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Thread: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

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    JBW's Avatar
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    testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    This morning I thought it was time to try the limits of the telephoto on my Finepix S4200. The blossoms in this picture are comfortably held in the palm of my hand. They are about 30 meters up the tree which is about 40 meters away. The camera was on auto for landscape and I do not (yet) own a tripod. I am happy with the results simply because they bode well for the future.
    testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

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    deetheturk's Avatar
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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi Brian,

    Your camera is capable of taking pretty decent images, but when as you say try the limits of your telephoto, you really need to invest in a tripod and your images will be a lot sharper,keep on trying

    Cheers David....

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi David, Investing in a tripod is on the to do list. But sadly, pensions being what they are, not on the top of the list.

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi Brian,

    Do say if you get fed up with me replying so often to your posts

    First the good news; this could probably be sharper, even without a tripod.

    I started digital (for the best part of 2 years), with a camera rather like this model, so the following information may be helpful.

    There is a photographic 'rule of thumb' that suggests it is wise (in order to minimise camera shake making images soft), to always use a shutter speed which is equal to 1/focal length.

    Looking at the spec. for your camera; I see that the telephoto limit of the zoom is equivalent to 576mm focal length*.
    Looking at the EXIF data; I see that this was shot at 1/250s (at 400 iso and f/5.9)

    * in the EXIF data, it is reported as 103.2mm, but you need to multiply this by a figure known as 'crop factor' to account for the effects of magnification by the small sensor (compared to a proper DSLR), that figure is about 5.6 for your camera, which explains why 103mm becomes 576mm (= 103 x 5.6).

    The bad news is that, for technical reasons, a camera like the S4200 with a small sensor, increasing iso can make pictures both soft and noisy (grainy), further, when you zoom in, the maximum aperture is f/5.9, so you can't help there by shooting with a wider aperture.

    Therefore, best results will always be obtained if you shoot well lit subjects (these are in shade), which will allow a higher shutter speed - you really want something over 1/500s when fully zoomed in.

    I don't want to 'overload' you with too much information too soon, so I'll stop there and let you ask follow up questions if there are any technical terms I have used you don't understand. Equally, I don't want to insult your intelligence if you have say, an engineering or photographic background and already understand these concepts.

    You could also check that you have image stabilisation switched on, as that will help get sharper images when shooting hand held.

    Good luck,

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    Wavelength's Avatar
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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Sir,
    you could have chosen a single flower or some isolated object for the experimentation. That would give a better idea how the focusing works
    Regards

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    deetheturk's Avatar
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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Until you have your tripod Brian, why not try sitting the camera on a been bag, or similar,and use the self timer?

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    I have been playing with the self timer and it does help.

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi Wl, what can I say I looked out my bedroom window saw the orange and thought I would see what happened. But you are right your way would be better for a test.
    B

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi dave, I understood the part about the blossoms being in the shade. I also understand ISO making things grainy and soft. I am going to have to do a lot more reading and paying before I can start to make the adjustments in manual. I am just your basic troglodyte trying to move into the new ages.

    Please continue to offer comments and suggestions. One of the reasons I joined is that I don't get out much so here is where I will be doing my learning.

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    What Dave didn't notice perhaps when he c hecked out your camera was that it comes with sensor shift image stabilisation.

    This means that while the old rule was the reciprocal of the effective focal length in your case 576mm ... 1/600 in round figures the sensor shift should permit you to use 1/150 and some would say it is good for 1/75. Unfortunately the camera doesn't have manual focus ... not that I ever use it anyway except when using my old lenses manually .. a rare event I try to avoid ....

    However all these shutter speeds assume that you are pressing the trigger, first halfway down to get the camera to estab lish exposure and focus at what it is looking at and on the confirmation signal to caress the triggeer fully down [ caress emphasises the degree of softness required in the action to avoid disturbing the camera ]

    On the otheer hand if you are incapable of not thumping the trigger there is one trick available to you .... set the camera to two second delay release and while you upsetr the camera in pressing the trigger you and the camera have two seconds to settle down before the camera takes the shot .... personally I cannot stand the technique but some swear by it.

    Finally for a pensioner there is an alternative to a tripod which will make a world of difference to your shots and this is a stick to suit your height when standing upright with a quarter inch Whitworth screw screwed into its top with head cut off so you can attach camera to it. I did use this approach for a monopod I made some years back out iof square aluminium tubing which is NZ comes in a range of sizes that slide inside each other. I don't know if you are a DIYer but it helps The idea of the tall stick [ broomstick?] is that you need to be comfortable as you stand with it as your legs are the other two legs of the tripod you are creating. Most bought monopods are too short to be much good which maybe why people often view them with disfavour.

    But really the crunch is that you have sensor shift stabilisation and so long as you do not push it too far [ like 1/75 ] it should make a trpod well down on your list ... I never use any of mine except when at home with a 'set-up' I want to walk around wihtout the camera .... and when I do I always use the 10 second release and leave the camera to settle down untouched by human anything. I and others may have cable releases but I rarely use mine as the 10 second suffices.

    Finally over several cameras ending with the Panasonic MFT G3 I have had various sized target areas to use AF the way I used to manual focus with my film SLRs. I do not know how big your target area is but learn to place it over the point of prime focus, even if subsequently to getting the 'gp ahead' signal you continue to hold 'half trigger' and re frame for the shot you want. Many of us work this way and once you get the hang of it it is quick and easy ... quicker much quicker than writing down what to do

    The G3 have selectable sizes and a very small one which I used and I do regret passing it over for a GH model which is not so small ... but I wanted control knobs on the outside of the camera and the GH is excellent in that respect.

    I will stop rambling and await your next picture

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    Hi dave, I understood the part about the blossoms being in the shade. I also understand ISO making things grainy and soft. I am going to have to do a lot more reading and paying before I can start to make the adjustments in manual. I am just your basic troglodyte trying to move into the new ages.

    Please continue to offer comments and suggestions. One of the reasons I joined is that I don't get out much so here is where I will be doing my learning.
    With a monopod you should be able to use quite slow shutter speeds and avoid higher ISO ... with my bridge cameras I rarely, very rarely used other than 100 ISO ... you have 64 which is better. I always used 125 ISO film so doing this with digital was not a difficult thing to do... particularly in low light if you hold the monopod firmly against something firm. Doing that and with a 2 second release you should get away with half second exposures.

    Since you have quite a light camera it would be worth considering a mini-tripod. Mine a Slik 8555 cost me NZD35 and this can be sat upon somethin g firm or held firmly against a vertical post/wall for long exposures.
    B&H xcall it a Magnus but I know it as a Slik USD 19
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ipod_with.html
    Actually I found my Slik on page two
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ipod_with.html USD 30

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Hi PN, I do try to caress the button but sometimes it is more of a poke. The two second delay comes in handy some times. I am thinking about the mono-pod. The problem is that I tend to sway (too much rock and roll as a kid?) I do find that I take a better close up than anything else. but then i often get to rest the camera on something.
    B

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    Hi PN, I do try to caress the button but sometimes it is more of a poke. The two second delay comes in handy some times. I am thinking about the mono-pod. The problem is that I tend to sway (too much rock and roll as a kid?) I do find that I take a better close up than anything else. but then i often get to rest the camera on something.
    B
    When I was shooting a garden railway I made myself a small monopod about twelve inches high so I could lie on the ground at 'train level' ... bit of aluminium tube with a 20x1/4 thread fixed in the end to screw into camera.

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    Re: testing the telephoto limit of the Finepix S4200

    PN, that would be nice.

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