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Photography Question 
Kristina  Simms

Get Good Prints from Telephoto Shots

My telephoto shots look good on the computer but do not enlarge well for printing. I am using a Panasonic DMC-FZ2 with a 12x optical zoon. Is there some adjustment I should make in the settings?

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8/25/2006 10:08:24 AM

Jay Kinghorn   Kristina,
So your wide-angle shots are sharp and your zoom photos are blurry? When using a long zoom lens, our normal movement "camera shake" is exaggerated by the long zoom causing blurry pictures. The remedy is to:
1) Choose a faster shutter speed. The rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed that is as fast as your lens is long (in mm-listed on your lens barrel). So, for a 300mm lens, you'll want a shutter speed 1/320th of a second or faster.
2) Use a tripod, monopod or brace yourself against a wall, car rock or tree. This will minimize the movement of the camera while you take your picture.
Best of luck!

Editor's Note: Jay Kinghorn is a new instructor at and has an awesome 4-week class that begins September 6th: Digital Fundamentals

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8/25/2006 10:23:48 AM

Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   I don't know anything about your camera, but I started off with a P&S. Make sure the digital zoom is turned off and you are using only the optical zoom. Check to make sure your camera has an effective pixel value high enough to enlarge to the size you want. Also, make sure that you have resized the photo's DPI value to 300 for printing. Oh, and make sure you're shooting at the highest quality setting on your camera.

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8/25/2006 10:52:45 AM

Kristina  Simms   thanks for the good advice. I have a tripod and will use if more often. Also I will try to find a manual for this camera and learn more also.

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8/25/2006 11:03:02 AM

anonymous A.    These cameras sport the best optical image stabiliser in the business: make sure it is switched on...look in the menu under set-up. Even without a tripod, hand motion is not likely to be your problem.
This model was released in 2003. It has only a 2 megapixel sensor, and that's the likely reason your prints aren't too good. Even with the outstanding Leica lens, prints above 5x7 are pushing the limits of acceptable print quality.

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8/29/2006 6:21:47 AM

Kristina  Simms   OK--I have been gratefully following advice given. Using faster shutter speed has helped. Also I discovered on my own, novice that I am, that cropping the pictures made them lose their clarity. My pix are turning out better now thanks to all this helpful advice.

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9/1/2006 11:05:25 AM

Jay Kinghorn   Kristina,

I'm very glad to hear it. Pixels are a very precious commodity. Always strive for the perfect crop in-camera.

Have you posted any of these new and improved images? I'd love to see some!

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9/1/2006 11:17:52 AM

Kristina  Simms   OK, I just submitted a photo of a gulf frittilary butterly on tithonia (Mexican subflower bloom). I used one of the action speed settings, plus I didn't crop it. Although just 2 mp, it turned out well. It's in an album. I could not figure out how to post pictures to this thread.

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9/1/2006 12:20:10 PM

Kristina  Simms   It's showing in the "new photos" now.

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9/1/2006 12:22:26 PM

anonymous A.    Looks fine on the monitor, Kristina. But that's just a low resolution version, and they should all look OK at the 72dpi of a monitor. How does it enlarge on paper? That's when the low pixel count will show up.

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9/2/2006 4:59:53 AM

Kristina  Simms   I have ordered a print so that question should be answered soon! The online place I order from (Clark)gives a warning if the photo is not suitable for enlargement to certain sizes--this time there was no warning, so I have my fingers crossed. :-)

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9/2/2006 5:15:09 AM

anonymous A.    Great! Good luck.

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9/2/2006 6:46:55 AM

Rudra Narayan Mitra   Kristina,

Please note some more points -
1. When you are not carrying the tripod, use the in camera Image stabilizer (if any)/ brace the camera steady on forehead and use the viewfinder/ hold the zoom lens below as an slr.These will reduce the camera shake.
2. Increase the ISO setting from say 50 to 200, to get more shutter speed. This will make sure to get sharp result. Image quality will be sacrificed a bit.

Let me know how it works with you.

With best regards,

Rudra Narayan Mitra

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9/2/2006 8:29:19 AM

Kristina  Simms   a worthwhile suggestion! Thank you!

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9/2/2006 8:34:30 AM

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