Wednesday, August 27, 2008


One of the reasons I selected the Fujifilm S700 digital point and shoot camera several months ago was due to its ability to focus down to 4cm on Super Macro mode. Now, just because the camera can focus that close doesn't necessarily mean that it will. I've spent quite a bit of time becoming frustrated by the camera's tendency to focus just beyond the subject. Seems that trying to focus on a small object in the midst of other small objects confuses the auto focus mechanism. Unfortunately, focusing on small objects in the midst of other small objects is the entire point of macro photography.

So here's a focusing procedure that you won't find in the camera manual. With your camera set on macro (or super macro as the case may be), take an exposure reading of the subject - you don't have to be in focus to do that. Note the reading, then either set that reading in the camera's manual mode, or, with your index finger about a half inch in front of the lens, move the camera around in the light until you get an identical reading, then lock in the focus on your finger.

Remove finger from the front of the lens. The focus is now locked to about a half inch. Now move the camera ever closer to your subject until it becomes sharply focused in your viewfinder or LCD screen. Then snap. Take several shots just to be sure. It's hard to tell from the LCD screen if you're really in tack-sharp focus.

It's trial and error, but when going fully automatic is nothing but error, it's worth a try.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.


Dona said...

Thanks for the tip, James. I actually purchased this camera based on your recommendation, and have liked it for the most part. I've not seriously tried the super macro mode, but now will try your suggestion.

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness, Jim-ma-nee Cricket.... What a striking shot.