Photographing with Panasonic Leica 45mm Macro

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,883
Photographing with Panasonic Leica 45mm Macro

This year is my 10th with Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 1:2.8/45 ASPH (to use the full name). In celebration, I thought to share some experiences with this lens. I'm also planning to print a small e-book with photographs and descriptive text. This post will be the start.

It is a handsome lens, with an elegant looking metal hood that comes bundled with the lens. Included also is a lens pouch.

For those who are not familiar with this lens, a few comments:

As with all Panasonic lenses designed in collaboration with Leica, both the Leica and Lumix names are on the lens barrel. (Lumix is on the right side of this lens out of view in the photograph.)

"DG" is Leica's designation for "Digital G Series," and is reference to those lenses "certified by Leica Camera AG and manufactured by Panasonic" [ref. Panasonic web site]

"Elmarit" is Leica's designation for lenses whose maximum aperture is f/2.8.

"ASPH" refers to the aspherical lens element which corrects for spherical aberration.

There is a focus limiter switch and an OIS switch on the barrel.

My principle use at first for this lens was for closeups of flowers. One of the noticeable features of the lens is the smooth, silky, long throw focusing ring which makes precise focusing easy close in. I've never felt such a smooth ring on my other lenses. Long throw refers to more rotation of the ring needed to move the elements. (Perhaps these are features of all macro lenses.)

Soon, however, the lens became a favorite for many other situations, including landscapes and portraits (I've included one of each below). I've also included two from my annual Halloween decorations scenes. Usually I frame these with a wider lens, but this year I decided to frame tighter with the longer lens. (Next week I'll print my own Halloween cards using the photographs.)

Tattered lamp shade

Fairmount Park, Riverside, California. Also a wildlife habitat.

Head and Shoulders Portrait, "Oscar" - a Muscovy duck who is a year round inhabitant of the park. Many other species are migratory.

Yellow inner flowers on a species of Zinnia. Like many flowers in the Aster or Daisy family, these have two sets of flowers: the outer petals, and the inner (disk) flowers, which have the reproductive parts for pollination.

Honey Bees on a San Pedro Cactus. Note the pollen sacs (corbicula) on the legs. The bees are referred to as "nectar robbers" because they take the nectar back to their hive, and never touch the protruding forked stigma. The true pollinators for this night blooming cactus are moths.

A grasshopper, I think... many come into my garden.

Scarlet Sage. The tiny hairs (trichomes) on the edges of this flower are almost invisible to the unaided eye. I carry a 30x loupe in my bag to look at flowers closeup. Often called "margin hairs"  on various parts of a plant, they aid in protection to the plant (against insects, holding moisture).

The 45mm is one of my favorite lenses, along with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. Often I take them out together. (I'm partial to prime lenses!)

- Richard

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