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What is the best zoom setting for macro photography?

When I first started trying to take macro photographs, I used 2x zoom. Clint (dpreview, Panasonic forum, 19 March 2004) reports...

The macro sweet point for the native FZ10 {i.e. without additional lenses, see Section [*]} seems to be at 3x zoom -- you get maximum magnification and increased distance from the subject. If you use full wide angle you have to get very close for maximum size and you also get some barrel distortion.

Picture taken by Clint (avocet751) with FZ10

{Picture above taken by Clint with FZ10, flash and ?macro-lens}

David Fong 2009-09-04