Shooting the Lumix Macro 30mm f/2.8 Lens, Part I

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

30mm.macroPanasonic’s new Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8 ASPH Mega OIS lens is a 60mm (equivalent) lens that’s designed for close-up shooting. Its macro capabilities include a minimum focusing distance of 4.1-inches along with a 1:1 magnification ratio for true macro performance and life-size imaging. The lens stops down to f/22 ensuring good depth-of-field when shooting small objects close-up.

One Aspherical element is used to control chromatic aberrations and distortions and a multilayer coating reduces ghosting and lens flare for increased contrast and color fidelity. A stepping AF motor and internal focusing design offer fast, smooth and quiet (for video) focusing and the rounded seven-blade diaphragm should produce a pleasant bokeh. No lens hood is included.

dimeThe lens features Mega Optical Image Stabilization to compensate for camera movement when shooting hand-held or under low light at slow shutter speeds. In addition, the closer you get to a small subject, the greater camera motion is magnified, much like this dime (at right) that was photographed hand-held at 1/30 sec. But there is no OIS on-off switch when used with a tripod, as there is with some/many of Panasonic’s other image stabilized lenses. You’ll need to do some menu diving for that.

The lens isn’t tiny, measuring 4.4 x 3.3 x 3.3-inches but only weighs about a half-pound. Front filter threads are 46mm and Panasonic offers Neutral Density, affordable ($19.95) Protection and Polarizing filters in that size. Fit and finish is high for what is an reasonably priced ($397.95) and maybe niche lens.

In Part II, we’ll give it a field test using some really interesting subject matter. Look for it next week. I also think the lens has applications beyond macro and hope that there will a part III, where I try using the Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8 ASPH Mega OIS lens for portraiture. Stay tuned.