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First day with Fuji F31fd

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Old Monday 13th August 2007, 08:17   #51
birderbill
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Neil & Paul,

Thanks for your advice.

I was using the manual mode on the camera and adjusted for light at -1. I did play around with ISO's too. I've only had the camera a few weeks so its still very early days and I've not really played much with A/S either. After reading through the manual again I need to think about the metering modes more and will take the advice on spot focus! Clearly more work needs to be done on close and easy stuff first, then I can start increasing my distances.

I was interested in the comments about the soft digiscope images through the Leica, without the camera on the scope is incredibly sharp and deals really well with different levels of light. The camera is excellent and as with Paul I can't really fault apart from having to reset most of the settings when it switches off- maybe a savable personalised mode with pre-sets would be a good thing? I'd be interested in other Leica users comments about the soft image issue.

I haven't started to play with software in order to sharpen up images. All I have at the moment is the disc which came with the camera and the software that this brings. Is Noiseware similar to Photoshop? What other good photo' software programs are there?

Thank you again.

Bill
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Old Monday 13th August 2007, 08:39   #52
Paul Corfield
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There's an article here by Laurence Poh, the supposed father of digiscoping. It's about his struggle with the Leica's soft images and his eventual change to a Swarovski. http://www.digiscoping.com/static/di...g_update.shtml

Noiseware is software for removing background noise in photos. I use the Neat Image plug-in for photoshop and find it does an excellent job. Also look at the very popular free download called Irfanview. I tend to use that for sharpening and run a photo through it twice for sharpening and then adjust levels etc in Photoshop. Photoshop does a good job at sharpening too but I sometimes prefer Irfanview for tht job plus it's free. The Neat Image noise remover plug-in also works in Irfanview as do most Photoshop plug-ins. Visit http://www.irfanview.com/

Paul.
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Old Monday 13th August 2007, 11:26   #53
Newton Stringer
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Hi

I use the F31 with a leica 62 apo.... I find most of my images are a little soft and need a play in photoshop to sharpen them to some degree, however I'm still happy with the final results...

I'm a total novice and just getting to know the set up, finding it hit and miss, but I gather that is the nature of all digiscoping ? Out of 150 shots I may get 10 half decent ones that i then sharpen a bit. I just figured that all scopes produced the same results ? Is there a scope that produces good sharp images without the need for sharpening then ?

All images on my web site were taken with the F31/leica apo 62 combo... a few bird pics on this page

http://www.freewebs.com/newtonstring...rdingpatch.htm
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 11:58   #54
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I went yesterday in dull conditions which you can see in the first photo taken from the hide window. Most of the birds I digiscoped using 4 cameras were on, or around the posts you can see in the foreground (about 27 metres) . The Wood Sandpiper was on the waters edge in the foreground. I used the Chrome setting as well as the light was so dull.
I used the Swarovski 45x for many of the images due to the distance.
I watched the little Green light to check focus and exposure and I switched off Macro as I was long on the camera zoom. Neil

Fuji F31fd plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and SW 45x eyepiece and DCA (homemade adapter for Fuji )

Hong Kong Wetlands Park,
Hong Kong,
China.
August 2007
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 15:08   #55
Newton Stringer
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Nice pics Neil !

I suspect the more you zoom through the scope the lower the quality of the final image ? Looking at my recent attempts, the "soft" ones are at full zoom or near full zoom, birds that were closer requiring less zooming seem to come out a lot sharper and clearer....

Maybe higher magnification, magnifies any minor shakes too ? As mentioned before I'm a complete novice so I may be completely wrong ?!! Happy to be corrected....
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 20:01   #56
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I've certainly found that the camera deals better with images that are closer and with the zoom at it's lower level of magnification. Using my Leica zoom lens (20-60) at anything more than 40 severely affects the end product. With the high magnification being used, together with the camera's own zoom, wind and/ or movement of people in a hide all adds to the image being affected.

I spoke to a friend about his digiscoping with a Leica telescope and he has had a lot better results using the fixed magnification lenses such as 20 and 32. This also assists with a better field of view. However, not being made of money I don't intend to but another lens just yet!

One thing I've had problems with with is actually accurately determining when a bird is in focus when viewed through the camera's screen. If it's light then ensuring a sharp image is very difficult. I guess wearing a cloth over your head and the camera screen is an option! I'll try focussing the scope first and adding the camera after but this is fiddly and if you knock the scope out of position then you're back to square one!

This digiscoping is so frustrating... but it's also so infectious with the aim being to get that great sharp image!!

Bill.
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 23:31   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birderbill View Post
One thing I've had problems with with is actually accurately determining when a bird is in focus when viewed through the camera's screen. If it's light then ensuring a sharp image is very difficult. I guess wearing a cloth over your head and the camera screen is an option! I'll try focussing the scope first and adding the camera after but this is fiddly and if you knock the scope out of position then you're back to square one!
Bill, several people use the lcd shades such as those available from 7dayshop. They only cost about 10 and there is a matching clip-in magnifying lens available for about 7. One of them might help with your focusing problem.

I had to give up trying to focus using the camera screen because of the same problems you are experiencing, which is why I changed to the swing away adapter and now focus using the scope eyepiece.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 23:41   #58
Neil
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"I suspect the more you zoom through the scope the lower the quality of the final image ? Looking at my recent attempts, the "soft" ones are at full zoom or near full zoom, birds that were closer requiring less zooming seem to come out a lot sharper and clearer...."

The quality of light and it's direction plays a big part in how much detail you can resolve with digiscoping. The heat haze of summer plays havoc with it too.
Rule of thumb is that for best results , 20x total magnification (camera zoom plus eyepiece) at 10 metres.
Maximum magnification for an 80 mm scope 60x ( camera lens plus eyepiece)
Range for good quality results 8 - 30 metres (in normal light )
Range for record photos - up to 100 metres (anything over this is tough ).

Even with good screens on the newer cameras I find that I have to continually check scope focus. Surprisingly the Ricoh GX100 screen fools me with looking sharp when it's not, more than my other cameras. My highest level of keepers is from my Nikon 8400 using the Electronic Viewfinder with the camera set at 9.1 mm zoom in the Green Macro Zone. Most of the cameras I've tried seem to give their best results around 10 mm into the zoom range. Neil
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2007, 20:30   #59
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Attached is my best result from my first go at digiscoping (as opposed to digibinning) with my F31FD. A lot easier than digibinning as I only had to hand-hold one thing (the camera) so I could use two hands with it, and even then I could rest the camera against the scope eyepiece for increased stabiity.

The scope is a 1991 Kowa TS-602 (this is not APO/ED/HD/FL) with a 20x wide-angle eyepiece. The camera settings were:
* aperture priority and f2.8 (thanks Ron et al
* had to go up to ISO 800 I think to get a decent shutter speed (thanks Jo) (I'll correct this if someone tells me differently from EXIF data, which I'm not sure how to access).
* macro mode
* no camera zoom at all, and I haven't cropped the photo either - looks as though there was little or no vignetting even without any camera zoom.
* no timer I don't think, but I did use the 'Continuous - top 3' feature which I think will be really useful in avoiding handshake. The best of the three shots (attached) was in fact the last one, although this was partly due to the position of the Great Tit's head.
* other settings on their factory defaults I think e.g. single centre-spot auto-focus.
* not cropped or brightened, but sharpened slightly.

It looks a bit burnt out (over-exposed) on my monitor, but I am finding that photos look even brighter on other people's flat-screen LCD monitors than they do on my CRT, so anyone viewing this photo (or any of my photos) on a flat-screen monitor might find it VERY over-exposed. To me it's only slightly burnt out but I am still not sure what might have caused the over-exposure or how to avoid it - does anyone have any experience with that?

I was also pleased to get a Green-veined White in the garden today so I can't resist attaching that even though it wasn't digiscoped (or -binned). Also over-exposed though, I assume in this case because the subject was a much brighter white than the scene as a whole (which I have mostly cropped away).
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2007, 23:54   #60
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Stephen,
I can't see an Exif info on your photos (it's been stripped out ) but I suspect that the reason for the overexpose ( about 1.5 stops ) is that you had iso 800 selected at f2.8. The max shutter speed in A/S mode is 1/1000 of a second ( it's 1/2000 in other modes ). If you watch the little light under the zoom rocker switch it should be steady Green if all is ok. If flashing it will tell you on the screen with an !AF or AE symbol. If it's an over-exposure problem (AE) you can do one or more of 3 things -
-drop the iso (400 would normally be enough except around dusk or rain )
-dial in a minus exposure compensation ( I have -0.7 dialed in as Default )
-increase the f stop (zooming the lens will do this too ).
I would normally do the first and second.
I hope this helps, Neil.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 08:18   #61
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Thanks Neil. I did find what I think is the EXIF data by right-clicking on the raw file in Windows XP and selecting Properties -> Summary. I didn't think I'd used camera zoom but it says the aperture for the shot was f4.9, which implies I must have zoomed in. Sorry if I misled anyone. I find it hard to believe I zoomed in fully though, since the bird is no bigger than it was through my 8x bins, and I was only slightly further away with the scope. Although on second thoughts I was cropping with the bins, but didn't have to here.

The shutter speed was only 1/153 s, so maybe the reason the subject is burnt out is the same as with the butterfly - shutter speed was computed on the scene as a whole whereas the subject is significantly brighter. Neil, would I be correct to think that this is what your default -0.7 exposure compensation is designed to deal with? I will try that setting. I will also have a look to see if there some kind of 'centre-spot' light metering option, unless someone tells me I am on the wrong track there.

Last edited by Stephen2eq : Thursday 16th August 2007 at 08:31.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 08:46   #62
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Stephen, the F4.9 doesn't imply you were zoomed in at all. You can be on F8 and still be zoomed right out, it just depends on the brightness of the scene.

Yes, right clicking in Windows and then choosing summary will give you some EXIF info.

There is a spot metering option on the F31 and there's also a semi-spot metering option which looks at the center and and the surrounding area and then there's the default average option which looks at the image as a whole. For the butterfy spot metering would have been ideal.

I do the same as Neil and stop down -1/3 to -2/3 and sometimes as much as -1.

Paul.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 19:06   #63
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Hi Paul,
doesn't the fact that I had set it to Aperture Priority - f2.8, and yet the EXIF says the aperture was f4.9, mean that I must have zoomed in?

Thanks for the heads-up re. the different light metering modes, I will definitely try centre 'spot' metering.

I looked at the exposure compensation setting today and found that it was already set to a 'plus' value, either +1/3 or +2/3, the latter I think. It seems to be set from the directional buttons in the same mode that you set the aperture, so I probably accidentally set it while I was trying to set the aperture. I expect this explains why my shots were over-exposed!
Thanks all,
Stephen
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 22:53   #64
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Ah yes sorry, I missed the bit about it being in aperture priority mode so that would imply it was zoomed in.

Having the camera on a + compensation would make quite a difference especially as the Fuji is prone to blowing out the whites.

Paul.
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Old Monday 20th August 2007, 12:34   #65
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I also usually set my exposure to -1/3. Sometimes I go lower than that.
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Old Monday 20th August 2007, 14:32   #66
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I was photographing some Kingfishers yesterday and, having heard that some people prefer not to use the Macro setting, I tried turning Macro off. For some reason, with my set up, the shots were noticeably blurred. I turned the Macro back on and they immediately looked much better.

I don't know if this is because I focus the scope first through the lens and then swing the camera into position to take the shot. Perhaps something is different if you focus using the camera's lcd.

I have to admit my photos are never razor sharp like Neil's. Perhaps it just the limitations of my tiny scope and zoom lens or perhaps it's my technique.

You can see a couple of the Kingfisher shots in my User's gallery (click on my Username next to this post.)

Ron
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