Leica X Vario: Close-Up Experiments - No Lens

Introduction | Close-Up Test Photos | Firoze's Close-Up Test Photos | Test Photos Without Close-Up Lens | Sample Photos

This page presents the results of quick-and-dirty investigations into the minimum close-up distance that the Leica X Vario allows. In other words, here Firoze, an X Vario user from India, and I explore the minimum size of an object that fills the image frame.

Please note that these are just informal tests, which do not care for image quality. Firoze and I were only interested in a rough estimate of the achievable magnification. I will also include some sample photos to show what the Leica X Vario achieves when used for close-up shots (in preparation).

Note: I deal with what can be achieved with close-up lenses (or achromats) on pages Leica X Vario: Close-Up Lens Experiments - Part 1, Leica X Vario: Close-Up Lens Experiments - Part 2, and Leica X Vario: Close-Up Lens Experiments - Part 3. Page Close-up Lens Experiments - Summary offers a summary of my close-up experiments with the Leica X Vario.

 

Introduction

I like to take close-up shots, and I am happy when I can take them without additional equipment such as close-up lenses. Therefore, inspired by new Leica X Vario user Firoze from India, I did a new quick-and-dirty tests to explore how close I can get with the camera and what maximum magnification can be achieved. While I did this using manual focus, Firoze used 11-point autofocus - and to our surprise, we came to different results.

Magnification

From dkpeterborough (L-Camera-Forum) I adopt the way magnification is calculated:

Quick Summary

 

Close-Up Test Photos

Inspired by new Leica X Vario user Firoze, who expected a maximum object size of 9 cm (and found it to be 10 cm), I tested how close I could focus with my Leica X Vario sample. In previous tests, I had found that maximum object size is about 12 cm (corresponding to a magnification of 0.2), and, in short, the following tests confirmed this. I performed these tests with manual focus, a focal distance of 70 mm equiv., f/6.4, all shots hand-held:

Photo: An object size of about 12 cm seems to be the maximum object size for my Leica X Vario sample (click image for original version)

Photo: An object size of about 11 cm leads to slightly fuzzy images for my Leica X Vario sample (click image for original version)

Photo: An object size of about 10 cm leads to fuzzy images for my Leica X Vario sample (click image for original version)

Photo: An object size of about 9 cm leads to very fuzzy images for my Leica X Vario sample (click image for original version)

Photo: Retest - again, an object size of about 12 cm seems to be the maximum object size for my Leica X Vario sample (click image for original version)

 

Firoze's Close-Up Test Photos

X Vario user Firoze did his own close focus tests and sent me the following personal message:

Dear Gerd,

Further to your most useful mails, I conducted some close focus tests. Both the camera and the ruler scale were firmly fixed so that there was no chance of camera shake. I moved the camera 1mm at a time to determine the closest distance it would focus at. The findings indicate that with autofocus, the XV focuses closer than with manual focus. The closest autofocus distance is 10.25mm, while with manual focus the closest is at about 12mm (approx). This is an interesting finding, which you might want to share on your very fine XV website, or on the various Leica forums.

Here is the link to the tests: https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A253qWtHGJhPZd

Best wishes, Firoze

In an l-camera-forum post, Firoze comments his findings as follows:

For those of you who are interested in close focus photography with the XV, with the help of Gerd (waloszek), I have found that the XV can focus approx 20% closer in autofocus mode vs Manual focusing. With autofocus, the XV can focus on an object 10.25mm wide, while with manual focus the closes it can focus is an object approx 12mm wide. Note that in autofocus mode, it helps to try all three metering patterns: single point, 11 point and spot. Depending on the nature of the subject, one of these will work best.
I must also acknowledge the help of Rodrigue Zahr who also sent me pics of the XV's close focus ability with manual focus.

And here are Firoze's results:

First Test

11-point focus, 70 mm. This is the closest that my XV focuses (about 10.2 mm; click image for larger version).

Comment: I would like to add that the ruler is not "tack sharp" - but see the last photo in the second test.

Second Test

Manual focus, 70 mm. Here at 12.2 mm the XV focuses pin sharp (click image for larger version).

Manual focus, 70 mm. At 11.7 mm the XV is just about in sharp focus (click image for larger version).

Manual focus, 70 mm. The XV does not focus at 11.1 mm with manual focus (changed from 11.5 to 11.1 mmclick image for larger version).

Manual focus, 70 mm. The XV does not focus at 10.5 mm on manual focus (changed from 10.35 to 10.5 mm; click image for larger version).

11-point focus, 70 mm. This is the closest the XV focuses with autofocus: 10.25 mm (click image for larger version).

Comment: Particularly, the last two photos clearly show that there is a noticeable difference between manual and 11-point focus with respect to the closest usable distance.

 

Sample Photos

The following, far too many and redundant, examples were taken in spring 2014 without close-up lenses to demonstrate the close-up capabilities of the "pure" Leica X Vario.

 

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14.02.2016