Today’s Post by Joe Farace
It’s Lens Week here on my photography how-to Blog. Today we take a look at the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 lens, yet another macro lens that I think is a good match for portraiture as well as close-up photography. If you missed my post about how I came to own this particular lens, you can read it here.
The Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens (priced new at $797.99) is designed for Micro Four-thirds cameras such as Olympus and Panasonic. Its optical design uses aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass elements to reduce aberrations and distortion for better sharpness, clarity and color accuracy. It’s multi-coated elements are designed to minimize lens flare but I’d still use the included (when new) lens hood to protect this expensive lens— if I had one. Right now, they are selling for fifty bucks on eBay, so anybody that knows of one for sale at a better price, please let me know.
The Macro-Elmarit has internal focusing as well as built-in image stabilization. Yes, it’s still a macro lens that’s capable of a full 1:1 reproduction, allowing you to work as close as 5.9-inches but I like to use this lens for portraits too, making it a two-in-one lens. And hey, it’s a Leica with all the good stuff that comes along with that brand.
How I made this shot: This portrait of Pam Simpson is from our sixteenth portrait session together and like most of our shoots this one was for publication and was made for a review of the Westcott 2-Light Daylight D5 Softbox Kit, that’s since been replaced by their uLite LED 2-Light Collapsible Softbox Kit that I do not currently own. (See above right setup shot)
For this catalog- style shot of Pamela Simpson wearing a TAKU tee shirt, one of Westcott’s 24×32-inch soft-boxes was placed at camera right with only three of its internal FLD lamps turned on. The second light head, also with a 24×32-inch soft-box, was placed at camera left and slightly behind the subject, with all five bubs illuminated. Background was a 5×7-ft Savage Photo Gray Infinity vinyl background suspended on my falling-apart JTL background stand.
This image was made using my Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the featured lens of the day—Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 lens. Even with the main light using only three of the daylight fluorescent bulbs in its head, exposure was 1/80 sec at f/4 and ISO 640. The Image file was retouched and then processed using Color Efex Pro .
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My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras used as well as the complete exposure data for each image. New books are available from Amazon for $22.39 with used copies starting around nine bucks as I write this. Kindle version is $19.99 for those preferring a digital format.