A Question About the Olympus 60mm macro

phigmov

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I use the AF & limiter for most of my stuff. Its not too bad but I appreciate the frustration - I often use an adapted macro so I can just focus with my body by rocking back & forth - any issues are then my fault and I don't end up cursing the camera (for locking onto the wrong thing; yes, I know S-AF ftw!) or lens (glacial speed). Still the 60 is fantastic for stuff that doesn't move - the optics themselves are great.

However, my fave macro these days is now my Pentax 100mm f2.8 - not sure what motor is in there and it racks a lot but there seems to be so much torque in there that it does it super-fast - even on older bodies like my K-7 & K-5. The limiter switch also seems much better.
 
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Well I've got to throw in my two bobs worth, but only to say how much I love every bit of it.
So much that when my first one died I instantly bought a replacement.
I don't find focus an issue. Don't get hunting. The 75-300mm is a very good hunter! :laugh:
I use it on EM5 2 & 3
 

LightSpeed

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I have no such problems with the 60mm and the E-m1x.
Focus rail and manual focus is usually recommended. I never do that though.
It's cumbersome, limiting and a pain in the ass. If the bug moves you have to set up all over again and many times, they move into crap and crud that tripod legs end up hitting
and then scaring the subject off. And then when they're down low and the tripod just can't get there. I just dislike using tripods, I guess.
Every macro shot that I posted in my short time here has been hand held using the Olympus 60mm. Under natural light with no flash or diffusers.
Which is another option that works , and works well. Not sure why you're hunting so much. Mine just doesn't do that and I hand hold everything, most of the time.
 

melanieylang

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For my normal usage (mainly wildflowers ranging in size from 5mm to 50mm), I find it an excellent lens, athough I did prefer the rendering of the PL45 macro when I had it. So, not the OP's intended case, but I enjoy a discussion about this lens as much as the next enthusiast 😉 With the 60mm, I don't have enough problems with AF hunting to be annoyed, and shoot entirely hand-held on Panasonic GX9 (preferred) or G85, usually low to the ground in daylight. Prior to these I used it mostly on an EM10 m2, and don't think it performed any better. I find the limiter switch is a great help, though I rarely shoot at 1:1, and I cannot imagine trying to track flying insects with it! :th_salute:
 

Macroramphosis

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Selling a present is awkward, maybe they won’t notice?
They won't notice - it will still be something black, on the camera, which I will keep thanking them for....every now and again I shall show them a spider and explain how wonderful it was to photograph it with the Oly60...

**cough**
 

RAH

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Focus rail and manual focus is usually recommended. I never do that though.
It's cumbersome, limiting and a pain in the ass. If the bug moves you have to set up all over again and many times, they move into crap and crud that tripod legs end up hitting
and then scaring the subject off. And then when they're down low and the tripod just can't get there. I just dislike using tripods, I guess.
Since I was the person who brought up tripods and focusing rails, I should have said I was not thinking that they should be used with moving insects! I agree - far too slow and cumbersome, especially a focusing-rail! This type of setup would be mostly for controlled conditions like product photography, flowers sometimes, I suppose, etc.
 

Macroramphosis

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I have no such problems with the 60mm and the E-m1x.
Focus rail and manual focus is usually recommended. I never do that though.
It's cumbersome, limiting and a pain in the ass. If the bug moves you have to set up all over again and many times, they move into crap and crud that tripod legs end up hitting
and then scaring the subject off. And then when they're down low and the tripod just can't get there. I just dislike using tripods, I guess.
Every macro shot that I posted in my short time here has been hand held using the Olympus 60mm. Under natural light with no flash or diffusers.
Which is another option that works , and works well. Not sure why you're hunting so much. Mine just doesn't do that and I hand hold everything, most of the time.
Thanks for the reply - I have no rail and shoot in natural light, handheld, almost all the time when trying to catch a flying insect. I just wish the Oly was as proficient as the Panny in doing so, sigh.
 

Macroramphosis

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Since I was the person who brought up tripods and focusing rails, I should have said I was not thinking that they should be used with moving insects! I agree - far too slow and cumbersome, especially a focusing-rail! This type of setup would be mostly for controlled conditions like product photography, flowers sometimes, I suppose, etc.
Indeed! Thanks for the thoughts though, much appreciated.
 

Macroramphosis

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Prior to these I used it mostly on an EM10 m2, and don't think it performed any better.
Ah, thank you for that observation, Melanie. I feel slightly reassured that an impending financial plunge into an Olympus body may not be warranted!
I find the limiter switch is a great help, though I rarely shoot at 1:1, and I cannot imagine trying to track flying insects with it! :th_salute:
The trick is to find an insect that flies not too fast, that hovers, and may come back to where you have just focused a moment ago, lol.
 

Macroramphosis

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Still the 60 is fantastic for stuff that doesn't move - the optics themselves are great.
Agreed. It takes just as good a spider pic as the P30mm, and the output is different enough that I sometimes prefer it to the P30's output. I have no problems with it in MF for a static shot, it's a simple enough beast to operate then, and the focus peaking is slightly better, too, I think.

As an aside, I took it up to the tennis court recently to see how it compared to the Sigma 60, and it was no contest in AF speed, the Sigma won that round hands down. I guess it is just slow to focus, it's as simple as that, and I just have to decide whether it's worth keeping when i could convert it into a major part of a Sigma 56, which is what I will trade it and the Sigma 60 for. But that's another story....
 

archaeopteryx

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This type of setup would be mostly for controlled conditions like product photography, flowers sometimes, I suppose, etc.
As a bit of an aside, yes, and as someone who pretty much only does insect macro when a beetle walks onto a plant I've set up on :laugh: I'm entirely tripod based. Up to 1-2x I wouldn't suggest a focusing rail, though, as a reversed nodal slide is quicker, easier, and lower cost (I've an 18 cm but 20 is probably a better choice). From about 2x up to around 10x a manual crank focusing rail is useful in placing autofocus brackets' depth of field and overlapping brackets when doing stacks of stacks. If you're patient and careful the approach could probably be used all the way to 100x with metallurgic objectives. Not sure I'd want to try stacks of stacks that way with, say, high numerical aperture oil immersions.
 
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melanieylang

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i could convert it into a major part of a Sigma 56, which is what I will trade it and the Sigma 60 for.

This year I bought the 56mm and am crazy about it. Now I'm resigned to having two lenses with practically the same focal length, which goes against my nature! I was using the Oly 60mm for a portrait lens, but the Sigma takes a sublime shot.
 

Bushboy

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Guess you’ll have to trade that 60 for a 30 now....
oh yes indeed.. haha
 

Paul Amyes

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I must say the Olympus 60mm macro is my favourite and most used lens. I mainly use it on an EM1 mk ii, but do use it on a G85 as well. The picture above of a mosquito on an Esperance King Orchid was taken using it on the EM1 mk ii along with the Olympus ST-F8 flash. This was at f8 and the DOF is still very thin. My own opinion is that it works best with the phase detect AF of my Olympus. The Panasonic DFD contrast detect with its racking back and forth can be a bit frustrating with things that move. The way I use it is use the focus limiter dial to get 1:1 and then start moving in and autofocusing. If the lens starts to hunt I just flick the dial back to 1:1 and start again.
 

BruceRH

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Agreed. It takes just as good a spider pic as the P30mm, and the output is different enough that I sometimes prefer it to the P30's output. I have no problems with it in MF for a static shot, it's a simple enough beast to operate then, and the focus peaking is slightly better, too, I think.

As an aside, I took it up to the tennis court recently to see how it compared to the Sigma 60, and it was no contest in AF speed, the Sigma won that round hands down. I guess it is just slow to focus, it's as simple as that, and I just have to decide whether it's worth keeping when i could convert it into a major part of a Sigma 56, which is what I will trade it and the Sigma 60 for. But that's another story....
Macro lenses are not made for fast focusing, they are made for fine focusing. Even a manual focusing Macro lens takes a long time to focus. The Sigma 60 and any other standard AF lens is made for fast AF so yes, it will be no contest. The Olympus 60 Macro is an excellent lens, small, light and great image quality. Take a look at FF Macro lenses, they are much bigger and most don’t have the FOV the Oly 60 has. Folks who buy those FF lenses also complain about the slow focusing, it’s the nature of the beast. Macro photography is not easy, it is a definite exercise in patience. Probably why I am not so great at it! 😂
 

LightSpeed

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Nothing wrong with the Olympus 60mm macro. Never used a panisonic but the image quality of the Olympus and sharpness is , in a word, Excellent..
I have no such issues as the OP describes. All of these were captured using Auto Focus.
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Macroramphosis

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Nothing wrong with the Olympus 60mm macro. Never used a panisonic but the image quality of the Olympus and sharpness is , in a word, Excellent..
I have no such issues as the OP describes. All of these were captured using Auto Focus.
I agree - taking photos such as these with the Olympus is not a problem :D
 

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