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Thread: Going manual after years of auto...

  1. #1
    New Member saveadopt's Avatar
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    Going manual after years of auto...

    Hello there all,
    Brief history... I did a few years of photography (flim slr) in highschool, adored it and havn't put down a camera since. I could easily work all the features F-stop and shutter speeds and whatnot. After graduating and for the past 5 years I've only had Digital cameras and never had the time or energy to do anything other than Auto mode. I'm diving back into photography and am finding one problem that I cant seem to figure out...

    I remember with the Film SLR to change the shutter speed was one dial, Aperture was another, and focal length the 3rd. With my Digi (fujifilm S2940) I am finding that I can control the shutter speed, but when I go to manage the Aperture I can only do so with the zoom...

    I am also frusterated on how to adjust the depth of feild without zooming... (IE two identical pictures: one with the foregroud in focus and back ground blurred, and the other the opposite)

    Think you can help me out? I would love to simply be back at square one on my photo journey, I feel I have taken 1 step forward and 2 back.

    Thank you so much
    Megan

  2. #2

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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Hoping that I am not telling you how to suck eggs but according to the manual on manual mode, the exposure compensation toggle allows you to set both aperature as well as shutter speed when the mode dial is set to M.
    The widest aperature is 3.1 which will give you the shallowest DOF.
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    Going manual after years of auto...

  3. #3
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Quote Originally Posted by saveadopt View Post
    I remember with the Film SLR to change the shutter speed was one dial, Aperture was another, and focal length the 3rd.
    Hi Megan,

    Do you mean you would like to set the focus distance? This will require you to configure the camera focus system. When the camera is in auto mode it will focus on the area with the highest contrast and when there are many options it will choose the closest object.

    If you want to focus on the background then you will need to choose a focus point in the background or focus manually. Unfortunately I had a look at your camera manual and could not find a manual focus option:

    http://camera.manualsonline.com/manu...idRes=16401153

    However you could use focus lock. This is detailed on page 33. This will allow you to focus on a point in the background, lock focus and then recompose the shot as desired.

    Basically you should point directly at the focus target, press the shutter half way until the focus confirmation is shown, and then still holding the shutter halfway you can move the camera and recompose the scene. Press all the way to then take the shot.

    Alex

  4. #4
    New Member saveadopt's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Ken, I appologise, I should have clarified... I have the ability to set the aperture with the left and right toggle... but it only gives me two options at a time. Zoomed fully in I can choose between F5.6 and F11, zoom all the way out and I have the choice of F6.4 and F3.1. (and other variations in between fully 'zoomed' in and out) Shouldn't I be able to choose any Aperture I want without having to zoom? Or is that a function my camera simply doesnt have?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Basically you should point directly at the focus target, press the shutter half way until the focus confirmation is shown, and then still holding the shutter halfway you can move the camera and recompose the scene. Press all the way to then take the shot.

    Alex
    Thanks Alex, That makes a ton of sense, and fiddling around with my camera this morning, I got it to do exactly that!

  5. #5

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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    If you look at page 83 of the users manual it is implying that when the mode dial is set to 'M' then the Zoom switch turns into a focusing control. So presumably you would set the zoom position, in any other mode, then turn the dial to 'M' and you could play with the focus at that point. An Interesting Idea, perhaps not ideal but one way of doing it. My daughter has a Fijufilm Bridge camera, I will have to see if I can get that to work like this.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Hi Megan,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by saveadopt View Post
    ~ I should have clarified... I have the ability to set the aperture with the left and right toggle... but it only gives me two options at a time. Zoomed fully in I can choose between F5.6 and F11, zoom all the way out and I have the choice of F6.4 and F3.1. (and other variations in between fully 'zoomed' in and out) Shouldn't I be able to choose any Aperture I want without having to zoom? Or is that a function my camera simply doesnt have?
    It may not, I haven't looked at the manual, but a lot of small sensor digicams do not offer a full range of 'film' apertures because of diffraction making the pictures soft.

    I am a little surprised it doesn't go f/5.6-f/8-f/11 though, if you quickly stab the button, can you get in between?

    I wonder if (for minimising cost or size) they actually just made the apertures with two holes in a plate that moves?

    Cheers,

  7. #7
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Hello Megan,

    The depth of field problem you are having is a product of the size of the sensor.

    I can't explain the physics of it but cameras with small sensors have a big depth of field even with the aperture is wide open. The only work arounds I know are getting further from the subject and zooming in, which you have found already, and arranging your subject so it is as far away from the background as possible. However, I appreciate these "solutions" are not always possible. You will get a shallow depth of field when using the macro, but that is also not applicable to many situations.

    Dave

  8. #8
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Quote Originally Posted by saveadopt View Post
    Ken, I appologise, I should have clarified... I have the ability to set the aperture with the left and right toggle... but it only gives me two options at a time. Zoomed fully in I can choose between F5.6 and F11, zoom all the way out and I have the choice of F6.4 and F3.1. (and other variations in between fully 'zoomed' in and out) Shouldn't I be able to choose any Aperture I want without having to zoom?
    Hi Megan,

    The aperture is the size of the hole the light passes through in the lens. The f-number is the ratio of the aperture diameter to the focal length. For example a 50mm lens with an aperture of 25mm is f50/25 or f2.

    On most zooms when the focal length changes the effective size of the hole letting the light changes by a smaller amount. So as you zoom the lens the f-number gets bigger.

    Note that this is effective size of the aperture. The physical size of the hole is the same. But remember that there is focussing glass in front of the hole that magnifies it. The effective aperture is the size that hole appears to be when viewed through the magnifying glass.

    It is possible to make a zoom where the effective entrance pupil of the lens (the aperture hole) gets bigger when the lens changes focal length by the same ratio. These are fixed aperture zooms and typically are a lot more expensive because the optics are harder to design and build.

    Your camera will have the simpler lens design where the focal length changed but the aperture hole does not change enough. So the f-number that you can select changes its range as you zoom.

    I hope this helps.

    Alex

  9. #9
    New Member saveadopt's Avatar
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    Re: Going manual after years of auto...

    Thank you kindly everyone, I truely appreciate it. I am glad to find that it is not my own stupididty in this case. I will just have to adapt what I do to my specific camera. Thank you all so much.

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