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PANASONIC DMW-BLC12PP battery (5/2017):

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3361249

- Looks like the "PP" version is 1500mAh while the non-"PP" is only 1200mAh.  Should work as a spare if I don't see any better recommendaitons.  Since they're the same price, I'd rather get the "PP version.

- the best Chinese clone I have found measured at 890maH, the worst 804maH, compared with the branded Panasonic batteries measured at around 1100maH (at full rated current). Additionally, third-party batteries drop from 3 bars to nothing very quickly indeed.

- http://www.bestbatt.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=DMW-BLC12PP or Amazon

- B&H $55

- Don't by from here.  Bad review: http://www.ibatterys.com/panasonic-dmwblc12pp-digital-cameracamcorder-battery-p-34895.html?cPath=46777_48135


M4/3

Body:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Digital Camera

The GH2 has an Extra Tele Convert (ETC) mode.  More see the section in 100-300mm lens.

weighs: 14 oz. inc. battery.

Special:  The new Variable Movie mode makes it possible to record motion images in variable frame rate creating a fast/slow-feed movie. (80/160/200/300% shooting speed/撮影速度)

Con: short battery life

Review:  <1>   <2>   <3>

Touch Control.
 If there's one new option I wasn't too keen on with the Panasonic GH2, it's the added touchscreen control. This is (somewhat) a matter of taste and there are likely many out there who don't mind the touch control on Panasonic's recent models but I'm not one of them. It all seems to be more trouble than it's worth including the distracting Touch Guide function, and the interesting but seemingly unnecessary Touch Shutter. I kept inadvertently taking picture of the street or walls with Touch Shutter on and ended turning all this functionality off. I guess the one positive note is that you can turn it off.
 On the other hand, touch tracking, which makes the Panasonic GH2 lock in on whatever subject you touch on the LCD screen was pretty awesome. Getting the focal point back to the center of the screen after engaging touch tracking was irritating though. In video shooting, I loved that the touch-tracking feature allows you to "pull" or "rack focus" on the subject of your choice. The resulting footage keeps the subject sharp while the rest of the scene blurs for a professional look you'll find in most movies and TV shows.  src

Bought @  fullcompass ($971.79 no tax free shipping, 8/2011)

Lens:

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm lens F4.0-5.6, Mega O.I.S. (announced 21 September 2010)

Flickr group dedicated to the lens: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1577115@N21/

Please see link at the right to appreciate what this lens is capable of in the right hands -  http://www.flickr.com/photos/31693460@N06/5235220354/ 

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-100-300mm-4-0-5-6-OIS-Interchangeable/dp/B0043VE28S

"The 100-300mm is, naturally, rather larger than the existing 45-200mm, and (because ya cannae beat the laws of physics) not so much different in size to 300mm telezooms for APS-C or full frame cameras. This makes it better matched to Panasonic's DSLR-like bodies than the 'rangefinder-style' GF1 or Olympus Pens, on which it practically defines the concept of front-heavy."

http://a.img-dpreview.com/previews/PanasonicdmcGH2/images/100300/onbody2.jpg

http://a.img-dpreview.com/previews/PanasonicdmcGH2/images/100300/onbody1.jpg

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonicdmcgh2/page6.asp    

The GH2 has an Extra Tele Convert (ETC) mode that makes this lens the equivalent of a 840mm (Medium ETC) and 1200mm (Small ETC). When you shoot in this mode you are getting an 8MP and 4MP image respectively. Yes you can crop a picture to get the same magnification. However, by selecting the ETC mode you are more likely to focus to an ultra sharp image on your subject. Also, it saves you 1 step in your work flow and saves space on your computer. So I find the ETC mode useful for stills also. As a down side it effectively makes your sensor smaller so it is not that useful in high ISO situations.

This lens is the equivalent of a 200mm-600mm f/5.6! Wow (In 1:1 Tele Extender Video mode you get a 2.6x extender for a 520-1560mm f/5.6 equivalent lens). ... this lens is perfect for bright daylight shooting of birds, sports, safari animals.

weighs in at 1.14 lbs (18 oz). To give you a comparison, Nikon's 70-300 mm lens weighs in at 1.6 lbs.

has a closest focusing distance of 1.50m / 4.9ft at all focal lengths, so it's no macro lens, although it actually puts up a pretty good close-up performance to full telephoto, with a maximum 0.42x magnification rating.

Thread Size is 67mm - here ; may need to buy 67mm adaptor for mounting macro converters.  Shops: http://www.digitaltoyshop.com/

Specifications
Features :
    Lens Construction : 17 elements in 12 groups (1 ED lens)
    Mount : Micro Four Thirds mount
    Optical Image Stabilizer : YES
    Focal Length : f=100mm to 300mm (35mm camera equivalent 200mm to 600mm)
    Aperture Type : 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
    Aperture Range : F4.0(Wide) - F5.6(Tele)
    Minimum Aperture : F22
    Closest Focusing Distance : 1.50m / 4.9ft at all focal lengths
    Maximum magnification : Approx. 0.21x / 0.42x (35mm camera equivalent)
General :
    Weight : Approx. 520g
    Diagonal Angle of View: 12°(W) ~ 4.1°(T)
    Filter Size : 67mm
    Max. Diameter : 73.6mm
    Overall Length : Approx. 126mm (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
Further Specifications
    Standard Accessories : Lens cap / Lens hood / Lens rear cap / Lens storage bag
Cons:
1. The main issue that we ran into from a handling point of view was using this lens with the GH2, which would only set a fastest shutter speed of 1/500th in Aperture Priority mode, even when the lens was set to 500mm or more. This resulted in quite a lot of soft shots despite the optical image stabilizer, so make sure to use Shutter Priority and a high shutter speed to keep things sharp. 
2. Extra Tele Convert (ETC) mode : it effectively makes your sensor smaller so it is not that useful in high ISO situations.

Macro lens:

Panasonic Elmarit Leica DG Macro - 45mm f/2.8 MEGA O.I.S. - weight = half lb., AF, no Zoom, 35mm equivalent focal length = 90mm, Minimum Focus Distance = 0.5 ft, Capture subjects in actual size ("lifesize"), a wonderful portrait lens (so not for insects?), competes with the 20mm pancake (4/2011)
Price: $696.00 (9/21/2011 Amazon) $899.95 (6/2/2011 Amazon) , $850 (5/30/2011 B&H)
The lens will focus to 1:1 magnification (life size) directly without an extension tube. Many macro lenses will only focus to 1:2 including the Olympus Zuiko 50mm F2 lens and therefore require an extension tube to get all the way down to 1:1 magnification. (extra cost, size and weight). 

"Image quality for both telephoto, portraits and macro is very good to Excellent wide open at F2.8 to F11. Some deterioration at F16 to F22 due to diffraction but still good to very good (this is common for most digital sensors smaller then full frame and is an excellent performance overall)

Vignetting: (corners darker then center) is noticeable (mild) wide open but insignificant stopped down 1 stop. (Very good)

Distortion: There is none which is optically excellent and better then most. (Excellent)

Chromatic Aberration: Color fringing is very mild at most apertures and not significant or detectable to most people. (very good)

Bokeh: The term bokeh is the blur or the quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light or highlights. Ideally they should be very smooth and blended with no significant sphering or octagonal shapes. There is no technical specification for Bokeh. It is a subjective evaluation made by the viewer or photographer. For me, the 45mm Bokeh is "Very Good" but not excellent.

Focus speed: I can only evaluate this as used on the GH1 as I haven't used it with other MFT bodies. Extremely fast, almost instant in good light. Fast in low light, Searches some in very dim light or if the subject(s) are of very dark (black) or of very low contrast in low light. Overall, as fast or faster then my Olympus E3 DSLR with 12-60 lens. (an excellent performance) -- I don't shoot much video but did a brief test in my apartment with low to dim lighting, using only 2 60 watt bulbs in one corner, bounced off the wall. I found the video focus to be better then most but not instant. The 45mm has virtually silent autofocus so the autofocus lens produces no noticeable noise when

Overall for features, internal focus, size, weight, match to the system, image quality, focus speed and versatility I rate this lens as Excellent with some exceptions for vignetting wide open, very slight color fringing and Bokeh. Not matter how you measure it, it still comes up as a true professional quality optic."  [src]

Note:
1. Good macro lens may not get closer (larger) images than converter or other photographic tools (extension tube, reversing ring, etc.) but will give sharper images in general.
2. Reversing ring : attaches to the filter thread on the front of a lens - offers a life-size image that's razor sharp in the centre, but a little softer at the edges compared with a macro lens, but the price is much cheaper.  Cheapest option!  Is it any for M4/3?
58mm Reversing ring for Nikon lens
3. Extension tube : tubes are placed between the lens and the body (camera's sensor).  Its only real drawback is that there is a loss of light in the tubes - this adjustment is made automatically by modern cameras with through-the-lens metering, but compensation is required if you're using non TTL flash.  Used in conjunction with a 50mm (SLR) lens, a 25mm tube gives you half-life-size image, and a full set 1:1 reproduction.  We can add more than one tubes to show larger than life-size reproduction.  As there are no elements inside the tubes, quality is as good as the original lens and the size and versatility is perfect for the nature photographer.  MF tubes are cheaper than AF ones.  more
4. Macro Converter : They are just magnifying glasses fastened to the front of the camera lens.  E.g., a seven-element(?) 2x converter has the added benefit of a macro mode which extends out to offer a 1:1 life-size ratio.  You lose two stops of light, but the metering coupling is maintained so your camera will take care of the exposure, even in auto mode. The results produced are the closest you'll obtain to having a true macro lens.  Use it with a telephoto lens and you have a powerful magnifier from close up and afar.  Expect to be more expensive than extension tube.  * It (also called Macro Filter) is the only solution that can be used for compact cameras, which lenses aren't possible to be changed.
5. Bellows : bulky.
6. Coupling ring : ?
So,  price: 
reversing ring < extension tube < macro converter < macro lens;  image size:  macro lens < macro converter < reversing ring < 3 extension tubes.  My choice: Good macro lens is too expensive and need to take off the 100-300mm lens.  Macro converter is the way to go.  Reasons: (1) less expensive, (2) good image quality next to macro lens, (3) just attach/fasten to the 100-300mm lens when need.  Problems:  not suitable for low light like in Forest Park.  Some close-up macro filter sets are very cheap (<$20; as of 6/2011), cheaper than extension tube like Panasonic DMW-LA5.  But some 1:1 life-size macro converters (of two-element versions with achromatic lens) may cost $100 or more.  Olympus iS/L Lens A-Life Size Macro Converter (f=13cm, 7.7 diopter achromatic) can achieve life-size (1:1) macro at 135mm. But it is discontinued.  Olympus iS/L Lens B-Macro Adapter (f=40cm, 2.5 diopter achromatic) costs $90 on 7/1/2011 on Amazon.com and it is not 1:1; may achieve 0.6x magnifications (1:1.7) at 180mm. (note:  1/1.7=0.6)  More about Olympus Conversion Lenses

Close up filters come in three classes:
Best are high quality achromatic lenses such as Canon 250D (thread=52mm used $70 as of 7/1/2011, 58mm $200 as of 7/1/2011) or 500D (thread=52mm, 72mm $250 as of 7/1/2011, 77mm) which have two lens elements. [250D has 2 lens elements; changes closest focusing distance from infinity to 250mm]  
Next are intermediate grade multi-coated (MC) ones such as some those made by Marumi (for example).
These [Zeikos 58mm 4 Piece Close-Up Filter Set] are bottom class uncoated lenses. If you hold them up, it is very easy to see your own reflection.

Macro Converter/Close-up Filter:

2x converter loses two stops of light. 

4x MACRO Conversion Lens for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (Besel MACRO584) - 79.99 EUR as of 6/7/2011

can be used on FZ35 (FZ38 in Europe) too with an adaptor - Thread Size: 58mm (Macro) vs. FZ35 (46mm) - read here

Thread Size of 100-300mm lens is 67mm - here

RAYNOX DCR-150 MACRO CONVERSION LENS for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (£ 50.99 British Pound / 59.99 EUR as of 6/7/2011) - Amazon.com

includes a snap-on universal mount suitable for 52mm to 67mm filter size so no need extra adaptor for the 100-300mm lens.  But FZ35 needs DMW-LA3 (to 55mm) to mount; or 46-43 Step-Down Adapter Ring (make sure that fits into the FZ35 lens barrel when the lens retracted).

4.8 diopters ( =  4.8x magnification) - more spec

OLYMPUS : Macro Converter MCON-P01

Equipments for Macro Photography:  <1>

Several close-up lenses may be used in combination; the optical power of the combination is the sum of the optical powers of the component lenses; a set of lenses of +1, +2, and +4 diopters can be combined to provide a range from +1 to +7 in steps of 1.  (so +1 = 2x; +1 +2 = 4x; +1 +2 +4 = 8x)

Buy bargain macro product from DigitalGoja Storefront (low price, no tax, free shipping).

 

Other Lens - check my Wish List on Amazon.com

 

Notes:

(1) from Web: "The G1's are currently very cheap, but G2's aren't expensive either. The GH1 or GH2 is probably overkill unless you want to dabble in video. For remote work, the GH1 would be preferred, as the battery is larger. The GH2 uses a smaller battery and there's been complaints about it's battery life." (GH1 is no better than GH2)

(1b)  from Web: Short battery is common across all EVIL I believe. There's just more electronics to feed juice. ... The EVF is the main reason for the short life. They should add an optional battery grip. The A33/A55 has the same problem. ... Most folk don't invest in mFT to buy accessories that add bulk like a battery grip. 

(1c) Battery Pack: DMW-BLC12 ($55). - Videodirect seems trustworthy.

(2) Sony SLT-A55

(3) Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Manual ; GH2 Op Instruction

(4) fast tele-lens (< F4):  usually prime lens.  heavy and very expensive.  Need adapter; and may loss AF and continuous focusing in video shooting.  e.g., Sigma APO-HSM 300mm  F/2.8 Lens  ($2,999.95 at 1/2010). ("focusing is very silent thanks to its HSM, Hypersonic Motor" , source ; Apochromatic (APO) refers to a type of lens design : APO lenses typically cost more than non-APO lenses but offer a higher degree of image quality.)  Newer model: Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens for Sigma SLR Camera (Price: $2,999; Weight: 5.3 lb)  But this zoom one is at least as good as the prime and same price: Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG IF HSM APO Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras

(5) buy Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (B&H)

(6) Rich options for further expandability ( http://www.dpreview.com/news/1009/10092130panasonicgh2.asp )
The Micro Four Thirds System products are joining today's Four Thirds System products to provide customers with even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-GH2 and LUMIX G Micro System can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via DMW-MA2M or MA3R. This gives the user access to the unlimited number of lens properties.
 
With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing assortment of lenses becoming available, the expressive possibilities are unlimited. The LUMIX DMC-GH2 system camera offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.
Mount Adaptor: DMW-MA1, DMW-MA2M, DMW-MA3R
         The Panasonic DMW-MA1 Mount Adapter (轉接環) allows you to mount a full-size Four Thirds lens on the Lumix G series of SLR cameras, which use the Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Please make sure to update your camera to the latest firmware version (otherwise AF may not function properly).
External Flash: DMW-FL220 (GN22) / DMW-FL360 (GN36) / DMW-FL500 (GN50)
PL Filter: DMW-LPL52/ LPL62
ND (Neutral Density) Filter: DMW-LND52/ LND62
MC Protector: DMW-LMC52/ LMCH62   (The MC Protector is a lens protector (screw-on filter type). MC stand for Multi-coated. )
Stereo Microphone: DMW-MS1
Zoom Lever: DMW-ZL1 [New]
Battery Pack: DMW-BLC12 [New]
DC Coupler: DMW-DCC8 [New]
AC Adaptor: DMW-AC8 [New]
Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1
Soft Case: DMW-CG2
Soft Bag: DMW-BAG1, DMW-CZ18
Leather Bag: DMW-BAL1
Shoulder Strap (Stylish): DMW-SSTG1-A/C/R/K
Shoulder Strap (Woven): DMW-SSTG2-W
Shoulder Strap (Leather): DMW-SSTG3-T
Shoulder Strap (Leather): DMW-SSTL1
HDMI mini Cable: RP-CDHM15/RP-CDHM30

  mounting thread front size  
FZ35 - 46mm FZ35 : DMW-LA3 : snap-on universal mount : Raynox DCR-150 Macro ;
FZ35 : Tiffen 46mm Macro Filter
Panasonic DMW-LA3 adaptor 46 55  
Besel Macro 58   Panasonic 100-300mm : a 67 to 58 mount (e.g. AR6758)  : Besel Macro
UAC2000 snap-on universal mount 52-67 43  
Raynox DCR-150 Macro 43 49  (1) FZ35 : 46-43 Step-Down Adapter Ring : Raynox DCR-150 Macro ;
 (2) Panasonic 100-300mm : UAC2000 universal mount : Raynox DCR-150 Macro. 

Same for Raynox DCR-250 -  $76.95 as of 9/21/2011  Amazon.  Used: $63.97 + $5 shipping at Amazon.  But be careful!  Many find it limited use because of shallow depth of field; in turn, difficult to focus.  Try my 14-42mm lens see how much it can do.
Adorama 46mm Lens to 43mm Adapter 46 43  FZ35 : 46-43 Step-Down Adapter Ring : Raynox DCR-150 Macro ;
can fit into the FZ35 lens barrel when the lens retracted.
$6.95 + tax with free shipping (6/29/2011)
Picture: FZ35 with 46-43 adapter with sth (probably a 43mm extension tube with Raynox DCR-250 Macro)
       
Panasonic 100-300mm lens - 67 Panasonic 100-300mm : UAC2000 universal mount : Raynox DCR-150 Macro
Panasonic 14-42mm lens   52 Panasonic 14-42mm : UAC2000 universal mount : Raynox DCR-150 Macro
Raynox RA4346 adaptor 46 43 FZ35 : Raynox RA4346 : Raynox DCR-150 Macro
Raynox RA5246 adaptor 46 52 FZ35 : Raynox RA5246 : snap-on universal mount : Raynox DCR-150 Macro
AR6758 adaptor 67 58  
Digital Concepts 58mm Macro Filter 58   Panasonic 100-300mm : a 67 to 58 mount (e.g. AR6758)  : Digital Concepts 58mm Macro ;
cheaper than Besel Macro
Raynox UAC3500 universal mount 52-67 37 Panasonic 100-300mm : UAC3500 universal mount : Raynox CM-3500 Macro
46-58 Step-Up Lens Adapter 46 58 FZ35 : 46-58 Step-Up Lens Filter Ring Adapter : Digital Concepts 58mm Macro ;
Google "46 58 adaptor" to get more 46 to 58 mounts;
Tiffen 46mm close-up filter set 46   B&H has it (#TICUS46) $26.50 (2011 Summer) cheaper than Amazon.com and others;
+1, +2, +4
Google "Tiffen 46mm close-up filter".
Amazon review said it is good for FZ35.
B&H has 67mm close-up filters 67   Tiffen ($39.50) and
Hoya (lens sets and lens HMC sets, $92.85)
Fotodiox 7 Metal Step Down Ring Set, Anodized Black Metal. 77-72mm, 72-67mm, 67-62mm, 62-58mm, 58-55mm, 55-52mm, 52-49mm by Fotodiox $13.95
Zeikos 58mm Macro Filter Set (+1, +2, +4 and +10 Diopters)
Panasonic 100-300mm : a 67 to 58 mount (e.g. Bower Step-Down Adapter Ring 67mm to 58mm sold by Fanta Sales) : Zeikos 58mm Macro

(7) What fast lenses work best for VIDEO on a GH2?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&message=37592758&changemode=1

I have the GH2 with the 14-140mm zoom. They say this lens is optimized for video and I admit it works pretty well wrt AF and mechanical noise. However, I'd like something faster aperture-wise for the stills' sake. The obvious choice for that would be the 20mm f/1.7 pancake, but I've read that it has a noisy AF mechanism in video use and also lacks OIS. So which faster lenses work best for video as well? I'm talking about m4/3 lenses with AF only.

No AF - learn how to lock your scene down and MF - which is actually easier than you think....probably.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Highlight:  You can pick up a Canon FD f1.8 50mm (100mm on m4/3) for under $50 on ebay.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>From what I have gathered there really is no quiet fast AF lens for m4/3.

Rumor has it that Panasonic may release a fast 12-50mm lens this year and it may have the same silent motor as the 14-140mm and may be optimized for video. This is rumored of course.

Hopefully as video is becoming more of a significant reason people are gravitating towards the GH series cameras (and other m4/3's as well), Panasonic will recognize that indoor video is important to a lot of the customer base.

We need a fast prime lens or lenses (I could do without zoom when indoors), with a silent and fast AF motor.
The other and only option right now is:

A lot of people are buying fast prime lenses from Canon and Nikon, legacy lenses, and buying adapters to use them on m4/3.
You can pick up a Canon FD f1.8 50mm (100mm on m4/3) for under $50 on ebay.
There is also a Canon FD f1.4 50mm that goes for a little more.

There are adapters for virtually any make of legacy glass, just make sure the adapter is compatible with the lens you are considering buying.

Ebay has a lot of "cheap" adapters (under $50). I have not used any of them, but many threads I have read comment on them working well.

"name brand" adapters go for over $100 at most Camera Retailers, and some feel more comfortable spending more.

OF COURSE you need to note that autofocus and electronic aperture control are disabled when you use non Micro Four Thirds lenses on a m4/3 camera.

So better to get an older lens that has the aperture ring on the lens body and a nice smooth manual focus ring (most older lenses have smooth MF).

I think you may be surprised out how well you can manual focus for video, and the older glass will have a really nice look (depending on make and model of course!).

I just posted a thread asking for recommendations for legacy glass.

 

(8) how to make digiscoping really easy - forget about photos and just take video.

http://10000birds.com/digiscoping-crash-course.htm

System cameras, like the Panasonic Lumix G2, for example, tend to have significantly larger sensors than typical compact cameras, but because they lack a flipping mirror, they can be a great deal smaller than the average DSLR. They also use contrast detect autofocus, which means that if you use a suitable objective lens (in this case a 20mm pancake), you can use autofocus to help you (finger-press autofocus on the touch-screen of the G2 and GH2 in this example).

More:  http://alpinebirds.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-panasonic-lumix-gh2-for-digiscoping.html


(9) How to Do Macro Insect Photography

What is meant by "true macro" is the ability to produce an image that is as big (or bigger) on the film plane (or digital sensor) as it is in real life ... this is where we get the term "lifesize" or "1:1 magnification" as it is used in macro lingo. The term "magnification" is important because true macro photography does not involve "zooming" or getting closer to a subject; instead, we are relying on the lens itself to magnify the image that will be projected onto the film plane. In other words, just because your Sony F717 has a minimum focusing distance of 2 cm doesn't mean that it can produce "lifesize" images by merit of its ultra-close minimum focusing distance. Zooming and how close you are to the subject really have nothing to do with macro; it's mostly in the magnification properties of the lens.

True Macro Lens: This is a dedicated 1:1 macro lens that does not require any special attachment to achieve true macro magnification, although you could "kick it up a notch" with accessories like extension tubes and/or close-up filters. These lenses are "prime" lenses, meaning that they are of a fixed focal length, usually in 50mm, 100mm, or 180mm.


(10) A Guide to Macro Photography and Gallery of Macro Pictures - also talk about tools like Macro Filter/Converter.
TOM-Close-Up.pdf

 

(11) Raynox conversion lens and accessories for Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ35

 

(12) These [Digital Concepts 58mm or Zeikos 58mm Macro/close-up Filter] will NOT magnify the image and turn an ordinary lens into a telephoto one. Instead, these will change the minimum distance from which you can focus with your current lens. In other words, you will be able to physically put your lens closer to the object in question, and achieve a macro-like effect. Which means this is great for stationary objects, but if you want to photograph bugs, you have to get very close in order to fill the frame, so a 100mm macro lens might be a safer bet since it'd allow you to achieve close focus from a safe distance.

ALTERNATIVES
There are two strong alternatives to close up filters Macro alternatives, but both are more expensive:
(a) Extension Tubes. These are basically tubes that you put in between your lens and the camera's body. There is no glass involved, it's just a tube that increases the distance from the sensor to the lens. The benefit of this is that with no glass involved, there won't be noticeable image degradation; the downside is that less light will be available, so you will either need an external light source or have adequate natural light. Plus, extension tubes are generally more expensive than this filter set!
(b) A dedicated Macro Lens. This is the optimal piece of equipment for macro photography, but these are generally very expensive. If you want to dabble in macro photography before making a major investment, get this filter set to experiment. For most people, this set should be fine, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone gets better quality shots with a thousand-dollar macro lens than with a ten-dollar filter set!

 

(13) Good educator:  Isabel Cutler  e.g., this :

"I bought it [Raynox DCR-250] to use on digicams that did not have a way of producing really close macros and it has worked on many of varying filter diameters via stepdown ring or the supplied adapter. At this point it tends to be left in the closet, now that the initial excitement of experimentation has died down. I do have 60mm and 90mm dedicated macro lenses for my dslrs and a 300mm lens with macro capability and image stabilization. That was is FABULOUS for shooting small things I don't want to get close to! (Yes...I know the Raynox is displayed here on a dslr lens. I was experimenting, you realize!) I guess my purpose was educational, because many members of the yahoo photography group I moderate (Digipets) do not have dedicated macro lenses and I wanted to be able to advise them of an alternative. "

 

(14) There is huge benefit of keeping the magnification down and having the close up lens attached to the main lens rather than on the expensive Panasonic extension tube (DMW-LA5; combine with DMW-LC55 close-up lens).  src

 

(15) Nikon P500 - picture quality probably worse than FZ35.  But:

"the P500 does have several features that intrigue me in addition to their claim of quality low light pictures. Up to 240fps for slow motion playback is one. Another is the dual controls for zoom. One is for high speed zoom, the other offers a smoother, slower zoom, better suited for video. The slow zoom controls also double as controls for manual focus when taking photos!"  src

 

(16)

Olympus Achromat 1:1 - The Olympus achromat is the IS/L A-life size at 7.7 diopter - macro filter
http://olympus.dementia.org/eSIF/om-sif/is-series/manuals/is_l_a_macro_f13.pdf

1.5x (or 1.4x?) TC (Ricoh TC-200M) - teleconverter: see picture here

on-board flash

55x magnification (2.2x Digital Zoom) - 18 x 1.4 = 25 then 25 x 2.2 = 55 or 18 x 2.2 x 1.4 = 55

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=36024366

Hummingbird BIFs and the FZ35

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=36019241

http://art4less.smugmug.com/photos/861291861_S3zKm-O-1.jpg  (FZ35 + Achromat + ...)
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/panasonic-leica/171124-fz35-macro-you-have-got-see-believe.html
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&thread=35366401
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/

Achromat, Apochromat, Superachromat - What is the Difference?
http://www.dantestella.com/zeiss/achromat.html

* chromat = chromatic

 

(17) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrophotography
True macro lenses, such as the Canon MP-E 65 mm f/2.8, can achieve higher magnification than life size, enabling photography of the structure of small insect eyes, snowflakes, and other minuscule objects. However, macro lenses with 1:1 or 1:2 ratios are more common, and many of these find frequent use for general photography because of their excellent optics.
Macro lenses of different focal lengths find different uses:
    45–65 mm — product photography, small objects that can be approached closely without causing undesirable influence, and scenes requiring natural background perspective
    90–105 mm — insects, flowers, and small objects from a comfortable distance
    150–200 mm — insects and other small animals where additional working distance is required

 

(18) GH2 with 14-140 / 100-300 lens for dragonfly in flight, hoverflies, BIF (bird in flight) - tips : took the dragonfly shot at 100mm 

A:
yes i managed to focus in flight, the GH2 and 100-300 just snapped into focus as i panned along the flight path of the Dragonfly, i managed two other shots as well but they aren't as good, a bit soft, a pitfall of such a fast moving target.

B:
nice DIF shot! Is this the full image, or a crop? I'm surprised that you can use AF, because my Canon DSLR (with 2.8/200L, a lens with very fast AF) does not AF well on flying dragonflies. AF only works well for me when they 'hover' or fly by really slowly (which is rare for most species).

One of the problems is that there is often a lot of distracting background, and the AF tends to focus on the background instead of the relatively small dragonfly.

A:
Hi, yes it's a considerable crop, the background was water and as you can see by the blur i was panning, the GH2 used AF single point focus bracket and locked focus as i tracked the Dragonfly, he wasn't hovering, BTW, the GH2 has class leading fast AF for MILC camera's.

B:
OK, that probably explains it ... I try to catch them real close, which means the dragonfly is moving much faster relatively (AF has to work faster), and DOF is much smaller. When I use my 2.8/200L lens at larger distance (with the dragonfly length maybe 20% of the full frame), then AF works pretty well. But it struggles when I get closer, or when I use a 1.5x converter (which I nearly always do, otherwise difficult to get close enough).

Maybe the AF and focus lock on your camera works better than on my Canon 450D. The 450D is not exactly a top of the line model ;(

The bigger DOF on m43 could be an advantage for these shots: I can get only a small 'slice' of the dragonfly in focus. When I use AF, there is a good chance AF will lock on the wings or some other part, instead of the body/head where I usually want the focus. And if the head is in focus it does not mean the rest of the image is sharp, so it is always a compromise unless the dragon is flying exactly in the focal plane ...

C:
Great shots! It's interesting that you took the DF(dragonfly) shot at 100mm. That makes sense. I have tried and failed to get DF shots but I was using 300mm. Very hard to track and harder to AF. The 100-300 seems to AF very fast at shorter focal lengths. I'll have to have another go at something less than 300mm. I suspect the water behind the DF also makes it easier for the camera to AF as there is no good contrast in the background. I think when I last tried there was a bank behind the DF.

It's always nice to learn from other people's experiences.

 

(19) Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175) - tips : could be quite useful for dragonfly and butterfly photography

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1108/11082612panasoniclumix_x_45-175mm.asp

UPDATE - We've asked Panasonic for clarification on compatibility, and have been informed "The lenses are compatible and will work with all Micro Four Thirds cameras."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.4 (35mm equivalent) this lens could be quite useful for dragonfly and butterfly photography. Thus, this lens could be of interest to me if it was able to give good performance at f5.6 at 175mm. That, is combination with O.I.S. would give it an advantage over the 40-150mm Olympus lens.

Note: reproduction ratio = 0.2 (Max. magnification) x 2 (crop factor).

Specifications

Price • $tbc (US)
• £tbc (UK)
Manufacturer's product code H-PS45175
Maximum format size Four Thirds
Focal length 45-175mm
35mm equivalent focal length 90-350mm
Diagonal Angle of view 27Ί - 7.1Ί
Maximum aperture F4.0-5.6
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 14 elements / 10 groups
• 2 aspherical elements
• 2 ED glass elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus • 0.9m (3.0ft)
Maximum magnification 0.2x
AF motor type • Micromotor
Focus method Internal focus
Zoom method Internal zoom
Image stabilization • Yes (Power OIS)
Filter thread • 46mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Lens hood
• Storage bag
Weight 210g (7.4oz)
Dimensions (retracted) 62mm diameter x 90mm length
(2.4 x 3.5 in)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds

Note: "...uses an internal zoom mechanism!" – make quiet video

The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175) will be available in black and silver starting September 2011 with a suggested retail price of $449.99.  For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras and lenses, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

More: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20096914-1/panasonic-reveals-new-micro-four-thirds-lens-line/

 

(20) Firmware Update for DMC-GH2 / G3 / GF3 / GF2 coming

(21) G Series System Chart (as of 8/2011) : http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/pdf/g_series_system_chart.pdf

(22) 明年(2012 年)将推出 12-35mm 和 35-100mm 两颗大光圈变焦镜 : http://www.eprice.com.cn/dc/talk/727/13450 
松下 LUMIX G X 35-100mm Power O.I.S. HD 大光圈变焦镜
等效 70-200mm 的大光圈望远变焦镜,金属镜身,搭载 Power O.I.S. 光学防手震、奈米镀膜,最近对焦距离 85 cm。光圈未知,但研发目标是达成「接近同等级全片幅镜头的 F2.8 景深表现」为研发目的。(所以推测可能是 F2.0 左右。)
?good for dragonfly and butterfly photography, esp. at low light or w/out using flash.    ?good for macro too

(23) A list of achromatic close-up lenses

In the table head, "Verified" means that I have come across the lens myself on more than two occasions on the net, and therefor know it is indeed an achromat, and it is still being made, or at least being sold new or used. Price ranges are: Low (below USD 60), Medium (USD 60-120) and High (USD 120 and up).

Manufacturer Model Sizes Diopters (+) Optimized for lens Verified Price range
Canon 500D [1] 52 58 72 77 2 70-300 Yes Med
Canon 250D [1] 52 58 4 50-135 Yes Med
Century optics Achromatic diopter 58 2 4 7 40-300 Yes High
Heliopan [2] Achromat close-up 49 55 67 82 3 4 5 6 - No High
Hoya Macro Close-Up filter 49 52 55 10 50 Yes Med
Leica Elpro 1 E55 2.5 [8] Yes High
Leica Elpro 2 E55 4.9 [8] Yes High
Leica Elpro 3 E55 1.66 [9]? Yes High
Leica Elpro 4 E55 .75 [9] Yes High
Minolta No.0 49 55 0.94 50-200 Yes Low
Minolta No.1 49 55 2.0 24-200 Yes Low
Minolta No.2 49 55 3.8 24-50 Yes Low
Nikon 3T 52 1.5 80-200 Yes Low
Nikon 4T 52 2.9 80-200 Yes Low
Nikon 5T 62 1.5 80-200 Yes Low
Nikon 6T 62 2.9 80-200 Yes Low
Olympus Close-up lens [3] 49 5.9 80 No N/A
Olympus iS/L lens A-Macro 49 2.5 - No Med
Olympus iS/L lens B-Macro 55 2.5 - Yes Med
Olympus iS/L lens A-Lifesize Macro [4] 49 7.7 - No High
Manufacturer Model Sizes Diopter (+) Optimized for lens Verified Price range
Olympus MCON-40 55 2.5 ? Yes Med
Olympus MCON-35 62 2.9 ? Yes Med
Opteka High definition 10x macro [5] 52 55 58 10 50-300 Yes Low
Pentax [6] S33 58 3 50 No Med
Pentax S56 58 1.8 50 No Med
Pentax S82 67 1.22 50-105 No High
Pentax T226 67 0.44 50-200 No High
Pentax T132 67 0.76 50-200 No High
Raynox MSN-200 [5] 37 +10? 50-300 Yes Low
Raynox MSN-500 [5] 37 +20? 50-300 Yes Low
Raynox DCR-150 [4] 43 52-67 4 50-300 Yes Low
Raynox DCR-250 [4] 43 52-67 8 50-300 Yes Low
Sigma Achromatic macro lens 52 58 1.6 70-300 Yes Low
Sigma Life-size attachment [7] 52 58 1.6 70-300 Yes Low
Sony VCLM3358 58 3 ? Yes Low
Vivitar Life-size attachment 49 3.3? 100mm No High
Zoerk Makroscope type I 52 12 50-135 Yes High

Notes:


Calculations

So, what focus advantage does an add-on macro lens give, exactly? It depends heavily on the lens you're adding it to. To calculate this, you first need to know the equivalent diopter of the lens you're using. This is the inverse of the closest possible focus distance in meters (to convert inches to meters, divide by 39.37). So if your closest focus distance is .82 m, then you can calculate the diopter with the following equation:

D = 1 / .82m = 1.22

Add to this the diopter of the lens(es) you're adding. For instance, my 2 Sigmas have a diopter of 1.6 each, so I'd have to add a total of 3.2:

D = 1.22 + 1.6 + 1.6 = 4.42

To convert this number into the new focus distance, calculate the inverse of the new diopter:

d = 1 / 4.42 = .226 m

If you're more used to inches, multiply this number by 39.37 and you're done.

And this Simple Close-up Calculator

 

(24) FZ35 + conversion lens = great macro  src   mirror

(25) Great macro of GH2 + 14-140mm lens:
  http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&message=38282827&changemode=1
  http://www.flickr.com/photos/46756347@N08/5642554040/in/photostream/

The 14-140 with the Nikon 5T Close up lens mounted Mark the distance to subject focal length is much greater, around 36" to 18" you can still AF easily...where the 100-300 and 45-200 with LC55 or Canon 500D are limited to 12-24".

I use a Tripod almost always, but to get close to these damselflies I fold the tripod up and lay down on the ground sideways and shoot or use it as a short monopod cause like you said they are a challenge to shoot and about the time you get comfortable they fly off...lol...

I would like to know what is the focusing range of GH2 + 14-140 kit lens + Nikon 5T (=1.5 diopters) at wide end and tele end of zoom?
I currently own Raynox DCR-150 and DCR-250 close-up lenses, but have found that using them with 14-140 causes quite dramatic vignetting. So they are really not useful.
Also the focusing range (minimum focusing distance and maximum focusing distance) measured from the front element of 14-140 lens is very short with these Raynox lenses.
So it would be really nice to know more about this 14-140 + 5T combo used with GH2.

For example, damselfly pic at http://www.flickr.com/photos/46756347@N08/5641991093/meta/in/photostream/

Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/9.0
Focal Length 140 mm
ISO Speed 160
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire

Why I can't get sharp photo of damselfly?  Since I use 300mm focal length, I should increase shutter speed to 1/500 or higher.  And use tripod.  300mm will increase the minimum focusing distance?  And camera will focus on something else instead of the insect if use AF.  But even using MF, I cannot focus sharply with handheld.   

(26)

I have a Panasonic GH2 that is mounted with a Panasonic m4/3 45mm f2.8 macro. Recently I purchased the manual focus "Bokina" Vivitar Series 1 90/2.5 M42 Macro thinking that because of its "reputation" that I would be able to take pictures that matched the Panasonic macro. I was immediately disappointed with the results. As a macro, any close up details are fuzzy and with chromatics - where as the Panasonic macro is crystal clear. I followed up my purchase with an Olympus 4/3 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 which has macro capability and obtained the same fuzzy results (i.e. I want to be able to focus the hairs on bugs at a further distance than the Panasonic 45mm allows)

So the question is - I am looking for a longer focal length alternative to the 45mm Panasonic Macro but that will provide the same quality results - does anyone have enough experience so as to be able to recommend such a lens (manual lens is ok). I am tired and disappointed in my failed results.

(27) How-To Guide to using Adapted Lenses on Micro Four Thirds Cameras

(28) PL45 2.8 =  Panasonic-Leica 45mm 2.8 Elmarit macro

(29) Fotodiox 52mm Filter Thread Macro Reverse Mount Adapter Ring for MFT - use with my Panasonic 14-42mm or Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 for macro.

(30) Nanoha Ultra-Macro Lens Offers an Astonishing 5X Magnification - more information about the lens here.  - with an aperture range of f/11-f/32. Unlike most lenses, it cannot focus to infinity, instead it is locked at near 11mm distance, though you have some leeway at this point. You can also slightly retract the front of the lens to drop the magnification down to 4x. (to ~ 19mm).  But it is limited for me to shoot insects in wild.  So don't buy!

(31) Canon FD lens (24-50mm) + reversing -  esp. FD 50mm f/1.8 - can use with MFT adapter to have a fast lens and can reverse to have macro.  But adapting in either way has inconvenience and problems to overcome.

(32) http://www.diyphotography.net/diy_reverse_macro_ring

You CAN adjust aperture on electronic (Canon) lenses

It is possible to set an aperture on an electronic lens like Canon's. It just takes a couple extra steps.

1. Mount your to-be-reversed lens normally
2. Select Aperture Priority then press and hold the Depth of Field Preview button.
3. While holding the button, un-mount the lens. When the electrical connection is broken, the aperture should remain fixed.
4. Mount the lens reversed using your coupler and shoot away!

Note: If you're worried about disconnecting your lens while the camera is on, then you may not want to try this method. For me, the voltages are so low that I'm relatively certain I'm not going to damage anything (haven't yet after doing it dozens and dozens of times). 

(33) Disadvantages of Micro Four Thirds compared to compact digital cameras

1. Extreme zoom lenses available on compacts (such as 30Χ models) are more expensive or simply not available on large sensor cameras due to physical size, cost, and practicality considerations;

2. Similarly, larger sensors and shallow depth-of-field make bundled macro capability and close focusing more difficult, often requiring separate, specialized lenses.

So my FZ35 is still good for extreme zoom - 72x for id bird. Of course, picture quality is worse. And FZ35 is also doing good in macro because of better (less shallow) depth-of-field so easier to focus.

Now the 100-300mm lens is OK to have great zoom (600mm equivalent 35mm focal length). And Raynox 250 on 100m range also gives me OK macro.
Pair with Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 can shot indoor at low light.
My 14-42mm can be used for general purpose. Add an external flash can solve low light limitation.  The Olympus flashes (FL50, ring, twin) all work perfectly with the Panasonic GH2.

In low light, shot video of birds instead of pictures.

DSLRs remain superior for sports focusing & bird-in-flight shooting; even though Panasonic has a good (not good enough but better than many DSLRs) focus tracking system.

Next lenses to buy but none is necessary:
  Panasonic Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm lens f/2.8 Asph (PL45) - 45mm may be too short for insect photography?
  20mm f/1.7 pancake (
Minimum focusing distance: 20 cm spec
  Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 (less vignetting than the 11mm)  - ebay
  Sigma 600mm f/8 mirror lens (FD mount or other mounts which weight < 2lbs)
  SLR Magic 12-36x50 ED spotting scope for micro four thirds f/8-25 (announced September 2011)(35mm EFL = 840-2520mm) - perhaps if good quality

  spec:

35mm equivalent focal length: 840-2520mm
Objective: Φ50
Lens Coating: Multi Coated
Close Focus: 15 ft.
Weight (oz./g):  28.2/800, 49.4/1400 (with mFT adapter objective)  - only 3 lb so it is light compared to others
Water Resistant/Fog proof: Yes
Eyepiece: Straight Zoom
Eye relief: 23mm - long so it is good for glasses-wearing people like me
Accessories: mFT adapter objective with tripod collar

ebay  (US $549.00 + free shipping)

(34)

Left to Right: Canon FL Breech Mount, Canon FD Breech Mount, Canon FD Bayonet Mount

  Mounting FD Breech Mount Lenses:

o       1) Move the aperture ring to any f/stop, but not the A or O setting

o       2) Make sure the largest aperture lug pin on the back of the lens is pushed to the left position(this is the only pin on the back of your lens which can be pushed back and forth) 

o       3) Align the indexing marks on the adapter and lens, rotate breech mount to lock lens on to adapter

 

·        Mount your adapter on GH2 and set the camera dial  to A for aperture priority

·        Now set "SHOOT W/O LENS"

http://www.cameraquest.com/adp_micro_43_fd.htm

(35)

HOW-TO install Canon FD lens on Lumix GF1 camera with RainbowImaging Canon FD Lens to Micro 4/3 Four Thirds System Camera Mount Adapter

Fairly straightforward to use, except for the ring that controls the position of the pin for aperture control,
and one needs to know how to set the camera menu options so that it accepts the manual lens.

Here's how I set up a Canon 50 mm f1.2 FD lens on my Panasonic Lumix GF1 camera:
1. Install adapter ring onto camera: align the red dot on the adapter and red dot on the camera, twist to close.
2. Install lens on adapter:
2a. Stop the lens down to its smallest aperture.
2b. On the adapter, there is a ring that controls the position of a pin that allows for aperture control. Facing the front of the camera, turn the ring to its most counterclockwise position.
2c. Seat the lens on the adapter (align the red dots). Now turn the adapter ring to its most clockwise position. This aligns the pin with the lens pin.
2d. Twist the lens clockwise until it clicks shut. Now you should be able to rotate the aperture ring and see the aperture adjust. (The ring on the adapter can also be manually rotated, which will adjust the aperture, but fortunately it clicks to a shut position so you won't do it accidentally while shooting).
3. Set the camera settings to "Shoot without lens." Otherwise, you'll get an error message about the lens when you press the shutter button.
3a. Turn on the GF1, and press the MENU/SET button.
3b. Scroll down on the left menu icons to CUSTOM MENU. In the CUSTOM MENU, scroll to the last item, and select SHOOT WITHOUT LENS -> ON.
3c. Set the GF1 dial to M-manual or A-aperture priority.

Now you're all set!

...Okay, now I had the chance to use this adapter with some night sky photography of the stars. Regret to say that my Canon 50 mm f1.2 lens was focusng past infinity, which I'm sure is the adapter, not the lens. Darn. This means you can't be lazy focusing at infinity, but you do have to check the image and not turn the lens focus all the way to the end. Otherwise, for all other manual focusing, one is looking at the focus, anyway.    src

(36) Best Canon FD to micro 4/3 adapter

(37) This one has no control of aperture ring, for both Bayonet Mount & Breech Mount, so no good to me :  ebay store

(38) theoretically, 4/3 sensors are diffraction-limited at f-stops over f9.  src & this article www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffracti on-photograp...
Canon FD 50mm is a very sharp lens, in general sharper than Minolta MD 50mm.  Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 and f2 lenses have dramatic color saturation and bokehs. 
If you do f22 on Minolta lens on a 4/3 camera, I believe that is actually equivalent to f44.  In my case, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 = f/3.5.


(39) Celestron 52302 Regal Refractor 80mm F-ED Spotting Scope

Celestron’s Regal 80 F-ED Zoom Spotting Scope offers high end optics in a medium priced spotting scope. The “Fluoro ED” glass objective lens virtually eliminates the false color or blue fringing commonly seen with traditional achromatic lenses. With its Fluoro-ED optics and Multi-Coated zoom lens the Regal 80 F-ED delivers images that compare with more expensive ED and Fluorite spotting scopes.

Conventional achromatic scopes seem to lose sharpness at high power because different colors come to focus at slightly different points, this is known as “chromatic aberration.” The Regal 80 F-ED with its Fluoro-ED objective lens overcomes this problem and gives me images that are delightfully crisp and clear. When I’m looking at backyard birds at 20X magnification the view is so sharp it’s like holding a bird in my hand. When I look at the Moon at 60X, I can easily pick out detail and identify hundreds of craters.

The Regal 80 F-ED features a sleek, waterproof design and includes a padded soft case with zippers on both ends so the scope can be protected even while mounted on a tripod. With the 20-60X zoom eyepiece the Regal 80 F-ED measures about 19 inches long and weighs just over 4 pounds. A “T-thread” adapter is included for attaching a camera. I like the 45* angled eyepiece because I can use a shorter tripod to support the spotting scope while viewing or while taking pictures with a digital camera.

Spotting Scope (1.25” eyepieces) -> A “T-thread” adapter -> T-Ring for GH2 -> GH2 body

http://nikonprostaff.blogspot.com/2011/08/celestron-52302-regal-refractor-80mm-f.html

http://www.cncsupplyinc.com/index.htm?slrkits.htm ($44.95)

Spotting Scope (1.25” eyepieces) -> FZ35

http://www.cncsupplyinc.com/digikits.htm ($79.95)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark was really close on this one:
http://www.cncsupplyinc.com/index.htm?slrkits.htm

This company makes a direct adaptor for m4:3 to 1.25" eyepiece holders, which is common on all but very basic 'scopes. Lesser telescopes take a .965" eyepiece and have a mount too shaky to add a camera's weight. Nearly any 2" eyepiece holder comes with a 2"-1.25" adaptor that adds very little extra length. It' going on my birthday list since it's too late for Santa !

EDIT - this adaptor uses the T ring which adds space to the assembly - not cool. Mark's 2" adaptor bypasses that ring and is a better method.. and as he notes not (yet) micro43 compatible. Drat.

Mark9473 wrote:

I use one of these (on my E520):
http://www.cncsupplyinc.com/index.htm?true2_oly.htm
You might contact them to see if they want to bring out a mFT version.


(40) reversing 14-42mm lens : at 14mm, it shows a horizontal coverage of slightly more than 7 mm on ruler. With the sensor spec'ed at 17.3 mm, this is equivalent to a magnification of nearly 2.5:1!  At 42mm, it shows a horizontal coverage of about 16 mm, m > 0.9:1.  Yes, it is consistent with my observation that :
  m of reversing at 42mm  >  m of 100mm + Raynox 250 (100/125=0.8:1) 

GH2 - 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)  src  
In usual 16:9 video mode, GH2 is 19 mm x 10.7mm (21.81 diagonal)

And at 100-300mm lens' telephoto end (300mm), m=2.4:1 about the same as m of reversing at 14mm.  A greater magnification can be achieved by:
   GH2  +  Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 (55mm)  +  55/52mm coupler  +  reversed 14-42mm. 
Then max. m = 50 / 14 = 3.5:1. 
Don't attach 14-42mm & 100-300mm on body and reverse other lens.  It will damage the AF motors of the 2 Panasonic lens.  

m from higher to lower (with quality note):
 7 - reversed 14-42mm @ 14mm + ETC in 1080i (or 1080p/24 at cinema mode) video
 3.5 - Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 (55mm)  +  55/52mm coupler  +  reversed 14-42mm @ 14mm
 < 2.5 - reversed 14-42mm @ 14mm
 2.4 - 100-300mm + Raynox 250 @ 300mm
 0.9 - reversed 14-42mm @ 42mm
 0.8 - 100-300mm + Raynox 250 @ 100mm (q: quite sharp with 23-area AF and sunlight)

Shopping:
  Macro Coupler 52-52mm
  http://www.amazon.com/Adorama-Macro-Coupling-Ring-52-52/dp/B0000AB4LV
  http://www.buyextraonline.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=100_121&products_id=877
  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/81926-REG/General_Brand_AM5252_52mm_Macro_Coupler_Male.html


(41) successfully using Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 on m43.  To reversely mount it, need a 55/52mm step-down ring:

  GH2 + Fotodiox 52mm Macro Reverse Ring + 55/52mm step-down ring + Canon FD 50mm f/1.8


(42) inventory I have:

step-up ring:  49-52-55-58-62-67-72-77

step-down ring: 67-58, Raynox (52-67 to 43)


(43) I can buy:

    a. step-down ring 46-43 to mount Raynox on FZ35.

    b. step-down ring 55-52 to reversely mount Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 on GH2.

    c. 55/52 coupler  to reversely mount 14-42mm on Canon FD 50mm f/1.8.


(44) http://www.digitalbirdphotography.com/3.4.html

    Section 3.4 Teleconverters and Extension Tubes

    A simple way to increase the magnification of your telephoto lens is to use a teleconverter (which we'll often abbreviate as TC).  These are compact optical devices that attach to your lens (between the lens and the camera) and magnify the resulting image by a factor of either 1.4Χ, 1.7Χ, 2Χ, or even (in rare cases) 3Χ.  An example of a 1.4Χ TC and a 2Χ TC are shown below.

    Another useful accessory for shooting birds with telephoto lenses is the extension tube.  These small devices outwardly resemble a teleconverter, but without any glass elements.  Whereas a teleconverter will typically contain 5-10 glass elements which magnify the image, an extension tube is just an empty tube containing nothing but air-basically like a plastic doughnut with a camera mount on the one side and a lens mount on the other.  Just like with teleconverters, they mount between your camera and your lens.

    As you can see with the Canon extension tubes shown above, these tubes contain the metal pins which allow the camera to communicate electronically with the lens, to allow autofocus and control of the lens' iris and (if present) image stabilizer.  Nikon's extension tubes, on the other hand, lack these pins, so that when using the Nikon tubes you'll have to autofocus manually (though third-party tubes for Nikon cameras are available, which do allow autofocus).
    The purpose of an extension tube is to reduce the minimum focus distance (MFD) of your lens.  Large-focal-length lenses in the 600mm to 800mm range typically have an MFD of 20 feet or more, so that if you try to focus on a bird only 15 feet away, the camera will refuse to focus.  An extension tube will reduce the MFD, sometimes by as much as 5 feet or more, and since tubes can be stacked, you can sometimes reduce the MFD quite drastically.  Although I used to use extension tubes quite a lot with my 800mm lens, I've stopped doing so, since they have several drawbacks.  Although an extension tube doesn't affect the aperture like a teleconverter (or does so by a negligible amount), they do stop you from focusing on distant objects.  Thus, if you put on an extension tube to focus on a bird that's very close, and then soon thereafter encounter a bird high up in a tree that you want to shoot, you'll have to take off the tube before shooting the more distant bird, because with the tube connected, the lens loses the ability to focus on more distant subjects.
    Another drawback of extension tubes is that they can confuse the autofocus system in your camera, because they affect the focal length of the lens (very slightly-not enough to provide any useful magnification).  Recall from section 2.6 that the autofocus systems in DSLR's use a clever trick to compute the exact amount by which they need to move the focusing element in the lens in order to achieve focus.  The introduction of extension tubes will slightly change the amount that the focuser needs to move, since they effectively move the focal point of the lens by a few millimeters.  As a result, unless the camera knows the tube is attached and compensates for this, the camera will tend to back-focus slightly.  In newer DSLR's this can be compensated for by dialing in a micro-adjust setting (see section 3.11) to eliminate the back-focus issue.
    Instead of extension tubes, I now keep a second camera with a shorter-focal-length lens (and much closer MFD) slung over my left shoulder, so that if a bird approaches closer than what my tripod-mounted lens can focus on (approximately 18 feet), I can quickly switch to the other camera/lens combination, which focuses down to about 11 feet.  I've found this to work well in practice.

My conclusion:
  TC and Extension Tubes will not be used.  Instead, use different Macro converter/lens clip-on/screw-on (Canon 500D & Raynox 250) and bring another camera (e.g., FZ35).  The 14-42mm lens can also be brought along for regular use or even reversing it for super macro.   Spotting scope + GH2 will also be useful.


(45) GH2 with Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro Lens f3.5 S.S.C

http://www.flickr.com/photos/inframephotography/6076319350/
The Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm f3.5 S.S.C is specially designed , besides general photography, to facilitate close-up photography such as copying documents and pictures and macrophotography.
The Protrusion length of this lens has been increased, & 0.5-time the object can be photographed with the end alone.
With the attachment of the life size adaptor it is possible to photograph subjects up to 1:1 or life size. Therefore, the various optical conditions demanded in close-up photography, such as spherical aberration, curvature of image plane, distortion and chromatic aberration, have been fully met by the newly designed optical system. This lens boasts high resolving power and high contrast unto infinity in general photography. And even in macro-photograph uniformly sharp and clear images throughout the entire picture are obtainable.
I recommend this lens perfect for the Panasonic GH2 for habitual use. It is lightweight and beautifully built in alloy.

Canon FD Resources - Macro lenses   mirror


(46) CANON FD-50 U CANON EXTENSION TUBE 50mm & CANON FD-25 U CANON EXTENSION TUBE 25mm

- CANON FD-50 U CANON EXTENSION TUBE 50mm with Canon Macro Lens FD 100mm f/4 S.S.C.   src

Distance scale:  0.45m (magnification 0.5X) to 7m?  (or  1.48 ft to 15 ft); with FD-50 U, the closest focusing distance down to ? 

Magnification: 0.5X for lens used alone, 0.5-1.0X with Extension Tube FD 50-U

- CANON FD-25 U CANON EXTENSION TUBE 25mm with Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C.   src

Attachment of the specially designed Extension Tube FD 25-U increases the versatility of the lens, decreasing closest focusing distance shooting down to 0.205m allowing magnification from 0.5X to life-size.

*The major difference between the 50mm and 100mm and up to 200mm Macro lenses is the shooting distance (The FD 200mm has an added advantage where it does not need to attach an extension ring to make it goes life size at 1:1). The 100mm Macro allows you to increase the shooting (film-to-subject) distance while maintaining the same magnification. For instance, using the 50mm Macro, the magnification at the minimum shooting distance of 23.2cm is 0.5X. The same magnification can be achieved at a shooting distance of 45cm with the 100mm Macro.


(47) Reversing enlarging lens for macro

http://savazzi.freehostia.com/photography/enlargerlensespm.htm

 

Based on theoretical considerations, good quality lenses designed for use on darkroom enlargers should be suitable also for photomacrography. These lenses are optimized to enlarge a negative (usually 24 by 36 mm or larger, depending on focal length and other design parameters) by projecting on paper an image magnified, in most cases, roughly between 3 and 10 times. These lenses are designed to provide a high resolution and a low field curvature. They are also chromatically corrected throughout the visible range (and sometimes even in the near-UV). Several users report excellent results when using these lenses for copy and close-up applications (in which typically they are used within their optimal range of magnifications).

 

When used in photomacrography (i.e., at magnifications exceeding 1x), enlarger lenses should be reversed, in order to work within their optimal design conditions.

 

In this page, I compare the following lenses:

- Zeiss Luminar 63mm f/4.5 (above picture, leftmost).

- EL-Nikkor 63mm f/2.8 enlarger lens (second from the left). This lens is reversed onto Nikon bellows by using an EL-Nikkor reversing ring (shown at the bottom of the lens) of appropriate size and an M39-to-Nikon adapter ring.

- EL-Nikkor 50mm f/4 enlarger lens (second from the right), similarly reversed (because of the different diameter of its filter attachment, it requires a different EL-Nikkor reversing ring, also shown in the picture). The chrome-plated ring at the bottom is an M39-to-Nikon adapter.

- EL-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 enlarger lens (not illustrated; see here), similarly reversed.

- EL-Nikkor 75mm f/4 enlarger lens (not illustrated; see here), similarly reversed.

- As a term of comparison, also a Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 D (rightmost) was tested. This lens was reversed with a 62 to 52mm filter adapter and a Nikon BR-2A reversing ring (this setup can be seen here). An E2 extension ring was mounted at its back to make it easier to use the reversed lens. Like in my test of photomacrographic lenses, all lenses on this page were tested at the maximum extension of Nikon PB-6 bellows (209 mm flange-to-flange).

 

As expected, the Luminar 63mm is the best in the present test. This lens turned out to be the best also when I tested it against other photomacrographic lenses. The EL-Nikkor 63mm f/2.8 is slightly worse than the Luminar, and the Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 slightly worse than the EL-Nikkor 63mm. Both last lenses are fully usable as substitutes for photomacrographic lenses, if a Luminar or equivalent is not available. The EL-Nikkor 75mm f/4 and 50mmf/2.8 are also acceptable, albeit slightly worse than the above. The EL-Nikkor 50mm f/4, instead, is clearly inferior. Don't use it for photomacrography.

 

http://savazzi.freehostia.com/photography/photomacrolenses.htm

 

And this old tips :

 

The other alternative is a reversed enlarger (darkroom) lens. You can get excellent optical quality with one of the 6 element 50mm f2.8 lenses such as the El-nikkors, Schneider Componon, Rodenstock etc. There are shorter focal length enlarger lenses, which are good for higher magnifications. Unfortunately they are a lot rarer and its harder to find used ones at a good price. There are lots of used 50mm enlarging lenses at good prices. Generally at greater that 1x (1:1) magnification lenses work better in the reversed position. For more magnification you use either a bellows, or extension tubes. You can get focusing helicoids in M42 thread if you want more fine control when using extension tubes.


(48)  Mirror lens:

http://photocamel.com/forum/photography-talk/4447-what-mirror-lens.html

http://www.photozone.de/mirror-lenses

As mentioned above there're some situations where you can avoid or at least reduce this donut effect. You've to have a quite even background, an isolated main object and a close focus distance. The picture at the top of this document is an example for this. It was taken at a ~2m distance and avoids any highlighted objects both in the fore- and background thus resulting in a perfect blur.  The picture below looks still pretty good with a working distance of maybe 5m and a little steeper view towards the ground - you may already notice some minor hints of donuts here.

Sigma Cameras with Sample Photos

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/600mmf80

with Sigma 600mm f/8.0 Mirror  http://stanfordphoto.blogspot.com/2008/02/review-sigma-600mm-f8-reflex-part-1-of.html

Conclusion:  may be good for me.  Light weight (less than 2 lb?), small, inexpensive, and can be used to shoot waterfowls, Cormorants in Kissena Park and ospreys (at nest) far away.   An alternative to photographing with spotting scope.

One spec for Pentax KA mount:
Sigma 600mm f/8 Mirror
Aperture: f/8
Angle of view: 4°
Construction: 7 elements / 4 groups
Length: 122mm
Weight: 830g
Filter thread: 95mm
Minimum focus: mm
Mount: Pentax KA

"I have owned a Sigma 600mm. mirror lens for quite a while, and while I was shooting film (slides) I often swore that there was something wrong with the lens, since I got sharp pictures so rarely. When I got my dslr, however, this changed. With the dslr (in my case, a Nikon D100) I have been able to use faster ISO speeds (1000 or even higher) and this makes it possible to shoot the photos at shutter speeds of 1/1250 or faster. For me, the mirror lens has always been very prone to vibration, so using a very fast shutter eliminated the "shake" problem. As a result, I have obtained some exceedingly sharp bird photos using this old Sigma mirror lens. Some expert photographers have expressed amazement that such cheap equipment could produce such good results. However, one thing to keep in mind is that while the lens is set to focus at "macro" range, very close, the results from less than about 25 or 30 feet are inevitably disappointing. The best results are when I photograph something VERY far away. At close range, clearly the optics are not optimal.

This actually is not the only lens I use, but I have found myself using this mirror lens quite a lot, as it is powerful and quite portable."

Key point from review http://stanfordphoto.blogspot.com/2008/02/review-sigma-600mm-f8-reflex-part-1-of.html :
1.
The Minolta version is probably the cheapest and most popular version available (and there are Minolta to EOS converters available). The Canon FD mounts are pretty cheap too. Not all the lenses are black either -- I've seen auctions for at least one white one and one greenish/gray one. There may be different versions of the lens out there, but as far as I know, they are all optically identical and good quality.

 


(49)  Vivitar lens:

- Vivitar 90mm F2.8 Canon FD mount 1:1 macro lens - src-1   gallery-1

Apparently this lens was made in the 1970s by Komine in Japan, it's around 95mm long (at infinity focus), extending to a huge 185mm at 1:1 magnification, requiring about 2.5 full revolutions of the focusing ring!

The Vivitar Series 1 90mm Macro is/was an excellent lens. You can pick one up for about $250 USD these days. Here's a recent image I took of one: http://kvincentphotography.ca/productshots/h3794419#h3794419  

This lens is my neighbours'...but I used to own one back in the 80's.

KEV
http://kvincentphotography.ca/img/s11/v28/p672940008-11.jpg  

http://kvincentphotography.ca/stackedimages  
http://kvincentphotography.ca/designerflorals  
http://kvincentphotography.ca/macro  

One review stated "The finest lens ever made". I would keep it even if I could never use it!

- Vivitar 100mm macro f3.5
I use for macro and as a portrait lens. It takes decent pics as well, and works with EOS cameras. It was recommended by Pop Photo two decades ago as a decent budget macro lens, so I picked one up: I used in with my Canon 10s camera, back in the day.
The build quality doesn't inspire confidence but its a tough little bugger and as I said takes decent pictures: [Built by Cosina, same manufacture that currently makes Zeiss lenses]
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/327  
User reviews: http://www.photographyreview.com/cat/lenses/35mm-primes/vivitar/100mm-f3-5-macro/prd_84631_3111crx.aspx  

- Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 MC (multi-coated) macro lens
"The Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 MC macro lens is my every day ‘walking around’ lens. It has some of my more commonly used focal lengths available with a nice wide angle at 28mm all the way to a satisfying portrait length of 85mm. The lens is not particularly fast at f/3.5-4.5, but I haven’t been able to find much in this focal length range that has a better aperture. The exception is the Vivitar series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5, one of which I would love to acquire some day. I digress.

The lens is reasonably sized and has a bit of heft to it, but not to much (weight to be added), its about 3 3/4″ in overall length at its minimum length. The quality of the optics are decent, but nothing amazing. Overall it is what I would describe as adequate or possibly good. It is a push/pull type zoom lens and as the full title of the lens indicates it is a multicoated lens and has a ‘macro’ feature. If you rack the lens out to the full 85mm focal length you can rotate the lens barrel past the normal minimum focal length to get something approaching 1:6 reproduction (I haven’t actually measured it). Otherwise the minimum focal length is at best adequate as it has a minimum focusing distance of about 4.5ft at all focal lengths except 85mm where it has its macro feature where it can focus down to 2ft. The lens accepts a 62mm filter and it has a minimum aperture of f/16.

I purchased the lens on Ebay for about $50 and it has been well worth the money spent. src  wiki  

- The Vivitar Series 1 28-90 and Kiron 28-85 are excellent lenses, boasting a decent 2.8 aperture.

Vivitar's Excellent Series One Adventure In 1975 Vivitar introduced a new line of "Series One" lenses intended to compete with the best that anyone had to offer. Vivitar proudly touted Series One designs as being on the leading edge of optical design.

Vivitar's claims were unusual, if not unique for the time. It was unheard of to see an independent re-seller trying to compete with camera manufacturers in terms of optical excellence. No other independent lens company had ever tried to compete across the board on a lens lineup. By and large they succeeded. Besides quality, the new Series One boasted new developments in optical design that were widely admired...and copied. These new lenses were outstanding and loaded with new features not seen before.
Advertising claimed Vivitar met US Space program optical requirements and used the "largest computers" to design Series One lenses. Rather astounding claims, but even more astounding because Vivitar was only an American photo sales company, not a camera or lens manufacturer!! Vivitar's advantage was boldness and innovation.

Vivitar Series One lenses really made a splash at the time, especially the best selling and ground breaking 70-210 Macro Zoom. Most photogs were amazed at this first Macro Zoom. Many just felt they wouldn't be able to hold their camera bags proudly if they didn't have one. Today of course, almost all zooms have a macro feature. When you use your macro zoom, do what I do and remember to take your hat off and have a moment of silence for it's forgotten ancestor, the Vivitar Series One 70-210 Macro Zoom. (Do I get carried away with this historical stuff or what?) Most Series One lenses were reportedly made by Kiron in Japan. In later years Kiron would introduce an excellent series of lenses to the American market under their own name. Today Kirons are well worth looking for. Their excellent performance is often found at giveaway prices because the seller is not familiar with the House of Kiron.

Never before, or since, had a non camera manufacturer introduced so many unique leading edge lens designs upon 35mm consumers. Completely unique for their time, the Series One lineup boasted a 28/1.9, 90/2.5 Macro, 135/2.3, 200/3, 24-48/3.8, 35-85/2.8 Variable focus, 70-210/3.5 Macro zoom, 90-180/4.5 Macro Zoom, and three mirror lenses of a new heftier "Solid CAT" design, the 600/8, and 800/11. The 90/2.5 Macro shared the honor with the illustrious Leitz Dual Range Summicron of having the highest resolution of any lenses tested by the great, late, and sorely missed American photography magazine, Modern Photography. The lens lineup was filled out by the super performing, but not so unique 135/2.3 and 200/3. Unfortunately and predictably, Vivitar's leap into the big leagues did not last for long. By 1981 all original Series One lenselastic asphs were discontinued except the 800/11 and 70-210/3.5 Macro zoom. A few outstanding designs followed, but not in the previous quantity. 1983 saw the introduction of the very interesting 450/4.5 Vivitar Series One mirror lens with a perical front element.

http://photo.net/canon-fd-camera-forum/005cwr

 


(50)  1080p - assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a resolution of 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 high. This resolution is similar to that of 2K digital cinema technology.

Since I assume target audience watch my video on PC monitor instead on TV,  frame rate is set to 30 instead of 29.97 (or 24 instead of 23.976).

In the United States, 1080p over-the-air broadcasts still do not exist as of 2011; all major networks use either 720p60 or 1080i60 encoded with MPEG-2.

For material that originates from a progressive scanned 24 frame/s source (such as film), MPEG-2 lets the video be coded as 1080p24, irrespective of the final output format. These progressively-coded frames are tagged with metadata (literally, fields of the PICTURE header) instructing a decoder how to perform a 3:2 pulldown ( tsiu: 24 : 60 = 2 : (3+2) ) to interlace them. While the formal output of the MPEG-2 decoding process from such stations is 1080i60, the actual content is coded as 1080p24 and can be viewed as such, using a process known as inverse telecine, since no information is lost even when the broadcaster (as opposed to the receiver) performs the 3:2 pulldown.

 


(51) I'm pretty new to the video word and am therefore a bit confused as to which settings to use on the GH2 for taking videos of birds. I've done a quick test comparing 720p, 1080i & 1080p (24fps), and here's my findings:

1) On both my 24" 1080p Dell monitor & my 50" 1080p LCD TV, I can see a difference. 1080p (24fps) looks the sharpest, and 1080i looks a bit sharper than 720p.

2) When using ETC mode, then I see a bigger difference between 1080i and 720p, causing me to conclude that I will only use ETC mode on 720p when I absolutely need either the 60fps or the larger crop.

3) While 1080p (24fps) certainly looks the best, I notice that the birds movements are not as "smooth" as the other two settings. I can probably get away with using this on a perched bird that isn't moving much, when I want the absolute best quality.

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?241729-GH2-Best-Video-Settings-for-Birds

conclusion:

1. try 1080p (24fps) mode for static objects and perched birds and ospreys in the nest.
2. use ETC mode only on 720p, not on 1080i.
3. for action intensive video, use 720p/60fps. It is especially true to slow down the motion:

Definitively 60p if you want to slow it down in post. 60p to 24p = a nice 40% slo-mo.

Here are some links with birds, probably some good info to be found:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?233822-Birds-feeding-GH2-with-Lumix-100-300-ETC-and-slow-mo&highlight=birds
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237896-Birds-during-snow-storm-100-300-ECT&highlight=birds

4. when to use 1080i?
1080i will have better resolution, whereas 720p will have better temporal resolution (i.e. for movement) Both are the same bitrate.

Important:
Regardless of 720p vs 1080p, make sure to keep your shutter speeds at only 2x the fps, so that's 1/50 in 24p and 1/120 in 60p. I'll also go as high as 1/200 in 60p. If you let your shutter speeds get higher, you'll end up with a "sharper" image, but the video will stutter and be hard to watch.

More tips:
I used GH1 Gh13 and now GH2 for bird videography. On GH1 the 720p mjpeg was my favored format as the 720p AVC would brake at some occasions.
With the GH13 things have changed and I used 1080p for shooting and switched to 720p for slowmo - all with high bit rates.
Your observations on the gh2 resolution are correct .
1080p24 has high resolution also with etc, 720p has much less resolution and will brake on some occasions (like GH1) and with etc turned on will look like SD! After trying this mode for a while I decided to avoid it.

You have to routs to choose from :
1) 1080p or 1080p80% (no sound) for general purpose and 720p for the slow motion clips. Here you will need a strong machine and a good editing software to handle your footage.
2) Go with MJEPG 720p for general purpose and switch to 720p AVC for slow motion. MJPEG looks great and is very easy to render on almost any machine.

http://vimeo.com/15769634

As for settings, You need only a starting point. I personally would recommend SMOOTH with -1 for sharpness and contrast.


(52) Tips and tricks for making Panasonic look more like Canon

     http://www.eoshd.com/content/599/tips-and-tricks-for-making-panasonic-look-more-like-canon

     Film mode: Nostalgic
     Contrast: +2
     Sharpness: User preference
     Colour: +2
     Noise reduction: User preference
     White balance: User preference of preset, 2 notches toward Yellow and 1 notch toward Magenta

 


(53) Manual Focusing Trick

When manual focusing an AF lens on the GH2 touching the manual focusing ring causes the view to become magnified as an aid to focusing. This applies on both the LCD and the EVF. But when a non-AF lens, one lacking electrical contacts, such as the fantastic Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nocton is used, the standard procedure for getting the camera into magnify mode is to press the Menu / Set button and then the left (F2) button.

This works, but it's a bit fiddly when trying to work quickly. There is an undocumented method for magnified focusing of manual lenses that we have not seen mentioned anywhere else as yet. Simply press in on the thumb wheel. This magnifies the image, and then a touch of the shutter release returns the screen to normal magnification for composition and shooting.

It's fast and very well conceived by Panasonic, since otherwise depressing the thumb wheel has no function when a non-electronic lens is mounted.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/gh2_discoveries.shtml


(54) fast video lens

1. fast - f/2.8 or faster so can shoot in low light and/or get a more shallow depth of field. Under bright sunny day, f/4.0 or even slower is OK.

2. with a FIXED aperture, not a range of apertures like my 100-300mm or
Vivitar 28-85mm.
Without a fixed aperture, as you zoom in on something the image will get darker and that's no good.

3. wide and normal zoom (for non-birding use, e.g., wedding)
    - e.g., Cosmicar-Canon-Tokina 12.5-75mm f/1.8 C-mount lens (is it power zoom? silent?)
I think on my GH2, it will not be power zoom and is manual zoom like my 100-300mm. But is it smooth? My 100-300mm is not smooth and not zoom internally.

4. zoom internally (so does not rotate on focus) & even better is a power silent smooth zoom
    - Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens:
        1. The dedicated Li-ion battery BP-21 is used to power the zooming and AF operation. So it is power zoom.
        2. for Nikon DSLR Cameras, $26,000
        3. offers f/5.6 at the 1000mm.

5. For my GH2, possible candidates for:
    A> osprey nest video
    - Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45–175m f/4–5.6 OIS lens:
        1. features a quiet variable-speed power zoom for smooth zooming during movie recording but, unlike the collapsible standard zoom, the 45-175mm also features 'by-wire' dials for direct control of zoom and focus. The lens features a compact, lightweight design and uses an internal zoom mechanism, meaning it stays the same length at all times.
        2. the lens is extremely suitable for portrait and landscape shots. For osprey nest, I think it is OK on sunny days.
        3. light weight: 210g (7.4oz)
        4. With a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.4 (35mm equivalent) this lens could be quite useful for dragonfly and butterfly photography. Thus this lens could be of interest to me if it was able to give good performance at f5.6 at 175mm. That, is combination with O.I.S. would give it an advantage over the 40-150mm Olympus lens.

    B> low night video
    - Cosmicar-Canon-Tokina 12.5-75mm f/1.8 C-mount lens (ebay)
    -
Fujinon 10-140mm f/1.7 c-mount broadcast tv zoom lens  - ebay  (US $500.00 + $50 shipping from HK)
    -
Fujinon 7.5-105mm f/1.4 (with macro mode) C mount broadcast zoom lens modified for Lumix GH2   - ebay  (Winning bid: US $355.00)

In fact, to take great video, a delicate camcorder is still better than GH2 and 
other MFT cameras in most scenarios. 

(55) Fujinon 10-140mm f/1.7 c-mount broadcast tv zoom lens for GH2 (Seller refurbished)  - US $500.00

A very interesting lens kit here:
It's an old SD broadcast zoom lens made by Fujinon: 10-140mm f/1.7
It's intended for use on the Panasonic GH2 because it does not cover the whole m4/3 sensor. But by using the Ex Tele Conversion (ETC) you can cover the whole sensor.
It's a great lens, long range and relatively fast aperture. Especially good if you film events or that kind of thing. I used it only once on the field for a corporate event.
I had modified the rear mount so it can focus to infinity. However it is a varifocal (changes focus while zooming), but only off by a few millimeters. Refer to the demo video.
It's a bit heavy, about 900g so I've given it a steel METABONES C-mount adapter for Micro Four Thirds worth US$60.
It also comes with a 0.8x (20% wider) zoom-through wide angle converter. Zoom-through means there is minimal distortion and no light loss. It's a clamp-on and is designed specifically for these Fujinon zooms. It weighs about 950g. What's also cool is that it was previously owned by NASA! I saw on B&H they sell a newer version of this for nearly US$3,000!
Because of its weight I'm also supplying a 15mm lens support accessory (just the support - no rods or baseplate). Refer to the pictures.
The lens is in mint condition! No scratches, fungus or blemishes. It includes original front cap and generic rear cap.
The wide angle has no exterior blemishes but it has little dust particles inside, including two 4mm length black hairlines. It comes with no caps - but will be wrapped very carefully.
I don't see any affect on the image. Refer to the demo video (1080p streaming): If you've never used these lenses before: This is a completely MANUAL lens. There are no auto focus, stabilization or auto iris. 
The focus barrel will extend and rotate when turning. But the zoom mechanism is internal. The aperture ring is stepless of course. I ship from Hong Kong to USA, Europe, Asia and Australia with fast EMS mail. No returns accepted.

     Sample video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsmJ1MgUC0I 

 

 

(56) Panasonic LUMIX 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens   src

   Design-wise there's nothing much to see - the manual focus ring occupies a large proportion of the lens barrel, and the entire optical unit moves back and forwards to focus, with just 3mm travel between extremes. Notably there's no bayonet mount for a hood, presumably to help keep size to a minimum.

'Focus-by-wire' manual focus

   The most unusual feature of this lens's operation is the focus-by-wire manual focus system, which drives the focusing group indirectly via the lens's autofocus motor. As a consequence, the feel of the manual focus ring never changes, regardless of whether the camera is set to auto or manual focus, or the focus has reached the limits of its travel, and this lack of tactile feedback can be a little disconcerting in some situations. However, this system does have some advantages; it allows gearing of the focus action, such that turning the manual focus ring quickly makes very fast initial adjustments, but then turning it slowly allows very fine subsequent tweaking. This essentially mimics the effect of having an extremely long focus travel, and consequently allows (in principle at least) a high level of manual focus accuracy.

   One oddity we did notice is that, while Panasonic's G-series cameras hold the lens's aperture wide open while you're viewing the scene in record mode, the E-P1 has a habit of stopping down, presumably to regulate the amount of light reaching the sensor. This obviously increases the depth of field in the live view image, which can potentially lead to inaccurate manual focus when shooting at large apertures (exacerbated by a false impression that manual focus is easily obtained). Fortunately this behavior can be countered by assigning depth of field preview to the function button, and using it to force the camera to open the lens up to maximum aperture for manual focus (just hope you don't need to set a custom white balance, which also requires the function button, at the same time).


(57)  Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.     src

Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) suppresses the blurring that is commonly caused by hand-shake, making it easy to shoot clear shots for sharply focused macro shot or in dimly lit places without using a tripod.

It incorporates inner focus system of three groups of floating structure, which enables excellent resolution and contrast without changing its overall length from full life-size magnification [close-up 1:1; can't focus to infinity] to infinity. The inclusion of stepping motor makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both photo and movie recording.

The closest focusing distance can be instantly changed to 15cm or 50 cm(0.5 ft to 1.64 ft) with the switch on the lens barrel according to the shooting opportunity. The LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. lens also excels in portraits, middle-range snapshot, or landscapes in addition to the original full life-size macro shots.

When mounted on the LUMIX G Micro System Camera, the new lens allows use of the advanced contrast AF system, which includes a Face Recognition function, for more convenient, more enjoyable shooting. Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings.


     (58) Olympus E-PL1 spec:

 

     Note:

     1.  Only when E-system Flash attached : Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP

     2.  Flash X-sync speed :  1/125 - 1/2000 with 'Super FP' compatible flash

     3.  E-system Flash (FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20, FL-14)

 

Prices
(Body + 14-42mm)

 • US: $599
 • UK: £549
 • EU: €599

Body material

Plastic with metal front panel

Sensor

• 4/3" Hi-Speed Live MOS sensor
• 17.3 x 13.0 mm active area
• 13.1 million total pixels
• 12.3 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array
• Fixed low pass filter (anti-alias filter)

Dust suppression

Supersonic Wave Filter

Image stabilization

• "Supersonic Wave Drive" (in-body sensor shift)
• Three modes: Horizontal+Vertical, Vertical only, Horizontal only
• Up to 3 EV compensation (claimed)
*

Image processor

TruePic V

Image sizes (Still)

• 4032 x 3024
• 3200 x 2400
• 2560 x 1920
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Image sizes (Movie)

• 1280 x 720 (HD)@ 30 fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30 fps

Movie length

• 7 min @ HD
• 14 min @ 640 x 480

Aspect Ratio

4:3(Default), 3:2, 16:9, 6:6

File formats

• RAW
• RAW + JPEG
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• AVI Motion JPEG

Lenses

 • Micro Four Thirds Mount
 • Range of M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses available
 • Multiply focal length by 2 for 35 mm equiv. FOV
 • Compatible with standard Four Thirds lenses via adapter.

Auto focus

 • Imager Contrast Detection AF system
 • 11-area multiple AF
 • When non High-speed imager AF compatible lens is used, it works as AF assist.

Focus Area Selectable

 • Automatic
 • Manual
 • Auto from all 11 area, Single area from 11 area
 • Auto from almost all area when Face detection is ON
 • Free selection (from 225points) when Magnified View Mode is selected

Focus modes

 • Single shot AF (S- AF)
 • Continuous AF (C-AF)
 • Manual focus (MF)
 • Single + Continous (S-AF+ MF)
 • AF Tracking (C-AF+ TR)
*

AF assist lamp

 • No

Exposure modes

 • iAuto
 • Program AE (with shift)
 • Aperture priority AE
 • Shutter priority AE
 • Manual
 • Art Filter
 • Scene select

Scene modes

 • Portrait
 • e-Portrait
 • Landscape
 • Landscape + Portrait
 • Macro
 • Sport
 • Night Scene
 • Night + Portrait
 • Children
 • High Key
 • Low Key
 • DIS mode
 • Nature Macro
 • Candle
 • Sunset
 • Documents
 • Panorama
 • Fireworks
 • Beach & Snow

Art Filter

 • Pop art
 • Soft focus
 • Pale & light color
 • Light tone
 • Grainy film
 • Pin hole
 • Diorama
*
 • Gentle sepia
*

Sensitivity

 • Auto : ISO 200 - 3200 (customizable, Default 200-1600)
 • Manual ISO 100 - 6400, 1/3 or 1 EV steps

Metering system

 • TTL Image Sensor metering system
 • 324-zone multi-pattern

Metering modes

 • Digital ESP (324-area multi-pattern metering)
 • Center-Weighted Average
 • Spot (1%)
 • Highlight based spot
 • Shadow based spot

AE Lock

 • AE lock available
 • AF lock with shutter release half-press in Single AF mode

Exposure comp.

 • Up to ± 3.0 EV
 • 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps

AE Bracketing

 • 3 frames
 • 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1.0 EV steps

Exposure fine tune

 • ±1EV in 1/6EV steps

Shutter speed

 • 60-1/2000 sec*

Flash X-sync speed

 • 1/30 - 1/160*
 • 1/125 - 1/2000 with 'Super FP' compatible flash

White balance

 • Auto
 • Cloudy
 • Shade
 • Flash
 • Daylight
 • Fluorescent 1
 • Fluorescent 2
 • Fluorescent 3
 • Lamp
 • 1 custom preset
 • Kelvin (2000 - 14000 K)

WB fine tuning

 • Red - Blue: ± 7 steps (2 mired each)
 • Green - Magenta: ± 7 steps (2 mired each)

WB Bracketing

 • 3 frames
 • 2, 4 or 6 steps

Color space

 • sRGB
 • Adobe RGB

Image parameters

 • iEnhance (3 levels)
 • Saturation - 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted)
 • Sharpness - 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone)
 • Contrast- 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone)
 • B&W filter (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green)
 • B&W/Sepia toning (Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green)
 • Gradation (4 levels)

Drive modes

 • Single
 • Sequential
 • Self-timer (2 or 12 sec)

Continuous

 • 3.0 fps
 • RAW: 10 frames maximum

Internal Flash

 • Guide number 10 @ ISO 200 (7 @ ISO 100)
 • TTL-Auto, Manual (Full, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64)
 • 5500K ± 400K color temperature
 • Wireless control (4 channels) up to 3 groups

External Flash

 • Hot-Shoe
 • Compatible with E-system Flash (FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20, FL-14)
 • External Flash Control : TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP-TTL-Auto, FP-Manual
 • Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off.
 • Flash power: Up to ± 3EV in 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps

On-screen information, live control mode (Additional info in Super Control Panel mode, engaged via custom settings menu, in green)

 • Battery information
 • Shooting mode
 • Shutter speed
 • Aperture value
 • Exposure compensation value
 • ISO sensitivity
 • Exposure compensation indicator
 • Exposure indicator
 • Flash intensity compensation indicator
 • Date
 • Auto BKT setting
 • NR setting
 • WB
 •
WB compensation value
 • Record mode
 • Flash Status
 • Image size
 • Drive mode
 • Flash intensity compensation value
 • Metering mode
 • Recordable still image number
 • Focusing mode
 •
Gradation
 • IS activating mode
 • Face detection
 • My Mode
 • Multi Exposure
 • Aspect Ratio
 •
Super FP
 • AF frame
 •
Colour space
 •
Sharpness
 •
Contrast
 •
Saturation
 • Internal Temperature Warning

Orientation sensor

 • No*

Electronic Viewfinder

 • External (optional)*

LCD monitor

 • 2.7" HyperCrystal LCD with Anti-Reflective Coating*
 • 230,000 pixels
 • 100% frame coverage
 • 15 step brightness adjustment
 • 15 step Color Balance adjustment (R-B, G-M)

Live View

 • 100% field of view
 • Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed
 • AF operation
 • 7x - 14x magnification
*

Live View Modes

 • Normal Mode
 • Grid Line Mode (4 types)
*
 • Histogram Mode
 • Highlight & Shadow Mode
*
 • Comparison View Mode

Live View Information

 • Aperture value
 • Shutter speed
 • Auto Bracket
 • AE Lock
 • AF mode
 • IS
 • Shooting Mode
 • Battery Check
 • My Mode
 • Internal Temperature Warning
 • Face Detection
 • Histogram
 • Number of storable still pictures
 • Record mode
 • ISO
 • Sequential shooting
 • Self-timer
 • White Balance
 • Metering Mode
 • AF confirmation mark
 • Exposure Compensation Value
 • Spot metering Area
 • Only when E-system Flash attached : Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP

Playback functions

 • Single-frame
 • Information Display
 • Index Display(4/9/25/100 frames, Calendar)
 • Close-up (2 - 14X)
 • Movie (w/sound, FF/REW/Pause)
 • Slideshow(Still/Movie/Still+Movie, Slide show w/BGM/BGM+Sound/Sound)

Editing

 • RAW development
 • JPEG editing (B&W, Sepia, Red eye reduction, Color saturation, Resize, Shadow Adjustment Technology, Anti red-eye)

Storage

 • SD/SDHC

Connectivity

 • USB 2.0 (Hi Speed)
 • Mini HDMI
 • Video Out (NTSC / PAL)

Optional Accessories

 • Flash FL-14, FL-20, FL-36, FL-50, FL-36R, FL-50R
 • Adaptor MF-2 for OM lenses
 • Adaptor MMF-1 for four thirds lenses
 • VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder
*
 • SEMA-1 stereo mic kit
*
 • PT-EP01 underwater housing
*

Power

BLS-1 1150 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)

Dimensions

115mm (W) x 72mm (H) x 42mm (D) (excluding protrusions)
4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7"

Weight (no batt)

334g (296g)

Box contents

E-PL1 Body, Li-ion battery BLS-1, Li-ion battery charger BCS-1, USB/Video Multi cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM*, Instruction manual, Warranty card.

 

     http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl1/2


     (59) Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens

          - 4/3 not Micro 4/3 so need an adapter (one adapter for both Olympus body & GH2)

            Panasonic DMW-MA1 works for both.   Olympus MMF-1 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds Adapter is more expensive? and is sold out already.  

            "the 4/3 to m4/3 adapter is the only one that allows for fully automatic lens controls on a PEN.

          - Good lens.  The Micro 4/3 version (Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm lens f/4.8-6.7 MSC) not so good.  Note: MSC=Movie and Stills Compatible

The 70-300 four-thirds Zuiko definitely has some advantages over the 75-300 Micro. It focuses closer and it can use the EX25 tube to get even closer. Those are two pretty big advantages if you like shooting closeups. Add the price difference and it is a compelling option.  However, it is also heavier and bulkier and slower in AF.  But I can bear the extra weight and size and slower AF, I think!

          - Can only be used with Oly camera with in-body stabilization.  Not with GH2.

          - Price: $399.00 (6/2/2012) & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping

          - Better macro than Panasonic 100-300mm because of #2:

            (1) Closest focusing distance = 0.96m /37.8 in. (when using at MF shooting), 1.2m / 47.24 in. (at AF shooting)  

                But:  The maximum zoom range (at 300mm) allows the lens to focus as close as 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) so not much different from 100-300mm.

            (2) Maximum image magnification = 0.5x (1.0x : 35mm equivalent) so tele-macro photography is capable.  

          - Slightly Heavier ( 615g / 21.7 oz. ).  But GH2 + 100-300mm (32 oz) is 0.5 lb lighter than E-PL1 + adapter + this lens.

              615g + 334g + adapter's weight (5.6 oz) = about 2.5 lb

          - With this lens, the need of Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 is minimal!   

          - Firmware v.1.4 on my lens.  Firmware Update

          - info: src1  Telephoto Macro Tips  Tele-macro lens  dpreview  macro pic from this lens  Oly site   manuel    

          - newegg free shipping + no Tax?


Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size Four Thirds
Focal length 70 – 300 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum aperture F4.0 - F5.6
Minimum aperture F22.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 14
Groups 10
Special elements / coatings 3 ED lens
Focus
Minimum focus 0.96 m (37.80")
Maximum magnification 0.5 x
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Extending front (what is it?)
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 620 g (1.37 lb)
Diameter 80 mm (3.15")
Length 127 mm (5.00")
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Filter thread 58 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code LH-61E
Tripod collar No

Reviews:
<1>
My first impression of this lens was its size and weight; it is big. At about 1.4 lbs it outweighs my E510 camera body and at 3.5" wide and almost 6" long with a filter it takes a lot of room in the camera bag. There is only one reason to get this lens and that is for its extended zoom range, about twice that of the 40 – 150 mm kit lens. In 35 mm equivalents this lens zooms from 140 – 600 mm. It is an ideal lens for outdoor wildlife photography. However, like all "long" lenses this is a large and heavy piece of equipment and is difficult to tote on hikes. Also, like all "long" lenses, this lens requires more thought when using than shorter lenses. Whereas image stabilization helps to minimize blurring as a result of shake, it is still best to set the camera on shutter priority and dial in a speed of at least 1/500th of a second. Then adjust the ISO and aperture as appropriate. It is better to have some noise from a high ISO or softness from a wide open aperture then have to deal with blur from shake. My E510 seems to be aware when this long lens is used and increases the speed a little, but not nearly enough to compensate for the length of the lens. 

I've only taken about 100 pictures with the lens and so far I have been very please with the results. As expected, it is very good at distance shots. What I hadn't expected is that it is also good at close-ups from a distance. I took a picture of a large bee on a flower from about 7' away and the flower and pattern on the bee's wings were crystal clear. The depth of field, as expected, was very narrow. As several other reviewers have pointed out this is not a very fast lens. It rapidly stops down from f4 to f5.6 when you zoom. Hence, my comment that the lens is best used for outdoor photography, especially in full sunlight where f5.6 is not a problem. Given the limitations noted above, I strongly recommend this lens. However, if you are a novice, to get the best results, be prepared to use settings other than AUTO and to learn something about the camera. If you are a hiker and want the capability of a long lens I would seriously consider a superzoom camera (they are about the same price as this lens). The quality may not be as good, but they are much easier to lug around.  (Aug 29, 2009 src
<2>
I use the lens primarily for wildlife photography. The lens has good range and is light weight. Clarity and color accuracy are generally good. It is easy to use in both AF and MF modes. No tripod is needed. Pros: the price point for the lens is good. Color, clarity and color accuracy are good. Cons: Low light performance is poor. Autofocus does not respond well on fast moving subjects particularly coming toward the photographer. Depth of field (function of F stop) is shallow. Comment: The lens is driven by two motors. The motors and the electronics are connected with strip connectors which get brittle and fail. When this happens the lens will not function in any mode. This took about three years of hard outdoor use in conditions that were wet, marine, dry and dusty. I expected infiltration from water and dust when I opened the failed lens up. There was none. I considered the performance and price and bought another to replace the failed lens. I guess that is the best bottom line comment.  (Sep 13, 2010 src

<3> September 10, 2009  src
     Hello everyone. I did some more tests on the Zuiko 70-300mm lens late this afternoon, and I discovered that it only over exposes if the F-stop is not near F4.0, and only if the focal length is less than about 120mm. What a person sees with this failure, is a lot of bright white light in the LCD after taking the picture...it's pretty bad.
     I did repeated tests here, and the focal length "sweet spot" for failure was not exactly the same, but somewhere near 120mm. Since the over exposure problem is dependent upon the focal length changes, that is why I thought it was fixed previously.
     When I went home, I downloaded Firmware 1.3 for the E-510 body and Firmware 1.3 for the Zuiko 70-300mm lens. When I tested it in late evening light after the firmware updates, the camera and lens seemed to perform much better (at the focal lengths above 120mm), and I noticed that the softness didn't seem as great when below the F-stop 9.0. Now the F-stop increment is 9.5 with the firmware update. So, it's good news and bad news. The good news is that I can use it from about 120mm to 300mm FL, the same as before...and the performance seems better with the updates. Actually if I want to use it from 70mm to 120mm, I just have to adjust the EV to somewhere near minus 4.0 (I haven't quite figured out the exact ones for that yet). The bad news is that the lens still malfunctions.
     Now the question...any of you know why this lens fails dependent upon the focal length? If the aperture is stuck, why is it only stuck at certain focal lengths? I heard from a camera repairman that if the aperture was stuck, it wouldn't be because of oil, but possibly dust or some particle. But this focal length variable is something that doesn't make sense along with sticky apertures.
     I know this sounds bad, but I've taken about 20,000 images with it. If it's toast, I can accept it, and I won't be getting a Canikon system.  I'm just trying to see if any of you have any knowledge about this, so I know whether to try to have it repaired, or just live with it the way it is, or just buy another lens. Thanks.

 


     (60) Panasonic DMW-MA1 Lens adapter Four Thirds mount - Micro Four Thirds 
                      *** a cheaper alternative:
Viltrox JY-43F 4/3 to M43 adaptor (src1, 43rumors.com)

           Price: Newegg - no Tax.  Amazon - $113.99 + Tax (6/2/2012) & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

           http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/pho/3071821376.html  ($80) or http://www.mu-43.com/f17/

 

           Review - A couple of observations regarding usage on my E-P2 along with my Olympus 50mm f/2.0 Telephoto Macro ED Lens:
           - The automatic functionality of the 4/3 lens is retained on the PEN, including a limited form of autofocus (which is not always the case on the Panasonic bodies)
           - The degraded mode AF is slower than AF on a DSLR, resulting in a rapid succession of tiny adjustments prior to locking focus. It can also hunt in low light, but it's usable
           - AF is limited to single mode only; continuous and tracking are not available
           - Even a not-so-big (by DSLR standards) lens like the Zuiko 50mm f/2 can really dominate the E-P2 when mounted on the adapter, which seems to add around 2 cm to the length of the setup

           There are a few 4/3 lenses which are designed to fully support contrast detection AF when mounted on a M4/3 body; in those cases, AF should function just as it would with a native Micro 4/3 lens.


           ** Update 11/22 **
           I can now add more lenses to the list I've used with this adapter: the Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens for Olympus and Panasonic Standard Four Thirds Digital SLR Cameras, the Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 Digital ED SWD Lens for Olympus Digital SLR Cameras, and the Olympus EC14 1.4x Teleconverter Lens (for at f/2.8 on E-System lenses).

           The 70-300mm with the latest firmware supports CDAF natively, and as a result it works with full autofocus capabilities (even when on the TC). I've used it to take moon shots with my Olympus PEN. It's a cheap and reliable lens and the autofocus makes it a wonderful option.

           The 50-200mm with the latest firmware still does not have full AF support on the PEN, but its focus motor is fast enough that the "hunting" mechanism works serviceably well. For action though, you probably need to pre-focus and use MF.

           Both of these lenses look absolutely hilarious when mounted on the E-P2 using the mount adapter. The 50-200mm SWD is especially humorous: stick on a lens hood and the TC, and you're shooting with a sublimely ridiculous piece of kit. I can't tell you how many odd glances I get when shooting with a huge semi-pro fast zoom on such a tiny body, and how much fun it is when I get them.

 

Notes:

(1) Is there a current list of 4/3 contrast-detect optimized lenses? I found this list, but it's 2 years old. I believe the Leica are co-branded Panasonic.
         * Leica D Vario Elmar 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 (the Panasonic DMC-L10 standard zoom kit lens)
         * Leica D Vario Elmar 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6
         * Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4
         * Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 (E-4x0 and E-5x0 standard zoom kit lens)
         * Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f/4-5.6
         * Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm f/2.8
         * Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6

 

(2) Panasonic has a current document that shows focus compatibility - I think external links are forbidden here, but try searching for "Compatibilities of DMC-G1, DMC-GF1 and DMC-GH1"
         Most lenses on that chart listed as "Manual" do not have CDAF, but they will still autofocus in legacy mode on Olympus bodies. The lenses that list any variety of "AF" will natively support CDAF on any M4/3 body.


     (61)

For example, a Micro Four Thirds camera with a sensor half the size of full 35mm (a 2x crop) only requires half the 35mm camera magnification to fill the frame with the same subject, while still resolving a similar amount of detail. Thus a photograph taken with a 12 megapixel full-frame digital SLR and a 100mm 1:1 macro lens will be practically indistinguishable from the same photo taken with a 12 megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera with a 50mm 1:2 magnification lens. This is the macro extension of 35mm equivalent focal length, except that for macro work the smaller sensor camera actually benefits from the greater depth of field. Since digital compact camera sensor sizes come in a wide diversity of sizes and camera manufacturers rarely publish the macro reproduction ratios for these cameras, a good rule of thumb is that whenever a 24mm vertical object just fits, or is too tall to fit in the camera viewfinder, you are taking a macro photograph.   wiki

So M4/3 is easier than full frame to do macro of insects: (1) greater depth of field so less part of the insect is blurred.  (2) 300mm 1:2 (Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens) is 600mm 1:1 (35mm equivalent).  (3) 600mm equivalent translate to more working distance between the subject and the lens.  

 


     (62)

100-300mm lens not focusing (January 18, 2012) : "I was told to clean off the contacts between the lens and camera. This worked but problem is back and cleaning contacts is not working. Works fine with other lens."
                  http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&message=40359603&changemode=1

 

 


     (63) Mini Baseplate with 12in Rods #Z-M-UB  - $430.00

 


     (64) Pedco UltraMount Universal Ball Head $10.95

          review

 


     (65) How to take better insect photos


     (66) Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro Lens Review   src

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is an extreme macro lens. And it is unlike any other Canon lens I have used to date. And I recommend that you read the manual for this lens - it will help you understand its uniqueness. 
 
Canon lists the focal length for this lens as 65mm. It is, but disregard this number for all intents and purposes. Think 1x to 5x magnification. Think 1:1 to 5:1. This lens starts where typical macro lenses stop. 
 
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens barrel is even marked with these numbers. As you turn the ring (over a full turn is possible), the 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x notations are easily seen (as are focus working distances). 
 
I should probably tell you right up front that the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is a manual focus lens. This is not a bad thing for a macro-only lens as this is how macrco lenses are frequently used anyway. Turning the focus ring does indeed bring the subject into focus, but this effect zooms in and out on the subject (other lenses do also, but it is very noticeable). You can either set the magnification you desire and move closer/farther away to focus (magnification priority), or you can change the magnification by turning the ring until your subject is in focus. 
 
Well, it will focus on your subject as long as you are within the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens' tiny focus distance range. Starting at 1x, the MP-E subject is in focus at a slightly more than a 100mm working distance. By 2x, the working distance drops to 63mm. Continuing on a distance curve, the MP-E allows only 41mm of working distance at 5x. You can forget trying to grab a portrait with this lens - unless the portrait is of an insect or something similar. 
 
And while I'm on the subject of focus, DOF (Depth of Field) is another topic I want to expand on. DOF on the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens ranges from 2.240mm (1x, f/16) to .048 (5x, f/2.8). At 5x and f/16, the MP-E gives a minute .269mm DOF. This sounds worse than it really is as a grain of rice (says Canon) can fill the viewfinder. Subjects this tiny generally do not need as much DOF as something like a flower. 
 
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is advertised as an f/2.8 lens. And it can be set down to f/16. F/2.8 is fast, but many lenses can be stopped down well beyond f/16. Well, truth is, the manual gives a chart of the "Effective" apertures for this lens. To calculate these, use this formula ... 
 
Effective Aperture = (Aperture Setting) + (Aperture Setting x Magnification) 
 
So, even selecting f/2.8 at 1x magnification results in an effective f/5.6. Selecting f/16 at 5x results in an effective f/96. Selecting f/5.6 at 3x results in an effective f/22.4. Get it? In reality, the camera takes care of this effective aperture change with its auto exposure. What you will notice is that the viewfinder gets very, very dark by 5x magnification. To make this worse, you are often shading the subject with the very-short working distance setup. 
 
With effective apertures this tiny, a huge amount of light and/or a long shutter speed is required for adequate exposure. Another issue is the jittery-ness of the camera at these magnifications. Basically, you will need an very stable tripod and a motionless subject - or you need a flash. 
 
A flash is the best solution for most subjects. The extremely fast and bright flash will stop camera shake (even handheld) and subject motion. the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Flash is an excellent flash solution for the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens. When shooting at or approaching 5x, there are not many other good solutions. 
 
Even when using a flash, keeping the subject in focus can be a challenge - especially if it is moving. Handheld shots can work if you are very steady. When shooting at 5x, having something to rest on is extremely helpful. A good tripod is very helpful, but getting it setup for such a tiny DOF and subject can be a bit challenging. A Macro Focusing Rail is very useful with this lens. The rail allows easy micro adjustment of the entire macro setup. 
 
The build quality of the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is very good. It is a very solidly built piece of optics. Inside, a UD element is utilized. Retracted, the MP-E is short, extended it is long.
 

Canon Macro Lenses


 
Pictured above from left to right are the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro Lens (extended),Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro Lens (retracted), Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens and the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Lens. 
 
A rotating and removable tripod collar is included on the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens. Unfortunately, it has so little clearance on the camera's hand grip that it will not rotate completely with a Wimberley P20 Lens Plate mounted on it. It barely clears the bottom/front on my Canon EOS 1D Mark II. While a little annoying, I didn't find this to be a significant issue in real use. 
 
On the performance side, at 1x, the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens was soft at f/2.8 but improved until very sharp at f/5.6 through f/8. Performance once again degraded from f/11 to f/16. Performance within each magnification mirrored the 1x performance aperture to aperture, but slowly degraded as magnification increased. Sharpness was not great even at f/8 at 5x. 
 
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens brings a whole new world of subjects to you! Viewing 5x magnification images on a computer monitor is very fun. It is not hard to see the 8 eyes on a Spider. You might have trouble getting all of its 8 legs in the frame though! 
 

Canon 5x Macro Example
Dime at 1x magnification over a Dime at 5x magnification.

 
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens also enlightens you to a whole new world of sensor dust. Make sure your sensor is spotless - or plan to spend a lot of time with Photoshop's healing brush! 
 
This Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens inspires creativity. I don't recommend this lens for beginner macro photography as it might inspire frustration. With patience however, you can create highly attention-grabbing images!

 


     (67)

GH2 has a flash unit built in:-) It's surprisingly powerful too & very effective at night in combination with cranking up the ISO. OK, it's an on camera unit so doesn't produce the most flattering images but it's better than nothing. The fact that it even has a flash means that you can easily use it to trigger slave flash units. ...
Optical slave units. The sort of units that are triggered by a flash e.g. Nikon SB-80dx

 


     (68)

Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlight Flash for Canon and Nikon - amazon  (bought for $70 inc. S&H)
  • Advanced Application:  5. High-speed continuous shooting.  6. Rear-curtain Sync.  7. Reflection Flash.  8. Use Reflection Board To Take Photo.  9. Using the built-in Wide-angle Diffuse
  • "I did some test shots and was getting f8 at 18 ft. This tells me that the GN is just about 144 (ft). The specs put it at just 58. (is meters, not feet). This is almost as good as I got from the Sunpak PZ42XC at full on manual." [if GN=58m, then is 5 times more powerful than GH2 built-in flash.   The calculation is:  for GH2 flash: 13.9m/ISO160 = 11m/ISO100.  58/11 > 5.]

Typical built-in flash devices on cameras may have a guide numbers of 15 feet (4.6 m) or less, while high-powered flashes can have guide numbers of over 250 feet (76 m).  wiki

Guide numbers are especially useful in dealing with manual flash units when calculating the aperture for a particular exposure or the maximum flash range for a given aperture. In practice, it's normal to know the guide number and the distance and need the aperture, so the equation is rearranged to give:

f-number = GN/distance

Some flash units have a dial on the back (in fact, a simple form of slide rule) or a chart to help in calculating the desired settings.

The aperture given by the guide number is only correct for certain locations, generally indoors where a reasonable amount of "stray" flash light will be reflected from surrounding walls onto the subject. The effective GN is slightly lower outdoors as any light not falling directly on the subject from the flash will be lost.  wiki

The Panasonic GH2's built-in flash has a Guide Number rating of 45.6 feet (13.9 meters) at ISO 160, translating to a range of about 11.4 feet at f/4 and 7.9 feet at f/5.8 with the kit lens. That's the same power as the GH1's 36 feet (11 meters) flash at ISO 100, but the GH2's base ISO is 160. The GH2's flash is little weaker than most digital SLRs, which are typically rated at 12 or 13 meters at ISO 100   [src]

 


     (69)  CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger Receiver

Notes:

<1> "Compatible with: Canon SpeedLite 580EX II, 580EX, 550EX, 540EZ, 520EZ, 430EZ, 430EX, 430EX II, 420EX, 420EZ, 380EX; Nikon SpeedLite SB900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-28, SB-27, SB-26, SB-25, SB-24; Olympus FL-50R, FL-50, FL-36R, FL-36; Pentax AF-540 FGZ, AF-360 FGZ, AF-400 FT, AF-240 FT; Sigma EF-530 DG Super, EF-500 DG Super, EF-430; Sunpak Auto 2000DZ, 622 Pro, 433AF, 433D, 383, 355AF, 344D, 333D; Vivitar 285HV, DF-400MZ, DF-340MZ, 2700; Other flash models with a trigger voltage of 12V or lower.

It appears you should lean on the side of caution if you use a flash not listed above. Some of the old Vivitar 283's are reported as having a sync voltage of 300v. That'll fry just about any electronic appliance you connect it to.

Looks like you're safe if you stay at or below 12v"

 

<2> "Also if you are in between shots and find that the flash does not fire I think it's because it goes into a standby mode. I simple press the test button on the transmitter and fire away."

 

Product Features

  • One (1) User Manual
  • One (1) Sync Cable
  • One (1) FM Radio Receiver
  • One (1) FM Radio Transmitter
  • One (1) On/Off Switch and LED Trigger Indicator Light

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

This set is designed for photographic studio and on-location work to trigger various flash lights. The transmitter is attached on the hot shoe of the camera while the receiver is plugged into the studio flash. Each receiver works with one studio flash. Additional receivers are available to purchase . 

Product Highlights
  • 4 channels to avoid interference
  • The receiver has an on/off switch, and an LED to indicate triggering
  • A standard Όin screw mount
  • Channel Selector outside the transmitter and the receiver
  • 4 channels with hot shoe connector for external flashes
  • Transmitter Power: 23A 12V battery Receiver Power: 2 AAA Battery (Not included)
  • Maximum Working Distance: 30m (open area, without interference)
  • Max available in distance range: 30M (Open fields, no fraise)
  • Operates on Frequency: 433MHzv
  • Highest responding time up to 1/320s
  • Triggering life: up to 20,000 times
  • Trigger can operate additional NPT-04 receivers

 


     (70)  Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras

          Part I (mirror)     Part II (mirror) 

 


     (71)  Panasonic 20 1.7 II Lens

Review: Panasonic 20 1.7 II Lens on the Olympus E-P5

 


     (72)  Skylight 1B or UV filter, what's best for image quality?

info-1

The answer to your question is that no filter is best for image quality. The color shift of the filter is not relevant when shooting digital, as you can change the color afterwards. These filters were designed for film cameras.

Personally, I never use filters, except maybe a polariser or grad once in a while. I've used cameras in all sorts of places for over 30 years and never has a scratch on a lens. 

Use a lens hood (always!) and a lens cap in the bag, take some care and you'll be fine.

 


     (73)  UV, Skylight and Haze Filters

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/User-Guide/filter/filter-UV.html