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12-40 only or 12-40 with the 60 macro

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ultrarad, May 23, 2014.

  1. Ultrarad

    Ultrarad Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 18, 2014
    Texas
    With the rebate on lenses currently active....I can't decide...

    EM-10 with the 12-40 pro, or the camera + pro lens + the 60 macro. I'm a jeweler/artist by trade and I really need a camera/lens combo that will give me the ultimate quality shots of my artwork. That being said, I rarely ever shoot my work 1:1 - I have no desire to see the flaws inside the stones I set...lol. I also shoot artwork on the wall and at larger scales, since I work in different mediums.

    Supposedly the 12-40 can do all of this, but I don't want to miss out on the current rebates. I'm also poor, but I'm willing to spend the money, if both lenses will complete what I need to photograph all types of work.

    Any thoughts??
     
  2. Natureman

    Natureman Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Dec 3, 2013
    The 60mm is an excellent macro and portrait lens, so you get a two for one deal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Allen Rowand
    I have and use them both. The close focus of the 12-40 is great in a pinch, but when I want macro I grab the 60.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    You will get a bit more working distance from the 60mm which will make lighting easier.
    Also, perspective will be flatter with identical object framing, again because you are farther away.
    Both have great image quality with the 60mm being optimized for close focus.
    Unless you need every last pixel for your output, i.e. large prints, both will do fine.
    The zoom is great as a general purpose lens, the 60mm also make s a nice portrait lens.
    Don't feel pushed into buying , because of the rebate. They will come again and you can always buy used.
    There are a lot of deals on the 60mm since people buy it thinking they really want to do macro, but get disillusioned by the shallow depth of field.
    Most good macro shots are taken on a tripod, with a macro rail with flash illumination, not walking up to that little insect in the semi-dark thinking IBIS will make it all good.
    Rudy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ultrarad

    Ultrarad Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 18, 2014
    Texas
    From what I've seen of the 60mm macro, depth of field is extremely shallow. I, personally, prefer to shoot my work from further back, zoom, and get better focus from front to rear. Usually this is only a problem when shooting necklaces or pieces that trail off into the edge of the setup. I know that I can up the f-stop, but that leads to diffraction....and my older Olympus E-510 had issues with that. I suppose that's why I started looking at the 12-40, I can get back, zoom if I have to and shoot.

    I also want to note that 90% of the time....I'm working on a tripod. For those rare occurrences I go outside to shoot, i never use a long telephoto....my 40-150 kit lens (from my E-510) has never been used...this makes me wonder if I will use the longer/portrait end of the 60mm lens. See my predicament?

    Also, the 12-40 seems a tad large for the EM-10 - even though I will be purchasing the handgrip. I don't mind the size if the lens can do everything I want, however.

    So many choices....too many decisions. Hehe...
     
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The 12-40 does well for close focus - you can basically fill the frame with the BLN-1 battery. The downside is that you end up very close to the subject, which can make lighting tricky. The 60/2.8 gives you a lot more working distance for that kind of magnification. That said, for macro, I'd recommend a third option - a secondhand Nikon 55/3.5 manual focus lens and an adapter. It's a easier to set the focus exactly where you want it on a manual lens, and at the apertures you're working at, the differences in image quality will be negligible. Plus lens and adapter won't cost more than $60.

    Of course if you plan to get the 60/2.8 for some other purpose eventually, then that's a difference story, but for jewelry and art, it's certainly not a necessity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    641
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    I doubt you would regret buying the 60 macro. It is a lovely little lens.

    For your specialist application, I suggest focus stacking. I have developed a special fast method. You set f/8 for optimal performance, M mode, fixed ISO, shutter speed as needed, manual focus, and Low speed sequential. Now practice smoothly rotating the focus from behind to in front of the whole thing you are photographing. Now hold down the shutter release while rotating the focus slowly. You now have perhaps 25 photos. Put them in a stacking program and you will have a perfectly sharp photo of the necklace, with no depth of field problem.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I love the 60, but they appear on the refurbised pages often enough that I would not feel that pressued to buy. There is no guarantee of future availability, but there are enough options available to you that I would not feel pressured if you are currently on the fence. Refurbished 12-40's, on the other hand, seem to be fewer and farther between.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ultrarad

    Ultrarad Mu-43 Regular

    26
    May 18, 2014
    Texas
    I'm definitely going to try out focus stacking in the next few weeks - sounds like a wonderful way to get everything totally in focus. The EM-10's ability to select focus with the point of a finger will hopefully help, as well. I'm REALLY excited about getting a new camera....teehee