Auto Focus on this camera is AMAZINGLY good. I have to write to Panasonice in this regard unless I come upon a ferm answer to the Manual Focus situation at hand.

forestcat44 Feb 25, 2006 8:51 AM


I have been dealing with the manual focus dilema a few weeks now.
I found your thread just now. I'm sorry for starting a new one. But it seems odd that you & I are the only ones that seem to be having this issue. Have you found other threads in other places discussing this? I've never seen a mention of it in a review, that's why I'm still hopefull its not a generic camera issue. Some >80iso noise I can live with, but I need a reliable manual focus. We could have defective cameras, though. Where did you buy yours?

Genece, after breakfast I'll start experimenting using your half-press exposure lock. However I'm pretty sure that I did not see any focus change in the evf between manually focusing & shooting. I'll let you know.

EDIT: Come to think of it, when I press the one shot autofucus button, release it, then press the shutter release, the resulting picture is focused. Why would using the focus ring produce a different result re: exposure, d.o.f., etc, assuming proper fucus w/ ring & evf? I'm stumped on this so far. I'm gonna repeat the experiment in full manual, which should eliminate any exposure/aperture variables, I hope...

genece Feb 25, 2006 9:03 AM

what I am trying to say...and the more I experiment the less sure I am of the cause.but it happens for sure.

Use the EVF with no focus assist so you can see this take place...(do not use the magnified area or you can not see this)

Now put the camera in MF and get a good sharp while still looking thru the EVF half press the shutter.....see the focus change?

Now focus while holding the half press snap the photo....better?

I am not saying that is the way things should work ...but they do.

Now Panasonic Bob has told me he uses MF all the time, so maybe he can explain this.....if you get an answer from him be sure to let us all know what he says.

Or maybe someone else understands what is I said the more I expeiment the less I think it has to do with the aperture but it has to do with something.

sylvia if you get an explanation be sure and share it with us.

If you follow the DSLR forums you will find a thing they call backfocus ( which seems to be what we are all referring to)which seems to change from lens to lens not really by camera....but I am far from an expert on the subject.

What they do to demonstate this happening is take a ruler and stretch it out a few feet and focus in the middle and take a photo and see where the focus actually was. I think it is almost always behind the point they focused , hence the name.

It seems to happen with expensive cameras and lenses and not everyone with the same lens and camera combo will experience the backfocus problem.

But I would still like a workaround if there is one.

forestcat44 Feb 25, 2006 11:58 AM

It's the Raynox teleconverter. It is somehow "decalibrating" the focus-assist magnification. The odd thing is that, as I'm sure you can attest based on your great 2020 shots, the autofucus is dead on. If I remove the Raynox, what I see in focus assist is what I get on the memory card. With the converter, everything looks perfect in the viewfinder, and then out of focus in the result, evident even in the 1 second review in the evf. Even in full manual mode.

When I use your technique, half-press while focusing, the shots come out in focus. So I scratched my head. You had said to turn off assist when doing this. On my camera, in manual mode, if I hold the shutter half way while turning the focus ring, assist is automatically disabled, regardless of menu setting. So, just for kicks, I turned off assist in the menu. With assist disabled, manually focusing yields shots that are consistent with the evf focus, regardless of shutter position, hence my conclusion that focus assist is the real culprit when combined with the 2020. I say this because without the converter, I can use assist in manual focus and achieve results equal to or better than auto (on a really good day :G).
What we need is folks with other tele converters, _especially_ the panasonic, to try this & post results. If the phenomenon exists w/ the Panasonic converter, I guess we have a bug. Either way, I'm contacting Raynox. I don't think this should be happening. One thing that I'd like to try, but I don't have the hardware, is to stack a few adapters, etc to move the lens out a bit & see if I can get assist back into focus. Vignetting at less than max zoom is not an issue for me.

genece Feb 25, 2006 12:55 PM

You may be right and it may be my camera but I think its related to the available light and the aperture cancause the problem at times.....I think if you keep trying you will find its not consistent.....its close enough most of the time to correct in PS but I find it changes at times....Oh well ,if its working for you thats good.

Here I think this will demonstrate...set the camera on Aperture priority and choose F3.7 and do the MF and shoot ...not good right?

Now set the Aperture on F6.3 and try again ...much better ?

I just tried again....Manual exposure F3.7 and 1/500 sec---- manual focus did not hold when the photo was snapped. ( I tried this 12 times a couple were OK most were not)

F6.3 and 1/400 sec M focus held perfectly (I tried this 30 times almost all are perfect) .....well I am getting close after 40 years.

Now thats progress and who said I am a slow learner.

Raynox 2020 pro

That is the problem I find with the Raynox lens....some photos are all I could hope for and some leave a lot to be desired. And I have never been able to put a finger on what makes the difference and it has performed that waythru 4 cameras.

And I just went back and looked at a bunch of my Raynox2020 photos and while they were mostly with a FZ10 or 20..all the good ones were F4.6 or smaller aperture with F5.6 being the absolute best. Now to try that on the FZ30.....just a guess but 6.3 should be the magic number.

I am glad I got in this ...I do not know if it was any help to you all but it was to me.

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