Shooting Portraits with Lumix 30mm f/2.8 Macro, part III

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In Part II, I wrote that the Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8 ASPH Mega OIS could be considered a “normal” lens with macro capabilities.

Pam.BW.Oly What’s a “normal” lens? The focal length of a normal lens is typically considered to be equal to the diagonal of the format. Micro Four-thirds 17.3×13mm format produces a 21.6mm diagonal but most people consider 25mm to be “normal” because it’s half the 50mm standard lens for 35mm, yet in Micro Four-thirds it produces an equivalent that’s 7mm longer than what I would consider “normal.”

Most photographers will tell you the ideal portrait lens has a focal length from 85-135mm but the reality is that you can make portraits using any lens. So I decided to use the Lumix 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens to shoot some portraits.

The kicker was I wanted to use it with my new (to me) Olympus EM-5 Mark I that has in-body image stabilization and the Oly definitely does not support menu control for this Panasonic lens. (That’s one reason I previously decried it’s lack of an OIS on-off button.) But I used the lens with the camera and it worked fine. If the two IS systems were fighting with one another, the didn’t make a big fuss about it.

This portrait of Pamela Simpson (above) was made using a Phottix Indra500 with a hexagonal Plume Wafer lightbank that was placed at camera left. Background is a Savage Black Infinity vinyl. Camera was an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark I (Elite model, I spent the extra 95 cents) with an exposure was 1/125 sec at f/20 and ISO 200 with the Phottix set at 1/128th power