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Old 8th December 2008
bully74uk bully74uk is offline
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A question about OM Macro lenses

I really want to be able to have a go at Macro photography but am on a bit of a budget and not sure if I can afford a Zuiko Digital Macro lens (well maybe the 35mm but I would really like at least a 50mm)

Would going down the OM route be a cheaper option and if so what OM Macro lens would be a good choice.

I understand that I would have to manually focus, do you think this would be achieveable with the smallish viewfinder on my E510 ?

Do you think I would be better waiting and spending a little more (once saved) for a Digital ?
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Old 8th December 2008
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Graham_of_Rainham Graham_of_Rainham is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

It really all depends on how much magnification you want and how close you are prepared to get

I use the OM Bellows and an OM 80mm Macro lens. It really is brilliant as you have so much control. The focusing rail is an absolute must for macro.

If you are only interested in shooting hand held "Big Close-ups" and want an extreamly good lens, then save, save, save and get the 50mm f2

There is the "Hire" option. Buy one off ebay and sell it if you dont like it

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We often repeat the mistakes we most enjoy...
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Old 8th December 2008
photo_owl photo_owl is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

well I have just about all the options except the DZ35 - but that is the one I would recomend to you.

you will spend more time enjoying taking shots and less messing around with apertures etc

you will still want to MF with the 510 in lv mode but that's the least of your worries

the DZ50 is a lovely lens, but then you will want the ex25 or the ec20 and then the TF22 or RF11.......it's never ending! (don't even mention the OM20mm!)

the 510 is an excellent body for macro, mine pretty much lives on my bellows now.
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Old 8th December 2008
Xpres
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

I think the 35 is excellent - and you can use a converter or tube with it...

On the cheap a bellows and enlarger lens can be had for peanuts. You;ll need an adapter to fit it to the camera - again very cheap. You can then use live view to focus.
Once you have an adapter for old lenses the options are huge for macro. The Tamron 90mm macro for example...
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Old 8th December 2008
JohnGG JohnGG is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

My advice would be to go for the ZD 35mm f/3.5 because you are unlikely to get any OM macro lens for very much less than it's street price, even the OM 50mm f/3.5 which is the cheapest of them. There were two of those mentioned in AP last week, one for 160+ and one for 170+

Probably the cheapest way to get into macro would be to buy a set of good quality close-up filters, probably +1 and +2 diopter would suffice. You can get very good results with these for relatively little outlay and it's a good way of finding out whether you really enjoy macro work before forking out for a lens.

I bought the ZD 35 recently and have been very pleased by the results. I also use OM macro lenses including the 50mm f/2.0 and 90mm f/2.0, both of which are excellent and give longer camera to subject distances. This useful with skittish insects and also causes fewer issues with blocking light to the subject. However, they are still pricey on the secondhand market. I can't comment on how easy manual focus with the E-510 viewfinder would be as I've never looked through one; there are no problems with the E-1 or E-3.

The OM 20mm lenses (f/3.5 and later f/2.0 auto) mentioned by photo_owl as well as the OM 38mm (f/3.5 and later f/2.8 auto) are specialised bellows lenses for high magnification. As such they are a bit tricky to use, with miniscule depth of field and very dark viewfinder images because of the light drop-off with long bellows extensions. The OM 80mm and 135mm bellows lenses are, I think, both optimised for lifesize imaging and I am told they take very good pictures.

One area in which OM kit can be picked up for less than the E-system equivalent is macro flashes. The T10 Ringflash 1, T8 Ringflash 2 and T28 Macro Twin (or Single) Flash 1 all use the T Power Control 1 as a power source. This works fine as a manual flash on E-system bodies with the camera in manual mode and adjusting the aperture in a suck-it-and-see fashion. The T10 and T28 fit onto either 49mm or 55mm filter threads so I bought a 52-55mm step-up ring to use with the ZD 35 and this would also work with the ZD 50mm f/2.0 lens.

I hope you do get into macro photography as it is fascinating and there is a wealth of subject matter within a few steps of your door

Cheers,

JohnGG
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Old 8th December 2008
bully74uk bully74uk is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpres View Post
On the cheap a bellows and enlarger lens can be had for peanuts. You;ll need an adapter to fit it to the camera - again very cheap. You can then use live view to focus.
Once you have an adapter for old lenses the options are huge for macro. The Tamron 90mm macro for example...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGG View Post
Probably the cheapest way to get into macro would be to buy a set of good quality close-up filters, probably +1 and +2 diopter would suffice. You can get very good results with these for relatively little outlay and it's a good way of finding out whether you really enjoy macro work before forking out for a lens.
JohnGG
Can anyone give some more info on these options quoted above regarding close up filters, enlarger lenses and bellows as I don't have any experience of these ?
How do they work ? Do they attach to my existing kit lens' ? Prices etc ?

Alternatively, maybe I will see if I can get a second hand 35mm ZD within budget but I was more drawn towards a 50mm to increase the distance from subject.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 8th December 2008
gphemy gphemy is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bully74uk View Post
Can anyone give some more info on these options quoted above regarding close up filters, enlarger lenses and bellows as I don't have any experience of these ?
How do they work ? Do they attach to my existing kit lens' ? Prices etc ?

Alternatively, maybe I will see if I can get a second hand 35mm ZD within budget but I was more drawn towards a 50mm to increase the distance from subject.

Thanks in advance.
Close-up "filters" - rather, close-up lenses - fit on the front of your existing lenses as if they were filters, or a smaller version of the supplementary tele and wide converters available for point&shoot cameras. They are small, light, and can be relatively cheap. I would recommend you to avoid the single element versions, and try to find multi-element achromatic lenses if you want the best results. They will be mcuh more expensive than the commonly available single element lenses.

Enlarger lenses are cheap and they are designed to work at the same sort of subject/image distances as are used for macro work. They are manual-everything, and you will need an adaptor to fit them to a modern camera. Best to assume that you will be fitting them to bellows or extension tubes (I am myself looking for an enlarger lens for just this application, even though I have had at one time or another all but one of the OM macro lenses).

Bellows, like extension tubes, fit between your camera and the lens. Assuming the mounts at each end are compatible, you could use your existing lens on bellows - but you would lose all the electronic coupling, thus auto no control over diaphragm and focus (which actually means no control at all) and no metering in the camera. Better, if you are thinking of bellows, to assume that you will be using an enlarger lens, and remember that Leica screw 39mm is a common fitting for enlarger lenses, as well as for bellows.

Opting for a longer focal length is an excellent approach, as you will need to get plenty of light on your subject, and a short focal length (while it offers greater magnification) usuaaly means that the shadow cast by camera/bellows/lens is working against you.
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Old 8th December 2008
bully74uk bully74uk is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Thanks for all the replies, and I have another question:

What about the Raynox close up filters like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/RAYNOX-DCR-250-M...206128001r8662

I nearly purchased one of these when I had my Panasonic FZ50 bridge camera and on that camera they produced some very good results.

They come in two diopter sizes the 250 (shown in the link) and a 150 I think which is less magnification and apparently easier to use / focus etc.

I forgot all about them to be honest and am now wondering if this is the "cheaper" alternative im looking for to get me into Macro ?

Any thoughts ?

Regards,

Marcus.
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Old 8th December 2008
gphemy gphemy is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bully74uk View Post

What about the Raynox close up filters like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/RAYNOX-DCR-250-M...206128001r8662

--snip

I forgot all about them to be honest and am now wondering if this is the "cheaper" alternative im looking for to get me into Macro ?
Cheaper than a ZD, cheaper than enlarger lens + bellows (or extension tubes), and it's a high quality achromatic close-up lens to boot. If the magnification is sufficient for what you have in mind, go for it!

Magnification with close-up lenses is generally nowhere near what you can get with extension tubes/bellows and the right lenses - but it is a whole lot easier with close-up lenses!
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Old 8th December 2008
bully74uk bully74uk is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Thank you to all who replied, and in such a short time as well.

Need some time to take in all the options however im edging towards the Raynox for starters, see how I go with that, and then if necessary save up some money for a dedicated Macro lens.

EDIT: Have just found a Flikr link to a guy using a Raynox DCR 250 with an E400 and 40-150. A couple of his shots are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amilioto/2379549723/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amilioto/2379550887/

Looks like quite a narrow DOF when using this set up.
Interesting to see his cheap macro flash set up using an FL36 and a white paper bag !

Think I will go down this route and see what I can achieve.

Last edited by bully74uk; 8th December 2008 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 8th December 2008
JohnGG JohnGG is offline
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Re: A question about OM Macro lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bully74uk View Post
...
Looks like quite a narrow DOF when using this set up.
Interesting to see his cheap macro flash set up using an FL36 and a white paper bag !
...
I have visions of the paper bag blowing up taut like a balloon every time the flash goes off

It looks like the Raynox can achieve very nice results. The DOF is going to be relatively shallow whatever method you use to take macro shots, be it macro lenses, auxilliary close-up lenses or extension tubes/bellows. The only way to mitigate that is to stop the lens down as much as you can and for that you need to use flash to supplement the natural light. The illumination from that makeshift diffuser is spot on

Cheers,

JohnGG
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