Lost In 4 Thirds World!!!.......

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Dogdaze, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Dogdaze

    Dogdaze Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2013
    New York
    I am new to this forum. I was thrilled to find it. I am a very frustrated owner of a Panasonic Lumix G3 which I bought 1 year ago. I wanted to upgrade from my "point n shoot". It's not the camera.....it's the manual and the company not supplying enough basic information for a newbie. It's all "a matter of fact"....which I need to have broken down. I have taken 2 different beginner classes and the instructors haven't a clue about my camera...if you have a Canon..or a Nikon you have it made. I love the camera itself....specially the size. I've wanted to do more macro work but with my 14-42 lens I''m not getting close enough. I don't want to spend over $900 for a macro lens just yet so I purchased a macro extension tube kit. I had a very long day today trying to get more information about the focus/aper./shutter speed etc. when using the tube.
    I called Panasonic...no one could help me. I called the company I purchased the ex. tube from (Panasonic does not make one). It took me several hours before I found someone who "tried" to help me. I found out that once you use the exten. tube and the lens is disconnected from the camera with the tube there is no focus. You can only move in and out to get just a tiny bit of focus....there is no aperture...only shutter speed. I took some shots and they ALL were out of focus....thus it doesn't work even thou it says it's for a 4 thirds camera. Without the extension tube I'm still having settting problems....not knowing how to use the settings. The manual tells you what they are for...but not how or when to use them with a more detailed description. I am smart...but this whole thing is starting to make me wonder.
    BUT...I did read on a few of the forums that some other people were having the same problem with the manual. I even printed the thing out/208 pages thinking it would be easier...I was wrong. I hope someone out int "4 thirds world" can reassure me. I do take some great images...but it's a process!
    Thank you for being here....I hope someone can give me some ideas on how to get closer macro shots without the purchase of the lens. I can't get closer than about 12"...things then start to blur out of focus.
    Thank you......
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Welcome to the forum. There's a lot to unpack there, but I'll try to help.

    First off, you're absolutely right about the G3 manual...the few times I ever tried to reference I found it pretty horrific. You've also discovered that it's pretty close to useless to try to contact a manufacturer (ANY manufacturer, really) to try to inquire about how their products are used. You're much better off to just perform a Google search or ask a question on a forum such as this one.

    On your extension tubes, it sounds like you picked up a set of tubes which lack electronic contacts. As you discovered these are not well suited for use with native "focus by wire" lenses as you lose control of both aperture and focus. The non-electronic tubes work better with adapted manual lenses (which let you control both aperture and focus manually). There are extension tubes available which have contacts and allow you to use native lenses. I would suggest that you would have better luck with a set of these.

    Now, what other specific problems are you encountering?
  3. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
  4. Dogdaze

    Dogdaze Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2013
    New York
    OMG....thank you so much for the info!! That in itself made my day and so lu "y to have found this site and forum!!
    NOW...just finding out that extension tubes come non electric and connected. I can't wait to order the right one!!
    I was told today by the company that I purchased the tubes from that the setting on my camera in custom as to be "on" in "shoot w/o lens" when using the tubes. Is that correct?
    There seems to be a lot of choices of "focus" in the menu. In Quick Menu...Focus Mode give me AFS, AFC, MF...if I'm taking a macro shot and want the whole image in focus...what setting should be in place? AND if with that same shot I want only a portion of that image to be in focus what setting do I us?
    Thank you again..again n again!
  5. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
    I don't have a G3 but a couple things that might help...
    with your current 'tubes' you'll have to use 'MF' as your focus setting and twist the focus ring on the lens until you get an acceptable focus, you'll want to use the magnify option to be able to get very good focus. I would suggest that you try Aperture Priority (put the mode dial on the top to 'A') and then adjust your aperture to a high number (e.g. F11) so that you have more depth of field (macro needs quite a bit of depth of field at such close focusing distances). You're going to want to try this probably in a well lit area, or use flash and/or a tripod to combat any movement on the camera. If using a tripod or solid surface than I'd also recommend turning off Image Stabilization and using the timer to avoid vibration from the shutter. These are just a few simple suggestions to what is a much more complicated form of photography but hopefully they'll get you headed in the right direction
  6. iamajai

    iamajai Mu-43 Regular

    Welcome to the forum. A few questions to address here:

    1. If you're using an extension tube without lens electric contacts (I honestly don't know if they make extension tubes with contacts for m4/3) you will need to set your G3 to Shoot w/o Lens mode. This needs to be done with any lens that doesn't have the m4/3 standard set of electric contacts otherwise the G3 will think there is no lens attached and not allow you to shoot.
    2. Native m4/3 lens rely on the electric contacts to set the aperture and some relay on the contacts to drive the focus motor. I'm not sure for your kit lens, but some of the m4/3 lens simply send a electric signal from the lens to the camera when you turn the focus wheel and the camera then sends a signal to the focus motor in the lens to tell it to move. You may not be able to focus your lens or set the aperture using an extension tube.
    3. A relatively inexpensive route to macro shooting with your G3 without purchasing a native m4/3 macro lens would be to purchase what is known as a legacy or adapted lens. These are commonly lens built for older film cameras that allow full manual, mechanical control of focus and aperture. You can find good macro capable lenses of this type for less than $100 or so and you would need to also purchase an adapter to mount to the G3.
    4. How much of the scene is in focus is simplistically a function of the aperture. When you are using the lens with the aperture wide open (low f#) you will have a small area in focus and when you are using the lens with the aperture closed down (high f#) more of the scene will be in focus.

    Lots to learn, but also a lot of knowledgeable people here. Hope you find the patience and time to work through the learning curve. Photography is a great hobby.
  7. Dogdaze

    Dogdaze Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2013
    New York
    OMG...You all are so wonderful! AND Reed who rewrote the manual...is amazing! I'm so thankful for it all.
    When I had the extension tube on..whether it was the 7mm, 14mm or 28 mm or all three there was no focus...no aperture. I had the "shoot w/o lens" in the menu switched to "on" while using the extension tubes. Nothing worked...no focus at all only if I leaned in to the subject. So I am now finding out that there is an electric tube connection for the G3 which is needed inorder to have focus and aperture. My head is spinning....but I think I'm getting it. The 2 classes I had taken in the past year left me alone. When no one in the class could help me with my camera...I went off to the side and tried to work by my self with it without much progress. So this site is amazing to me!!
    Thank you again!!! And now I can read all about focus...I printed it ALL out all 3 chapters....I can read any time I want!!! THANK YOU!
  8. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yes that is correct. When ever you have a non electronic lens attached to the camera the camera will not take photos unless it is in the "shoot w/o lens " mode. When shooting Macro often it is best to manual focus the lens anyway; most macro shooters would tell you. However you can not use your electronic kit lens, or most any electronic µ4/3 lenses, with those tubes because your aperture can't be set and on the Kit lens the focus ring will not work.
    You might be better off just returning those tubes unless you happen to already have some old camera lenses around (like i do) and then just get a cheep adapter for those lenses, then you can shoot macro photos all day long.
    I had lots of old manual Minolta glass around and use a ten dollar adapter for my µ4/3 camera and use them all the time. I also have many Canon FD lenses and an adapter but I only have an extension tube for my Canon. Now tubes like you have let one use any type of Manual focus lens on the µ4/3 body.
    But if you don't have the lenses nor plan on getting them , the tubes you have are pretty much paperweights.
    AFS = Auto Focus Single Shoot
    AFC = Auto Focus Constant Shooting (for multiple, burst shooting it continues to focus i.e. moving subjects)
    MF = Manual Focusing

    You don't have to worry about those settings for macro until you get the electronic connection macro tubes. However you could still be focusing manually. Focus points in macro photography change greatly depending on your composition . The depth of field can also be quite shallow and that's another reason to manually focus on what you want.

    For regular shooting I you can set the focus points in the menu or I believe you have a touch screen and if you just set up the shot in live view and just touch the spot, on the screen wich you want to focus on, that becomes the single focus point.]
    I do that on my GH2 at times
  9. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Where are you located? It may be that someone on here could go out with you and help with other questions. It sounds like your initial question re. macro is answered.

    If you are interested in using legacy glass (manual aperture and focusing only), Vivitar made a 2x Macro teleconverter. It is a rotating extension tube and glass in one. Allows a 50mm lens to achieve 1:1 macro (image will be the same size on sensor as it does in real life). Shorter lenses will achieve greater magnification, and longer ones will be less (my 200mm which can do 1:5 by itself goes to 1:1.7). The upside for this is you can get all kinds of lenses, and make them all "macro" without spending as much money! Overall, you should be able to find a macro teleconverter, 50mm lens and adapter for at or under $100 (remember to match brand mounts, aka OM, MD or Nikon). Easy way to get into those kinds of shots, and make sure you like it before spending as much.

    (Without using the tubes you currently have) When focusing at minimum focus distance (the kit lens by itself gets 1:6.25), I would put it in MF mode, turn the dial all the way to the left (shortening the focus), and then click the thumbwheel to bring up the magnification. It is preference whether you use the 4x Picture in Picture, 4x or 8x. Then it comes into technique of moving slightly in and out to attain focus. Unless you are printing larger, remember you can also crop to get a larger magnification ratio (occasionally I will use the grid, and know the center square is what I actually want to keep).

    Hope this helps to get you on your way. We have some fabulous macro shooters, and there are more than a few of us who have G3's to answer quirks about it.
  10. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    Might be a good idea to see if there is a camera club in you area and join that. Always nice to be part of a group with the same interests.
  11. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Kenko - The Way to Go!

    The macro extension tubes that have the electrical contacts are made by Kenko. I use them, and they work very well. This dealer, even after shipping is added, is ~ $20 less than most dealers.

    Kenko DG Extension Tube set 10+16mm for Mirrorless Cameras Micro Four Thirds on eBay!

    As many people have already explained, macro photography is one of the most difficult aspects of digital photography you can get into.

    Understanding what DOF (Depth of Field) is all about will give you a very good start. Lighting can get tricky, and a steady tripod is almost a necessity. When you get very close, you may find it easier to purchase a focus rail, where you can reposition the camera nearer or farther, left or right. I picked up a set from a Chinese EBAY dealer for $30, delivered. I expected to receive a plastic product. It turned out to be an anodized aluminum product that works very well!

    This web site has a smaller, but definitely more dedicated group of people who are passionate about their hobby. Feel free to reach out to us!
  12. Dogdaze

    Dogdaze Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2013
    New York
    Thank you again....I checked out your suggestion on Ebay and researched it on Amazon...I made the purchase thru Ebay. Thank you for sending me the link.
    I notice the word "donor" in contact. I would assume that you ARE an organ donor.
    Non of my business...but my husband is in an outpatient heart transplant program. He's not on the list yet...they keep watch on him every 3 months. He has a test tomorrow.
    We belong to a donor group..."Donate Life" in our area. We are going to a meeting tonight. If indeed you ARE a donor...God Bless You!
  13. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro


    You lost me ...
    Where are you seeing donor?
  14. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I think the OP was referring to me as my profile identifies me as a site donor which she mistook as being an organ donor. I think this confusion has been cleared up in a PM conversation.

    For what it's worth, I thought I'd let you know that a couple of other manufacturers have come out with electronic extension tubes since Kenko introduced theirs. These can be found under the Fotga (see eBay link in my post above) and Skyblue brands. These tubes are considerably cheaper than the Kenko tubes although they appear to be made of some sort of composite (plastic) rather than metal.
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