Fuji HS10 – Using Telephoto
As the heading suggests this section is about using the HS10’s very long reach. You may have heard many comments about the reach of the HS10. Some suggest thats its IQ (image quality) is not good at long range and that the images appear soft around the edges of photos.
These statements are correct in that there are some limitations.
The first one is that at full stretch the maximum aperture is F 5.6, which is a little dull when using full telephoto.
Secondly focus can be soft or difficult if not used with a tripod and the use of shutter delay is advised in this situation.
Thirdly is the comment that the HS10 is best used in moderate to bright light conditions.
While all these things are true, this doesn’t mean that the HS10 wont take a decent photo at the extreme end of its range. Its a matter of knowing how to use it.
The photo at right shows Para-gliders on a clear and bright day with a small amount of haze. The distance to this target was at least 3 kilometers from point of shot.
This was taken without a tripod and Image stabilization on. IQ is not great but at this distance very few lenses will give this result.
However at closer distance you can handhold the HS10 with I.S. running and get very nice shots. This shot of the bird above the shed was taken on an overcast day at about 100 meters. The image is clear and at F4 the background is nicely out of focus.
This shows that if the light is not good extreme distance is going to give poor results, but mid to near objects are still well within the cameras abilities.
The picture below of the ship was taken using 0.0 Ev, F10 and 1/1200 second. Auto focus decided to focus on the rope but the higher aperture kept the rest of the photo in check. Using a tripod and making sure the focus was set on the ship would have given sharper results long range. The scale of this photo is quite large. The rope is 50 meters, the ship a little over 2 kilometers and the houses seen on the hills in the background are 15 kilometers.
This shows that in reasonable light at full stretch the HS10 can return nice results.
So we have found that the camera can perform in these circumstances but what about the claim that the lens is soft and can suffer from drop-off in poor light. That too is a true statement, however if you understand and know how the camera is going to perform you can shoot images to suit. The following images were shot from my kitchen window this morning. It was raining heavily and light was poor. Knowing this I made sure to keep my subject centered in frame and used tracking mode with AF to ensure as the birds moved I would stay with them and in focus.
In the unedited original you can see quite clearly that there is light drop off in the corners. Given the amount of available light and running at 126mm this isnt surprising.
The crop of the original has been processed via Photoscape and light and contrast and a little sharpening applied. The finished product is quite acceptable. The supplied Exif data shows how I took this shot. Notice that the EV was set to -0.7 Setting this to 0.0 would have lightened the image a little.
DateTimeOriginal : 2010:12:19 10:45:54 ExifVersion : 0220
ExifImageHeight : 2736 ExifImageWidth : 3648
So when it comes right down to it the HS10 is capable of giving some good results in a number of less than optimum lighting conditions. Knowing how the camera will react in these types of circumstances is the key to getting a good result and not a lot of frustration. So get out there and use the telephoto, it wont bite 🙂
Merry Xmas and happy Snappin.