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Thread: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

  1. #1
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    New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    So I just got my DMC-LX3 (have been happily using an LX2 for a few years). One of the things I really like with these cameras is that they have a dof indicator when using manual focus, which allows for zone focus for street photography. Here's a little triptych I did in Heidelberg in 2007:



    Easier to see the emotions in larger image:
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/...9e31f022_b.jpg

    Anyway - I really like using the LX2 set at iso400, f5.6, with zone focus from a few feet to infinity. In manual focus mode, there's almost no shutter lag. I took this series looking at the LCD as the camera sat on my table at the cafe.

    But now the LX3 gives us the great opportunity to use optical viewfinders. The new firmware really makes this much more useful by adding a feature to have the lens come back to its most recent zoom and focus settings each time you start it up. So, now I can use various finders (I have a Voigtlander 25mm and a Russian 35mm), set the zoom to match the field of view (even if it's not at one end of the zoom range), set the zone focus point, and leave them both there all day if I want. Even when I turn the camera on and off! Having the 35mm finder on there is my approximation of what the new Lecia X1 can do (of course with a 9x smaller chip, but still quite good). Love it. Thanks, Panasonic!

    BTW - the ability to do this is missing from the M4/3 Lumix cameras. I have a DMC-G1 with the very nice little 20mm f1.7. However, you cannot zone focus with this setup, since it doesn't allow you to see the manual focus distance or dof scale...

    Reed
    Last edited by rgeorge911; 19th December 2009 at 18:03.

  2. #2
    meilicke
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    Re: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    Reed, that is a great series. I love it.

    I have been neglecting my lx3 since I got my G1 and can now use my Canon FD lenses, but for the past week I have been missing my lx3. I think I will start carrying it around again.

    Scott

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    Re: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    Reed,
    Thank you sharing the nice photos and your manual zone focusing ideas. I just checked it out and the range of focus shows on the LCD. At 24mm and f7.1, the focus range seems to be 3' - infinity. At 5.6 it appears to be 6' - infinity. Wow. As I zoomed, the focus range narrows. All that with zone focus and shutter lag is minimized. I am looking forward to trying this out tomorrow.

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    Re: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard View Post
    Reed,
    Thank you sharing the nice photos and your manual zone focusing ideas. I just checked it out and the range of focus shows on the LCD. At 24mm and f7.1, the focus range seems to be 3' - infinity. At 5.6 it appears to be 6' - infinity. Wow. As I zoomed, the focus range narrows. All that with zone focus and shutter lag is minimized. I am looking forward to trying this out tomorrow.
    Howard - glad it was helpful info - if you like that style of shooting, this should make you fall in love with your camera even more!

    Reed

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    Re: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    Just a friendly word of caution (and I am not an LX3 owner):

    My experience has been that digital compacts (the small sensor cameras) can be diffraction limited at apertures even appreciably larger than f/7.1. Before setting up a compact to 'default' to a small aperture such as f/7.1, I'd want to experiment with that aperture.

    I did notice that one reviewer suggested that the "sweet spot" for the LX3 lens was at f/4:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...eras/lx3.shtml


    According to this depth of field table, at f/4 at the wide end (24mm equiv, but actually 5.1mm actual focal length), the dof is still enormous:

    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

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    Re: New LX3 firmware most enabling for street!

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard View Post
    Reed,
    Thank you sharing the nice photos and your manual zone focusing ideas. I just checked it out and the range of focus shows on the LCD. At 24mm and f7.1, the focus range seems to be 3' - infinity. At 5.6 it appears to be 6' - infinity. Wow. As I zoomed, the focus range narrows. All that with zone focus and shutter lag is minimized. I am looking forward to trying this out tomorrow.
    Thanks for the reminder. I find f5.6 to be the sweet spot of the compromise between complete dof and IQ.

    Reed

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