Question about macro ops and the Lumix DMC-FZ7

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bchernick, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. bchernick

    bchernick Guest

    I do a great deal of nature photography, especially insects and small
    plants. I admit that I am not as well versed in optical theory as I
    should be.

    With my old camera, a Kodak CX7530, I am accustomed to standing off 6
    inches to a foot and massively magnifying my target. (Given some of the
    critters I photograph, this is merely prudent.) I assumed all digital
    cameras operated in a similar mode and thought that my new DMC-FZ7
    would have massively greater capabilities (photograph the wiskers on
    houseflys and so forth...) Instead of that, I find that I cannot zoom
    at all in macro mode, at least not under the conditions I am used to.
    Nothing but blurs.

    Is this simply a case of 'Read The Fine Manual' or is this camera
    incapable of what I consider true closeup photography?

    (And if so, can anyone recommend other cameras that have the capability
    I want, preferably of moderate price?)

    bchernick, Jun 25, 2006
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  2. B.C.

    I have the older Panasonic FZ5, and it offers two macro modes, one with
    the widest zoom, and one with the narrowest zoom (they call it
    "tele-macro"). Tele-macro offers a working distance of about 90cm with a
    field width of 90mm. Macro isn't offered throughout the full zoom range.
    Try changing your distance to the subject rather than altering the zoom.

    The now-obsolete Nikon Coolpix 990 offered the best macro facilities in a
    non-SLR camera.

    David J Taylor, Jun 25, 2006
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  3. bchernick

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    David J Taylor

    [Snipped Text]
    You can also get a Macro adapter lens for the FZ7 which should improve
    things. You can zoom in Macro mode, but you need to move further away to
    use this as the close focus point moves out. You might also have better
    luck using some of the manual settings as well.

    Although I've just got an FZ7 myself, and find the Macro capability
    pretty good. I managed to fill the image with a large coin.
    Andy Hewitt, Jun 25, 2006
  4. My FZ20 offers me focussing down to 5cm in macro mode at the widest setting
    and 200cm at the full zoom setting. Naturally the wide angle setting gives
    the closest focus for macro work, although a macro-filter or lens would go
    even closer.

    My old Kodak DCS280 would only go to 9 inches at the macro setting.

    My daughter's Nikon Coolpix 3200 focusses down to 4cm at the macro setting.

    Dennis Pogson, Jun 25, 2006
  5. bchernick

    J. Clarke Guest

    You need to either be at the longest or the shortest focal length (there are
    macro modes at both ends) and not in the middle. At the long end you can't
    get closer than about 3 feet.
    It should be able to get twice as close as your Kodak. If you need to get
    closer than that then consider a closeup adapter--Panasonic makes one but
    I'm not clear if it's achromatic--Canon has a couple (250D and 500D) that
    are achromatic for about the same price that will screw right into the
    lens-hood adapter on the FZ7. Don't get one of the cheap ones--they
    produce noticeable chromatic aberration.
    Take a look at a Canon S3IS--play with the macro mode in the store and make
    sure it does what you want to do.
    J. Clarke, Jun 25, 2006
  6. bchernick

    bchernick Guest

    Thank you to all those who took the trouble to answer.

    Now, just how do these closeup adapters work, and more importantly, how
    well do they work? Does anyone here have serious hands-on experience
    with them?

    In the meantime, I'm going back to the store to play with the Canon

    Once again, thanks.

    bchernick, Jun 25, 2006
  7. bchernick

    J. Clarke Guest

    Basically just a magnifying glass.
    J. Clarke, Jun 25, 2006
  8. bchernick

    bchernick Guest

    Once again, thanks to all.

    I decided to cut my losses and return the Lumix. All of the roughly
    similar cameras seemed to have the same limitations so I guess it's
    time to think about SLRs, hopefully a relatively 'inexpensive' one.

    (Pentax K100D, perhaps?)
    bchernick, Jun 26, 2006
  9. bchernick

    J. Clarke Guest

    Find the lens you need then get a body to go with it.
    J. Clarke, Jun 26, 2006
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