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Thread: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

  1. #261
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    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ombre View Post
    Hi all,

    I hope I am welcome and not too late to join this forum.

    Got my FZ18 recently, about 3-4 weeks now. Price was 400 SGD ^^. Actually its only 290 USD, my aunt brought it from America for me, so totally no delivery charge, plus the all time low USD conversion rate.

    Sadly though, its the accessories that disappointed me. I got a Vitacon 2.5x tele-con, which IMO was atrocious. I only got 1.37x effective zoom and totally blur shots, and 180SGD =(.

    Total newbie, would like to hear and learn from you guys really! So far I pretty much love the camera except the ISO... And somehow I don't like the "very effective" iA mode, it seems like all the auto modes on the FZ18 tends to choose fast ISO speed over aperture/shutter settings.

    How do you guys usually overcome noise? I only use photoshop methods but totally clueless about analog methods. (And the obvious reducing ISO)

    And can someone tell me how the Noise Reduction works? Thanks!

    (Also looking for Tele-Lens, but under serious consideration now since I am terribly upset with the first)
    well, what do you expect from a cheap S$30-50 teleconverter? raynox do have very high quality converter, but it will cost about S$200.
    but do you really need teleconverter? the camera itself has got a pretty good range to cover most shots.

  2. #262

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Well the bad thing is I got cheated, paid like 180 for the vitacon.

    I don't exactly need the extra zoom, but I thought it might be fun to push the zoom a little further. Someone was offering a Olympus C-160, 1.4x, would that work with the FZ18?

    Also where do you guys get the DMW-LA3 adapter? If I just mount the tele-con on the lens itself, will it work?

  3. #263

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    To ombre bro,

    I'll try to help you as much as i can. (But the others kindly correct me if i am wrong somewhere.)

    First thing first, you'll have to read up the user manual!

    Before you buy any kind of assessories, i suggest you read up abt the product and reviews, best is users' review. compare it with the other makes and models. remember: Google is your friend. Do your homework, and you'll not end up asking why like this and like that, and it'll very much prevent you from being cheated (if you know the price beforehand).

    as for assessories wise, if you want to put a filter, for eg, UV, CPL, ND etc(if you don;t know what all these are, just ask Google), you'll need to buy the 46mm thread ones. this size of filters can be mounted onto your extending barrel direct. bear in mind that you should avoid buying the 55mm size as if you mount the filters on the 55mm fixed barrel, you'll face bigger problem as the extending barrel will be block, meaning you cannot zoom. you'll risk damaging the filter too. in conclusion to this point, use 46mm filters and you'll not face any problems

    if you want to use a teleconvertor, then you'll need a, adaptor. besides the official DMW-LA3, there are other 3rd party ones available at a cheaper price, and they all serve the same purpose. you cannot mount the TCON directly onto your 55mm thread barrel as the reason is the same as i mention above for the filter part. An adaptor, usually is a step up convertor too, is mandatory.

    to sum it all, there are two thread size in front of your camera. the 46mm threads are for filters, while the 55mm thread is for adaptors like the DMW-LA3.

    Where can you buy the adaptor and raynox TCON, just look for a guy in this forum with the nick jim_mcgill. btw i'm in no way associated with him.

    Happy shooting!
    [Canon EOS 5D II + 40D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II] [Fuji X-Pro1 + XF35mm f/1.4]

  4. #264

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Hi zzyzx,

    Thanks for coming forward to answer my questions.

    I have read as much as I could and understand that the normal way to mount a Telecon is to use the adapter and mount it on the 55mm ring. But I wanted to know if there are issues to mount it on the extending barrel instead? If i use a step up 46-52mm and mount it on the extending barrel, and assuming the image quality is still very good (I would try to test this), will there be other implications for it? Like will I damage the lens motor due to the weight or something? (The lens should retract without obstruction by the way, I'll just cap the Telecon

    Furthermore the TCon used to mount on the FZ18 are usually like 58 or 62 or 68mm, like Raynox, Olympus or whichever, this one is actually smaller than the adapter thread.

    I hope I am not throwing too big a question across, actually when I bought that vitacon tele, the guy just gave me a stepup ring and mount it on the extending barrel. Thats where I got the idea from, but ... *shrug*

  5. #265

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    do not mount it on the extending barrel. you know the answer already. it'll damage the zoom motor. and you'll also face problem when the barrel retracts. no point to damage your camera just to accomodate the TCON.
    [Canon EOS 5D II + 40D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II] [Fuji X-Pro1 + XF35mm f/1.4]

  6. #266

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Oh well, yea thanks anyway, the guy just called me to say that someone beaten me to the item, so just as well.

    Just wondering, are there 46mm CPL around and what are their prices like? I figure 20-25, would I be mistaken?

  7. #267

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    CPL are usually more expensive. and the bad thing is you'll have a hard time finding one for 46mm thread. be sure to bring your cam along and mount the filter on the barrel and see if there's vignetting occured althought it should not have.

    you might be able to find one which cost roughly abt $25 to $40 range. but the more expensive ones like B+W brand will cost way more than that. you might find cheaper source of the filters at the buy/sell section in this forum.
    [Canon EOS 5D II + 40D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II] [Fuji X-Pro1 + XF35mm f/1.4]

  8. #268

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Alright thanks for your tips, appreciate your spontaneous fast replies!

    If I am not wrong I saw a CPL filter for 35 bux at Harvey Norman Novena, should be 52mm.

  9. #269

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    there are a couple of makers for CPL. do read up their reviews as one will perform better than the other. and as i mentioned, you need a 46mm filter.
    [Canon EOS 5D II + 40D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II] [Fuji X-Pro1 + XF35mm f/1.4]

  10. #270

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Get my 46mm Hoya CPL from Cathay photo last month.
    Other brand the have for 46MM CPL is B+W.
    I think there still have stock for it.

  11. #271

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by nameless1 View Post
    Get my 46mm Hoya CPL from Cathay photo last month.
    Other brand the have for 46MM CPL is B+W.
    I think there still have stock for it.

    Dammit...I went to CP at Peninsula 3 times in 3 weeks last month asking if they have CPL at 46mm and they still said. Dun have. . The guy didnt even check for me and just said dun have. Maybe the clothes I wear not very presentable...

    NOW HAVE! until I got a CPL at other place where the lady find for me.

    How much is the CPL?
    My Flickr iownthislensthatlensthislensthatlens

  12. #272

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    You can get CPL from alan photo at Sim Lim square too other than those other places recommended by others. I think I got mine at about $25~$30. can't exactly remember. I think the demand for 46 mm is low since its not dslr. so not much choices for brands. Mine is Hoya.

  13. #273

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    HI Guys! I am relatively new here. Just wish to share with you the photos I have taken using FZ-18. I am new to photography and interested to explore the limits of my FZ-18 camera. Please feel free to comment on my photos at http://flickr.com/photos/13345638@N06/

  14. #274

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Hi. what mode did u use? IA mode or manual or smth else? For the 'little green creature' picture, did u use another lens?

    im quite new to photography too =D that's why I got the FZ18 a couple of months back. Is it a good starter's camera? Kinda regretted actually.. should have waited for awhile more if i knew the LX3 was coming up!


    Anyway, if IA mode is supposed to be intelligent in detecting the surroundings, how come sometimes my picture still turns out so dark? It doesnt appear very clear too..

    I like to play with the manual function of my camera, but I always don't understand about the shutter speed. Sometimes when I adjust a certain shutter speed, the screen will say "please wait" and count down to 1 before taking the picture. Why is that so? Maybe someone can help me and briefly explain to me in simple terms about the shutter speed and stuff..

    thanks!!

  15. #275

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Hi coolzephyr,
    For the little green creature, I set my camera to aperture priority mood and used the largest aperture (which is equal to smallest F-stop no. in this case is f3.6) because i want to reduce the depth of field so that the hopper remains clear while the background remains blurry. In this case i also use spot metering for more precision, but you may use the average metering. I did not use macro lens. It will be better to stand slightly further away and zoom in to the subject as longer focal lenght helps to reduce the depth of field more to get a better blurry background. You can go to www.photoinf.com or www.cameralabs.com for some very useful tips =).

    haa.. i also feel the same way as you as i got mine a few months back too as i was very ill aware of when the latest model will be out. I think LX3 seems like a good compact camera with manual functions. However i still feel this FZ-18 is a good starter camera which i am still having alot of fun with it. Especially the superzoom function which is very go for Zoo, animals, concert shots where you could be quite far away from the subject. But, there must be strong lightings for good handheld shot at extreme zoom.

    For the IA mood, in certain tricky light condition like for example with very bright background, the subject will turn out quite dark. If you notice there is a "backlight" prompt at the bottom left of the lcd screen, so just press up (the +/- icon button) and it may solve the problem.

    For the shutter speed, if you choose 10 sec. it will take 10sec for the lens to remain open for the camera to capture the lights. Thats why the LCD screen starts to count down. Thats normal.

    Hope my brieft explanation helps. For more detail explanation of basic shutter speed, aperture, and exposure you can refer to the websites i mention =) =)

  16. #276

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by coolzephyr View Post
    Hi. what mode did u use? IA mode or manual or smth else? For the 'little green creature' picture, did u use another lens?

    im quite new to photography too =D that's why I got the FZ18 a couple of months back. Is it a good starter's camera? Kinda regretted actually.. should have waited for awhile more if i knew the LX3 was coming up!


    Anyway, if IA mode is supposed to be intelligent in detecting the surroundings, how come sometimes my picture still turns out so dark? It doesnt appear very clear too..

    I like to play with the manual function of my camera, but I always don't understand about the shutter speed. Sometimes when I adjust a certain shutter speed, the screen will say "please wait" and count down to 1 before taking the picture. Why is that so? Maybe someone can help me and briefly explain to me in simple terms about the shutter speed and stuff..

    thanks!!
    The P A S M mode can help you understand the situation u taking.

    M: Manual mode. If you master the 3 below and felt that you want to do it ur way with different settings all by urself then this is the good function for ya to use. all manual.

    S: Shutter Priority. Is best for fast shots that you wanted. for instance a car chase ride and u were there. S function can help you compensate just by changing the shutter speed. ISO you can use auto for up to 1600 or manual set it.

    A: Aperture Priority. is good for DOF shots. Smaller aperture gives wide DOF and bigger aperture gave shallow DOF. good for landscape and also macro shot. ISO is the same as above.

    P: Programe Mode. Is good for shooting in bright light. it will automatic detect and set the aperture and shutter.ISO same as above


    just my 2cents knowledge.
    My Flickr iownthislensthatlensthislensthatlens

  17. #277

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Thank you riscal and lozenges i wil definitely take note of the tips and info.

    i've been wanting to create the blurry effect, but always fail. maybe it's because i don't zoom enough. I always thought that f2.8 was not big enough, thats why im very fascinated with the LX3, which has an aperture of 2!

    anyway you mentioned about the superzoom. i'd need very steady hands for it! cos my pics turn out blur when i zoom too much.

    for P mode, isn't is similar to IA mode? which would u recommend?

  18. #278

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    I have try to take protrait shots with blurry background effect but i did not get good results. But for smaller items, flowers, insects etc., it is not a problem. So always use smallest aperture, some zoom (longer focal length) and may even need to try switching on macro button.

    I tried to shoot my carpark from my windown during broad day light. I can get good non-blurry hsshot with hands. But some times when Im outside shooting I cannot. I think very teady hand is needed. Probably you may want to get a not so expansive and light tripod which can also help if you want to take night shots.

    For beginner I think you can you IA to take some test shot of the scene to get a rough idea on what are the iso, aperture and shutter speed setting that the system ideally see. Then you can practise using other mood with some different setting to your taste.

    Bad thing about IA is that there is totally no control over all the basic setting. So i would use P mood more often where i can play with iso, exposure compensation, metering and so on. I always try to use iso 100 and not more than 400 if ever possible. In some situation, if you have not so much time to think, I think just use IA mood.

    The only way is to improve is to shoot more and experiment more so that you can close one eye and adjust the settings.

  19. #279

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    Lozenges I saw your pictures, and I can't believe you're new, they look pretty professional, in fact very professional. They all look really pretty, and it seems like you planned for the shots, especially the sunset. Question, did you use any filters?

    ---

    And to join the talk about the FZ18 Modes, I personally hate the iA mode a lot. I never use it unless I'm seriously clueless what to use and I need to shoot within 3-5 seconds, some sort of that situation. In my experience (not sure about you guys) iA always chooses something with horribly slow shutter speed, hence I am always getting blurred shots. And they even force you to open the flash sometimes and made me miss my shots on the first few days I was using my camera. Felt like a total goof with iA.

    Preferred Auto Mode is actually Sports, I haven't figured out how to use landscape or portrait but I figure that I don't really need it. Anyway, I use sports mode when I'm firing with flash or situations where I don't want to set anything. Impromptu/Candid shots.

    Favorite mode is still M, =) the exposure meter is totally the best thing, makes it so much easier for a newbie like me, the things I shoot usually calls for higher shutter speed anyway, and I don't like the noise as well from high ISO so, I tend to shoot things underexposed and correct with photoshop.

    Don't really use S, A or P much... I kind of see it as just a breakdown of M so, I felt that they were redundant. Anyone wants to help me look past this?

  20. #280

    Default Re: Pana FZ18 user!!! Come in here!!!

    I agree! I don't like the IA mode cos it doesnt give me certain effects that I want.. i like the M mode too, cos i can adjust my aperture and shutter accordingly...

    i kinda got quite addicted to the P mode though

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