close up Tag

Leica users have had a rough time of it in the past - they have always had access to the best of optical performance in most fields - but they may not have known it was available. The traditional Leica presentation of street photography in Germany or field photography in Africa has mostly revolved around the use of rangefinder cameras used with stand-off lenses. Unless one was using the 35mm SLR cameras, one was going to have to do a lot of hard work to get macro and close-up shots. Well, not any more. The digital revolution and the availability of live view and the LCD screen has changed all that. The Leica shooter can go in as close as people using other systems. It just needs the lenses and determination. The Leica Macro Elmar M 90mm f:4 is one way to go. 1:2 close-up ratio and incredible resolution. You need to stack the Macro Adapter M in between the lens and the body to do it...

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we plant roses in garden beds and enthuse over them? The plants are 98% stabbing pains for every 2% bright colour or sweet odour. And their demonic spikes do nothing to deter their natural enemies - the aphids. Aphids climb over the spikes with impunity. The rest of us lose jumpers and forearms to them. Here's the only thing in the front yard that was not clawing at me. Ah, well, at least the things provided a little colour for the Panasonic GX-9K camera and Lumix G 30mm f 1:2.8 ASPH Mega O.I.S lens. This is serious micro 4/3 stuff with a dedicated close-up lens - expect perfection. And perfection that is easy to use in a walk-around package. Of course, if you are a dedicated photo enthusiast, easy to use, convenient, and simple are terms that mean nothing to you. The real zealot will carry lead-acid batteries, GPS unit, softboxes, and studio strobe kits up the side of a mountain to capture a toadstool. You may complain bitterly if your designer coffee...

Precision workers to the front, please. Those of you who are accustomed to hanging out the side of helicopters photographing volcanoes handheld with a 6000mm lens may take a day off - possibly to bandage yourselves and possibly to recruit your nerves with strong tea...

Simply because the Zeiss people have tried their hand at taking macro and close-up pictures. And they have found out what happens when you set an AF mechanism to work close-to. What happens is a perfect storm of confusion - right there in your hand. You can confirm this is you have a macro lens that has an AF mechanism incorporated into it. Several of the makers have done this , both in the DSLR and mirror-less divisions. The lenses that feature AF can be extremely good performers, but in certain circumstances you will never discover it. What you will learn is a whole new vocabulary...

I mentioned the strange little symbol on the control dial of the new Olympus TG 5 yesterday. The one under the blue arrow: At first I though it was something in Klingon, but after I rotated it to the index mark to start the function I discovered that it is the macro function command...