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Why not a step zoom function?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by alex66, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    I have a little Ricoh GX100 and though old in the tooth it has a wonderful setting where the lens zooms in incraments ala a set of primes. With the various power zoom lenses why is it not an option in say fimware.
     
  2. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    I can't see why you want this. Help us.
     
  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Yup, I had a GX100 and loved that feature. Now I have a Panasonic LX7 and one of the first things I did was turn that feature on. Now I have a pocket full of fast primes!

    24mm F1.4
    28mm F1.5
    35mm F1.6
    50mm F1.9
    70mm F2.1
    90mm F2.3
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Any hints on why this is useful?
     
  5. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    It helps to pre visualise a shot, rather than playing around with the zoom getting the framing right when holding the camera out in front of you like a wet nappy! Maybe this is only helpful for people who use primes. At least it seemed very helpful for me when I messed around with a Fuji X10 with click stops at 28, 35, 50,etc. on the manual zoom ring. If you can pre-set the focal length before lifting the camera to your eye, knowing what's going to be in the shot, that's surely a good thing, right? For the same reason most shots I take with my 40-150mm are at 40mm or 150mm, the hard stops.
     
  6. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    Yes as others have said if you are used to primes it helps with visulisation also a lot of electronic zooms are harder to control compared to manual so if it goes from setting to setting I have consistancy. It can be very usefull if you do comps where it helps to keep the illusion of reality with regard to perspective if all the shots are taken with the same focal length of lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    Isn't this an option on power zooms on Panasonic bodies? I know there's a "step zoom" function. I've just never used it.
     
  8. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Thanks. It's definitely not for me then.

    And you lot are all mad!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I can think of exactly one scenario where it's useful: comparing EFOV IQ between two different cameras. Other than that, the point of the zoom is that it zooms.
     
  10. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Being able to previsualise a frame is a very useful technique when you've got a limited time to capture a shot... Having presets in-camera for PZ lenses would be very handy for every day shooting.

    The GX7 manual mentions a step zoom function, does anyone know how well it works, or how useful it is?
     
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I really like this feature on both the GX1 with 14-42 PZ-because it doesn't have a traditional zoom ring-and the LX7, also because it doesn't have a zoom ring on the lens. Though I'm accustomed to a zoom lever around the shutter on a camera like the LX7, it's not very precise. Hitting the lever once for one 'focal length' change, or holding it for a quick advance to through the FOV range is fast and practical.

    On the 45-175 PZ I don't have the feature activated, I use the zoom ring on the lens.


     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    You use your zoom the way you want to and I'll use my zoom the way that I want to. Deal? :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Yes. I see how it can be useful on those cameras with a T-W zoom rocker. Where the lens grinds in and out. Horrible. I was lucky with my first digital compact camera (Minolta Dimage V) that it had a lever on the lens that zoomed as fast or as slow as you need it like an interchangeable lens. A feature sadly no longer available on a compact camera.
    MD-V-Front-Lens-Down-600.
     

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    • Like Like x 2
  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Boy, I dunno. I hate motorized zooms because I can't ever coax them to deliver exactly the framing that I want. Having one that decided for itself what framing options it would permit would drive me crazy. And I grew up on Nikon "F" primes.

    Re: GX7 Step Zoom feature, here is what page 214 of the "Advanced" manual says: "When you operate the zoom with this setting [ON], the zoom will stop at positions corresponding to redetermined distances."
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I can see several uses for preset focal length on a zoom. First you could have instant access to your favorite focal lengths. On the other hand, if you aren't sure what focal length is your favorite you can try various ones. Very useful before buying a prime. As already stated it can be used to compare a zoom to a prime.

    If the zoom is a variable maximum aperture you could set it to the longest focal length before the aperture gets too small. I do this manually with zooms all the time. Being able to set the lens so it does it automatically would be very useful.
     
  16. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Now there's useful!
     
  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Ah... Now I understand.

    I can definitely see this as being a simple yet useful feature.
     
  18. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    I don't mean to be beating a dead horse, and maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see how setting a zoom to the longest length before the aperture gets too small is useful. Firstly, how small is too small, and secondly most lenses narrow fairly linearly to the end or to a certain mid focal length at which the widest possible aperture becomes constant til the end.

    For example, http://m43photo.blogspot.ie/ provides great charts of widest aperture with FL for many native lenses. Take these two, Panasonic 14-42s: (Link)
    lumix%2Bx%2Bpz%2B14-42mm%2Blumix%2Bg%2B14-42mm%2Bdiagram.

    Surely it's all about framing? Am I missing something?
     

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  19. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I pretty much hate power zooms, so I can see where this might be somewhat useful on cameras where that's the only option. But with a manual zoom ring, I want to adjust the FOV to match my subject, not some arbitrary focal length that may or may not match a set of primes that I've used previously.