The Lumix Diaries Costa Rica Macro Shoot

Posted Mar. 31st, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Have spent the last two nights shooting macro photography here in Costa Rica. This is my first year shooting nothing but the Lumix system and what a joy it is to carry such a lightweight and easy-to-use macro system.

The one wireless flash I use tis the FL360 and it fits in my short pocket with a LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer attached.

The one wireless flash I use is the FL360 and it fits in my shirt pocket with a LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer attached.

Gone is the difficulty of having to get on my belly and hold a heavy camera and huge macro lens in one hand and a wireless flash in the other. The ability to see the Lumix LCD at any angle is a huge bonus for macro photography. Below is a shot of my macro setup. It’s lightweight, small, and really fabulous results.

Here's a closeup of the Lumix GH4 with the 45mm macro and a headlamp attached for ease of Auto Focus.

Here’s a closeup of the Lumix GH4 with the 45mm macro and a headlamp attached for ease of Auto Focus.

Below are some a couple of the results.

Red-Eyed tree frog. Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. Lumix GH4, 45mm Macro, FL360 in wireless mode.

Red-Eyed tree frog. Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. Lumix GH4, 45mm Macro, FL360 in wireless mode.

Still trying to figure out what this critter is. Lumix GH4, 45mm Macro, FL360 in wires mode.

Still trying to figure out what this critter is. Lumix GH4, 45mm Macro, FL360 in wires mode.

More photos and details to come in a later post.

 

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There are 7 comments on this post…
  1. jim wilsonOn May. 2nd, 2015

    It looks like the headlamp blocks your pop up flash. Why not use the LED light in the FL360? I use the Olympus 60mm macro for better working distance and sharpness equal to the Elmarit macro. My GX7 may be handier in this environment but overall the GH4 is probably the best choice.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 2nd, 2015

      Jim, You’re right the headlamp does block the light when it’s in the position you see in the photo. Sometimes that’s actually a bonus, depending if I want to reduce the on camera flash or not. If not I just swivel the head lamp to the side and then I have both off camera and on camera strobes at whatever power I’ve set them to. Good observation though. The extra reach of the Olympus lens would be nice but it’s so much larger than the 45mm Lumix version and I would not have Image Stabilization. Not a problem with flash but any other macro opportunities I don’t use flash on would be problematic with the Olympus compared to the Lumix lens. I’ve been really pleased with the Lumix Elmarit. Thanks for adding your voice. Stop back anytime to take part int the discussions.

  2. Alectron DorfmanOn Apr. 1st, 2015

    Since light falls off proportionate to the square of the distance, and I do see the light falloff in your images, you might consider holding your main light away from the subject a bit farther. You could see less falloff with that protocol.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 1st, 2015

      Thanks Alectron, appreciate the advise but I work really hard to get just the right amount of light falloff. I just happen to like it that way. Thanks for stopping by to join the conversation.

  3. Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

    Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 31st, 2015

    Hector,

    The built in flash triggers the FL360 and at this distance, maybe 12 inches, the FL360 sees the on camera flash just fine. I turn the on camera flash to -1 stop and it fills in just a bit from the front as the FL360 is held off to one side. Glad you like the macro images. More to come.

  4. TRENT ANDERSONOn Mar. 31st, 2015

    Hah! Thanks for a picture of your setup. I was going to ask you what your flash rig was in Yellowstone until a very ‘senior moment’ cloud parked itself over my hatted head. Two questions. Do you think the 45mm is a good 1st time choice for Macro? And, second, would a
    ‘gorilla’ type mini tripod be a good addition to the off camera flash? Bonus question. What type of headlamp rig on your hot shoe? Thanks.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 31st, 2015

      Trent,

      The Lumix/Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 is simply spectacular! Every bit equal to the newest version Nikkor 105mm macro that has always been as sharp as anything I’ve ever shot and one of my favorite lenses. The best part about the Lumix is the ease of one handed use due to it’s exceptional lack of weight attached to the equally light and one hand manageable GH4. The headlamp I have attached is a very inexpensive run of the mill option from Wally World (Walmart). I have to say that the first thing I’m going to do when I get back home is head to REI and find the most powerful yet small headlamp I can find. This cheap generic is not as bright as I would like but I have to say it works very well. Overall, this is the most effective and easy to use macro rig I’ve ever come up with. Loads of fun sneaking around the forest at night taking photos of critters we never see.

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