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First day with Fuji F31fd

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Old Monday 30th July 2007, 14:25   #26
Paul Corfield
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Originally Posted by NoSpringChicken View Post
I like that adapter system a lot Paul. Light and simple but looks very effective. Is the FoxFoto adapter only available from ebay?

I'm a big fan of trying to get the best results for the lowest outlay and the results you are getting look very impressive.

Ron
There's the FoxFoto website http://www.fox-foto.com/ but when you go to the store section it takes you to another foreign website. I'm pretty sure the main seller on ebay is from the company that makes them though.

Yeah, I'm all for working on a budget too. It's amazing the results you can get for very little outlay. My first scope was a drawtube style made from two sturdy cardboard tubes with a good quality amici erecting prism and a 25mm telescope eyepiece. The 50mm objective lens came courtesy of an old telescope. The results from that scope were pretty similar to those I am getting now.

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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 00:01   #27
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Today I did a modification to my scope which was to remove the 60mm air spaced doublet objective lens and replace it with a 50mm cemented achromat I had laying around from an old scope project. The air spaced doublet was giving me too much purple fringing but since changing to the cemented achromat I'm getting no purple fringing at all. There's a slight trade off with less light getting into the camera but the fuji F31 handles that with no problems at all. I was still taking photos on ISO800 or lower at 8.30pm tonight with the sun very low. Here's a test shot taken tonight at 7.15pm on ISO400, range was around 25-30 feet. When funds allow I'll get a larger cemented achromat to replace the 50mm one.

Paul.
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 09:15   #28
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Hi Paul.

That's an impressive image you've posted there. I must admit you've lost me with all the technicalities but I'm enjoying your 'Blue Peter sticky backed plastic' approach to digiscoping (no offence intended.) It's a refeshing antidote to all those people spending a fortune on their Leicas and Swaros. Keep up the good work!

Ron
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 09:56   #29
Paul Corfield
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Thanks Ron, I don't think I'll ever get bored of tinkering around wth optics.

All the technical stuff means is that the objective lens at the front of the scope is generally made of two pieces of glass. Sometimes they are separated by a spacer so that there is air between them and sometimes they are glued together very precisely which makes it a cemented achromat. If they are the air spaced variety they have to be spaced apart very exactly and squarely to avoid any chromatic aberration which is the purple fringing.

Paul.
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 10:32   #30
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Thanks for the explanation, Paul. It makes sense now and definitely seems to be working for you.

Unfortunately the F30 seems a bit prone to purple fringing, although I've found it only affects the outer edges of the image where there is very high contrast, such as branches of a tree against a bright sky. Not really much of a problem under normal circumstances. Apart from that it is a great digiscoping camera, especially with its low light capabilities. I'm now using a 50mm scope so this is very useful for me.

Ron
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 11:46   #31
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Paul,
Masterful work. Great image too which proves that it does work. Neil.
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 20:37   #32
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I'm now the proud owner of a Fuji 31FD! I've matched it with my Leica Apo 77and Leica digi mount.

I've been out with it and have taken quite a few pictures with it in a variety of light conditions with "interesting" results. I've just been using the Auto mode at the moment but have also tried the image stabliser mode too.

I'm not sure what range digiscoping is effective to, my attempts at photographing Wood Sandpipers and other waders in bright sunlight at a range of 100yds wasn't too successful !

Any tips very welcome!

Bill.
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2007, 23:40   #33
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Bill,
Welcome to the F31fd club. One hundred yards is stretching it a bit for a wood sandpiper particularly over water. I've been digiscoping waders returning from the north this week from 35 - 80 metres with not much success. With the high tide it's meant 9 - 12.00 o'clock over water with high heat and humidity. I've had to resort to manual focus as the cameras AF has trouble through the heat haze. At 40 metres I can get passable images for record purposes. I had a ruddy turnstone at 80 metres and I couldn't get a decent image. At sunrise I would have had a better chance before the heat built up.
For best digiscoping results on small birds 10 -30 metres is a good range. Over this and you will have trouble picking up detail on small birds. I did get a reasonable image of spoonbills at 150 yards though.
The Curlew was taken at about 35 yards and the second image from about 100 yards. I tried bracket focus too which gives better results. Neil.

Fuji F31fd plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw 30x eyepiece and DCA adapter.

Mai Po Nature Reserve,
Hong Kong,
China.
Aug 2007
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Old Friday 3rd August 2007, 00:17   #34
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I'd definitely go along with the ranges Neil recommends. I've not got any really long range bird examples apart from the Oystercather one below which I took yesterday and that was an easy 100 yards or more but I also did some other long range stuff in the last couple of days. The building in my photo below was around 1 mile away, taken in the evening on ISO 400. The Roe Deer was around 150 yards away after the sun had set and taken on ISO800. The Oystercatchers were ISO200.

The settings I favour after playing with the camera for a few weeks are -

Manual mode
6 million fine
Exposure compensation I vary between -1/3 to -1
White balance set to Shade
I vary between the 3 metering options but I generally use Multi or Spot.
Depending on the time of day I just use ISO Auto 400 or 800. With my scope if it's sunny it generally just uses 100 or sometimes 200.

Paul.
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Old Friday 3rd August 2007, 09:13   #35
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Bill,

You don't say what problems you are getting – exposure, focusing, camera shake? Is there any chance of posting a sample photo?

Have you set the camera and adapter up so that the vignette (if there is one before zooming in) has a nice sharp outline?

The camera settings I have been using recently and which seem to work for me are:

Macro mode.
6 million fine.
Aperture priority with the aperture at its widest setting (lowest f-number) achievable after zooming in to clear the vignette.
Pattern metering.
Spot focusing.
Auto white point.
Lowest ISO number which still gives a reasonably fast shutter speed.
2 second timer (normally) or final three continuous shooting (occasionally).
Perhaps exposure compensation as appropriate, although remember to reset it after the shot!

You can see some of the results in my User's Gallery.
http://birdforum.net/gallery/showgal...0/ppuser/53267

Ron
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Old Friday 3rd August 2007, 10:32   #36
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Ron,

You know you can also use first 3 continuous and timer at the same time.
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Old Friday 3rd August 2007, 10:41   #37
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Ron,

You know you can also use first 3 continuous and timer at the same time.
I must admit i hadn't thought of that. Mind you when a bird is posing for you it's a bit of a performance to set the timer then go into the menu and set the continuous shooting option before each shot. I will bear it in mind though. If only there was a User's Preferences Setting

Ron
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Old Saturday 4th August 2007, 09:57   #38
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Ron,

Many thanks for yours and others' advice.

Ive copied the suggested settings from everyone and will play with them out in the field. I've read the instructions book a lot more (always helps!) and have got myself more familiar with the camera's set up menus. I'm heading to Norfolk on Sunday and hopefully will be able to do some digiscoping then.

I've attached 3 photos none are that sharp and all were taken in bright sunlight and at 75-100yds on the wader scrape at Holland on Sea, Essex (a brilliant place if you haven't been there before!). All were taken with the camera in full auto mode with no adjustments.

It's becoming very clear that it's not just a case of point and shoot but that some thought has to go in to settings on the camera to take into account light, movement and of course what you actually want to achieve from the image.

Thanks once again.
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Old Monday 6th August 2007, 14:36   #39
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I've just found something about the use of Macro Mode. If you leave Macro on as you zoom, the camera won't focus (the little Green light flashes ) after about half way in the zoom range. I found if I switched off the Macro after half way the little Green light went steady. Go figure. I've only had this camera for a year and I've just noticed this. Neil.
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Old Monday 6th August 2007, 19:12   #40
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I've just found something about the use of Macro Mode. If you leave Macro on as you zoom, the camera won't focus (the little Green light flashes ) after about half way in the zoom range. I found if I switched off the Macro after half way the little Green light went steady. Go figure. I've only had this camera for a year and I've just noticed this. Neil.
Neil, I'm not sure that is correct. I have just been playing with my F30 without using the scope and have found that it is possible to use maximum zoom in Macro mode and get the solid green light, providing there is sufficient light. However, in a borderline lighting situation the green light will go solid at the widest setting but as you zoom in, the aperture is automatically stopped down and the shutter speed becomes slower to compensate. This leads to the camera shake 'hand' warning being displayed with the flashing green light as an additional warning. I'm not sure how switching out of Macro mode changes the situation but I think this is what is happening.

Try it and see if it works for you.

Ron

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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 00:03   #41
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Ron,
Yes, it must have something to do with the amount of light and the f stop. I should have mentioned that I was getting the !af symbol though, which went away when I switched off Macro.
I will do more tests on this, Neil.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 00:38   #42
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Neil, this sounds remarkably like the problem I was talking about in this thread:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=90440

Perhaps I should have increased the ISO number a bit more to get a faster shutter speed or switched Macro off. I haven't actually had the problem lately but that might be down to the lighting conditions I have encountered.

I look forward to reading the results of your tests but it is very late now and time for bed.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 08:57   #43
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Since I got my camera set up on the foxfoto adapter and mounted to the scope a couple of weeks ago I hardly ever get the af problem anymore. I rarely go into macro mode and haven't noticed any difference in photos where I do or don't use it. I started using the multi focus instead of the center focus a lot more too so maybe that helps. For daytime I tend to leave the ISO set to Auto400 and when it's getting dark I up it to Auto800. I leave the aperture down to the camera to work out rather than setting it myself.

Here's a couple of photos from the last few days. Both around 40 meter range at sunset.

Paul.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 09:36   #44
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Nice lighting in those photos, Paul, especially the Heron.

Your camera settings are quite interesting too. I guess you are using the Manual mode to get the Auto400 setting. It seems a strange name to me as there is very little manual control over the settings. The Auto400 setting would save a lot of fiddling about and I never seem to have enough time to check everything before I take a photo. My F30 only has Auto400 or Auto1600. Is the F31 different?

I imagine the Multi focus works best when there is a single subject with a contrasting background, rather than trying to pick out a bird from surrounding branches for example. I will give it a try.

You seem to be getting on well with your set up. Nice work.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 09:48   #45
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Yeah, on the F31 you also get an Auto800 as well as the Auto400 and Auto1600.

Paul.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2007, 12:13   #46
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Paul,
Very nice light in these photos. Well done. Neil.
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Old Sunday 12th August 2007, 17:50   #47
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Spent the day photographing waders and gulls today and rattled off about 150 images. on my return home and after downloading the images to the computer I was dismayed to see that most of the images were just out of focus or less than sharp. Is this typical digiscoping or can any one give me some tips on sharpening up the image or playing with the Fuji 31 controls?

I've attached some examples !
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Old Sunday 12th August 2007, 23:41   #48
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Bill,
I had a look at these images on my computer. It looks like the focus was off as well as high magnification in low light over water. If you look at the egret you can see that the background is quite sharp and the bird is way out of focus. With the long camera zoom that you were using I assume you had switched off Macro Mode as mentioned in previous posts as the camera would have had problems with focusing (the little Green light would have been flashing ). For small subjects in the frame it's best to use Spot Metering. Most people are using A/S Mode, rather than Program. Always a good idea to keep checking focus in the scope.
It is difficult though, particularly if the light is not good. I'm going out to the wetlands today in rain so I'm not expecting too much. Neil.
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Old Sunday 12th August 2007, 23:43   #49
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Bill,
You will have to spend some time at the computer when you get home too. The gull was not too bad. I've run it through Noiseware and brightened it a bit. Neil
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Old Monday 13th August 2007, 00:12   #50
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Personally I just don't think the Leica is all that good for digiscoping. I had a look through the galleries and couldn't find anyone getting consistent results with that scope. All the photos look soft or they look like they've been sharpened loads. I did a bit of hunting around on the web also and it seems that soft photos is something that this scope suffers from. I've never looked through one but I'm sure they are great at what they are designed for.

As I've shown with my very inexpensive homemade hybrid setup, digiscoping isn't all down to very expensive optics. Having tried various very cheap objective lenses in my scopes and still getting the same results I find it all comes down to the eyepiece and that's the area that makes the most difference for me in sharpness. I think what works well for digiscoping isn't always that which works well for looking through. I can't really fault the camera as I'm using the same one.

Paul.
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