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Old Jun 5, 2014, 9:57 AM   #21
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Thanks TCav/Simon,
I guess it's somewhat academic. The aperture can't be changed at all in macro (on the dial), and very little at full zoom in other modes.
But I would like to know if everyone has found that the macro setting (on the dial) takes much nicer close-ups then setting macro on the barrel in other modes (i.e. PASM, etc)
...... john
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 5:48 PM   #22
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G'day John

You are raising some interesting things here - so may I add some general knowledge on the topic ...

The on-board macro option on the camera's command dial is designed [by the camera maker] to "do closeups" ~ and the mechanism that this uses is to 'break' the zoom lens components so that as you zoom, the focus of the lens is dramatically shortened. It may also lock the zoom into a specific zoom range [& it varies with camera maker too].

If you buy the Panny close up lens & the adapter tube used with it, you are then asked to set a menu option telling the camera that the adapter tube is in use - and it alters the zoom range from 1x - 24x to 3x - 24x accordingly. If you buy close up lenses that go directly onto the lens barrel [I think they are 52mm dia], then this 3x - 24x bizzo does not come into play

I have used both on-board macro and close up lenses on my panny & fuji superzoom cameras for many years now ~ and love 'em. The on-board macro is best used for close-focussing when the zoom is in the 10x - 24x range and the subject is anywhere from 1-metre to 3-metres away ... doing closeups at 500mm of lens at 1 to 2-metres from the subject is magic!

The other closeups is via the closeup lenses and usually in Aperture mode & at minimum Aperture [f8 or f11, camera dependent]. I use both +3 & +4 dioptre lenses ... the +3 being regular Hoya single-element lens and the +4 being a Canon 250D, 2- element lens [a lens I much prefer using for its better IQ than the single-element lenses]

May I offer you 2 images here to display what's possible

1- A paper wasp emerging from the nest - Fuji camera using macro zoom at about 4x zoom


2- Some wasps also emerging from the nest, Panny using 250D close up lens


Hope all this helps in some way
Phil
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 8:11 PM   #23
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Hi Phil,
Thanks for your help. I've just recently discovered the onboard macro. (Up 'til now I've been assuming the macro setting on the barrel is the same thing.) But the onboard, in combo with the +2/+3 diopter is producing some pretty impressive results. I've also discovered the beauty of the aerial SCN mode for just general shooting, but that's another discussion. So that's what you call a paper wasp eh? Well, we have lots of those here. I was fortunate enough to have one 'pose' for me yesterday, and it turned out very well. To tell you the truth I wouldn't know what difference 1x-24x vs. 3x-24x should make. Maybe I should have a look around and see if I can scare up one of these 250Ds for my FZ150. Do they come in 52mm flavour?
..... john
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 5:09 PM   #24
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G'day John

Maybe I should have a look around and see if I can scare up one of these 250Ds for my FZ150. Do they come in 52mm flavour?

Yes, they certainly do !

Phil
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Old Jun 9, 2014, 4:24 PM   #25
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Hi Phil,
What diopter is the 250D equivalent to?
Thanks,
...... john
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Old Jun 9, 2014, 4:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
Hi Phil, What diopter is the 250D equivalent to?
Thanks, ...... john
John it's a +4 dioptre lens ... that's where the '250' comes from as in 250mm focal length. Canon also make a '500D' which is a +2 lens of 500mm focal length.

ps- Panasonic make a LC55 [Lens, Closeup, 55mm dia] which is the same as the Canon 500D
Phil
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Old Jun 9, 2014, 7:37 PM   #27
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Thanks Phil.
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Old Jul 19, 2014, 4:32 PM   #28
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Hi Phil,
I know this is an old thread, but I've been doing a lot of closeups lately, and have found myself back at your post trying to fathom the difference between the barrel and on-board closeups. If you've seen my posts you'll know that I find the on-board closeups a little noisy, much noisier than using manual (when I can use it). I suspect that the NR setting (0 according to PIE) is the reason for the high noise using the onbboard. (I haven't found a 250D yet, so I can't test out the on-board with that.) and have been using "diopters" with the on-board. Now I'm going to try the "barrel" macro with the diopters, on Aperture, and see if it's less noisy.
..... john
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Old Jul 20, 2014, 12:04 AM   #29
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G'day Shinnen

You've got several postings on the board at the moment and I'll answer them all here if I may

You are talking about a) noise, b) close up / macro techniques, and c) camera/exposure options

a) Noise - is a function of every digital camera sensor in the identical way that 'grain' was a function of every roll of film. It boils down to 1) the bigger the sensor the less the image has to be magnified during viewing/printing, and therefore the less likely that noise / grain will be visible, and 2) the better exposed an image is, the less the image processor has to amplify the brightness of the image, thus negating the need to amplify the noise that goes with every image

b) Close up / Macro - is a very much over-used & abused term, but mostly today it is taken to mean 'a photo where the camera to subject distance is very close, resulting in an image showing great detail'. Closeups / macro can be achieved via several methods - the best being a dedicated camera lens of maybe 100mm +/- a bit where the optical computations are designed for close focussing work rather than infinity, and where the aperture mechanism within the lens allows for it to be closed down further than an everyday lens.

With my film camera days I had a macro lens that stopped down to f90 - tho today's macro lenses seem to go to f32 or f45

For you with your FZ superzoom camera - being a fixed-lens camera, you have 2 options for 'macro' work. 1- is to activate the camera maker's macro button [ie- the little flower symbol], or 2- is to use an additional accessory lens called a close-up lens to permit the camera to close focus

The biggest problem with method 1- is that most camera makers lock the user into using the zoom in the 1x to 3x range. While this makes it easy to focus on the subject, the camera lens being in wide-angle-mode is showing a large amount of junk in the background. If you attempt to zoom to alter the size of the subject, the focus distance goes wacky and you're out of the race [and an identical thing happens with a dSLR using extension tubes]

example-1 ~ using in-camera macro mode

exif- Fuji s5000, 10x lens @ 1x in macro mode; 1/100s x f8,0; iso-200

example-2 ~ using a close-up lens with camera in normal shooting mode

exif- Fuji s5000, 10x lens @ 3x zoom; with a +2 dioptre close up lens

You can easily see the change of background, both the sideways area covered and the level of sharpness

The beauty of using a closeup lens is multiple -
a) the shooting distance always equals the focal length of the lens ... a +4 lens has a 1/4-metre distance; +3 lens has a 1/3-metre distance, while a +2 lens has a 1/2-metre distance for example,
b) the close up lens can be bolted onto any main camera lens ... a dSLR long-zoom lens or a superzoom lens, and
c) once the camera is positioned at that (say) 1/3m distance, the zoom lens is used to alter the size of the subject. [on some cameras the zoom lens extends during zooming, and so the tripod might need to be adjusted back to the starting distance]

c) camera & exposure options - you mention that you are attempting all this using the camera's iA settings .... stop immediately

The camera's iA settings are a very useful collection of 1001 settings captured by the factory design team to cover 1001 situations in 1001 locatons - and it over-rides every user-altered camera setting

I suggest that for day-to-day picture taking you use "P" - knowing that the camera will give you a very good set of Shutter sheed & Aperture settings 95+% of the time. The beauty of "P" is that you can use the toggle button to alter the shutter/aperture combination at any time should you wish to do so, without you having to go into "S" mode or "A" mode for just one photo

I also suggest that for your macro / closeup work that you dial in "A" Aperture mode and stop the lens down as far as it will go ~ many superzooms go to f8, some go to f11 .... way less than a dedicated macro lens for a dSLR, but it's the best we can do

and finally - for the moment - I strongly suggest you get yourself a "camera focussing rail" for your tripod to help you with all the above. These $30 - $50 devices go between the camera & the tripod. You bolt it to the camera, then bolt another bit of it to the tripod - and the bit in the middle has a small geared track that allows the camera to be moved back & forward by about 12cm [5" or so] or so, without having to frig around with moving a tripod several cms / inches to & fro


Hope this long answer helps in some ways
Phil
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Last edited by Ozzie_Traveller; Jul 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM.
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Old Jul 21, 2014, 1:29 PM   #30
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Hi Phil,
Thanks for this.
"For you with your FZ superzoom camera - being a fixed-lens camera, you have 2 options for 'macro' work. 1- is to activate the camera maker's macro button [ie- the little flower symbol]"
I'm assuming that you're referring to the macro setting on the dial, not the barrel?
I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm using iA for close-ups. I don't do that. I was only saying that I feel I have about as much flexibility using the on-board macro as I do using iA, which is very little. They both pretty much do their own thing. Sorry about that. I will do as you suggest and try the 'P' and 'A' settings for while. One thing I've noticed on the 'P' setting is that the preview image doesn't seem to show the same exposure as the final shot (brightness wise). The 'A' setting also does this, but not nearly to the same degree. It seems like 'P' doesn't compensate for exposure, but 'A' does, but lengthening the exposure time?? Which brings me to the question of iso. This camera seems to acceptably free of noise up to about 400, so I've got it set at auto, max 400. There is also the intelligent iso, which I never use, that apparently compensates for movement. Do you have any thoughts about iso?
I think I'll pass on the focusing rail for now. Most of my shots are take while walking in the woods, so I'm sure how practical that will be.
I do appreciate your help, and everyone who has helped me on this forum. I have only been into photography for a few years, and have no real understanding of the basics. And the 'osmosis' method of learning is slow.
...... john
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