Adapted macro options?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Jakob F., Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Hi,
    I recently got a Sigma 35-200/f4-5.6 macro zoom, and after having shot solely with primes ever since I started taking photos (february this year), it's a fun addition to my collection of adapted lenses. Specially since I got this one for free ;)

    My question is this:
    The macro function is a nice feature, but I find that it's not very sharp on this lens.
    On the other hand, I also like having the zoom, but find it hard to focus at the long end, so I was thinking of swapping it for the Panasonic 45-200 and find me a decent macro prime instead.
    What would you guys suggest?
    I've been looking at the OM 50/3.5 auto-macro, which sells at a reasonable price here in DK, but would other lenses be better?

    I'm aware that it would probably be nice to have AF on the macro as well, but I can't afford the panasonic 45mm macro -and afaik. it's the only dedicated m43 macro, right?

    Kind regards,
    Jakob
     
  2. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It actually isn't that nice to have AF on a macro. Most people end up turning it off, in favor of setting a specific macro setting and physically moving the camera closer and further from the subject to achieve correct focus. But, if you do want AF, and you don't want to shell out for the Panasonic macro, then get yourself one of the 4/3 macro lenses, plus an adapter.

    Otherwise, you can't really go wrong with a macro. Since you already have the adapter, you might as well get yourself an OM mount lens. There are many options, from the Olympus ones (the 50mm f/3.5 is a fine choice, and has the advantage that it isn't going to depreciate any more, if you're unhappy for some reason and want to sell it) to the third party such as Vivitar, Kiron, Tamron, etc.
     
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  3. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    It's not that I DO want AF, I just thought it might come in handy, since I find that getting sharp photos with the Sigma takes a bit of work. That might simply be the build of the lens, of course, or maybe just my lack of experience shooting with it. Or both.

    I like the zoom aspect, or rather that it's a 200mm macro, I like the perspective (for want of a better expression?), but can't really justify hauling a 200mm macro prime around just because I like not having to crawl on all four to do macro stuff. I know I'd never use it because of size and lack of flexibility. The Sigma is nice for it's all-in-one qualities, but lacks sharpness and ease of focus.

    Most of the OM lenses are compact and lightweight, and easy to stuff in a pocket -since I got the Sigma, I tend to keep that one mounted and have my 50/1.4 in a pocket. It's been my favourite for a long time, but you also need to get fairly close to the subject with it which is why I'd like a longish one instead. For macro, that is.

    Oh, the constant speculations on what to buy next... (I'm waiting for the 45/1.8, though I know it isn't macro -but I need something in the 50ish with AF for street photography. Manual doesn't work too well for candid portraits, at least not for me..)

    /Jakob
     
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    All macro lenses give the same perspective, given that they all have the same level of magnification (hopefully 1:1). All macro lenses zoomed to the same magnification, with the same aperture setting, all give the same angle of view, same depth of field, etc. That 35-200mm lens' macro setting is probably actually all done at 35mm, as it's easier to give macro results (a 35mm lens needs a 35mm extension, an 85mm lens needs 85mm extension, etc).

    The advantage of focal length in a macro lens is working distance. A 200mm macro lens lets you be further away from your subject while providing the same magnification.
     
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  5. VinVin

    VinVin Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Jun 7, 2010
    GTA, Canada
    Kevin
    This kinda confuses me... with the 1:1 thing... I have a lens that says it's macro but says 1:6... what does the 1:1 and 1:6 mean?
     
  6. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Hi. I bought a OM 50mm 3.5 macro with and adapter and it works really well. Sharp enough, and I have no problems with the manual focusing. A true "macro" lens is 1:1 - which means the object you see, like a coin, appears the exact same size on the film or sensor. Other ratios mean less magnification. I hope I got that right - there are a few threads about this elsewhere. I posted one titled "magnification confusion" and also I have a few test shots in the adapted image thread with this lens if you want to take a look. It needs a tripod unless your subject very well lit and still!
     
  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    1:6 means the image on your sensor will be 1/6 life size. 1:1 means life size. As you go closer the ratio reverses, 3:1 is 3 times life size.

    Manufacturers like to call relatively close focusing zoom lenses macro. 1:6 at 200mm is pretty close focusing but I wouldn't call it macro.

    If you're hand holding that lens at 200mm make sure you've adjusted the image stabilization in the the camera to match. At the closest focusing distance at 200mm hand held you will need a minimum shutter speed close to 1/1000 of a second without stabilization. Maybe as low as 1/250 with stabilization. As your magnification goes up camera movement is also magnified.

    The Pentax Macro-Takumar 50mm/4 in screw mount is very nice and usually inexpensive. You may also find an old Tamron 90mm/2.5 adaptall. The older versions are very sharp and sell for around $100 in the US.
     
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  8. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Mine says " (at 200mm) macro" and it has different numbers in yellow and white. The yellow starting with 1:3.7 and the white with 1 -see picture.

    The note concerning shutter speed was nice info. Will remember next time I play around with the macro!

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The yellow lettering is the macro magnification provided (a 3.7 inch item would appear as a 1-inch projection onto the sensor), while the white number is the classic measurement of lens focus: distance, either in meters or feet.
     
  10. Bugsi

    Bugsi New to Mu-43

    8
    Oct 5, 2011
    I can't help but wonder why, after shooting with prime lenses since February, you aren't using them for macro-duty? All you'll need is a set of extension tubes. If you want to get serious about macro photography, get a bellows. Considering the generally shallow depth of field in macro work, I'd want to stick with manual focus anyway. Since you're posting in the adapted lenses forum, I'll at least recommend what I'm using: a Canon FD to m4/3 adapter, and a Canon FL bellows. This combination works fabulously well with Canon FD lenses.

    A quick check on eBay shows that the FL bellows is commonly available and relatively affordable, as are most FD lenses, with a couple expensive exceptions. I ran some tests this past week with the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 prime lens on the bellows and actually found the magnification to be too much, trying to photograph a wristwatch. The depth of field was too short, the magnification was too high, and the working distance was too close for good lighting. But I had outstanding results with the Canon FD 200mm f/2.8 lens on the bellows, which gave useful depth of field, useful magnification (for a wristwatch, at any rate) and a nice working distance of perhaps 12" or so. This is now my macro rig of choice.

    If you can't spring for a bellows right away, a set of extension tubes is a very inexpensive way to start.
     
  11. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I'm currently looking at the OM 50mm/3.5 auto-macro for $85 so it's hardly worth it to buy extension rings or bellows -besides the fact that I could use my 85/2 of course, which would give a longer working distance. And maybe get a 100 or 135mm as well...

    The thing is, I haven't really thought much about macro photography, until I got that 200mm -but now that I've got it, I can see how it would be a fun addi(c)tion. Can't really see myself doing tripod-off-camera-flash-macro-setups though, since I like to keep it simple and handheld and something I can stuff in my pockets :)
     
  12. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    My camera's currently set to 1s when using the stabilization function -but I haven't really used it much, so I have no idea what would be ideal. Is 1s too much? Too little?
    I can see a problem with using a long period, since, if shooting handheld, I'll have plenty of time to sway back and forth before the shutter actually fires -or am I missing something?
     
  13. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    When you're on the screen where you can turn the stabilization on and off you can also set the focal length if there is a non-native lens on the camera. If there;s a native lens mounted this option is grayed out. the last setting is remembered even after swapping lenses.

    Fred
     
  14. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Yeah, I know that much, but I was under the impression that you'd have to turn on the stabilization as well, and that the focal lenght was just to tell the camera what to stabilize, when stabilization is turned on?
    I mean, after all, there are options to shoot single shot, sequence, and 12s or 2s timer -and the same with anti-shock turned on.
    And if I browse through the advanced settings, I can find a setting for the anti-shock as well, where 1/8s is the smallest and 30s the largest amount of time.
    I suppose that the time set there, affects the stabilization/anti-shock ONLY if I choose to shoot with one of the anti-shock settings and not only by setting the focal length. Am I wrong?

    Best regards,
    Jakob
     
  15. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    This is the usual sequence when firing the shutter. The shutter is open for focusing and measuring exposure. Press the shutter release and the shutter closes momentarily then opens for the exposure, closes to end the exposure and finally opens again for viewing.

    Anti-shock pauses after the shutter closes and before opening for the exposure. If you're not using a tripod I'd leave it off. The self timer is kind of substitute for a cable release when the camera is on a tripod. You're not touching the camera just before the shutter fires. If you are using a tripod shut off the stabilization.

    If you're hand holding I'd try only stabilization. No anti-shock or self timer.
     
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  16. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jul 6, 2011
    Jakob F.,

    You can try these two adapted lenses.

    1. Vivitar FD 55mm F2.8 Macro - You can get it pretty cheaply
    2. Tokina 90mm F2.5 ATX Macro (in various mounts, mine is PK)

    The 90mm on a M4/3 is 180mm, a little long, but really useful for insects and animals. The Tokina 90mm F2.5 is not easy to buy and comes up for sale a couple of times a year, usually for 300+ USD or more. It is probably the sharpest lens Tokina has ever made. I like mine soooo much, that I went out and got a film SLR Pentax K1000, and another Pentax 50mm lens just so this Tokina became my walk around kit.

    K1000, 90 Tokina ATX Macro, ISO200 - a set on Flickr
    You can check out the Tokina in the above link.

    But at the end of the day, if you are seriously seriously into macro, and you are commited to M4/3, the suggestion is to get the PL45 2.8 at some time in the future. Lenstip.com gave it top marks for sharpness.

    Bian
     
  17. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I thought that anti-shock WAS the stabilization and that setting the focal lenght didn't do anything without the anti-shock on... Apparently I'm wrong?
     
  18. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I think I'll stick with the cheapskate option for now, and get the OM 50/3.5 macro, since I've already got the adapter. Then later on, I can always shell out for the Panasonic, if I get hooked ;v)
    But thanks for the tips!
     
  19. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Anti-shock and stabilization are two separate systems. The idea of anti-shock is to let everything "settle down" after the shutter snaps shut before the exposure is made. It is somewhat analogous to mirror lock-up on an SLR.

    Stabilization actively shifts the sensor to compensate for small movements during the exposure. Having the correct focal length dialed in provides information related to how much to move the sensor.
     
  20. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Aah.. Makes sense :v)
    I've been using IS since I started shooting with adapted lenses, but when using a manual zoom, I can't change the focal lenght everytime I adjust the zoom, so for my 35-200, I leave it at 150mm and hope for the best ;v)

    Oh, and an update on the macro lens question: Just picked up a near-mint OM 50/3.5 auto-macro for €60 -first few test-shots looks very promising :v)