Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!

Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Site news and information > Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads

Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads A new e-Group area for all the wonderful tutorials and helpful threads put on here by our members. Tutorials on using software, camera hardware - and feel free to request a tutorial if you need assistance!

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 10th September 2013
timmypreston's Avatar
timmypreston timmypreston is offline
Full member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the sticks
Posts: 1,673
Thanks: 148
Thanked 249 Times in 219 Posts
Likes: 40
Liked 260 Times in 121 Posts
Macro photography using the 70-300 with EC14 and 35mm

I have been asked a lot recently about my Macro shots so it thought I would devise this thread. I am no expert, its just what I do to get my shots.

These are all hand held. I have tried tripods and monopods but by the time I get into position or have set up the tripod the subjects have gone.

The pictures in this thread are taken with two different lenses, the 70-300 with an EC14 on an E400 and the others with a 35mm on a E420.

Both lenses have their advantages/disadvantages. The 70-300 with the EC14 is a superb lens for longer distance bugs and can produce a very good macro image from 15-20 feet away.

Four Spot Chaser Albrighton 16072013 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

It is also a very versatile set up for many situations. I have had great success with the combo on Motorsport, Wildlife, Flora, Aviation and Birding. The disadvantage on Macro is that you are almost always shooting at full focal length so camera shake is unavoidable. If you incorporate this with the slightest of breeze or a tiny movement by the subject you are going to lose detail. Cropping will be required though and you will never get the same detail as the 35mm. I only use this combo on the sunniest of days with no breeze for Macro work.

The 35mm is undoubtedly the best lens I have bought and it gets masses of use, not just for Macro but I have used it for portraiture, landscapes and slower shutter motorsport with excellent results. This is the lens I would recommend if you are looking to do out and out macro work. I wouldn’t use a working distance of any more than 24-30 inches though. The results astound me and it has given me a whole new appreciation of smaller wildlife. I have a new found love for Wasps because they are such fascinating subjects and I will quite happily let them wander over my hand now. Some say the working distance is poor but I have never had an issue personally. The disadvantage would have to be the focal field you have to work with, it is very narrow.


Common Wasp Dothill Pool 07082013 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

However it does widen the further away from your subject that you are. Just no room for error when in tight.

Peacock Butterflies feed in glorious sunshine Explored! by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

Top Tips though;
If it’s windy don’t bother. I never even attempt Macro now if there is a minimal breeze. When you are working with tiny subjects the slightest movement is huge in comparison to their body size.

Stability, don’t move, sway or shake. This was the hardest thing for me to master. Even consider your breathing. I find I am more stable whilst exhaling than I am inhaling. It seems trivial but it made a big difference to my final results.

Flash, I use it quite a lot. I seem to get better results. Just be aware of glare on things like Ladybirds, snails or beetles.

Know your subject. Watch what they do for a while, let them get used to your presence. Don’t dive in straight away and always approach with your camera always to your eye, pre-raised. I used to get near then raise the camera, I spooked so many butterflies and dragonflies doing this. Watch your camera strap too, that jiggling around spooks subjects easily.

When you find a bug take a few pictures not just one I always take half a dozen of each subject. A front or side view always seems to be more interesting than one from above but that is my opinion.

Watch your shadow, never cast a shadow on your subject, it will flee. Butterflies particularly.

You don’t have to get right on top of things though, the image quality is that good from the 35mm you can crop quite heavily.


Toad in the Grass 2 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

Toad in the Grass 3 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

Large White Butterfly Shawbury Heath 30072013 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

Large White Butterfly close Shawbury Heath 30072013 by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

With regard to manual or autofocus it very much depends on how I am feeling on that day. I probably use AF more.

Hope this helps some. The movement issue was the biggest single issue for me.

Reply With Quote
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to timmypreston For This Useful Post:
Anne (10th September 2013), ashtonsd (8th October 2013), cinders (12th September 2013), cliff (10th September 2013), George Dorn (7th October 2013), Ian (12th September 2013), Melaka (11th September 2013), Phill D (11th September 2013), rsh1960 (11th September 2013)
The Following User Liked This Post:
Pierre L (22nd November 2014)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teleconverters (EC14),E5, 70-300m and bird photography dkayuk Converters, adapters and extension tubes 6 13th May 2013 09:45 PM
For sale Or Trade Olympus 35mm macro and OM 50mm Macro + Adaptors + Tubes mini0ne For sale or wanted small ads 3 23rd November 2012 01:13 PM
35mm macro vs 70-300mm + EC14. timmypreston Standard zoom and mid range 6 15th June 2012 12:26 PM
If I have the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens, is the Olympus 35mm macro redundant? dkayuk Lens focus 5 15th March 2009 07:59 PM
Macro Photography - E-510 with 35mm F3.5 Macro Lens Ray Shotter Foto Fair 13 23rd February 2008 11:43 PM

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:13 AM.

The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2019, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger