Panny/Lumix 14-45 ?

Started Jan 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 16,682
Re: It's Midnight - Do You Know where your Front Nodal Plane is ?

Hi Richard ,

I like the images that you have been posting !

richj20 wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

Richard ,

Thank you very much for the specific information about the G Vario 14-45mm !

You are welcome!

Front Nodal Plane

I'm not embarrassed to say that this is the first time I've heard that term! In the field, in practical work, I don't think much about physics/optics. I guess I just learn the capabilities of the lenses and take it from there.

With the 14-45mm, I just manually focus to the closest distance as indicated on the MF guide on the LCD, then move forward until the object is in sharp focus as indicated @10x on the LCD. You can't magnify much with this lens, but that's not one of its strengths, anyway.

Have you recorded the (actual) minimum focus-distance at the various labeled focal length adjustment settings ? I would be very interested if you have your findings recorded.

Exactly where that point exists within a multi-element (much less varifocal or zoom) lens-system is obviously rather hard to determine. People say simplistic things regarding estimates, such as "half-way between the sensor/film plane and the front of the outer lens", etc. - but in the case of truly close-up/macro photography, one can see that such "guest-imates" would typically fall far short of being an adequate approach.

Again, I don't know any macro shooters who think about where this point is while photographing in the field. They know their lens and focus/position accordingly. What interests them about the lens is the closest focusing distance.

Them and us, too ! Nailing down what the specs translate to is my primary motivation and interest.

Those who photograph insects a lot prefer a longer working distance, for example.

With a macro lens such as the 45mm macro, the inner elements are designed to permit 1:1 (or greater) magnification at the closest focusing distance -- about 3 inches with this lens, permitting magnification that the 14-45mm can't do, such as with this little Salvia:

That bloom is about 2cm across. With the 14-45mm (just .34x magnification in 35mm terms) you would have to crop so severely that a decent sized print would be problematical.

On the other hand, some lens systems such as the Canon G11 permit close focusing to about 1 inch in the "macro" mode:

I also have a FZ50 and LX3. It's nice to have that closer focusing ability. And more DOF, as well ...

It's not really "macro" of course, since you don't get 1:1 magnification. With this Sneezeweed flower and bee, the objects are not so tiny that a bit of cropping makes things turn out OK.

Others (some on this forum) shoot true macro with telephoto lenses + a closeup lens attached and get rather spectacular results. So, many ways to deal with camera-to-subject distance!

My hand-held (truly) close-up methods (at full wide-angle) are considered undesirable by some - pretty much those who want more background isolation. I do have to work at finding backgrounds that work well as they are (not highly de-focused).

One can take a lot of shots from different (close-up) perspectives in the time that it takes to try to setup a tripod, though. The flowers that I like to shoot are seldom situated where tripod (or even mono-pod) setups work well. The amount of time that I have where lighting is best is limited, as well (and I like to cover more than one subject in that often all too brief time-window of the most interesting afternoon/evening lighting.

Thanks for that link -- I'll check it out and learn some terminology!

Let me know if you are interested in the other link (to the"Google doc"), and I will PM it to you.

DM ...

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