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Macro Getting really close

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Old 8th March 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Leitz Wetlar Photar 25mm vs Laowa 25mm at f11

Long before Laowa lenses were heard of, I built up a small collection of specialist, legacy macro lenses to, potentially, use in my everyday macro work. I tried some of these, other remaining unused. The Photar 25mm was one I had even forgotten about. I thought it would be interesting to compare it with my copy of the Laowa 25mm x2.5 to x5 in my particular working conditions (outside, no tripod).

There being little room for error with such little DOF, such a comparison can only be indicative and not definitive. I shot a lot of images with both lenses at x 2.5*and x 5* set on the Laowa and with the Photar extended to match the FOVs#. Most of these were at nominal f11, with a few at f16. Not enough f16 were good enough for meaningful comparisons. I chose the best of the f11s for posting here. * On 2x crop of m4/3 so x5 and x10 FF equivalent.# 7mm and 3.5mm.

Having looked at recent prices of the Photar, I was looking forward to selling it and carrying on with the Laowa. it was only when I had picked the best of the images and processed them that I began to feel more fond of the Photar.

Because of the short working distance (ca half that of the Laowa) I used two flash units instead of my usual three.

The images are uncropped and all treated identically for NR, sharpening, etc.

The subject is a mushroom which grows on dead wood with its gills outwards. As it grows on the underside of the host, their orientation to gravity is normal. This is the resupinate habit, the genus in this case being Resupinatus. Crust fungi have the same habit but without the gills.


This seems to be the same population:


The fruiting body is not as flat at its rim as it may seem to be, making getting all in focus quite a challenge.

My conclusion is that the Photar resolves more fine detail at the magnification and aperture combination tested.

The images are shown first at "x5" and second at "x2.5", in each case with the Photar first.

EM-1 in manual mode, twin RC TTL flash, ISO 400.


NB I missed the z out of Wetzlar, not accessible to edit.
The body is willing but the mind is weak.
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