This page would not exist if Panasonic would follow basic rules of
design and information
Problem: Display can't be twisted
You can use a mirror in front of, or behind the camera
Both solutions are cheaper than the FZ50
By the way, the bottom attachment of the screen looks quite stupid to
This is Panasonic: stupidity starts behind the lens
In some cases even in front of the lens: look at the plastic "thread"
of the FZ5
Universal Mount for the FZ5
Now you can attach most important things to your camera like:
My RDS mount
The FZ5 has a black screen between consecutive shots. It is
nearly impossible to follow fast moving objects.
The RDS = red dot sign, designed for weapons, helps in this
situation. It is an aiming device for fast moving objects. Many people
shoot perfectly centered OOF (out of focus) pictures with this device.
The FZ5 is not fast enough without predictive focus. But if you
substitute the predictive focus with your own skills, this is a nice
tool. The red dot is not visible to the object (no laser!!) But your
camera looks more like a weapon now...
I have tried hard to avoid the bricks this time, but there was
The criteria were:
- fast mounting
- small size "next to nothing"
- flash has to be free
- shiftable -backward/forward-
- can be used together with a tripod
- universal mounting point for several purposes
- stereoscopic sight with both eyes
This is my solution:
Two LEGO® bricks (the third is decoration) were fixed with a
double adhesive "poster strip". This first adjusting procedure is done
on a tripod. The "removing trigger" will be covered lateron.
The RDS is mounted on a technic beam. At this point the height can be
adjusted. There is a screw for horizonal adjustments.
Two connectors provide the quick release mechanism. The device
passed the obligatory BIF seagull test.
This is my universal mounting point now for: reflectors,
torches, hot shoe, santa claus...
I am still searching for the hot shoe of the FZ5. Panasonic?
must have forgotten this part ;-)
I hope there will be a cooperation of (Panasonic) Fuji?,
Leica? and LEGO? (just a dream).
Wire Release - minimalistic - 6 bricks
!! The FZ5 like all FZs can be controlled via USB. This function is
included in Panasonics alignment software (Tatsujin).
But unlike Canon the big P. never handed out this function to the
This is part of the customer friendly "take it as it is, or leave it"
..and please don't use the tatsujin software! Some people destroyed
their camera in Germany with this software.
It is an adjustment software used together with a specific hardware!
Using this part: bracket - remote release and remote flash
The FZ5 - a "pocket camera"
I have a small bag, but this vest is better for my excursions.
The c-180 was replaced by the non vignetting B-300 (=tcon17)
The remote release is much smaller now
The light box is bigger now, containing LED lights and backgrounds
Some equipment was added: eg. cokin graduated grey filter, RDS,
reversed lens, macrorail
There will be a light weight "bean sack" soon
....so the inner pockets are used too
24 to 730mm (35 equiv.), full macro equipment and ext. flash in your
No more searching in bulky bags of 500g and more
Simply compare this to SLR equipment ;-) This is not a chance to get
but my way to carry this camera very often.
My Nikon (FM2) stayed home, most of the time
Remote release and changing SD and battery on a tripod
The central parts are glued!
This is my "bird feeder" release, pneumatics has an old tradition:
FZ5 retro V2
(this one is called: give me steam, a bigger version: sledgehammer)
The pneumatic release is much better than a mechanic wire release.
Minimalistic pneumatics (Hama), velcro tape, plate with drilled hole
Next step: an electric release of the late sixties!
Nobody will ever understand why the FZ1,2,3,4,5,7 does not have an
electric release plug!
Basic functions of all former cameras simply got lost
on their long way through the marketing departments.
This could only happen if the people there don't have the skill to use
such a camera!
The universal connector helps with many problems:
(the small part in the middle is the camera!)
- cheap tripod (weight)
- pneumatic release as a compensation
- I can use my lcd again !!!!!!
- macrorail (old east german production)
- reversed 50mm SLR lens, mounted on cokin system A
- flash diffusor (if needed)
More ideas about macro and light with the FZ5:
Avoiding flash lights is even better
A german forum told me to avoid flashing with my macros.
The best members use tripods that cost much more than my "camera" - the
Manfrotto, Giotto, Novoflex, Berlebach (wood!) are the names of their
So I had to search for a cheaper solution again.
I needed a tripod for shots above and (!) below the normal tripod level.
Covering the whole range from 1cm to appr. 1.70m.
Macro shooting often means: flying at grass level.
I had to work at Hannover lately. In a nice store filled up with old
timeless LEICA equipment there was this little jewel from the late 60s:
A LINHOF tripod with a reversible central column. (price 5 - 30 euros,
Very stable and extremely adjustable.
The cental coloumn can be moved up, down and back and forth to some
In many occasions the macro rails can be left at home now!
The white beam was added by me.
This could be the beginning of a long friedship!
There are new cheap tripods with a similar functionality:
SLIK tripod SPRINT PRO 3WAY BK
SLIK tripod SPRINT PRO GM
SLIK tripod SPRINT MINI GM
All of them have a reversable central column and can be used close to
Prices around 40 to 60 Euros.
Attaching big lenses with plumber parts
The front lens of a binocular (microscope) MBS-10 LOMO
This lens was used by Cerambyx - Latvia - for his excellent macros
Attaching anything with cokin system A
I am tired of searching adapters for adapters, or even reverse
But I needed a fast system to attach special lenses to my cameras. Fast
and centered of course!
This is my solution:
I am using a cokin system A, designed for square filters and various
The A and P system cover the whole range of threads 40,5 - 62mm or 49 -
This versatile system will be your friend for many generations of
I did cut a round opening into the cap and fixed a 39mm thread for
enlarging lenses into it.
Reversed lenses are surrounded by a compressable but stiff
(there is a 28mm takumar)
They are stuffed into the sun shade and have a "firm grip".
The equipment is centered and can be changed fast!
- componon 4 /50mm reversed mount in f-adapter (minimal vignetting at
- 35mm takumar reversed mount, cokin and part of a modified sun shade
- microscopic objectiv in f-adapter (used for amber shots)
Take a tube, think a little bit and start to cut
Sizes are variable as the light.
Avoid the commercial eye pieces: no fantasy - round, such a nonsense!
a working combination: Leitz microscope (1890), Lumix (2005), F-adapter
This is dedicated to Goldberg and Storm:
For those who are tired of combining teleconverters: 500mm mirror Tele,
orthoscopic ocular, F-adapter. A spotting scope would be better!
It started as a joke...
But a different setup gives some hope:
My new toy is a relict of those ancient SLR days.
I started to test my 1,8/50mm pentacon lens as reversed lens (covered
in the square-cokin sun shade). - Very good results up to now!
But looking at the moon, I had to attach my beroflex 8/500mm in front
of this lens. 500/50 = 10* Converter.
The wide aperture of the reversed lens is essential for this setup. The
exact distance of the two lenses has to be tested. Extension tubes and
extenders can be used. All this is cheap material, but the tripod has
to be extremely good!
There is little purple fringing which can be removed easily.
This is my first test: FZ5 8x zoom, f:3.3 t:1/100 full frame
..click to enlarge!
One last word on external power supplies:
Any experiments are at own risk!
Please remove the internal battery. You don`t want to charge the
internal battery with your external battery!
Auto power off is disabled with external batteries and (!) there is a
small current even if the camera is switched off. So disconnect the
battery pack after using it.
A stabilized power supply with 7.5V works great. Actually you can use a
range near 6V up to 8.4V.
This is the normal range of the internal battery between full charge
The commercial DSP9000 is first choice as external battery pac -
attaching to the tripod mount.
I am using 6 (not 7 as mentioned in some tricks and tips!) standard AA
NImH 2400 mAh accu cells for my FZ5. The camera cooperates even with 5
fully charged cells, but I don't know how long....
The power consumption is stable: 2W (lcd, no zoom activities) over the
whole range of voltages (6 - 8.4V)
Currents: 8.4V 0.23A; 6V 0.34A
The external power plug seems to work primarily as charging plug!
This explains the strange voltage printed in the camera body.
8.4V slightly exceeds the voltage of a fully charged battery.
If the internal battery is inserted still, these are the currents:
8.4V 0,12A camera switched on (looks like charging only)
8.4V 0.10A camera switched off (again charging)
7.8V 0A camera uses only the charged internal battery!
These are the official values of power consumption:
2.1W LCD; 2.0W View finder; 1.2W playback LCD; 1.1W playback View finder
The external power supply should provide more than 2.1W!
Reloading the flash and using the zoom needs more than 3W.
Please check the exact voltage with and w/o load!
..the next version will use the brick box at the right side.
Here are some themes handled by others - recommended!
--please don't use the alignment software!!!
Some super clever german FZowners destroyed their cameras with this
The lucky ones lost their german setting forever and had to struggle to
convert from the japanese version to the english menues.
Adjustments need special tools and skills which we don't have!
Even "killing hotpixels" is safer in postprocessing (there are
Remote USB functions in a diagnostic mode show us the capabilites that
are not handed
to us by Panasonic!
with the FZs - Maurice -ISO1600, Aligning, ..
of field FZ1,FZ5
DMC MANUALS! (use show all rows!)
I have seen French and German manuals on the Swiss - Panasonic server
ps. We don't have a FAQ for the FZ5, but will I try to add some answers
But the other FZ FAQs help us too:
Let's look at our problems (FZ5, FZ7):
Q: Max. capacity of the SD card:
A: 2 GB SD FAT16(not 1GB like the manual says)
Q: Are there incompatible SD cards?
A: Some lots of highspeed cards are not compatible.
But there is no general rule. Use sources with a good return policy!
Q: Some manufaturers have updates for SDHC Fat32 card - Panasonic too?
A: Panasonic does not need any updates, they have got enough customers!
A2: The last update was for the FZ1 firmware of japanese customers.
Q: Is there a different adapter for the additional lenses?
A: FZ5: Not at standard sources (perhaps in china), but the Panasic
plastic part is quite cheap.
Some use an empty filter as "starter"
(There are adapters for the FZ7)
Q: OEM or compatible batteries?
A: Panasonic batteries are the best (capacity and life time), but
batterybarn has good batteries too.
Q: Do I need an extra -speed- charger?
A: Our part is charging faster than the camera is consuming the energy.
This should be enough.
Q: Good wide converters?
A: Raynox DCR6600 or the equivalent with 55mm threads. Both need
modifications of the adapter!
There are good Olympus and Schneider Kreuznach Converters too.
Q: Best Telecoverters?
A: Factor: less than 2* !! Olympus tcon14b, tcon17, Ricoh. Superb:
Nikon ED converters - but do you really need a tcon????
Try to get closer, teleconverters are useless in many cases.
Q: Do I need a red dot sight (RDS)?
A: No!! You need a camera which has no dark phases while shooting.
By the way the autofocus is too slow for good RDS shots in many cases.
Q: Do I need filters?
A: Yes! A linear (or circular - for later use) polarising filter
If you like it: a lens protector (or UV filter).
A graduated gray filter (cokin), would be nice.
A dream: a gray filter with a factor of more than 8 for water falls
Q: Are there special grayfilters?
A: Yes, but not so easy to find sometimes: - these numbers can help -
B&W filters and Neutral Density factors
• B&W 101 ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces
• B&W 102 ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops,
reduces ISO 1/4)
• B&W 103 ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops,
reduces ISO 1/8)
• B&W 106 ND 1.8 (exposure adjustment = approx. 6
stops, transmits 1% of light,)
• B&W 110 ND 3.0 (exposure adjustment = 10 stops,
transmits 0.1% of light)
• B&W 113 ND 4.0 (exposure adjustment = 13-2/3 stops,
transmits 0.01% of light)
• B&W 120 ND 6.0 = (exposure adjustment = approx. 20
and Baader sun foil ND 5.0 (exposure adjustment = 16 1/2 stops,
transmits 0.001% of light)
usage: look at these fine photos:
exposures - Reichert
Q: Resolution of the camera (center)?
A: FZ5 - 1350 LPH (Lines per Picture Height) horiz. - close to some 6MP
FZ10: 1000 LPH
Fz20: 1350 LPH
FZ7: 1400 LPH
Fz30: 1750 LPH
Fz50: 1850 LPH
This is the resolution of some dSLRs with kit lenses.
A: I would prefer to talk about the weather....
We had to live with "grain" all the time.
But we did not smear this grain to an aquarell-like venus III-art.
I am using ISO 100 all the time. Indoor shots are taken with a tripod.
Q: Dead pixels?
A: Can be removed (deactivated) by a very good service technician.
I love my "blue" pixel that appears when the camera is real warm.
There is a photoshop plugin - removing dead pixels, this is the safest
Q: Infrared Photography?
A: no way, use a FZ1v2...
Q: If the lens is stuck, can this be fixed?
A: Sure, Nashimir (many thanks to him!) has written an instructible.
This includes the disassembly of the FZ5
Q: Should my next camera be a Panasonic too?
A: Why! Panasonic is perhaps leader in class (at least the optics), but
wait for the end of the megapixel race!
We all need photos and not paintings with reduced resolution.
This is my opinion.... .But take your own choice!
Q: Would you like to buy a new camera now?
A: Sure, but none of the pixel-monsters is attractive enough to leave
There is no ideal dSLR at the moment too.
So let's hope for a marriage of Fuji sensors with Leica optics
It is not necessary that Panasonic appears in this dream any longer..
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Thanks for visiting my pages! Have a nice
day - Sven
are copyrighted by ©
2005-2007 Seemolf last
update 05.may.07 20:00