Sunday, April 25, 2010

HS10 Review Part 4 – Close Ups and Macro 1

Close ups and macro images definitely proved to be the most fun part of shooting with this camera. But *very* finicky too. The traditional macro images are rather easy … you get real close and you set macro or super macro and you fire away.

But those images only make up a small part of what I like to shoot. I am a huge fan of flower close ups using the long zoom and getting excellent subject isolation. It was a revelation to me to realize that macro mode allowed me to focus the F70EXR at 3 feet instead of the usual 10 feet. The images I get are quite stunning from that camera.

So it was with breathless anticipation that I got out into the dewey morning after only a few hours of sleep (processing those moon shots from part 1 until about 3am) and started hunting for buds and flowers to shoot.

The first thing I noticed is that my tulip was about to bloom. This seemed like a great subject. But I was disappointed because of the mediocre detail available on the closed up flower. I ended up capturing this with the HS10, which I think is just ok. Probably because I shot it at 720mm at 1/110” … that’s kind of pushing things :-)

DSCF5204_tulip[1]

Yellow has proven to be my nemesis over the years. Extremely hard to capture when brightly lit. This muted presentation was the best I could do.

Moving on, I noticed the beautiful French Lilac in my front yard glistening in the sublight … I love backlit images of stems because the inevitable hair on the stems and leaves just glows.

I love both of these images … they are exactly what I aspire to when I go to shoot flowers. I would be happy to put them in a book, assuming I was qualified to write one :-)

The HS10 was shot at 560mm, which is quite a bit stronger than the 270mm available with the F70EXR. And it shows in the superb detail and creamy background … there were houses back there …

DSCF5207_hs10_lilac[1]

The F70EXR shot is also very nice, and it has terrific bokeh for a small sensor camera. But let’s face it … for macros of this type, it is a knife in a gun fight.

DSCF4267_f70_lilac[1]

At this point, I walked around the bush and faced back 180 degrees from the previous shots, and downward. This makes for a nice green background to the buds, which are now bathed in dappled sunlight. Lots of potential there.

The HS10 again gets a bit closer, but I wanted a specific framing, so I went with a similar magnification. A crops shot follows, and you can see that the detail is quite magnificent.

DSCF5215_hs10_lilac[1]

The background is a bit busy, but the subject isolation is strong enough to win the day anyway. As always, you get a much better view by clicking through.

DSCF5215_hs10_lilac_crops[1]

There’s a lot of detail available at 100 ISO with this camera.

The F70EXR focal length was a tag shorter, which makes a fairly small difference to the bokeh in the background. A bit more busy than that of the HS10 image.

DSCF4272_lilac[1]

DSCF4272_f70_lilac_crops[1]

And, to close this part of the review, the HS10’slonger focal lengths can again be used to isolate a smaller part of the Lilac flower buds and smooth the background completely.

DSCF5224_hs10_lilac[1]

I found the capture of close images to be a bit more complex than expected. When zoomed, there is the inevitable camera shake to deal with at very high magnifications for the long focal lengths. The minimum focus distance is quite extreme, requiring macro mode to get anywhere near the subject before focusing. Super macro appears to work at some zoom settings, and not others. It’s all a little complex, rather typical of Fuji.

But it is worth the patience required to learn the disciplines required for close up work. The long focal lengths provide a unique perspective with backgrounds very narrow and generally as creamy and indistinct as desired.

1 comment:

Lili said...

Ok then, this is looking better and better.
The long shot to shot times I can live with, that lens and even the sensor, esp at High ISO....dang!