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View Full Version : What is the best macro lens set-up ?


E-3
26th February 2010, 02:50 PM
Is it the 50mm with EX-25 or the 35mm on its own or the sigma 105mm or something else :confused:

snaarman
26th February 2010, 03:02 PM
I think this is going to come down to magnification and working distance. I know the 50mm will get down to about 35mm fov horizontal without the extension tube. The working distance is rather short however, not really suitable for small wildlife.

I suspect the 35mm has more magnification, can't comment on the Sigma.

However, when its not used in macro the 50mm is an astonishingly sharp lens for other purposes, which is also a consideration.

Pete

Kiwi Paul
26th February 2010, 03:07 PM
I have the 50mm and it certainly works well as both a macro and 50mm f2 general purpose lens, couple it with the EC-20 and you get a 100mm f4 macro lens. A longer reach macro is preferable to a shorter reach one as you are able to be further from your subject giving better DOF for a given aperture and you are not blocking the natural light by being so close. With that reasoning the 105mm or 150mm Sigma macros appear to be the best option BUT the 50mm becomes a 100mm with an EC-20 and can be used as a 50mm too, a dual purpose lens.

Paul

Wreckdiver
26th February 2010, 03:26 PM
There is a planned 100mm telephoto macro lens expected from Olympus sometime "after 2009" Lens roadmap (http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/downloads/E-System_Lens_Roadmap_2009_en.pdf)

Steve

E-3
26th February 2010, 03:32 PM
However, when its not used in macro the 50mm is an astonishingly sharp lens for other purposes, which is also a consideration

I already own the 50mm f2 lens & agree that it is an exceptional bit of glass, but I guess I am trying to find out how to get maximum magnification for macro work :)

E-3
26th February 2010, 03:36 PM
I have the 50mm and it certainly works well as both a macro and 50mm f2 general purpose lens, couple it with the EC-20 and you get a 100mm f4 macro lens. A longer reach macro is preferable to a shorter reach one as you are able to be further from your subject giving better DOF for a given aperture and you are not blocking the natural light by being so close. With that reasoning the 105mm or 150mm Sigma macros appear to be the best option BUT the 50mm becomes a 100mm with an EC-20 and can be used as a 50mm too, a dual purpose lens.

Paul

Yes, this is another option I had thought of, buying a EC-20, the only thing that puts me off is that I have had alot of people telling me it will cut down the image quality, however I don`t think any of the people who have told me that actually own one or even have first hand experience of one, so to hear that it DOES work from someone who actually owns & uses one is quite interesting :)

Jon*E
26th February 2010, 03:38 PM
I've got the 35mm macro and find it very good as both a macro lens and quite a sharp non macro lens although the auto focus can hunt a fair bit when used as a standard lens, it also has to be very close to the subject to get it's full 1:1 magnification.

I also have some legacy m42 bellows and lenses which can provide very good magnification but are a pain to light the subject well.

E-3
26th February 2010, 03:38 PM
There is a planned 100mm telephoto macro lens expected from Olympus sometime "after 2009" Lens roadmap (http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/downloads/E-System_Lens_Roadmap_2009_en.pdf)

Steve

Thanks for the info, I can`t help thinking though that this lens is going to have one hell of a price tag, but I hope I am wrong :)

Graham_of_Rainham
26th February 2010, 04:39 PM
For MAX magnification I use the OM Bellows. I use the 80mm bellows lens for most things but have used a 24mm to get in super close (touching the filter)

For all other things I too find the 50mm f/2 to be the best.

Kiwi Paul
26th February 2010, 04:45 PM
Here's a couple taken with the 50mm + EC-20

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_0TYZ-W4CVzA/S314tRqsfVI/AAAAAAAABzI/v1aANyFo1PE/s640/-002.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_0TYZ-W4CVzA/Sq5p5q04TlI/AAAAAAAAA2g/pw6f3t1QvnI/s512/_9143436.jpg

Wreckdiver
26th February 2010, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the info, I can`t help thinking though that this lens is going to have one hell of a price tag, but I hope I am wrong :)

That's what I had thought also if it has a maximum aperture of f/2.0. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 sells for around 379. We will have to see what Oly comes up with but could be worth hanging on a bit if you can wait.

Steve

RogerMac
26th February 2010, 05:32 PM
Don't ignore the 70-300. It covers just 36mm (same as the 50mm) at maximum magnification. You will need a good tripod, preferably with some support for the lens itself, but the results can be surprisingly good and there is no problem with lens to subject distance.

Roger

E-3
26th February 2010, 06:04 PM
Here's a couple taken with the 50mm + EC-20

Thanks for taking the time to post some examples, they are very impressive & very helpful *chr

tlove
26th February 2010, 07:30 PM
Just to 'muddy' the waters a little ;)

I have both the Sigma 150mm lens and the 50mm f2 macro and I use both of them a lot.

I love my Sigma 150mm dearly - it's a cracker of a lens which allows me to take photos of critters (like butterflies etc.) that I would not be able to approach with the 50mm lens - like so:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P7148796_1_.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/21713)

I also love my 50mm macro - it's a stunning bit of glass (as Zuiko glass often is) and produces top quality images - Like so:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P82218111.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/21714)

And as has also been said it doubles as a good 'standard' lens too.

I'm very lucky that I also have the option of using either the EC-14 or EC-20 with either lens to increase the capability of both lenses.

Thea

Wreckdiver
26th February 2010, 07:33 PM
That is a superb photo of the bee Thea.

Love it,

Steve

tlove
26th February 2010, 07:36 PM
Thanks Steve :)

I meant to say that the butterfly was taken with the E-1, 150mm macro lens with flash, and the bee was taken with the 50mm, EC-20 and flash.

My bad - sorry :o

Thea

E-3
26th February 2010, 07:58 PM
That is a superb photo of the bee Thea.

Love it,

Steve
I second that. Was it taken with just the 50mm or 50mm & a EC-X ? :)

E-3
26th February 2010, 08:01 PM
Sorry I did not read your post correctly :o I can now see that it was the 50mm with the EC-20 :)

E-3
26th February 2010, 08:04 PM
After seeing what tlove & woofmix have managed with their EC-20`s I think this is the route I will take as I already have the 50mm lens *chr

Wreckdiver
26th February 2010, 08:39 PM
After seeing what tlove & woofmix have managed with their EC-20`s I think this is the route I will take as I already have the 50mm lens *chr

I would say that's a good choice. It is a beautifully sharp lens.

Steve

Wreckdiver
26th February 2010, 08:40 PM
Oops! sorry. Forget that last post. Would help if I read things properly as well :o

Steve

gregles
26th February 2010, 11:48 PM
Here are some 70 - 300mm macros. Taken with the E500

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e121/Gregd1/2867745613_f386e7c680_o.jpg

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e121/Gregd1/3151892087_017de72051_b.jpg

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e121/Gregd1/P9307190.jpg

David M
27th February 2010, 12:40 AM
There is a planned 100mm telephoto macro lens expected from Olympus sometime "after 2009" Lens roadmap (http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/downloads/E-System_Lens_Roadmap_2009_en.pdf)

Steve

Some of us have been waiting for the 100mm macro since the "planned for release in 2006" and the "planned for release in 2008" roadmaps.

I won't believe it until it's on dealers shelves now.

yorky
27th February 2010, 12:53 PM
There are some excellant piccies there which are taken with a variety of lenses etc. The 35mm is a true macro lens and very fair is a gp lens, the Sigma 105 is superb and allows a good working distance from insects etc. You wouldn't go wrong withe either.

obrugman
5th April 2010, 06:54 PM
Hi, I find the 35 mm rather disappointing: focus hunting, autofocus only up to 1:2 magnification, the 1:1 magnification only goes on manual focus. Using it handheld forces you to use a larger aperture, and then the depth of field is so shallow that the natural movement of your body while focussing manually throws the image out of focus. you can work from an extremely close distance, but then you will take quite some light away. You really need a tripod or a ring flash to operate this lense. Tried it on landscapes and portraits, but then the image quality is not as sharp and good as of the 14-54mm lens. Now I know why Olympus markets this lense as 'optimized to be used with a ring flash'.