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Monday, July 25, 2011

Testing the Lumix 14-140 HD Zoom Lens with the DMC-GF2

ETA 8/17: I did get this lens and am absolutely loving it! Would definitely recommend this camera and lens to any advanced hobby photographer. 

Better pictures will soon be coming to The Flirty Blog because my fab hubby got me a new camera for my Birthday. OK, it was a few months ago but I haven't started using it because the camera body came with a pancake lens which didn't offer the macro function I already have in my current camera or the zoom function I wanted for my blog photos.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

The Lumix DMC-GF2 is a Micro Four Thirds camera system. The body is really no larger than my current point and shoot camera body but now I can have interchangable lenses much smaller and lighter than the standard sized Canon T1i DSLR body and lens system I tried and gave up on last year after taking it out on one shoot. It was just too heavy and cumbersome for daily photography. By comparison I can carry the Micro Four Thirds system in my purse to grab all of the shots I need for the blog.

The Lumix 14-140 HD Zoom Lens

My go-to guy about this camera has been my friend Ken Eddings because he already had one before I got mine. He loaned me his Lumix 14-140 HD Zoom Lens so I could try it out before deciding what zoom lens to get for my camera. I went out to shoot at Vasona Park to see if this is the lens for me.

This is a normal (no zoom) shot with the GF2. See that log in the water?

With the zoom lens the log becomes the focal point of this picture.

WOW! I've never owned a zoom lens before. I can't believe how close the (close up) shots are. The comparison between the shots taken from the exact same spot, I didn't move a foot, are really amazing.

Here's another one. From the far away shot it shows the Los Gatos Creek with grass, shrubs and trees growing along the shore which is pretty but rather nondescript.

But with the zoom you can see the teeny, tiny baby ducks that were swimming along the far side of the shore. There's no way my current camera could get anything even close to this shot.

As we headed further down the creek we spotted some Canadian Geese. It was an adult and two goslings. They had lost almost all of their down feathers but you could tell they were juveniles by their size, fluffiness and lack of defined coloration.

Mama kept a watchful eye as some ducks passed by. . .

And then another goose passed by as the babies were feeding. . .

Oh she did NOT like that! She lowered her neck almost to the water, flattened out and, like a missile, launched herself at the perceived threat.

That's mama's rear end facing the camera and her victim fleeing with outspread wings.

I watched this mother goose attack several passing geese this way. None gave the goslings a second glance but she wasn't allowing any of them anywhere near her little babies.

After passing a small island where the ducks nest we approached a foot bridge. I took this picture then zoomed in beneath the large shrub for a close up. There was something I could only show you because the zoom lens is so powerful. . .

A ground squirrel! There were actually two of them but I was only able to photograph this one. Isn't it amazing I was able to get this photo without taking a single step closer to the squirrel?

Again, a normal looking photograph of some cattails along the shoreline.

And a close up taken from the exact same location with the zoom.

This was so cool! Taken as we crossed the bridge I spotted a nest of eggs tucked in amongst the plants along the shore.

See them? I don't think they are goose or duck eggs because from what I could tell on Google Images duck and geese don't build wet nests soaked in water.

How in the world did I live without a zoom lens for so long? Can you imagine all of the cool new pictures I'll be able to take once I have one of my own? Better to look forward with anticipation and not back with regret if I were to think about all of the amazing photo ops I've missed in the past by not having one. LOL

Another great example. The dock area is where visitors can rent row boats and paddle boats. Towards the center of the photo you can barely see a sail. . .

And another photo taken from the exact same spot of the sailboat.

Off in the distance I could see stand up paddle boarders on the water.

With the zoom I could tell there was one woman and two men.

This was really  neat.  A bunch of geese, both wild Canadian and hybrid, were congregating in the shallows to bathe and preen.

This hybrid goose was stretching and flapping it's wings. Funny how it looks like it's telling a secret.

The next thing I knew they were all running along the top of the water!

Most of them took off then landed just a few yards away. It was quite the show.

Perhaps these pictures show the best comparison between the two cameras. Above is the closest my current DMC-LX3 is able to zoom in on the red foot bridge.

And this is the most the zoom lens on the DMC-GF2 is able to zoom in. I can even see someone walking across the bridge!

Pulling back the zoom just a bit I was able to compose this photo.

Needless to say I'm sold that this is the lens for me.

Except for loving my Macbook Pro I'm not usually much of a gadget geek but I think this camera is about to change all that. Between the interchangeable lenses and being able to add an external live viewfinder and external flash I forsee a lot of fun times ahead becoming a bit more of a hobby photographer than I've been in the past.

My thanks to Ken for allowing me to borrow your lens. It's definitely got me excited to get going using my own GF2 from now on.

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