Two-for-One Lens: Macro & Portrait

In the podcast about lenses that Barry Staver and I did for our sister blog, Mirrorless Photo Tips, i mentioned briefly in passing how much I liked Panasonic ‘s Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA OIS lens becasuse it is both a great lens for shooting tradiitonal macro-type subjects but is al-aso a wonderfully usef lens for portraits as well.

Lumix.macroAs a macro lens. it lets you to capture subjects in their actual size with a 1:1 ratio and a minimum focus distance six inches. The lens, which has a built-in image stabilizer, consists of 14 elements in 10 groups (one Aspherical element, one ED element.) It even comes with a nice lens pouch and lens hood but then again, at $797.99, it ain’t cheap but is amazingly versatile.

The 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit lens has a Micro Four-thirds mount to fit both Panasonic and Olympus mirrorless cameras. Since both systems have a 2X multiplication factor, the lens has an effective focal length of 90mm, which to me, the perfect focal length for portraiture. At 4.8-inches the lens is compact and weighs just 0.7 lbs. As can be seen in the portrait above, the subject is a young model that has great skin and can easily handle the DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 macro lens’ unflinching optics. The image was shot in my in-home studio using a Panasonic Lumix GH4  with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 200.

While I prefer lenses in the 85-90mm (equivalent) range for portraits, you can use longer focal lengths for headshots or close-ups of your subject and they’re useful when you want to separate your model from the background by using shallow depth-of-field. For indoor photographs where space is limited and you may have to work closer to the subject, you may need to use shorter focal lenses, especially to capture full length poses but I still tend to shoot at the longer end of the focal length range to minimize any hint of distortion.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMIf you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting, in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from The money we make from affiliate marketing with Amazon costs you nothing but keeps us online, so thank you for your continued support!

Author: Joe Farace

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