Thursday, June 7, 2018

Lumix TZ220 Lens Hack for a 18mm Ultra-Wide!

I was happy to find out that the new Lumix TZ220 come with a 24 to 360 Eq zoom lens, one mm WIDER than the TZ110 it replaced.

In the TZ110 review, I lamented that ONE mm less at the wide end result in significant loss in coverage. Take a look at the picture below.

To prove to myself the TZ220 indeed came with a WIDER 24mm Eq lens, I took shots of the same scene with the TZ220 at 24mm setting to compare with a shot taken with a 12-32 kit lens, at 12mm setting. (12mm is 24mm Eq). Both files were JPEG, straight from the cameras.


It is not hard to notice that the TZ220's 24mm is NOT as wide as the 24mm on the kit lens!


I asked and was not given a reasonable explanation from Panasonic.

To find out exactly what the TZ220 zoom saw at the instance of exposure, I opened the RAW version of that file in Affinity Photo...


Apart for the ugly Lens Vignetting (darkening) in the four corners, the TZ220 zoom is actually MUCH WIDER than a 24mm Eq, it look more like a 18mm ultra-wide!

So WORKING TO MY ADVANTAGE, I am able to post process that vignetting image (in PTLens) and rewarded myself with this...


Now my TZ220 is actually recording scenes at an ULTRA-WIDE 18mm Eq!!

Another example...

I also found out that the Lumix TZ220 actually exhibit DIFFERENT FOCAL LENGTH in COVERAGE at DIFFERENT ASPECT RATIO!

For instance...

In 4:3,    26 - 390mm in 35mm equiv.
In 3:2,    24 - 360mm in 35mm equiv.
In 16:9,  25 - 375mm in 35mm equiv.
In 1:1     31 - 465mm in 35mm equiv.

That explain why I am unable to get 24mm view because my TZ220 was set at 4:3 ratio, at 4:3, strange but true, I only get 26mm Eq from my zoom!

It seems if I want to get the full coverage of 24-360mm, I will have to use the 3:2 aspect ratio!

Panasonic should make that clear and obvious in their presentation.

Famous Last Words...

If you own a TZ220, it is quite straight forward to shoot RAW and by following my method, extract a much wider coverage from your built-in zoom!

Give it a try!

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