Close Up

In this article I have taken two examples of you how great the Lumix G2 camera performs using either standard or macro lenses. Any Lumix G Camera equipped with a 14-42 mm lens is ideal for close up photography but for the serious close-ups I’d recommend trying the 45mm Macro Lens option.

On this occasion it was a sunny day and I decide to shoot in my garden however, there plenty of other opportunities in and around the house to practice these skills. Interesting examples to try include plants, pets, jewelry, watches, toys, exotic fruit etc.

Keep your eyes open there are endless things you can shoot close up.

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Member Comments

  1. ianc posted a comment on 10 July 2010 at 1:15 am

    “I adjusted the ISO setting to help reduce the shutter speed”

    Surely you mean you adjusted the ISO to help increase the shutter speed not reduce it

  2. biglouis posted a comment on 10 July 2010 at 8:00 am

    I’m not convinced about bracketing. What advantage does it give you? I only shoot in RAW so is it necessary?

  3. frederickcrees posted a comment on 10 July 2010 at 8:45 am

    With moving objects (like insects on flowers etc.) it can be helpful to use flash with a smaller aperture to increase depth of field. In those cases it can be helpful to bracket as avoiding “burn out” on lighter areas can be tricky at those distances. Also remember to remove the lens hood for close flash as it can leave shadows.

  4. msilcock posted a comment on 10 July 2010 at 10:23 am

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of using different formats e.g 16:9 etc

    What kinds of situation/subject benefit more or less from each one

  5. chrisj posted a comment on 11 July 2010 at 10:49 am

    Off camera flash is a huge advantage for macro. Set Manual Mode on your camera, set 1/160th of a second shutter speed (X sync speed on a G1 – the fastest shutter speed where the whole sensor is exposed). Select a small aperture around f16 to give you some Depth of Field.

    The flashgun for this can be a cheap (around £50.00) fully manual flash and you’ll need a sync cord, set it to it’s lowest settting and take a test shot if it’s too dark raise the flashgun’s output, if it’s too bright move the flash further from the subject. Once you have the correct exposure it won’t alter and you can shoot away.

    Turn off auto focus, at these magnifications DOF is tiny, Auto Focus is just a likely to focus on the background as the subject, with practice it’s faster to turn Auto Focus off and move the whole camera/lens combination closer or further away to obtain focus where you want it. It does take practice, but it’s soon learnt.

    The real advantage of this is your effective shutter speed is the duration of the flash around 1/20,000 of a second with a flash on low power, so all you pictures will have no camera shake, whether it’s focussed where you want is up to you.

    As we’re using manual focus, in fact Manual everything, you may be better off using an adapter and and old macro lens, a Pentax K adapter or even the older M42 adapter opens up a whole host of cheap high quality manual lenses. Another alternative are the Raynox close up lenses which screw onto the front of your lens and enable it to focus closer, or even an old set of bellows. Once your setup, and after a little practice you have the ideal ‘bug hunting’ kit. All very cheaply.


  6. naturelover posted a comment on 12 July 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I,m not familiar with the Pentax K adapter. Can you get any macro lens to fit, such as the Nikon 105? I like the light weight of the G2, so I would prefer to keep to lightweight lenses anyway. It’s especially useful when going abroad, I don’t end up with aching arms. Surely the screw on close up lenses, reduce the quality of the images too.

  7. kevvyg posted a comment on 13 July 2010 at 12:19 pm

    “I knew from experience that I would need a lot of depth of field so I manually set the aperture to f1…”

    Hi, I’m a bit new to this photography game, so you’ll have to bear with me…from what I’ve learned so far, more depth of field is achieved by either a small focal length, or a small aperture, that is a large f-stop value. Surely f1 would be a very large aperture, and therefore would decrease the depth of field?!

    Also, you took the picture of the frog with an aperture of f/16. Why did you select that particular aperture setting over all the others? Was it a DOF or light consideration? so far I’ve been concentrating on the extremes of the focal lengths as this maximises DOF, and makes it easier to see what the effects are. Not sure at the moment were the intermediate values come in!


  8. bunnyp posted a comment on 27 July 2010 at 9:02 am

    It would be most helpful to everyone if the questions above where answered somewhere – then everyone could learn something. If explanations / answers are not available what is the point?

  9. chrisj posted a comment on 27 July 2010 at 10:39 am

    OK BunnyP you asked for it LOL.

    For an in depth explanation of DOF see here go to the next page which attempts to explain WHY we have DOF.


  10. chrisj posted a comment on 27 July 2010 at 10:56 am

    Hi Kevin

    I think the header only allows so many characters so it ‘chopped’ off the end of the sentence leaving f1… I’m pretty sure it was f16.

    As far as focal length and DOF is concerned, focal length just determines how far away you are from the subject to get a certain sized frame.

    Most Macro lenses allow you to get to life size (a Scale Ratio of 1:1, something 1cm in real life is 1cm on your sensor) For instance a 50mm Macro lens will will put the lens about 2 inches away at that 1:1 ratio, with a 100mm Macro Lens you will be around 8 Inches away for the same shot, the point being that DOF will be exactly the same.

    Follow the link above where I attempt to explain what is going on. Feedback is most welcome.


  11. sergentcolon posted a comment on 7 August 2010 at 11:08 am

    Hi a couple of points, firstly usually the best image definition of a lens is delivered between f8-f16 (less true these days with modern lens design) and secondly the inability of modern lenses to use the hyperfocal focusing technique (for anyone not knowing what hyperfocal focusing is or how it works, try googling it) to allow either the maximisation dof or to throw the backround even more out of focus at a given aperture. Though this could be done by Panasonic as I have an LX1 high end compact which has a dof scale in the display which varies as the lens is zoomed or the aperture altered, a very usefull feature indeed.



  12. psurbey posted a comment on 10 August 2010 at 11:09 am

    Hi Guys I thought it about time to comment on your comments !

    The “f1” is obviously a type error it should “f16”

    The formula I used to make the decision of shooting at “f16” was based on purely experience.
    ie:shooting virtually non stop for 45 years.I know instinctively what ISO / shutter speed /
    f stop / focal length etc to set your camera to.

    I think that “capturing the moment ” is the true essence of photography.

    The direction of the light / sun is key to creating a good shot.
    If I had tried to use flash off camera for instance by the time I had set it up the moment & the frog would have gone..

    Try to not get to bogged down with technicalities just shoot loads of shots & get used to using your chosen camera, as if it’s an extension of your brain/hand..

    As for the reason on this occasion I did not shoot in “Raw” mode.
    Because the larger percentage of “Lumix” owners shoot in the jpeg setting I wanted to do the same, also I did not want to manipulate / retouch the images to show how the camera shoots

    I hope this is useful.


    Phil Surbey.

  13. steveduffy posted a comment on 21 May 2011 at 9:02 am

    Im a complete novice love my G2 and will get to grips with it I use these pages to learn but now very confused? However Phil those pictures are amazing and I hope to get the chance to take a picture as good without using IA mode. Thanks for the tips.

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