Panasonic FZ300 + LA7-lens adapter + LC55-close-up-lens: some measurements

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A3S
A3S New Member • Posts: 4
Panasonic FZ300 + LA7-lens adapter + LC55-close-up-lens: some measurements
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Intro

I wanted more insight into how my Panasonic FZ300 works without and with the LA7-lens adapter and the LC55-close-up-lens. So I did some measurements. Here are the results.

I'm not an expert, nor do I have much experience. At the end of last year, I started exploring the possibilities of my FZ300. I had already had that camera for several years (since 2016), but had used it very little.

I did the measurements primarily for myself, for more insight in the possibilities of my FZ300. Maybe my measurements are useful for others too. That's why I share the results, and maybe I can learn from any comments about how I did it.

Zoom factors

Without the LC55 close-up-lens the FZ300 shows a zoom factor 1 as a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 25 mm, which is actually a focal length of 4.5 mm. The maximum zoom factor is 24, shown by the camera as a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 600 mm, which is actually 108 mm.
When using the LC55 the smallest possible 35 mm equivalent focal length is 121 mm. So, when using the LC55, the minimum zoom factor is 121/25.
The maximum zoom factor remains 24 (600/25 or 108/4.5) as it is without the LC55.

In the tables of measurement results in this post I mention the zoom ratio as shown by the camera, using the range from 25 to 600 for the 35 mm equivalent focal length. When using the LC55 the focal length changes, but the FZ300 keeps showing the focal length as a range from 25 to 600. So did I in the tables in this post.

Focusing and working distances

The advanced FZ300-manual mentions a range of focus from 27 to 50 cm at the W(ide)-side of the zoom when using the LC55 and a range of focus from 33 to 50 cm at the T(ele)-side of the zoom (page 318).

The same manual mentions a range of focus from 30 cm to infinity at the W-side of the zoom without the LC55 and a range of focus from 2 m to infinity at the T-side of the zoom (page 39).

The figure on page 39 of the advanced manual indicates that Panasonic measures the 'focusing distance' from the front of the lens when the camera is ON and the zoom ratio is set on 1, shown by 25.

In camera optics the focus distance (or focusing distance) is the distance from the sensor to the object to be photographed when the object produces a sharp image. That is not what the figure on page 39 of the Panasonic FZ300 advanced manual shows. The usual term for the distances as mentioned on that page is 'effective working distance' (I think/suppose). So, from here I use for the representing the beginning and the end of the measured focus ranges the terms 'effective minimum working distance' and 'effective maximum working distance', both in the sense of focus distances to the object (in this case a tapeline and printed characters).

So, without the LC55 I measured the eff. min. and max. working distances from the front of the lens when the camera is ON and the zoom ratio is set on 1.
With the LC55 I measured the eff. working distances from the (fixed) front of the LC55.

Magnification ratios

For the effective sensor width I took 6.16 mm. I could not find this in the Panasonic documentation and found this value on www.digicamdb.com. They state this value in combination with 4.62 mm for the sensor height. The width to height ratio of 6.16:4.62 is 1.333. That matches with 4000x3000 pixels that I consider to be the standard for this camera.

The actual magnification ratios follow from the measured scene widths in mm (at given effective working distances) divided by 6.16 mm.

For the conversion of the actual magnification ratio to the 35 equivalent magnification ratio I took the data from Panasonic that say that the maximum focal length of 108 mm corresponds to 600 mm from the 35 mm viewpoint. So, in the tables containing my measurement results the 35 equivalent magnification ratios are calculated as 600/108 x the actual magnification ratio.

What I did

I started measuring on the FZ300 with adapter and close-up-lens. But the results made me more curious about the behavior of the FZ300 without these options. So, I did measurements on the bare FZ300 too, with AF macro mode is OFF and AF macro mode is ON.

Settings and conditions were:

  • metal tapeline and offset printed small characters for assessing the sharpness of the taken images;
  • program: Aperture-Priority AE mode;
  • aperture value: F 4.0;
  • good light conditions;
  • tripod;
  • shutter release wired remote control.

The work flow was:

  • select zoom factor;
  • searching relevant effective minimum and maximum working distance using autofocus;
  • take a picture;
  • repeating these steps;
  • checking the sharpness of the taken pictures using a computer screen;
  • measuring the scene widths.

Results

Hereafter in this order the results of:

  1. FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF;
  2. FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is ON;
  3. FZ300 with adapter and LC55-close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF.

I haven't done any measurements on the camera with the LC55 and AF macro is ON, but my preliminary impression is that AF macro doesn't have effect in that situation.

FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF

Part 1 of results FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF

Part 2 of results FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF

FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is ON

Part 1 of results FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is ON

Part 2 of results FZ300 without close-up-lens and AF macro is ON

FZ300 with LA7-adapter and LC55-close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF

Results FZ300, LA7-adapter, LC55-close-up-lens and AF macro is OFF

Notes on the results in the last table

Note 1:

As mentioned before 121/25 is the lowest possible zoom position.

The measured effective minimum and maximum working distances make a focus range that outranges somewhat the 27 to 50 cm as mentioned by the advanced manual.

Note 2:

The highest magnification ratios are at the high end of the zoom range.

Note 3:

At lower zoom factors the lowest part of the focus range results in a higher magnification ratio.
Near the high end of the zoom range the zoom range is smaller and there the magnification ratios at the effective minimum working distance and the maximum working distance are close to each other.

Adrie
(in Dutch 'drie' is the word for 3, so my forum name is A3S; my full name is Adrie Spruit; I'm new here)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300
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