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View Full Version : HELP! Macro photography


jonesy
12th April 2010, 06:26 AM
I'm after some advice please.

My son uses my old E410 camera, and has been talking about getting into macro photography, he loves taking photos of butterflies, insects, flowers etc.

What is the way we would do this? What lens would be most suitable for this type of photography.

Many thanks
Tracey

theMusicMan
12th April 2010, 06:47 AM
Hi Tracey - Macro photography is really interesting, as your son appreciates. The best way to do this on the E410 would be to use the Oly 35mm Macro lens. It is a low cost close focus 35mm macro lens, and yields excellent results for such a budget lens.

I have one, and though I don't do much in the way of macro photography, I have used it as a portrait lens for its amazing sharpness. One day last year I decided to go out for a morning stroll along the river equipped only with the Oly 35mm macro lens. These are the type of shots one can get with this lens.

http://www.reflectingme.com/p568720313

They are not expensive - around 150 I think.

Hope that helps.

PaulE
12th April 2010, 08:14 AM
Another vote for the 35mm here too been using it on an E410 for a long time and when you get it right it's a very capable combination. There's a bit of a learning curve involved especially in learning how to achieve adequate depth of field with sensible shutter speeds especially hand held but that applies to any macro lens. Alot of people instantly dismiss the 35mm as a good insect lens due to the short working distances required, yes you do sometimes frighten off the subject but with a bit of patience it's not as big an issue as some would make out and for me at least the IQ and portability you get from this lens outweighs the benefit you get from the longer focal length Sigmas for example. I'm eagerly awaiting a 100mm Olympus macro but as it's been on the cards for so long I wonder if it'll ever be released that said the 35mm isn't really restricting me so if it comes then it'll be a bonus if it doesn't then the 35mm will do fine.

Anyway here's a few examples of the 35mm + E410 combination:
Orangetip (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14552/size/big/cat/)
Common Blue (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14547/size/big/cat/)
Speckled Wood (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14551/size/big/cat/)

The other butterflies in my gallery are all (bar one) taken with the 35mm but will be taken with a mix of E410 and E510 bodies.

Radar
12th April 2010, 10:52 AM
For Macro I'm using a 50mm f1.8 OM bought for 20 on ebay and extension rings bought for 9.99 on the same website. Together giving me only manual focus but I find it best on Macro. I' very happy with the results. Examples seen in my Macro-set on my Flickr page.

benvendetta
12th April 2010, 11:59 AM
For Macro I'm using a 50mm f1.8 OM bought for 20 on ebay and extension rings bought for 9.99 on the same website. Together giving me only manual focus but I find it best on Macro. I' very happy with the results. Examples seen in my Macro-set on my Flickr page.

I reckon that this is the best way to start and for minimal outlay. You can add longer focal length OM primes for greater magnification later. Results are surprising good using the 50mm/tubes combo - you will be focusing manually anyway. Go for it.
There is always the awesome ZD 50mm f2 plus EX-25 when your son feels flush!

jalanb
12th April 2010, 12:33 PM
Radar

Do you mind me asking - which Ebay trader did you get the extension tubes from?

Alan

Nick Temple-Fry
12th April 2010, 12:42 PM
I agree that the 35mm is a good lens and well capable of most macro photography. Though it is not the fastest lens especially when stopped down for dof so you do need good light and/or a flash. The ec1.4 is also useful with the 35mm as the additional magnification gives you a greater working distance.

But lots of people get good insect shots with the 50-200 or the 70-300, albeit not at the extreme close-up. I suspect (never used it) that the 50-200 plus the ex-25 would be a good starter for grabbing insects at an easier distance. Perhaps someone on the group has tried that combination.

Nick

Dick Bowman
12th April 2010, 01:20 PM
[... deleted ...] I suspect (never used it) that the 50-200 plus the ex-25 would be a good starter for grabbing insects at an easier distance. Perhaps someone on the group has tried that combination.

Nick

I've tried it a little, you are right about the easier distance - I ought to try it some more.

Radar
12th April 2010, 08:55 PM
Radar

Do you mind me asking - which Ebay trader did you get the extension tubes from?

Alan

http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/Hong-Kong-Supplies__W0QQ_armrsZ1

And correction: I paid 9.50

jalanb
18th April 2010, 02:17 PM
Radar

Have been trying out the OM 1.8 plus extension rings/tubes.

Any tips on focussing with or without tripod use?

Thanks.

Alan

Radar
18th April 2010, 02:51 PM
It's almost impossible to use larger aperture than f8. DOF is so narrow that you can barely take a photo of a needle using 1.8-5.6. The negative side is that I need more light as I loose a few stops with the rings. I've built my own "macro" flash by using cardboard as a reflector on my fl-36. This seemes to be working fine. With the flash I shoot hand held most of the time with good results. I only use the tripod for flowers and other things that stand still and use longer exposures (Remember IS-off and use Anti Shock)

I very seldom use more than ring #1 on my 50mm but have experimented with all 3 rings. The best way to get good focus is to move the camera back and forth and only use the focus for the final touch.

In the end it's all about experimenting.

Barrie Norman
18th April 2010, 03:31 PM
The Sigma 105 macro would be the best bet for starting out with insects especially butterflies this give a better working distance, it takes a lot of field craft to get close with the 35mm, also the 70-300 oly will give good results and it works well with EX-25 and will still auto focus for bee's fly's etc.

Jim Ford
18th April 2010, 08:28 PM
The Sigma 105 macro would be the best bet for starting out with insects especially butterflies this give a better working distance, it takes a lot of field craft to get close with the 35mm, also the 70-300 oly will give good results and it works well with EX-25 and will still auto focus for bee's fly's etc.

I'll be putting my Sigma 105mm for sale here in the near future. I've not used it since getting my Zuiko 50mm.

Jim