Advice: lens for hand held macro

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tm3, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    i really like these flower shots

    Macro Photography With The Sigma 85mm f/1.4

    and i especially like the convenience of being able to do it sans tripod.

    what native (or adapted) mft lens, extension tube, etc. would yield comparable results?
  2. jime

    jime Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    Jonestown Texas
    I've had great results with a Kiron 105 macro. It worked good on a G5 but better on the 5 axis Em5. With the Em5 I can get down to 1:1.5 but have problems trying to get 1:1. Bought my Kiron on eBay for $250.
  3. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John M
    Here's one with the 45mm 1.8 and Meike tubes @ F2.

  4. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    isn't the kiron f2.8? f2.8 yields the kind of bokeh the author is getting with the 1.4?

    nice shot with the 45.

    i thought that the nikon 50/1.2 or even a 50/1.4 might be a good option (100mm equivalent on m43) but want to stick to what has worked for others.
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    Are you using a body with IS? You may need some assistance if you want to shoot macros handheld, especially if you do not have decent lighting. If your body does not have IS, consider the Pany 45mm macro.

  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    BTW, I'm currently selling one here in the Buy and Sell Forum for slightly less than this. I happen to have two of them, and only need one.
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    F/2.8 DOF in m4/3rd's is about the same as f/5.6 in FF.

  8. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    Madison, WI
    Check out the Kiron 105mm f/2.8 Macro image thread and see for yourself! At 105mm focal length and macro/close focusing distances, it's not hard to get lovely bokeh at higher apertures.
  9. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    why not the Olympus 60/2.8 Macro. I handheld most shots with it and it delivers great results
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Those aren't anywhere near true macro. The 12-35/2.8 will easily close focus well enough for that kind of field of view.

    If you want true macro, the 45/2.8 is great.
  11. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    Dublin, Ireland
    yup, I'm really happy with the Olympus 60/2.8.
    I'm only shooting handheld. Had the Nikon 105mmVR before (when shooting on Nikon), which was much bigger and heavier.
    The weight did help with steadier shots, but I ended up leaving it at home a lot because it was too heavy to carry around "just in case"... The Olympus 60mm is with me all the time...

    Untitled by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    broken dandelion by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    Amaryllis by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    walking stick by tilman paulin, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  12. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    The oly or Kirin or other macro lens might be the ticket. I just really like the look of the photos in the article and the author says

    "To be honest I have to say I was astonished at the results. Hedgerow flowers this small are extremely hard to separate out from their surroundings with conventional macro lenses. This is where the Sigma’s super wide apertures make a massive impact. With extension rings the effect is even better. There on the viewfinder were perfect flowers emerging from silky smooth greens. It would have taken a long and frustrating time to get this quality result with any conventional macro lens, routed to the spot."
  13. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    OK i've done some further research and looked at a lot of examples.

    i think that i should not say "macro" because as tc says the shots in the article are not true macro. the trick is isolating the flower from a very blurry background. if the background is far away from the subject, one can get blur even with a relatively small aperture. the question is, with m4/3, what max aperture is really needed to be able to get this effect with some degree of consistency ie not just in certain circumstances when the background can be located pretty far from the subject?

    intuitively i would think one of the voigtlanders lenses with the 0.95 aperture, equivalent to 1.9 in FF, might be the best choice. but i've also been told that the 75/1.8 oly, 45/1.8 (?oly), 25/1.4 pana would be good choices, as well as the other lenses mentioned in this thread.

    any advice on how to narrow this down or other factors to consider would be much appreciated. for example, with the voigtlander the same aperture can be had with either 25mm or 42.5mm. the 25mm is smaller and lighter, but is there another advantage to the 42.5 besides being able to be farther from the subject? would the 1.4 of the pana 25mm be "close enough" compared to the voigtlander 25 that the lower price and AF would tip the scales to it?
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    If you want the shallowest depth of field at any particular magnification ratio then you want the largest aperture you can get. Depth of field is determined by image size and aperture. At the same image size and aperture it doesn't matter what the focal length is. The distance to your subject will change to keep the same image size.

    To get similar results to the referenced web page you want the fastest auto-focus lens you can get with extension tubes. Right now that would be the Panasonic 25/1.4. There are some third party coupled extension tubes on the market. Just search Amazon or EBay. The 25 with an extension tube may give you too much magnification. The 45/1.8 or 75/1.8 will give you nearly the same shallow depth with a less magnification.


    Edited to add:
    While auto-focus can be convenient in close-up work it's not necessary. As some of the previous post say there are a lot of 50-100mm macro lenses you can use with adapters. A macro lens will also allow continuous focusing from infinity to it's closest distance. That's something you don't get with extension tubes. There aren't many legacy lenses faster than f/2.8. The old Olympus OM 90/2 macro is outstanding and expensive. The 4/3 system 50/2 macro is, according to people who measure such things, one of the sharpest lenses ever manufactured. With an adapter it will work with m3/4 cameras although auto-focus will be slow... unless you get a new E-M1.
  15. craftysnapper

    craftysnapper Mu-43 Regular

    As has already been said they are not macro but close-up images.

    I find this amusing as most of the images have sky in the background and none of them a busy hedgerow.:smile:

    You can get similar images to those with the kit m40-150mm.

    Sweet Peas by The Craftysnapper, on Flickr

    Peacock Butterfly by The Craftysnapper, on Flickr

    Sweet Peas by The Craftysnapper, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 2
  16. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    thanks very much for the additional comments!

    paul, those are great shots but isn't your background very far away thus blurred even at an aperture of 4 or 5.6 or whatever? from my limited experience trying to shoot flowers i have found it challenging to isolate the subject so that all of the background is far off and thus blurry (there are often other flowers in the way, stems, etc.).

    fred i agree with your comment about AF, and the author also concurs as he says that he shoots bursts and then picks the one that is in focus.

    if f1.4 or 1.8 is not going to give much practical difference as opposed to the f0.95, the choice can be based on other factors such as what else the lens might be handy for. in fact if 1.8 is "good enough" for the DOF just getting the macro lens and not having to use extension tubes seems like a good choice.
  17. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    I have a Vivitar 55/2.8 macro with adapter on the Buy/Sell forum that might just be the ticket:

    I'm an avid macro shooter having shot with the ZD50/2.0 and ZD35/3.5 macro for 4/3. I still have an E-1 with the ZD35/3.5 macro and it's a joy to use, unfortunately, it's a behemoth, especially with a grip.

    I tend to supplement most of my macro shots with a ring light to ensure that my exposure is optimized. With that said, the heft of the 55/2.8 helps with stabilization - I just hold the lens with my left hand and my EPM1 just hangs off of it.

    I'm trading the Vivitar 55/2.8 it for an EP1, but could be convinced to sell it outright.

    BTW, this is one of my favorite shots from my ZD35/3.5 macro (handheld, no ring light):

  18. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I think your problems might be with the adapter, because that lens should get to 1:1 fine, unless there is a problem with the lens itself. What mount is it?

    When you say "the author" are you referring to the article which the OP posted a link to? :Macro Photography With The Sigma 85mm f/1.4
    If so, the answer would be a Yes, because remember, f number increases when extension tubes are used.
    Also that photo example on that page is marked "Sigma 85mm f/1.4 with a full rack of extension rings".
    I have no idea on what the exact measurement of a full rack is, but it can make that lens a 2.8 or higher.

    I have Kiron made f/2.8 1:1 macro lens (which is the same lens that flipmack is selling) and can get a razor thin DOF.
    I do not know if the bokeh is desirable or not to others.
    example: Click to enlarge
    I call this .. "Say Cheese"

    Pardon the uninteresting subject, it was the 1st thing I photographed when my Lens arrived , just after I opened up the package.