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Thread: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

  1. #1

    Default m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Hello,

    Would like to have some inputs from current mirrorless user as i am new to mirrorless.


    I am considering the Panasonic GM1 Kit mirrorless mainly for Food,
    and also as backup to my Nikon DSlr when traveling.
    I find the kit lens zoom range of 12-32mm & small size particularly useful for my needs.

    However, after looking thru the spec (on paper at least),
    i notice the Closest Focusing Distance for m4/3 is typically around 20cm, even for Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro lens.

    When i use my Olympus XY-1 PnS for Food (Focus Distance > 10cm for Macro),
    i already find it a bit challenging at times.

    So my main concern for GM1 (which i believe also apply to other m4/3 body),
    Will this be a constraint for me or there is other way to work around it.


    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    Hello,

    Would like to have some inputs from current mirrorless user as i am new to mirrorless.


    I am considering the Panasonic GM1 Kit mirrorless mainly for Food,
    and also as backup to my Nikon DSlr when traveling.
    I find the kit lens zoom range of 12-32mm & small size particularly useful for my needs.

    However, after looking thru the spec (on paper at least),
    i notice the Closest Focusing Distance for m4/3 is typically around 20cm, even for Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro lens.

    When i use my Olympus XY-1 PnS for Food (Focus Distance > 10cm for Macro),
    i already find it a bit challenging at times.

    So my main concern for GM1 (which i believe also apply to other m4/3 body),
    Will this be a constraint for me or there is other way to work around it.


    Thanks
    MFT is dependent on lenses itself. If you want to close in further, you need extension tubes (note, it will mean losing the ability to focus to infinity).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  3. #3
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Think you need to take into account the different FOV for different lenses. Your XZ-1 focuses at 10 cm at the widest end 28mm in Macro mode, and a whooping 1 cm in Super Macro mode. 30 cm for the longest end at 112 mm. Sounds nice, but usually for macro, what you're concerned about is the reproduction ratio. Macro tagged lenses that are primes usually can achieve 1:1. Do remember that if you achieve roughly the same framing, 28mm and 120mm (60mm after 2x crop factor for M4/3) are very, very different. So I'd say that you can go in very very close with the 60mm actually, probably too close for comfort. I don't think any compact cameras can achieve 1:1.

    You should probably work better with a more moderate focal length. Something like Olympus 25mm f/1.8 may be appropriate in terms of perspective and MFD (25 cm in this case), you can look at examples of people shooting food with that lens here: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=i...xt=25mm%20food

    Looking at specs of 12-32, it states that MFD is 0.2-0.3m.. I'll leave it to people with that lens to give their assessment whether that is ok.

    If all this sounds alien, you probably don't really have much experience with macro photography technicalities, then you can take some time to read this article here and clarify the points you don't understand, cheers.

    http://www.ulmanwojciech.com/czym-je...otografia.html

  4. #4

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Its not a simple task to compare different sensor sizes formats using different focal lengths and different minimum focusing distances.

    Since we're talking macro photography, we're trying to take photos of small things. So lets just simplify and say, what is the smallest object I can photograph which fills up the entire frame.
    The easiest way to do this is looking at the maximum reproduction ratio, as edutilos points out.

    A m43 sensors has an imaging area of 17.3mm X 13mm. If an object exactly 17.3mm X 13mm fills the entire frame of a m43 sensor and be in focus, it is said to have a magnification factor of 1X or in other words 1:1 reproduction ratio. So macro lenses capable of 1:1 on m43 can fill the entire frame with a subject as small as 17.mm X 13mm. Anything smaller won't fill the entire frame.

    I don't know the exact dimensions of 1/6.3" sensor in an XZ-1 so I'll use the 1/1.7" one for reference which should be quite close. So if you can achieve 1:1 ratio on this camera, you can fill the frame with an even smaller object of about 7.6mm X 5.7mm. But I highly doubt you can get a 1:1 ratio on the XZ-1.

    The maximum magnification will happen at the minimum focusing distance. Which means that you will have to get that close to your subject to get to the maximum magnification so its not necessarily a good thing to get so close since sometimes your subjects might get scared off eg. insects or you can't illuminate your subject properly when you get so close.

    So don't worry too much about the minimum focusing distance, it tells you nothing about the magnification. This distance is lens dependant, not sensor format dependant.

    Within m43, just look at the magnification ratio to see how small an object you can photograph.
    And the minimum focusing distance (or more importantly the minimum working distance which is the distance from the front of the lens to the subject) to determine how far you need to be to your subject to achieve this maximum magnification.

    If you're into food macros, you probably want to be working relatively close to your subject so you don't have to move very far away from a restaurant table to get your shot. But if you're into insects that scare easily, you'd want a greater working distance so you don't spook your subject. So that's why dedicated macro lenses come in many different focal lengths. The longer focal lengths give you more working distance.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    MFT is dependent on lenses itself. If you want to close in further, you need extension tubes (note, it will mean losing the ability to focus to infinity).
    Hey,

    I dont mind losing infinity.
    Sounds like a workable solution if the tubes (i suppose its something like a mount adapter) can be easily attached/removed.

    Thanks

  6. #6

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    Think you need to take into account the different FOV for different lenses. Your XZ-1 focuses at 10 cm at the widest end 28mm in Macro mode, and a whooping 1 cm in Super Macro mode. 30 cm for the longest end at 112 mm. Sounds nice, but usually for macro, what you're concerned about is the reproduction ratio. Macro tagged lenses that are primes usually can achieve 1:1. Do remember that if you achieve roughly the same framing, 28mm and 120mm (60mm after 2x crop factor for M4/3) are very, very different. So I'd say that you can go in very very close with the 60mm actually, probably too close for comfort. I don't think any compact cameras can achieve 1:1.

    You should probably work better with a more moderate focal length. Something like Olympus 25mm f/1.8 may be appropriate in terms of perspective and MFD (25 cm in this case), you can look at examples of people shooting food with that lens here: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=i...xt=25mm%20food

    Looking at specs of 12-32, it states that MFD is 0.2-0.3m.. I'll leave it to people with that lens to give their assessment whether that is ok.

    If all this sounds alien, you probably don't really have much experience with macro photography technicalities, then you can take some time to read this article here and clarify the points you don't understand, cheers.

    http://www.ulmanwojciech.com/czym-je...otografia.html

    Hi,

    Yep, macro ain't my field, at least for now.
    But i do enjoy the versatility of my Sigma 17-70 Macro lens,
    which is something i hope can be duplicated on mirrorless.


    For a Max Magnification of 1:2
    Left number is referring to the sensor portion, while right is the subject ?

    So for a Max Mag of 1:1,
    That means if i am shooting a Square Coin (with diagonal of 2cm) using a Camera with sq sensor size of 2cm,
    the coin will fill up the frame completely.

    And for a Max Mag of 1:2,
    I will be able to fill up 4 Square Coin on the same sensor.

    Hope i got it right.


    Will takes a while to digest the link.


    Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Its not a simple task to compare different sensor sizes formats using different focal lengths and different minimum focusing distances.

    Since we're talking macro photography, we're trying to take photos of small things. So lets just simplify and say, what is the smallest object I can photograph which fills up the entire frame.
    The easiest way to do this is looking at the maximum reproduction ratio, as edutilos points out.

    A m43 sensors has an imaging area of 17.3mm X 13mm. If an object exactly 17.3mm X 13mm fills the entire frame of a m43 sensor and be in focus, it is said to have a magnification factor of 1X or in other words 1:1 reproduction ratio. So macro lenses capable of 1:1 on m43 can fill the entire frame with a subject as small as 17.mm X 13mm. Anything smaller won't fill the entire frame.

    I don't know the exact dimensions of 1/6.3" sensor in an XZ-1 so I'll use the 1/1.7" one for reference which should be quite close. So if you can achieve 1:1 ratio on this camera, you can fill the frame with an even smaller object of about 7.6mm X 5.7mm. But I highly doubt you can get a 1:1 ratio on the XZ-1.

    The maximum magnification will happen at the minimum focusing distance. Which means that you will have to get that close to your subject to get to the maximum magnification so its not necessarily a good thing to get so close since sometimes your subjects might get scared off eg. insects or you can't illuminate your subject properly when you get so close.

    So don't worry too much about the minimum focusing distance, it tells you nothing about the magnification. This distance is lens dependant, not sensor format dependant.

    Within m43, just look at the magnification ratio to see how small an object you can photograph.
    And the minimum focusing distance (or more importantly the minimum working distance which is the distance from the front of the lens to the subject) to determine how far you need to be to your subject to achieve this maximum magnification.

    If you're into food macros, you probably want to be working relatively close to your subject so you don't have to move very far away from a restaurant table to get your shot. But if you're into insects that scare easily, you'd want a greater working distance so you don't spook your subject. So that's why dedicated macro lenses come in many different focal lengths. The longer focal lengths give you more working distance.

    Hope that helps.

    Hi...it certainly helps.

    I will go google the Max Mag on the GM-1 kit.
    A pity most spec do not publish this figure other than Macro lens.

    Yes, i normally shoot while sitting down as i do not want to attract too much attentions.
    So my working Camera-Subject distance is around the typical table length.


    Thanks

  8. #8
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    Hi...it certainly helps.

    I will go google the Max Mag on the GM-1 kit.
    A pity most spec do not publish this figure other than Macro lens.

    Yes, i normally shoot while sitting down as i do not want to attract too much attentions.
    So my working Camera-Subject distance is around the typical table length.


    Thanks
    "Magnification" is a function of the lens in use and not that of the body. Do you need <20cm MFD to shoot food?

  9. #9

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Yeah, you don't want to get too close anyway, can end up blocking light and creating shadows.

  10. #10

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    Hi,

    For a Max Magnification of 1:2
    Left number is referring to the sensor portion, while right is the subject ?
    Yep. For 1:2, the subject would take up 1/2 its actual size on the sensor. For 1:3, it would take up 1/3 of its actual size on the sensor. And 1:1 means it would appear the same size on the sensor. Canon makes an MP-E 65mm macro lens that does 5:1. Yes, that means it subject appears up to 5X bigger on the sensor as it does in real life.

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    So for a Max Mag of 1:1,
    That means if i am shooting a Square Coin (with diagonal of 2cm) using a Camera with sq sensor size of 2cm,
    the coin will fill up the frame completely.

    And for a Max Mag of 1:2,
    I will be able to fill up 4 Square Coin on the same sensor.

    Hope i got it right.
    Just about. For 1:1 if you're shooting a square coin then you need a square coin with a SIDE of 2cm if your sensor is 2cm by 2cm.
    Last edited by swifty; 25th July 2014 at 11:20 AM.

  11. #11
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    Hey,

    I dont mind losing infinity.
    Sounds like a workable solution if the tubes (i suppose its something like a mount adapter) can be easily attached/removed.

    Thanks
    http://www.ebay.com.sg/sch/i.html?_s...ppn=r1&LH_FS=1

    Yes, it is easy to mount and remove. No problem at all.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  12. #12

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Thanks for all the inputs



    Found the Kit Lens (12-32mm) Magnification is listed as 0.13x /0.26x (35mm equivalent).

    Err...i didnt know Magnification is also subject to Crop Factor multiplication.
    Which number (1:7.7 or 1:3.8) should i take for comparing to my Sigma ?

    For my Sigma 17-70mm DX Lense, it is listed as 1:2.7 (it didnt mention native or 35mm equivalent).



    Regards

  13. #13

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    http://www.ebay.com.sg/sch/i.html?_s...ppn=r1&LH_FS=1

    Yes, it is easy to mount and remove. No problem at all.

    Thanks, will look out on my next gear shopping trip

  14. #14

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by shierwin View Post
    "Magnification" is a function of the lens in use and not that of the body. Do you need <20cm MFD to shoot food?
    Hi,

    Not sure about m4/3,
    When using my Olmypus XY-1, yes.

    Unlike my Dslr which i can stabilize by pressing onto my face, i'm lousy at holding PnS.
    So i normally place the camera on top of my empty camera case (or whatever thing i can find on the table),
    which really help to resolve the handshake issue.

    With tight table space and big plates,
    i do have no choice at times to shoot <20cm.

    Rgds

  15. #15
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post
    Hi,

    Not sure about m4/3,
    When using my Olmypus XY-1, yes.

    Unlike my Dslr which i can stabilize by pressing onto my face, i'm lousy at holding PnS.
    So i normally place the camera on top of my empty camera case (or whatever thing i can find on the table),
    which really help to resolve the handshake issue.

    With tight table space and big plates,
    i do have no choice at times to shoot <20cm.

    Rgds
    Er... for food photography, I really don't see the use for magnification. I can understand if you wanted to be able to shoot closer to your subject.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  16. #16

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by human1969 View Post

    Found the Kit Lens (12-32mm) Magnification is listed as 0.13x /0.26x (35mm equivalent).

    Err...i didnt know Magnification is also subject to Crop Factor multiplication.
    Which number (1:7.7 or 1:3.8) should i take for comparing to my Sigma ?

    For my Sigma 17-70mm DX Lense, it is listed as 1:2.7 (it didnt mention native or 35mm equivalent).
    Magnification ratio is the same regardless of sensor format. So if something is 1:1 it is represented as the same size on the sensor as in real life.
    So it doesn't matter what the sensor size is, what 1:1 means is its represented at the same size.
    Now of course a larger sensor will then be able to fit more things by virtue that there is more sensor real estate.

    You get an apparent greater magnification on a smaller sensor (similar to the concept of crop factor). But it really isn't greater magnification.
    Just like crop factor, what you get is greater pixel density on the smaller sensor so you're photographing the same object with more pixels.
    But of course this isn't always the case. Take for example the D800 and D7000. They have roughly the same pixel density. And they can use the same lens so lets say you take a shot using the 105/2.8 macro lens at its maximum 1:1 magnification on both cameras. What you get is the an apparent smaller object on the D800. But if you take an APS-C crop of the D800 shot, you will realise it is essentially the same as your shot on the D7000. So 1:1 is always 1:1 regardless of sensor size.

    When comparing to the 17-70, the 12-32 has varying magnification ratios at different focal lengths ranging from 1:7.7 to 1:3.8.
    As far as macros are concerned, you're probably only interested in max magnification ratio. In this case, around 1:3.8
    I suspect the Sigma lens' listed 1:2.7 is the maximum and not across the whole zoom range. You should be able to find info about at what focal length it achieves the maximum magnification of 1:2.7

  17. #17

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Magnification ratio is the same regardless of sensor format. So if something is 1:1 it is represented as the same size on the sensor as in real life.
    So it doesn't matter what the sensor size is, what 1:1 means is its represented at the same size.
    Now of course a larger sensor will then be able to fit more things by virtue that there is more sensor real estate.

    You get an apparent greater magnification on a smaller sensor (similar to the concept of crop factor). But it really isn't greater magnification.
    Just like crop factor, what you get is greater pixel density on the smaller sensor so you're photographing the same object with more pixels.
    But of course this isn't always the case. Take for example the D800 and D7000. They have roughly the same pixel density. And they can use the same lens so lets say you take a shot using the 105/2.8 macro lens at its maximum 1:1 magnification on both cameras. What you get is the an apparent smaller object on the D800. But if you take an APS-C crop of the D800 shot, you will realise it is essentially the same as your shot on the D7000. So 1:1 is always 1:1 regardless of sensor size.

    When comparing to the 17-70, the 12-32 has varying magnification ratios at different focal lengths ranging from 1:7.7 to 1:3.8.
    As far as macros are concerned, you're probably only interested in max magnification ratio. In this case, around 1:3.8
    I suspect the Sigma lens' listed 1:2.7 is the maximum and not across the whole zoom range. You should be able to find info about at what focal length it achieves the maximum magnification of 1:2.7

    Ops...so its a range...didnt thought of that.
    The 2x range just coincide with m4/3 2x crop factor.

    Thanks

  18. #18

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Just had a closer look at the Panasonic lens specs.
    It lists the minimum focusing distance as 20cm from 12-20mm and 30cm from 21-32mm.
    The 0.13X and 0.26X are listed as the max magnification.
    So I suspect you achieve 0.13X or 1:7.7 at 20mm focal length and at the minimum focusing distance of 20cm.
    And you achieve 0.26X or 1:3.8 at 32mm focal length and at the minimum focusing distance of 30cm.
    Not exactly a range, but just the two max magnifications since the lens has 2 separate minimum focusing distances depending on the focal lengths.
    Of course you'll also have a range of max magnifications at all the other intermediate focal length ranges but the specs only lists the max magnifications for the 2 minimum focusing distances.

    Actually, the specs look confusing with the inclusion of "35mm equiv" for the max magnification specs.
    Without owning the lens I can't really check it. Perhaps one of the forum members with the lens can help.
    Last edited by swifty; 28th July 2014 at 09:42 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: m4/3 Closest Focusing Distance

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Just had a closer look at the Panasonic lens specs.
    It lists the minimum focusing distance as 20cm from 12-20mm and 30cm from 21-32mm.
    The 0.13X and 0.26X are listed as the max magnification.
    So I suspect you achieve 0.13X or 1:7.7 at 20mm focal length and at the minimum focusing distance of 20cm.
    And you achieve 0.26X or 1:3.8 at 32mm focal length and at the minimum focusing distance of 30cm.
    Not exactly a range, but just the two max magnifications since the lens has 2 separate minimum focusing distances depending on the focal lengths.
    Of course you'll also have a range of max magnifications at all the other intermediate focal length ranges but the specs only lists the max magnifications for the 2 minimum focusing distances.

    Actually, the specs look confusing with the inclusion of "35mm equiv" for the max magnification specs.
    Without owning the lens I can't really check it. Perhaps one of the forum members with the lens can help.
    No problem,
    Will have to check out the AF capability at my usual shop before committing.
    For a small camera with this sensor size,
    Actually i dont have much choices.

    Thanks

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