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  1. #1
    pdollar Guest

    FZ20 Focusing Issues

    My FZ20 is 3 months old and I am experiencing focusing issues - in both automatic and manual modes. There are times when it will not focus - I turn it off - wait a few minutes and turn it back on again and sometimes it's OK. Anyone else with this problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    270

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    wakefield uk
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    19
    I`m having exactly the same problems. Someone told me its because its searching for the light but it does it all the time even in bright or dark situations. It really is annoying as i`ve missed some good shots because it won`t focus. If anyone can solve this problem I`d be very grateful

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,497
    I also have been a bit concerned about my FZ20's focussing ability. Generally it seems ok but I have had several close up shots where it just won't focus at all even when it is well within the distances given in the manual. I have noticed that with close up shots if the zoom is any more than about 3x then focussing is difficult. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with my camera, however, with a bit of persistance I just got this shot below, not perfect but my best yet, so I think it just needs working at.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Martin Greaves Guest
    Phill, if you are using the Macro mode then don't forget that the closest focus distance is only available when the camera is set to the widest zoom. Using the zoom rapidly degrades the focus distance from 5cm (widest setting) to 200cm (max zoom, which is the same as non-Macro operation).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Not quite accurate...

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greaves
    Phill, if you are using the Macro mode then don't forget that the closest focus distance is only available when the camera is set to the widest zoom. Using the zoom rapidly degrades the focus distance from 5cm (widest setting) to 200cm (max zoom, which is the same as non-Macro operation).
    The minimum focusing distance for the FZ1, 3, 10, 15, and 20 cameras stays fairly close to 5cm until the zoom exceeds ~2.8X, then it takes a quantum jump out to a much longer distance. I've taken many closeup shots with my FZ15 at 50-90mm equivalent focal length, getting very close to my subjects, usually flowers. Here's an example, shot at 69mm equiv:

    This "quantum leap" is not present in the newer FZ4/FZ5 cameras, rather for them the minimum distance moves up right with the zoom. They compensate with a "Tele-Macro" function, that lets you get relatively close up in the macro mode at full zoom, maybe a meter distant?

    But I do think that often people who have focusing problems with these cameras should just try moving further back from the subject, because there is a tendancy to want to pull in a subject by zooming in, then finding that one can't focus due to violating the minimum distance requirement at the higher zoom level.
    Last edited by John_Reed; 05-23-2005 at 10:20 AM.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    213
    No.. i dont have problems with focusing... i preffer to use manual focus rather than automatic..! manual focus act faster to take several shot.. or fast moving object!..
    but i do have problem to focus at very low light condition!.. i couldnt see anything! its the LCD!
    bad... panasonic.. bad!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,497
    Very interesting comments much appreciated. I agree there is a tendancy to use that zoom since it's there to enlarge the image. I had not noticed the quantum leap as you described it John but I will investigate when I get chance. It sounds like this is the cause of many of my focussing concerns. Has anyone taken any measurements of the actual focusing distances to show how it varies with changing zoom?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    62
    I noticed the answers are all regarding close ups. Is this your problem? I sometimes have problems but it is because I have moved the camera. Even the antishake isn't perfect if the camera isnt given time to focus, especially in low light. Annoying!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,497

    More focus comments

    Yes I have noticed the focus problems more on close up shots. On looking back at the settings for some of my recent shots it seems that the ones that had focus problems were usually where I had used the zoom a little bit & therefore probably had not moved far enough away from the subject. It looks like I was just suffering from the start of the quantum leap in focus distance that John was describing earlier. That and taking some of the photographs as the light was dropping obviously gave the camera a few problems. Camera shake wasn't a problem in the dandelion photo although it was hand held as I managed to get a shutter speed of 1/60 at f2.8 and this was at full wide angle in macro mode. I'd still like to have a chart that shows minimum focus distance vs zoom though just for reference.

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