Using zoom lens like prime lens - any tips for the Finepix S1800?

Started Aug 14, 2010 | Discussions thread
Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Re: Using zoom lens like prime lens - any tips for the Finepix S1800?

CesarAKG wrote:

Hello

I own a Fujifilm Finepix S1800, and allways wondered: is there an easy way to put the zoom lens in the the position equivalent to the 50mm (prime lens)?

Yesterday I got an email pointing this as a tip to great pictures, and it got back to me. http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/top-10-tips-on-how-to-take-a-great-photo/

The hard way is to use the zoom indicator and making several shots, noting where in the zoom indicator bar is the zoom mark, and downloading the photos to the computer, and lookin in the EXIF. Before trying that, I was wondering if there is some meaning in the marks we see in the zoom indicator. Does someone knows about that?

Despite what that article says, there's nothing "magical" about choosing to shoot at 50mm. For my first film SLR I used a 58mm lens almost exclusively for a couple of years, but that's because it was reasonably priced and was "approximately what our eyes see" (as the article states). Photographers that shoot with a single prime lens tend to use shorter lenses, 40mm and sometimes wider, so it's not at all necessary to be able to zoom to exactly the 50mm equivalent position.

One thing that you can do that will get you reasonably close to 50mm is to zoom the S1800 all the way out, which puts it at 28mm. Point the camera at some landmark so that it's in the center of the frame and then look for some recognizable detail on the extreme left or right side of the frame. Then zoom in so that one of those details stays at the same edge of the frame, but the landmark that was previously in the center is now on the opposite edge of the frame. That will give you approximately (not exactly) double the focal length, or 56mm. That should be close enough for your purposes.

In case you aren't aware of it, Fuji's top S-series cameras (including the S6000fd, S9100, S100fs, S200EXR and others) and the HS10 use a mechanical ring on the lens barrel to zoom instead of a rocker switch or buttons on the camera body. This makes zooming much quicker and more precise. The lens barrel is marked with numbers indicating the focal lengths, but only sparsely, so for example, the HS10's zoom ring shows 24mm, 80mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm, 500mm and 720mm (and marks them on the lens barrel as well). The S100fs marks the zoom ring with numbers indicating 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm 135mm, 200mm, 300mm and 400mm. The S6000fd has the same numbers as the S100fs but since its lens has a narrower range, is only marked from 28mm to 300mm. These markings make it a bit easier to set the focal length, but it's still not very accurate unless you're trying to set one of the marked focal lengths.

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