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Teleconverter for FZ330 (1 Viewer)

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hi all,

'Help appreciated.

So, we're getting towards breeding season and while I'm not getting in the space of birds any more than a dog walker or a cyclist or a runner, I do want to take more of a step back in the coming months so that I'm not getting on their nerves when they're trying to produce their young.

With that in mind, I'm thinking a teleconverter or something similar would be handy: I have a FZ330.

I prefer to buy second hand from a reputable dealer because providing it's in decent nick and I have come back I don't think I'm getting a great deal of value by paying the extra to buy something brand new. I'm not in a huge rush to have something as I have quite a bit to learn without a lens addition in the meantime, but I do want something by say the end of February.

We're going through a period of continuous rain here and so with time on my hands I've started to have a look 'round. I've looked at the Panasonic DMW LT55/LT55E. Now, bear in mind I'm a beginner, I don't need top of the range equipment which I believe the LT55/LT55E isn't generally considered to be top of the range. What I can't quite work out is whether or not these models fit the FZ330 with an adaptor. I think the LT55 does but I can't find a definitive answer on the LT55E, and I'm not really sure as to whether or not they're actually different models.

Long story short: are they different models, do they both fit the FZ330 with an adaptor, are there any alternatives you would recommend at a similar price?

Thanks in advance,
Paul
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom

Yes, I have, Mike.

The results look good enough for me and the write-ups I have read suggest it is a respectable lens.

I'm coming 'round to the conclusion that the DMW-LT55 and the DMW-LT55E are in fact the same thing, but that begs the question: "why do some outlets list it with the E on the end and others without?" Who knows and it doesn't really matter if they're the same thing.
 

nikonmike

Well-known member
Yes, I have, Mike.

The results look good enough for me and the write-ups I have read suggest it is a respectable lens.

I'm coming 'round to the conclusion that the DMW-LT55 and the DMW-LT55E are in fact the same thing, but that begs the question: "why do some outlets list it with the E on the end and others without?" Who knows and it doesn't really matter if they're the same thing.
Cant help with that you need to email Panasonic, from what remember there is no light loss using one so that makes them more use
 

Stanga

Member
United Kingdom
The DMW-LT55 and LT55E are indeed the same converter.
Whilst it is recommended to use the LT55 with a special Panasonic adapter to fit it to the FZ330, my own findings and extensive use have shown that you can screw the LT55 directly onto the front of the FZ330 using a 52mm to 55mm step up ring. The LT55 is very light and does not interfere with the FZ330 zoom action.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The DMW-LT55 and LT55E are indeed the same converter.
Whilst it is recommended to use the LT55 with a special Panasonic adapter to fit it to the FZ330, my own findings and extensive use have shown that you can screw the LT55 directly onto the front of the FZ330 using a 52mm to 55mm step up ring. The LT55 is very light and does not interfere with the FZ330 zoom action.

Thanks, Stanga.

I bought one, and the recommended LA7 adaptor. We haven't had great weather since and so I've only had it out once. I noticed no focus/zoom problems, but because I hadn't really done much reading I had the aperture set at the smallest number which, upon doing some reading around generating sharp images with a TC attached, I now know the general consensus is that this isn't a good idea and it wants to be set a couple of stops down. I'll still try it at 4.0 but will also try anywhere up to 7.0 and see what happens. With the weather being poor, I took the time to brush up on some techniques to keep it steady with the LT55 attached and I think I have it not bad at all and not particularly any different to without it attached.

It's just a case now of getting a bit of decent weather and trying it out at various apertures and on shutter speed mode and setting the ISO to auto and letting the camera deal with that. I think I'm at the point now where I know broadly what I'm doing in as much as someone who has owned a camera for 2 and a half months can know, and the aim is not to replicate some of the images posted to the gallery by people who have different equipment (for obvious reasons); but to replicate some of the pictures I've seen created with this camera with TC attached, and I'll be more than happy when that happens.

I added a picture to my gallery of a song thrush I took with the TC attached, and it's clear there is a lot of room for improvement. I'm guessing that improvement in my technique, particularly keeping the camera steady as it was a windy day, and setting the aperture a couple of stops down or using the shutter speed mode, will result in clear improvements; and from there, depending on the picture, it's a case of whittling down why I'm not getting images as sharp as those I have seen produced with this camera and adjusting accordingly.

Thanks for the info.
 

Stanga

Member
United Kingdom
The trick with getting the best from Panasonic cameras is in their set up. I have spent ages playing with setting in order to find the quick "idiot proof" ones, and the more specialized ones.
In the case of say the FZ330 with the LT55 converter, set the camera to the P mode, ISO to iISO, the focusing screen to Multi Area focusing for birds in flight or a clear background behind them. If the bird/object is between leaves, try the Custom multi area focusing instead. Press the shutter button lightly to make sure that the camera starts to search for the parts of the image that clearly needs to be in focus, and then press the shutter fully. Also check that you have the image stabilization switched on. If you are shooting with the zoom fully extended and are using a slow shutter speed below say 1/500s then consider using the shutter delay. I settled on 2s for that. That delay is good enough to ride out most vibrations fom pressing the shutter button, which then gives you more chances of a sharp shot even at 600mm hand held.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
If the bird/object is between leaves, try the Custom multi area focusing instead. Press the shutter button lightly to make sure that the camera starts to search for the parts of the image that clearly needs to be in focus, and then press the shutter fully.
In the situation you mention, I have always used single focus area set to the smallest size possible. That is what I still do on my Pana G85 m43 camera. This has usually allowed me to take photos of birds among branches etc.
On the m43 cameras, you can also have a setting of AF+MF that I do not know if it is available on the FZ330. What it does is that if you are not happy with the focus achieved through half press, then use the focusing ring to make MF fine adjust (while continuing to have the half press). If releasing the shutter and making a new half press, AF is again active.

Niels
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The trick with getting the best from Panasonic cameras is in their set up. I have spent ages playing with setting in order to find the quick "idiot proof" ones, and the more specialized ones.
In the case of say the FZ330 with the LT55 converter, set the camera to the P mode, ISO to iISO, the focusing screen to Multi Area focusing for birds in flight or a clear background behind them. If the bird/object is between leaves, try the Custom multi area focusing instead. Press the shutter button lightly to make sure that the camera starts to search for the parts of the image that clearly needs to be in focus, and then press the shutter fully. Also check that you have the image stabilization switched on. If you are shooting with the zoom fully extended and are using a slow shutter speed below say 1/500s then consider using the shutter delay. I settled on 2s for that. That delay is good enough to ride out most vibrations fom pressing the shutter button, which then gives you more chances of a sharp shot even at 600mm hand held.

Thanks, Stanga.

We had a bit of decent weather today so I tried it out. Overall, I was disappointed with the results but I know that is down to my technique. Given I'm just getting used to using an extender and trying to keep it steady, I probably made a mistake in going to the coast and taking pictures of waders who are always on the move and it turned out my best pictures by far were those waders who took a rest: I was happy with those pictures. By the time I realised I'd be better off going where there are far more birds that take a rest, the weather was changing and so it was too late.

I don't think I'm having any focusing problems. The immediate trick for me is keeping the camera steady with the extender attached, which I was able to do when the bird was stationary. Once I have that consistent then I'll move on to birds constantly moving.

I do have image stabilisation turned on, by the way.

One thing I did learn today is that ISO up to 800 is fine, and providing that helps me get to shutter speeds above say 1/1300 then the trade off between noise and detail is the right way to go.

I didn't realise until today that fine JPEG pictures when saved to my laptop have an increased zoom when compared with RAW pictures, whether or not I use the extender (I have the camera set to RAW and fine JPEG and so I'm talking of versions of the same picture). Am I missing something in the settings or is this simply standard for this camera? It wouldn't really be a problem but I'm finding that when post-processing it doesn't take as much to reduce the noise in RAW as it does in JPEG. It also turned out that there was far more light in my RAW versions. It's like a RAW version of the same fine JPEG picture is utilising less zoom and therefore more light is getting into the picture: I'm guessing this isn't possible?

Edited to add: thanks for the advice. For the moment, I'll stick with the settings I have and concentrate on keeping the camera steady/technique, although I will come back to your post for ideas. When you're learning there is so much to try and it follows the danger is you try many things and don't really know what is working and what isn't because so many things are being tried and it could be any one of them significantly impacting on the results. So, I think one step at a time and when I have the camera steady consistently for a week or so, taking various pictures; and those pictures are a couple of stops up from the smallest f number, and the shutter speed is 1000+, and the ISO is comparatively low: then it will be time to take stock. I was able to get all of that today no problem, except keeping the camera steady consistently. I think it's a case of whittling it down to where the improvements lie: technique first and then I'll be able to go to camera settings knowing the answer for further improvement lies in there somewhere. Having said that, I would appreciate an understanding of what is happening with the RAW/fine JPEG versions of the same picture I mentioned earlier in this post, as my plan is to root around the internet for the answer when I have a bit more time later in the week.
 
Last edited:

Stanga

Member
United Kingdom
Thanks, Stanga.

We had a bit of decent weather today so I tried it out. Overall, I was disappointed with the results but I know that is down to my technique. Given I'm just getting used to using an extender and trying to keep it steady, I probably made a mistake in going to the coast and taking pictures of waders who are always on the move and it turned out my best pictures by far were those waders who took a rest: I was happy with those pictures. By the time I realised I'd be better off going where there are far more birds that take a rest, the weather was changing and so it was too late.

I don't think I'm having any focusing problems. The immediate trick for me is keeping the camera steady with the extender attached, which I was able to do when the bird was stationary. Once I have that consistent then I'll move on to birds constantly moving.

I do have image stabilisation turned on, by the way.

One thing I did learn today is that ISO up to 800 is fine, and providing that helps me get to shutter speeds above say 1/1300 then the trade off between noise and detail is the right way to go.

I didn't realise until today that fine JPEG pictures when saved to my laptop have an increased zoom when compared with RAW pictures, whether or not I use the extender (I have the camera set to RAW and fine JPEG and so I'm talking of versions of the same picture). Am I missing something in the settings or is this simply standard for this camera? It wouldn't really be a problem but I'm finding that when post-processing it doesn't take as much to reduce the noise in RAW as it does in JPEG. It also turned out that there was far more light in my RAW versions. It's like a RAW version of the same fine JPEG picture is utilising less zoom and therefore more light is getting into the picture: I'm guessing this isn't possible?

Edited to add: thanks for the advice. For the moment, I'll stick with the settings I have and concentrate on keeping the camera steady/technique, although I will come back to your post for ideas. When you're learning there is so much to try and it follows the danger is you try many things and don't really know what is working and what isn't because so many things are being tried and it could be any one of them significantly impacting on the results. So, I think one step at a time and when I have the camera steady consistently for a week or so, taking various pictures; and those pictures are a couple of stops up from the smallest f number, and the shutter speed is 1000+, and the ISO is comparatively low: then it will be time to take stock. I was able to get all of that today no problem, except keeping the camera steady consistently. I think it's a case of whittling it down to where the improvements lie: technique first and then I'll be able to go to camera settings knowing the answer for further improvement lies in there somewhere..
There is a far more proven setup mode that is normally used by the m43 camera users, but which also works on bridge cameras like the FZ330. What you have to do is to look in the Camera menu, page 2/7. You'll see AFS/AFF. Set it to AFF. The advanced user manual has detailed information on that on page 129. It basically refocuses the lens if it detects movement of the subject when compared to the previous shot. Next thing to do is to set the focus lever on the back of the camera to AFS/AFF. And select Medium Burst Rate in the Camera menu. That's also on page 2/7 of the Camera menu. Your 1st shot of a bird flight is likely to be out of focus or blurred from the camera shake when you first press the shutter. But shot 2 and 3 are likely to be spot on. Again, these are settings that work for long range shots, such as when you use the teleconverter.

As for the difference between the RAW and jpg screen size, that's something I noticed as well. I haven't given it much thought, but I do prefer to use the RAW since it has more detail.
 

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