A Springtime Hike with Two Lens

From the Best of Mark Toal

Here in Portland, the weather is showing signs of an spring so Jasmine and I decided to take a hike.  I grabbed a Panasonic Lumix G5 and two kit lenses, the Lumix 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 (28-84mm equivalent) and the Lumix 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 (90-300mm equivalent.)

Lumix 14-42mm lens

Since I’m not really a nature photographer I thought I’d use the lenses to demonstrate how easily you can control depth-of-field using these two lenses. Normally you wouldn’t turn to a lens that has an f/4.0-5.6 aperture range to get that beautifully shallow depth-of-field that you want in a portrait but if you look at the photo of Jasmine you can see how I used the 45-150mm lens to get that look by zooming out to 90mm (180mm equivalent).

Lumix 45-150 lens

I wanted to get a photo that showed where we were hiking so I put on the 14-42mm and photographed Jasmine and the image of the river at 14mm (28mm equivalent) and 16mm (32mm equivalent) to make sure that I kept the background in focus.

Lumix 14-42mm lens

One rule that I’ve always gone by is that if I’m trying to show a person then I zoom out and step back so the background is out of focus which make the subject pop out of the background. If I want to show the person in their environment then I shoot at wide angle to get maximum depth-of-field.

I often hear people say that it’s difficult to achieve shallow depth-of -ield using the Micro Four-thirds format because on its smaller sensor. I think today’s post pretty much takes care of that myth.