Panasonic 7-14 - Usage tips for UWA neophyte

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
GeorgianBay1939 Senior Member • Posts: 3,926
Re: Panasonic 7-14 - Usage tips for UWA neophyte

Anders W wrote:

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

richarddd wrote:

Move around for composition and perspective. Choose lens focal length for framing and aperture for depth of field.

Is that what you're asking?

No. I'm specifically wonder about reasons that would cause me to choose one lens (12-40 vs 7-14) over another in that situation, where the focal length of either would work.

I think Richard already provided the answer although in a rather abstract form. In simplified examples, we talk about changing the FL versus "zooming with your feet". In reality, it works that way only if your target is a brick wall. In other cases, it's a bit more complicated than that. There is a best spot from where to take the picture (once you have a vision of what you want to accomplish) and once you are at that spot, there is also an ideal framing and thus an ideal FL.

In the example with the "oak field" ("Ekhagen" in Swedish), I wanted the characteristic oak in the middle, still dark and naked although spring is apparent on the ground, without all that much interference from other things in the fore- or background. I also wanted a segment of the grass where it was filled with the yellow flowers (gagea lutea, don't really know the name in English). Finally, I wanted the scene counterlit but without the sun in the frame and with some surrounding trees partly in the frame tpward the edges to give a better sense of the environment. I eventually found a spot that fit the bill and once at that spot, it was just a matter of finding the proper FL.

If I had moved back and chosen another FL (even 12 mm which is close to the 10 mm I used), I wouldn't have been able to capture what I wanted to capture, e.g., because things would start to block one another in unwanted ways. Perhaps my vision of what to capture was not the best from this or that point of view. But that's a matter of preference so no hard rules apply.

Perhaps I can add to Richard's and Anders' good advice above.

Whilst waiting for an otter to re-appear at the shoreline this morning I put the 7-14 on the GX7 and took a few snapshots of my "test dock", (one that I practice on to get good exposure in difficult lighting conditions, since it is invariably up-sun). I usually shoot the dock from my truck so I am about 2 meters above the surface of the dock and back about 3 meters from the near edge.

Here is the dock shot YESTERDAY from my truck with the 14-140 at 14mm:

1 Shot from truck yesterday at 14mm. (My standard test compostion.)

Shot THIS MORNING from the roadway a little bit to the left of the above at 7mm (using my 7-14mm).

2 Today, shot from roadway at 7 mm

I had, a few minutes earlier, scrambled down the roadbank to get this shot, again at 7mm:

3 Up close to dock, at 7mm. (Note UWA effect on the clouds.)

And a few minutes earlier than the above I shot the dock by crowding up to the right hand side, yielding this photo:

4 Up tight to dock at 7mm

These are not posted as "Good Photographs", but rather examples of experiments with changing:

  • Focal Lengths
  • Distance to Near Subject
  • Placement of Near Subject ...

... to illustrate some very good points made earlier about perspective, foreground, AOV and the effect of short FLs on the cloud patterns. They are OOC except for a bit of exposure tweaking. No cropping.

Lots to learn.


PS Fortunately I had the long zoom (100-300 mm) mounted on the GH2 and was able to photo these two critters....

Otter at a couple hundred feet.

American Tree Sparrow (?) in thicket

Nice to see the ice melting!!!


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