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j.baker
25th February 2008, 07:06 PM
I am going to get the 12-60mm within the next week or so.

When I have 12-60mm, is it worth me getting the 50mm?

I take animal, landscape and occasional close up images.

I will probably get the Bigma next month :)

DTD
26th February 2008, 08:04 AM
Do you mean the 50mm macro?

It's a high quality lens specifically designed for close up (macro images) but can also be useful as a portrait lens and has a fast maximum aperture. However at about £350 it's not cheap.

The late, great Victor Blackman from Amateur Photographer magazine used to say "if you don't know what lens to buy next you don't need a new lens".

Personally I'd use the 12-60mm and if I kept finding myself needing to focus closer, then I'd think about a macro. There's also the 35mm macro (which I have) which although not of the same quality, is a good lens for less than half the price.

j.baker
26th February 2008, 09:55 AM
Yes I meant the macro.

Thanks for your advice.

Hiding_Pup
26th February 2008, 11:15 AM
The 50mm macro is a fantastically good lens, pin sharp wide open and it renders the out of focus elements of pictures beautifully. It's also smaller than the 12-60mm too - which could come in handy for lightweight days. They're not at all scarce though, so, like DTD said, why not get to know your new 12-60mm? That said, if you've got 350 burning a hole in your pocket and you like the look of it, get it.

250swb
27th February 2008, 10:28 PM
The late, great Victor Blackman from Amateur Photographer magazine used to say "if you don't know what lens to buy next you don't need a new lens".

They were the days, when AP was a good and authoritative magazine, with knowledgable writers.

I'd just say try your 12-60mm before worrying about it, this lens can get very close and with excellent performance. True macro isn't something everybody wants/needs, but a close focus lens like the 12-60mm is the next best thing if in doubt.

DerekW
27th February 2008, 10:44 PM
Victor Blackman used to work for the Daily Express didn't he, if so he was one of the highlight of the year guest speakers at the local camera club many years ago, an excellent speaker as well as a great news photographer

DTD
28th February 2008, 07:39 AM
Victor Blackman used to work for the Daily Express didn't he, if so he was one of the highlight of the year guest speakers at the local camera club many years ago, an excellent speaker as well as a great news photographer

He was also a cantankerous old b****** I used to love his column in AP and the banter between him and the equally great Ron Spillman. IIRC there was a bit of a fallout between VB and AP I seem to remember he wrote in Camera Weekly or something for a while.

To go back to the original post, one friend (not an Olympus user) who did buy a macro lens and it really opened up a new world for him. He found lots of new subjects because of the lens. I suppose it's a bit like how buying a tripod can totally change the type of subject you can tackle. But being a bit of a puritan, I still think getting to know one lens first is what I'd so.

j.baker
28th February 2008, 08:27 AM
I am placing my order for the 12-60mm this morning. I am getting it from Kerso.

The money that I was going to use for the 50mm macro has been reassigned......errm spent. I have purchased a 16G sandisk III. I will let you all know if it works. Two season passes to Bowood (cheap and local) and other camera stuff.

If all goes well I should be getting the Bigma next month.

Ian
28th February 2008, 10:06 AM
I am placing my order for the 12-60mm this morning. I am getting it from Kerso.

The money that I was going to use for the 50mm macro has been reassigned......errm spent. I have purchased a 16G sandisk III. I will let you all know if it works. Two season passes to Bowood (cheap and local) and other camera stuff.

If all goes well I should be getting the Bigma next month.

The 12-60 will focus close enough for the lens hood to almost touch the subject you are focusing on. It will fill the width of the frame with about 5.5cm of subject (@60mm). There is slight barrel distortion but it's not that bad.

The 50mm macro doesn't need to get so inconveniently close and will fill the width of the frame with about 3.3cm of subject and there is appreciably less geometric distortion. Without an extension tube, the 50mm macro is a modest 1:2 optic, but the 35mm macro will reproduce 1:1, though you are practically on top of your subject at this magnification and this can complicate lighting.

It's well worth considering the Sigma 105mm macro - it's reviewed at another of our sites, Four Thirds User, see:

http://fourthirds-user.com/2007/08/sigma_105mm_f28_ex_dg_macro_lens_review.php

Ian

j.baker
28th February 2008, 10:21 AM
Thanks for teh info Ian.

What is the Sigma 105mm like for landscape?

Invicta
29th February 2008, 10:39 AM
Without an extension tube, the 50mm macro is a modest 1:2 optic, but the 35mm macro will reproduce 1:1, though you are practically on top of your subject at this magnification and this can complicate lighting.

It's well worth considering the Sigma 105mm macro - it's reviewed at another of our sites, Four Thirds User, see:

Ian

Hi Ian

I am no expert in macro but I am keen to start in this field. I struggle to understand the relationship between focal length and the magnification ratio.

With the Oly 50 mm macro and 1:2 magnification ratio is this less than 1:1 due to the focal length or is it because of the minimum focusing distance of the lens?

Many thanks

Ian
29th February 2008, 11:05 AM
Hi Ian

I am no expert in macro but I am keen to start in this field. I struggle to understand the relationship between focal length and the magnification ratio.

With the Oly 50 mm macro and 1:2 magnification ratio is this less than 1:1 due to the focal length or is it because of the minimum focusing distance of the lens?

Many thanks

It's just the design of that particular lens. Olympus kept the lens compact and fast, making it a very good all-purpose lens rather than a specialist macro lens. The optional extension tube could be the solution if you want to get even closer.

Ian

Ian
29th February 2008, 11:06 AM
Thanks for teh info Ian.

What is the Sigma 105mm like for landscape?

Landscape? Well, at an equivalent to a 210mm short telephoto, is this really a landscape lens at all?

Ian

RogerMac
29th February 2008, 12:19 PM
This is not a very serious suggestion for a close up lens but the new 70-300 will fill the frame with approx 3.5cm of subject.

For some subjects, where you can not approach closely or want to keep perspective reasonable, this might be the ideal lens.

j.baker
1st March 2008, 09:36 AM
Well the 12-60mm lens arrived this morning. I am impressed with Iar Kerr. Paid on Thurdsday, shipped friday and arrived today.

Its a big and heavy lens.....when compared to my current.

Now I need to find somewhere local and cheap (it is an expensive lens after all) and above all interesting to photograph.

A thing that I have found about the lens on the E510, you get lens shadow if you use the internal flash.

Its a good job that I have the FL-50.

It came with a lens bag, but does anyone know of a good lens case? I have a nice Tamrac for my 70-300.

theMusicMan
1st March 2008, 09:52 AM
Well the 12-60mm lens arrived this morning. I am impressed with Iar Kerr. Paid on Thurdsday, shipped friday and arrived today.

Its a big and heavy lens.....when compared to my current.

Now I need to find somewhere local and cheap (it is an expensive lens after all) and above all interesting to photograph.

A thing that I have found about the lens on the E510, you get lens shadow if you use the internal flash.

Its a good job that I have the FL-50.

It came with a lens bag, but does anyone know of a good lens case? I have a nice Tamrac for my 70-300.
Congrats on your purchase, I echo comments re Ian... he's a star.

As for a case... I actually built one after purchasing some foam and an aluminium case - for all my gear. Not the best skilled in crafting foam am I... ;) but it does the job (as long as no-one looks at my significant lack of foam cutting prowess!!) - Heather could have done a better job... :)

robertsonk
1st March 2008, 12:27 PM
Hi guys, I am new to the forum and have found this article very interesting.

I am looking at an upgrade to my kit lens 14-42mm but am working with a budget so will probably steer away from the 12-60mm.

I see the 14-54mm is going for under 300 now on E-bay etc, but wondered if anyone has compared it with the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 Macro, again this seems to be a similar price.

I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons of the fixed apperture and macro benefits of the Sigma vs its slightly smaller focal range.

Any comments or experience with the Sigma lens much appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin

froeng
1st March 2008, 12:37 PM
Kevin,

I haven't got any experience with the Sigma 18-50 2.8 myself, but it should fill the gap between the 11-22 and the telephoto range lenses (40-150 or 50-200) quite nicely.
The overlap of the 11-22 and the 14-54 seems to be too much for my taste, if you are considering buying that wideangle in the future.
Only drawback from the Sigma for me would be that it's not weatherproof.

Regards

Frank

Ian
1st March 2008, 12:42 PM
Hi guys, I am new to the forum and have found this article very interesting.

I am looking at an upgrade to my kit lens 14-42mm but am working with a budget so will probably steer away from the 12-60mm.

I see the 14-54mm is going for under 300 now on E-bay etc, but wondered if anyone has compared it with the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 Macro, again this seems to be a similar price.

I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons of the fixed apperture and macro benefits of the Sigma vs its slightly smaller focal range.

Any comments or experience with the Sigma lens much appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin

Does the Sigma have a macro benefit? The 14-54 can focus extremely close, even at 54mm. The 14-54 is also weather sealed, but I must admit that I haven't yet tested the Sigma. But Photozone.de (http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/45-canon-eos-aps-c/314-sigma-af-18-50mm-f28-ex-dc-aspherical-if-test-report--review) has reviewed it and I think they were being polite rather than enthusiastic, stating poor edge/corner sharpness compared to the centre and purple fringing problems. The site is being revamped and their Four Thirds lens review section is not accessible at the moment but I recall the 14-54 review was much more positive. Personally, the difference between 14 and 18mm at the wide end is also a decider for me.

Ian

David M
1st March 2008, 12:59 PM
Landscape? Well, at an equivalent to a 210mm short telephoto, is this really a landscape lens at all?

Ian

One of the most popular landscapes on my web site was taken with a 300mm lens and other popular ones were taken with lenses up to 600mm.

robertsonk
1st March 2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks guys, useful.

As a newbe, and never having had such wide apperture lenses before, would I gain much extra by having the additional 1/2 stop (it is 1/2 an f-stop isnt it from f2.8 to f3.5?) on the Sigma, I enjoy close up portrait shots with shallow depth of field.

Ian, I take on board your points re weatherproof and almost equivilant macro capabilies, I am swaying towards the Olympus as we speak, its lighter as well!

Kevin

David M
1st March 2008, 01:03 PM
He was also a cantankerous old b****** I used to love his column in AP and the banter between him and the equally great Ron Spillman. IIRC there was a bit of a fallout between VB and AP I seem to remember he wrote in Camera Weekly or something for a while.

I met him when he wrote for Camera Weekly, a nice guy.

Steve Lane
14th April 2008, 10:24 AM
Another vote for the 50mm lens. True, the focal length is covered by the 12-60, but you get the added benefits of macro, bright aperture and small size. The 50mm makes a great portrait lens as backgrounds can be thrown right out of focus at F2 or 2.8.

Regards, Steve.

OlyFlyer
14th April 2008, 11:24 AM
Well, since the thread is revived, I agree with Steve and all those who voted for the ED50/2 macro. It is a different lens than any zoom, even if I don't have the 12-60, it is not comparable at all, I am very sure of that. Focal length coverage is not the same as the lens is useless or not worth. No regrets buying that lens, it gives me a different dimension than the 14-54. Besides, it is a whole lot faster than the 14-54 and even more compared to the 12-60.

j.baker
14th April 2008, 11:36 AM
I now have the 12-60mm and I have ordered the 50mm (waiting to be delivered).

I think that the 12-60mm is currently the best all round lens that I have ever used. Now I admit that I have not used many lenses, but I do not regret buying it.