First trip with the Panasonic 45-150mm

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
GeorgianBay1939
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Re: First trip with the Panasonic 45-150mm
In reply to richj20, Apr 5, 2013

richj20 wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Thanks a lot for posting those great images!  It gives us, up North with snow tonight, hope that SPRING, must be coming one of these months!

It will come, that's for sure -- Be patient!

I went HERE and thoroughly enjoyed your work in all 4 collections.

Thank you, Tom. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I had a lot of fun photographing up there.

Although I enjoyed your "people" images I am especially interested in your flower images, exemplified by the two above,  as I intend to learn how to do that this spring with my GH 2.  (I use my 14-140 mm a lot, but also use the PL 45mm, the Panny 20mm and the Panny 7-14 mm when appropriate.)

Flowers are my principal interest. I also use the PL 45mm macro, but now only for the tiny tots, or when wanting to magnify.

I took the liberty of downloading This Shot of Asclepias speciosas and checking the EXIF more fully.  We have several Asclepias spp here in (snowy) Northern Ontario and I hope to capture some pix of some that remain on my old farm.

Please post some. That genus is one of my favorites, and I'd like to see some different species!

From the EXIF of this shot and others I see that you (often) extend the lens to 150mm shoot around f/9 at (often) 1/640 sec in centre weighted exposure mode.  I assume RAW.

RAW + JPG. Most of the time with flowers, I use the JPG - the quality from today's cameras is wonderful. I'll use the RAW when needing to adjust white balance, or deal with noise, which isn't often with flowers.

I like the longer focal length because it affords a nicer control of separation of the flower from the background.

This shot, like many others, illustrates your fine control of focus and DOF.   In this case you nailed the buds with the open sepals as well as the fuzzy nature of the closed buds and leaves in the mid background. Do you AFS then tweak it in MF using the half press?  1 Area (one spot) focus?

For the Asclepias and a few other flowers where there is quite a distance from front to rear, I use MF, often on a tripod.

My tests revealed that the camera will often focus past the front element of the flower. So, I manually focus on the protruding element, using f/8 - f/10 to get everything within DOF, as in the buds, in the Asclepias, and the front petal in the Eschscholzia.

The common hibiscus can present this problem, where getting the protruding stamen in focus, and in this case, the leaves in the front, isn't always successful with AF:

A difficult scene is this tree orchid, Bauhinia purpurea. Several attemps with AF were not successtul:

I assume that you are using the EVF to expose, compose, focus and shoot.

Actually, not! I rarely use the EVF. I prefer holding the camera at chest or waist level, using the flipout LCD to compose. It just feels much more comfortable. When on a tripod, there is a lot of pleasure in taking time to compose with the LCD. I think this goes back to my years when I had a View Camera.

I have a small focusing cloth attached to my wide brim hat, and I can flip the cloth down over the LCD to block light. With no light hitting the screen, the image and colors display beautifully. It also aids in very precise manual focusing.

In non-flower work, for example, in the Kayak series on the Kern River: I positioned myself on the bank above the river, in front of white water areas. I was sitting on the ground with the camera resting on my knee and the LCD flipped open, just waiting for the right moment.

If I need to point and shoot quickly, I'll use the EVF. But that's not my favorite type of photography.

There is some sort of DOF preview on my GH 2 that I have never used.  Is that a worthwhile feature to  learn?

I've used the DOF preview, but now, I can pretty much know what the DOF will be for closeups of flowers. But it is a useful tool, that's for sure!

Having said all of the above in answer to your questions, I encourage you to experiment and develop your own methodology. You seem to have done that with your snow pictures, which are quite nice!

PS   I can remember driving from Mojave to Bakersfield in December 2005 and coming down from the hills towards Bakersfield.  A few hours drive south of your visit last week.  Beautiful country!!

Yes, indeed. The desert is a spectacular place.

Thanks again for taking the time to write your observations.

- Richard

Thank you very much for your very useful comments, Richard!  Lots of new stuff to try.

I used the LCDs on my first digital cameras, then on the GF 1, but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be and I find that adjusting the dioptre on the EVF is more convenient that using my spectacles with the LCD.  But I am going to try again, especially with a tripod ... with a focusing cloth.

Thanks for your encouragement.   Yes, I tend to want to learn the basics and then to develop my personal techniques.  That kinda guy, I guess.

I also like milkweeds, especially when the Monarchs are about.  My son has a big patch on his property on Manitoulin Island.  I will get some images to you this summer.

In the meantime here are some shots from my property from last May. You will recognize the species.

Maybe not this particular species:

Aquilegia canadensis

Probably not this one also!

P. pennsylvanica

And probably not this one also ....

Corydalis sempervirens

I recall taking pix of monarchs last summer at my son's place.

Aha!  Not on milkweed but on Dogbane:

Apocynum cannabinum  I think.  With horsetails in the background.

I detect that you are a botanist in addition to being a photographer.  I had a devil of a time finding images in my collection that isolated the bloom from the rest of the plant.  From now on I will take two images of each plant ..... a botanical specimen shot c/w leaves etc and a  more artistic shot with good isolation of the inflorescence.

Thanks a lot for your help.  I will try to find some Ontario, Canada, milkweeds for you in a few months!!

Tom

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