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Lens focus The place to talk about your camera's glassware.

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  #16  
Old 16th June 2009
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

I'm not saying that all Sigma examples are bad - when they are good, they are GOOD, but.... the words ship and cheap tar spring to mind.
Have you considered an extension tube on your 50-200? Just a throw-away thought, I've never tried it myself.

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Originally Posted by michaelavis View Post
I've seen comments about Sigma on this forum a few times, build quallity and handling not being the Olympus Zuiko way. I'm worried now! Im looking to get into close up and had settled on the Sigma 105mm Macro as a good middle-road solution for decent working distance, magnification and sharpness as long as I could live with barrell going in and out for focussing and the famous "matte" finish and gold ring on the end of it. Oly don't have a 100mm macro and it would likely be over 600 if they did, so it's Sigma here we go, but it does worry me, especially as I'm lookign to get one as cheap as possible, maybe without a warrany if it's second hand.
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  #17  
Old 16th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

Plenty of good advice here, keeping your E410 is a good idea if you're prepared to use a tripod as once you get out into the tele-range of say the 40-150mm lens, you're likely going to need good light to get the sharpest images hand-held. I had an E420 and loved it in every way except that I wanted to hand hold all the time and found that with 40-150mm zoomed out it meant tweaking the ISO higher than I wanted too, too often, and with the 70-300, hand-holding is more of a challenge, unless you're one of these very lucky people who can hand hold a 300m lens at 1/30 and still keep it sharp!

The point made about lenses is all true, but I do think the E520 body is a bargain, it solves the IS issue once and for all and I would say easily offers the best value for money of any Oly body right now, it's not as small as the E410/E420 and totally overshaddowed by the E620, but it's great, I had one and wish I hadn't sold it (SRS has the body new for 299, they do P/ex too).

At the time, I had the 14-54 and 70-300mm, unless I'd wanted weather proofing, I think I still would. I'm still on the learning curve, but I haven't seen a dramatic change in my images now that I have the E-3 and SWD lenses (I actually miss the E520/14-54mm as a walkabout) but the muscles in my right arm have got bigger though!

I think you can shrewdly pick up an E520 and these two lenses or just keep your 40-150mm lens instead of the 70-300mm if you don't need the reach. The one thing you'd have on your wish list by the sound of it would be the 9-18mm, they're not cheap, but by all accounts, they are fantastic, so you might choose to keep your 14-45 and get one of those instead of the 14-54mm. All of this is the beauty of Olympus, no duff lenses and great value on the bodies, especially ones which had recently been "superceded".
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Last edited by michaelavis; 17th June 2009 at 01:31 AM.
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  #18  
Old 16th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
I'm not saying that all Sigma examples are bad - when they are good, they are GOOD, but.... the words ship and cheap tar spring to mind.
Have you considered an extension tube on your 50-200? Just a throw-away thought, I've never tried it myself.
I haven't, maybe I should, I could try the Ec14 option too, but I don't really know what it would mean for working distance etc, plus I hadn't really relished the idea of lugging that lens around the undergrowth
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  #19  
Old 16th June 2009
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by michaelavis View Post
I've seen comments about Sigma on this forum a few times, build quallity and handling not being the Olympus Zuiko way. I'm worried now! Im looking to get into close up and had settled on the Sigma 105mm Macro as a good middle-road solution for decent working distance, magnification and sharpness as long as I could live with barrell going in and out for focussing and the famous "matte" finish and gold ring on the end of it. Oly don't have a 100mm macro and it would likely be over 600 if they did, so it's Sigma here we go, but it does worry me, especially as I'm lookign to get one as cheap as possible, maybe without a warrany if it's second hand.
Sigma's quality control is not the same as Olympus's. They are also a lot cheaper, by and large. Most items are fine, but there is the occasional rogue. There is with Olympus as well, but Sigma seem to produce slightly more judging by remarks on forums.

I have three Sigma lenses, including two bought used and they all perform very well. One is the 105mm macro you mention. All macro lenses will have a barrel "going in and out for focusing" because the focus range is so great - the ZD 35 and 50 do as well, but obviously the lenses are shorter overall because of the lesser focal length. The ZD 100mm (if it ever makes it to production) will no doubt be very similar to the Sigma in that respect. Personally, I don't care about the cosmetics, but the one flaw that does irritate me is the double-switch needed for AF/MF, where you have to separately switch off AF and engage the focusing ring, as well as selecting MF on the camera. MF is absolutely essential for macro, so this is important. In fact, as AF is of little use for macro, you could look at some of the better (OM and Tamron for example) legacy lenses if you want to get into this area.
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  #20  
Old 16th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by HughofBardfield View Post
Sigma's quality control is not the same as Olympus's. They are also a lot cheaper, by and large. Most items are fine, but there is the occasional rogue. There is with Olympus as well, but Sigma seem to produce slightly more judging by remarks on forums.

I have three Sigma lenses, including two bought used and they all perform very well. One is the 105mm macro you mention. All macro lenses will have a barrel "going in and out for focusing" because the focus range is so great - the ZD 35 and 50 do as well, but obviously the lenses are shorter overall because of the lesser focal length. The ZD 100mm (if it ever makes it to production) will no doubt be very similar to the Sigma in that respect. Personally, I don't care about the cosmetics, but the one flaw that does irritate me is the double-switch needed for AF/MF, where you have to separately switch off AF and engage the focusing ring, as well as selecting MF on the camera. MF is absolutely essential for macro, so this is important. In fact, as AF is of little use for macro, you could look at some of the better (OM and Tamron for example) legacy lenses if you want to get into this area.
Yes, I could, the Tamron 90mm has a great reputation, people on this forum have produced stunning images with it. I'm not too sure about the adapter needed, what version mount to buy, I know nothing about Tamron and using one on an Olympus 4/3. I'd also need to think though how much weight and cost that would add, I'll need to look into it. To be honest, I hadn't thought through that not having AF would be of little consequence before now. Thanks for that.
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  #21  
Old 17th June 2009
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HughofBardfield HughofBardfield is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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I know nothing about Tamron and using one on an Olympus 4/3. I'd also need to think though how much weight and cost that would add, I'll need to look into it.
A Tamron Adaptall 2 mount lens will need an Adaptall mount (<20), which can then be used with any Adaptall 2 lens. Most (but not all) are sold with a mount of some kind. You only really need one - I swap mine between my 24mm and 500mm as needed.

If you get an Adaptall to OM mount, an OM to 4/3rds converter (fleabay clones of the MF-1 are usually quite good enough at a fraction of the price of the real thing) will also enable you to use any OM lens. Some OMs (like the 135mm f3.5 and 200mm f4) are very good, very small, pretty cheap and weigh next to nothing. The ubiquitous 50mm f1.8 gives you a fast portrait lens you can carry in a pocket for a few pounds.

However, apart from Canon, you can get 4/3rds converters on fleabay for just about any "normal" legacy lens mount, so if your Tamron lens happens to come with an Adaptall mount for Nikon, Pentax or Minolta, it's maybe not worth getting an OM one unless you already have an OM-4/3rds converter.

Legacy lenses are a major strength of 4/3rds IMHO if you can be bothered with the slight faff involved. OM lenses are particularly good as they were small and light to start with.

Things to remember with legacy lenses:
  • Focus is manual only (of course)
  • Aperture has to be set manually (ie focus wide open, stop down to taking aperture and shoot - this lends itself to tripod use, but live view can also be used hand-held with practice)
  • Metering is best used centre-weighted (or sometimes spot) - matrix/ ESP can be fooled
  • "Fast" lenses usually produce less good results wide open than their "normal" analogues (eg the 50mm f1.8 is better wide open than the f1.4)
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  #22  
Old 18th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by HughofBardfield View Post
A Tamron Adaptall 2 mount lens will need an Adaptall mount (<20), which can then be used with any Adaptall 2 lens. Most (but not all) are sold with a mount of some kind. You only really need one - I swap mine between my 24mm and 500mm as needed.
[/LIST]
Thank you so much for the explanation. I have seen a Tamron lens that will not come with a mount so given that I don't currently have an OM to 4/3 converter, do you know if it is possible to get a adaptall adapter for Olympus 4/3 cameras - i.e. just have the one converter instead of going via the adaptall to OM to 4/3 route? I've seen an eBay item that says it is a "Tamron Adaptall lens to Olympus OM 4/3 Adapter" which is confusing me!
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  #23  
Old 18th June 2009
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snaarman snaarman is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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I've seen an eBay item that says it is a "Tamron Adaptall lens to Olympus OM 4/3 Adapter" which is confusing me!

That would be a new one on me.. but its about time someone made one I guess.

I have modifed several Tamron Adaptall/Konica AR adapters to work on 4/3 but its a very long and fiddly job, plus the lens ends up mounted about 30 degrees off vertical.

Its probably much easier to get a Tamron - OM then an OM - 4/3 adapters and stack them together

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  #24  
Old 18th June 2009
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
That would be a new one on me.. but its about time someone made one I guess.

I have modifed several Tamron Adaptall/Konica AR adapters to work on 4/3 but its a very long and fiddly job, plus the lens ends up mounted about 30 degrees off vertical.

Its probably much easier to get a Tamron - OM then an OM - 4/3 adapters and stack them together

Pete
Hmmm, by the time I've bought an SP 90, maybe the achromatic 1:1 attachment, plus the Adaptall OM and OM to 4/3 adapters I reckon I'd be in the 150 area and have a set up that is a bit of a fiddle, doesnt do AF and from what I can gather aperture control either. That would put a new(ish) Sigma 105mm back on the radar
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  #25  
Old 18th June 2009
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by michaelavis View Post
Thank you so much for the explanation. I have seen a Tamron lens that will not come with a mount so given that I don't currently have an OM to 4/3 converter, do you know if it is possible to get a adaptall adapter for Olympus 4/3 cameras - i.e. just have the one converter instead of going via the adaptall to OM to 4/3 route? I've seen an eBay item that says it is a "Tamron Adaptall lens to Olympus OM 4/3 Adapter" which is confusing me!
Yes, Chinese sourced adapters are now available on the auction site for Adaptall lenses on 4/3 bodies - and EOS bodies too. Look carefully, you can find them with AF confirmation chips.

One vendor is in Virginia Water!
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  #26  
Old 19th June 2009
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

I would highly recommend the 135mm f2.8 "Close Focus" macro OM lens manufactured by Vivitar with a OM to 4/3rd's chipped adaptor.

Regards
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  #27  
Old 19th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by petrovich View Post
I would highly recommend the 135mm f2.8 "Close Focus" macro OM lens manufactured by Vivitar with a OM to 4/3rd's chipped adaptor.

Regards
They seem pretty rare! If I come across one, or a Tamron SP 90 or a Sigma 105mm, I'd probably go for any of them I think, at the right price.
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  #28  
Old 19th June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Where to look and what to buy?

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Originally Posted by gphemy View Post
Yes, Chinese sourced adapters are now available on the auction site for Adaptall lenses on 4/3 bodies - and EOS bodies too. Look carefully, you can find them with AF confirmation chips.

One vendor is in Virginia Water!
That Virgina Water vendor is the one Ive seen, I asked them to confirm that the adapter meant the Tamrom could be mounted straight onto a 4/3rds body with no other adapter, but they didn't reply, which worried me. Their's doesn't seem to have the AF confirmation chip.
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