Lumix DMC FZ50 - Macro shots

4 years 2 months ago #550379 by allen-uk
Hello.

Might well be a dumb question, but here goes...

On my Lumix DMC FZ50 camera (getting on, but still takes excellent pictures), I have never been able to get to grips with Macro shots.

I've read and re-read the Panasonic manual, but still fail to make them work. Do I need a special conversion lens for close-ups, or am I just doing it wrong?

I put the focus switch to AF MACRO, turn the tele/wide ring to full tele, and then try to focus with the inner ring. Which doesn't do anything.

So, is it me (likely) or the manual (possibly)?

Thanks.

Allen.


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4 years 1 month ago #552751 by garyrhook
There's not enough information here. How far are you from the subject? 

According to the manual, page 56, the minimum focusing distance is 5 cm at full Wide. At full Tele it's only 2m. You can't magnify a close subject by extending your focal length with that camera.

Actually, this applies to all lenses, so it's not just you.

You have to figure out how to balance all of the parameters when creating your shot: focal length, aperture, distance to subject, distance to background, etc. But you're constrained by what the camera can do.

I don't think you can buy any other lenses for that model. It's not a replaceable lens system, AFAIK.


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4 years 1 month ago #552835 by allen-uk
Thanks for the help, Gary. My problem is that p56 also reads:



This mode allows you to take close-uppictures of the subject, e.g. When taking
pictures of flowers.
You can take pictures approaching the
subject at a distance up to 5 cm (0.16 feet)
from the lens by rotating the zoom ring
upmost to Wide (1 ).  Mostly, I find the manual accurate, although a bit over-written, but it does specifically say what it says above! I know that the camera (good as it is) won't do more than it can do, but focusing on an object 5cm (two inches!) away seems beyond it (or me).

Or am I reading the paragraph wrongly?

Allen


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4 years 1 month ago #552838 by garyrhook
The manual's words and diagram indicate that, at the shortest focal length, it will focus at 5 cm. Unless I misread your OP, you state that you're trying to move the lens to the longest focal length (tele, not wide). Am I misunderstanding?

The short end of that lens is only a few millimeters (just like cell phones). So a close distance of 5cm is not unreasonable. It is important to understand that the longer the focal length, the greater the minimum focus distance, in general. This is why there are special macro lenses for DSLRs/etc, and why the cost more.

What I would do is put the camera in macro mode, turn the lens to the shortest/widest focal length, and start about 6 feet from some object (with plenty of light... a tree, for example). Focus on the tree trunk (using AF or manual). Step forward a foot or so. Do not change your focal length. Focus again. Repeat. How close can you get to the subject? You ought to be able to get to 5cm.

Repeat for the longest focal length, but starting 10 feet from the tree. Confirm that your closest focus distance is 2m.

All this to affirm the camera behaves as documented, and that you are comfortable with its behavior.


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4 years 1 month ago #553752 by allen-uk
Thanks Gary.

One slight complication here is that the focus 'ring' only operates on MANUAL focus, not of course (of course?) on AF/Macro, where the camera's autofocus takes over. Having sussed that, it was all clearer.

Thanks for your help.

Allen.


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3 years 7 months ago #584153 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Allen

I've just joined this forum and seen your post ... I hope that you're still here and that my info will be of use to you

I have had an FZ-30 for many years [along with others up to the FZ200] and macro / zoom macro is of great interest to me

The earlier answer re- macro distance increases as you zooom is quite correct ... at 1x zoom you can macro shoot down to "real close" and as you zoom thru to 12x the camera-to-subject distance increases to about 1,8m / 6ft

This means 2 things - a) you can get beaut close-up shots of flowers / insects / small animals from 1,8m away and the background goes out of focus very easily, and b) if you really do need to get 'real close' but also want to use the zoom lens, then you need the help of a Close-up Lens as attached to the camera lens's filter thread

A Close-up Lens controls the focus distance and the zoom lens controls the image size

A close-up lens of say, +2-dioptres has a focus distance of 1/2-metre / 18 inches
A close-up lens of say , +3-dioptres has a focus distance of 1/3-metre / 12 inches
A good quality close-up lens will cost you from $50 to $100 / or UK pounds equivalent

I use both lenses regularly, depending upon the distance between me and the subject

The fabulous part of it is that after you get the focus 'right' you then simply zoom to get the image size 'right' and shoot to your heart's content

If you're still watching this thread and want more info, please ask :)
Hope this helps, Phil
image library at www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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3 years 7 months ago - 3 years 7 months ago #584651 by allen-uk
Hello Phil,

And many thanks for the comments and interest. 

I'll have a go at what you suggest, and come back to you.

Cheers.

Allen.

PS Just had a look at your pics - they are wonderful! Do you print your own, or use labs? Really impressive portfolio.


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3 years 7 months ago #585307 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day again Allen

Here's some comparisons of closeups - with & without the extra close-up lens

1- Camera on 'macro' means front of camera lens about 4inches from the subject & lens at 1x zoom [wide-angle mode] heaps of DoF with background quite visible


2- with a +3 Dioptre closeup lens and camera on 3x zoom means camera now at 12inches from subject [better lighting as well] and background now becomes blurry


3- current FZ-200 with Canon 250D closeup lens + focussing rack on tripod


Hope this helps
Phil


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3 years 7 months ago #585312 by allen-uk
Thanks again, Phil. Starting to get the picture.

Tripod: is a good tripod essential for this sort of Macro shooting? I've been looking at this one on Amazon (as my current 40 year old one was cheap and tatty when I bought it...)

www.amazon.co.uk/Beschoi-Lightweight-Alu...=camera+tripod&psc=1

Although I'm a bit puzzled about how the camera connects to the tripod - doesn't seem to have an old-fashioned screw.

Any thoughts?

Allen.


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3 years 7 months ago #585473 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day mate

The tripod can have either the usual ball & socket head -or- a pan & tilt head [it does not matter]. On to this is screwed the focussing rail - same thread as the camera has - and the camera is then screwed to the focussing rail

You swivel the tripod head to aim at the subject, then use the rack & pinion gearing of the focus rail to move back & forth to get the subject in focus

The focus rail has 4 inches / 100mm of movement, so it saves having to shift the tripod an inch here or an inch there to get into focus

Phil


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3 years 7 months ago #585474 by allen-uk
Thanks as usual Phil.

I've been trying to get Macro shots by hand, which (given that I've got dodgy eyesight, too), is probably a mistake.

I'll invest in a decent tripod!

Allen.


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3 years 7 months ago #585475 by Ozzie_Traveller

allen-uk wrote: Thanks again, Phil. Starting to get the picture.

a) Tripod: is a good tripod essential for this sort of Macro shooting? I've been looking at this one on Amazon (as my current 40 year old one was cheap and tatty when I bought it...)

b) www.amazon.co.uk/Beschoi-Lightweight-Alu...-Portable-Camcorders

c) Although I'm a bit puzzled about how the camera connects to the tripod - doesn't seem to have an old-fashioned screw.

Any thoughts?
Allen.


G'day mate

a) it's one of those 50/50 things ... there are many times I use the tripod and other times when I don't.  If I have huge amounts of sunlight & can get both a decent aperture [F11-F16-F22] and also a good shutter speed to stop movement[mine and the subjects] I can shoot hand-held.  But if neither above can be met then it is 'yes' to the tripod and I also select the 2-second self-timer delay to avoid tripod shake in the picture

b) looked at the link - it seems a pretty okay tripod - but like everything these days, until it's in your hot-little-hands it's hard to be exact

c) I answered this on the other response
Here's pic of the one I use - see if you can find a local supplier
www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/899257-RE...era_Platforms_6.html
NB: as you can see, they're not expensive

Phil


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