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Old Nov 4, 2003, 8:28 PM   #1
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Default FZ1 macros enhanced w/ close-up lens

The fz1 is limited in its macro capability. The macro setting is only effective at near wide angle. As zoom increases, macro decreases to the point where it is useless at near full zoom. Attaching a close-up lens such as the Olympus b-maro greatly enchances the fz1's macroability.
As shown in the first sample below, with the fz1 in macro mode, the smallest detail I could focus on was about 3.5cm wide. The fz1 lens was about 2cm from the subject, focal lenght 9.6mm (about 2x zoom). IMO, that's too close - shadow, snake bites, etc. You cant back off and use the zoom - you cant focus. But if you attach a close-up lens such as the b-macro you can put some distance between the subject and the camera lens AND focus on a smaller area as shown in the second sample. With the b-macro attached I was able to focus on about 2.5cm from about 4" away. The fz1 was at full xoom so I also had the capability of zooming out and framing the shot differently.

It appears that the macro capabilities of the fz1/2 are greatly enhanced by using a close-up lens. 1) You can focus on smaller detail. 2) You can focus further from the subject. 3) You can use the zoom.

fz1 in macro mode from about 1" (9.6mm focal length)




fz1 w/ b-macro in camera mode from about 4" (55.2 focal length)





The Olympus B-Macro is a 55mm +3 close-up lens; ~$100.
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Old Nov 4, 2003, 11:34 PM   #2
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I am impressed Fred. Two questions; In the second photo using the B-Macro lens was the camera setting in Macro or Normal ? also are both these pictures straight out of the camera ? Thanks for posting these.

george :shock:
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Old Nov 5, 2003, 9:09 AM   #3
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Both shots are straight from the camera; resized only. The second (b-macro) shot was in normal mode (camera icon on fz1 dial).
As the fz1 manual (pg 44 below) indicates, tele gives the same results in either macro or normal. It is only at wide angle that macro mode is effective. (I was able to focus alot closer than 5cm at wide, however. I was unable to focus at full tele any closer than 4 ft as the manual says.) But with the use of a closeup lens, you can achieve macro-like functionality in tele in either macro or normal mode.
Note: In checking this out (ie, same ability to focus in either macro or normal at full tele with close-up attached) I found that I was focusing from about 8" rather than the 4" I posted earlier. Also, I have a cheapo close-up set that gave similar results though the quality was much, much better with the b-macro.

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Old Nov 5, 2003, 9:32 AM   #4
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Fred:

Good information, thank you!

Another close up alternative is Hoya's 55mm 2 element 10X lens at about $80. I also get pretty good results from s simple, inexpensive set (1, 2, and 3 diopters) from Hoya at about $40.

Jack Winberg
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 10:58 PM   #5
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Fred, Thanks again for posting those pics. Went to the Oly dealer that I got my Tcon 17 from and he found a B-macro in the storeroom and let me try it on my FZ1 for a few shots and it worked great. Will probably go back tomorrow and grab it although more expensive here but was wondering ........In the two pics you posted did you use flash in both ? The pics I took today in the store I did not try flash and when I opened them on the computer I realized all are at 200 ISO.
I took them in Auto,Macro and wide and full zoom on Auto . All at auto Iso and all show 200. The comparison is great and if I had it home I could pay attention but in the store one tends to get carried away trying " their stuff".

Thanks, george
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 10:45 AM   #6
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No flash in either shot. I very seldom use a flash in macro. Sunlight is what you need. I set my fz1 to 50 or 100 iso. You are probably not going to get good macros indoors unless you have an intense light source (other than flash).
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 8:31 PM   #7
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Fred, Thanks again for all the information and if anyone else interested I picked up a brand new B-macro on ebay yesterday for $56 and Olympus puts more on as each is sold. They seem to have a good supply to auction.

george
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Old Nov 15, 2003, 11:50 PM   #8
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You can use the FZ1 flash for macros, you just have to use a trick involving a rubberband and an index card to create a bounce flash.

You pop-up the flash, put the rubberband underneath the flash had and then stretch the other end around the view finder. This pulls the flash back on the hinge so it's pointing up at about a 45-degree angle from the norm. You can use the flash in this configuration for normal shots as a bounce flash off a relatively low ceiling. For macro shots or shots needing more direct but diffused light, you can then taper or notch an index card and attach it under the rubberband on the flash head or use another rubberband if you didn't have to double the first rubberband around the flash head a couple of times to make it the right size. At about the half-way point of the index card, bend it so it angles a little forward to project the light toward your macro subject.

This is definitely a "home-job" technique, but it works very well, and I've used it to take some macro pics for eBay auctions. You get no shadow from the lens, and the light is diffused just enough to provide nice, even lighting.

I can take some pictures of what I described above if anyone's interested, but they won't be very good quality because they will have to be grabbed off my video camera since the FZ1 is the only digital still camera I have.
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Old Nov 20, 2003, 1:26 PM   #9
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Fred, My B-Macro arrived today from ebay Olympus and I have been trying it out and it is great and all you said it is. I was wondering what you use between the tube and the lens to attach? I have a UV filter on and the B-macro attaches to it very nicely and I also have the Tcon 17 that does as well but have been thinking about that extra layer of glass and if there is a 55 step to step ring that I should use. Hate to use just the plastic as the Tcon is fair heavy.

thanks again, george
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Old Nov 20, 2003, 5:18 PM   #10
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George - The b-macro is a nice addition isnt it? I keep a metal uv filter on the adapter all the time. I know the purests disagree but I haven't seen any difference with either the tcon17 or b-macro with or without the filter. I do know one thing, those plastic threads are going to wear out pretty quickly with constant on/off of filters. I just leave the uv on and dont worry about it.
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