ZS40 Macro and Telemacro

 



Close Macro with the ZS40/TZ60


I examined the performance of the ZS20/TZ30 for close macro imaging in an earlier section here.  The performance of the ZS30/TZ40 is the same as the ZS20/TZ30, since they have the same lens.


Despite the different lens of the ZS40 (24-720mm) compared with the lens of the ZS20/ZS30 (24-480mm), the performance using the AF Macro setting at close distances is quite similar. That is, I found that the greatest magnification is obtained with the ZS40 set at 50mm FL (equiv.) and the minimum field width (maximum magnification) at that FL is 3.3cm, with a distance from camera lens to subject of about 2cm.  As for the ZS20/ZS30, the field width is slightly larger (less magnification) at shorter FLs, and there is increasing barrel distortion.


Below is an image taken with the ZS40 using the AF macro setting at 50mm FL and a distance of about 2cm.  It is an Australian cupro-nickel $1 coin, which is 24mm in diameter.  (Click on the image for the full sized view).



Australian $1 coin using AF Macro:  1/125s, f/4.1, 50mm (equiv.) at 100 ISO


Quite a lot of surface detail can be seen, and which can’t be seen with an ordinary magnifying glass.  There’s a small patch of corrosion visible on the “A” of “Dollar”, and I calculated that it’s only about 0.2mm (200 microns) wide.  The surface texture of the (quite smooth) A4 copy paper can also be seen.




Telemacro with the ZS40


For the ZS20 and ZS30, using telemacro (that is, set at AF Macro with a long FL zoom setting) I found (as shown here) that the greatest magnification was at 480mm focal length (20x zoom) at the closest focus distance, which I found to be 96cm from the front of the lens, and at that distance the field width was 8.1cm.


Although telemacro was a publicised feature on the earlier Panasonic models, as it allows macro shots to be taken at a distance, telemacro is not even mentioned in the ZS40 manual.  The manual simply says that in AF macro mode at maximum zoom FL (720mm) the closest focus distance is 2m.


As for the ZS20, I used the compact disk which came with the camera as the subject to test the ZS40 for telemacro magnification, with a transparent ruler laid on the surface of the disk for measurement of the field width.


Using a tripod, I conducted tests at different subject distances at maximum zoom (720mm equiv.) and at 600mm, 500mm and 400mm (equiv.).  As described in the section about the features of the ZS40 (here) it is a simple matter to set the ZS40 to exactly those FLs by using the “Step Zoom” setting for the zoom lever.


Below are the telemacro test images taken at closest focus for zoom settings of 400mm, 500mm, 600mm and 720mm, respecitvely. (click on an image for the full sized view).



400mm FL; f/6.0, 1/10s,100 ISO; 0.87m subject distance



500mm FL; f/6.0, 1/10s,100 ISO; 1.07m subject distance



600mm FL; f/6.1, 1/10s,100 ISO; 1.35m subject distance



720mm FL; f/6.4, 1/10s, 100 ISO; 1.84m subject distance


The results from these tests are given on the following page.




Continue to the Telemacro Results


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