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Are you able to focus using a cheap u4/3 macro tube set?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by icase81, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    Rather than pony up for a real macro lens which I'll only use on occasion for jollies, I was thinking of either buying the Oly MCON-P01 or a set of macro tubes on eBay. The macrotubes are appealing because they'll 'work' with all my lenses, including the 40-150, but I'm questioning how to focus if theres no electrical connection to the lens since the lenses I have (14-42, 40-150 and 17mm) are all focus by wire.

    Short of buying to of the u4/3 autofocus chips and soldering all 9 or however many wires there are between them so it completes the circuits, is it still possible to focus manually?

    Or in the end should I just spend the $50 on the MCON-P01?
    Olympus - MCON-P01 Macro Converter

    I'm assuming optically its at least 2 steps above the random garbage on Amazon and eBay being its from Oly themselves. Any suggestions?
     
  2. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    You don't need autofocus for macro work. It mostly gets in the way. Manual focus works all the time.
     
  3. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    Right, but on a focus by wire setup (which these are), if theres no power going to the lens, how do you focus it?
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Macro alternative

    For about the same budget you can buy a used legacy macro lens and an adapter to mount it on a ยต4/3 camera. There are many good ones available, like the Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5 which I own and the Olympus/Canon/Minolta/Pentax/... equivalents. You can find both the lens and the adapter at eBay. This should set you back anywhere between $50 and $100, depending on your patience to wait for the right deal, and you'd have a really excellent macro setup that way.

    It's best to get a lens first and then order the corresponding adapter from a supplier in Hong Kong, China or Singapore.
     
  5. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    I have an OM adapter and a 28mm f2.8 OM lens already, as well as a garbage 75-150mm OM lens.
     
  6. Otto

    Otto Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Apr 9, 2010
    Texas, USA
    If I'm not mistaken, you would focus by moving toward, or away from, your subject.

    Just a guess.
    Otto...
     
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    In that case try to get an Olympus OM macro 50/3.5. I don't know how expensive they are; if you can't get one below $100, you'd be better off trying to get an other brand's 50mm macro and buy a matching adapter as well. Remember, any of the major brand 50mm macro's, even old ones, are invariably excellent lenses, it's not easy to go wrong with them.

    Edit: speaking of old macro lenses, this one is as sharp as it gets on my cameras.
    1167913590_vJgw4-M.
     
  8. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    538
    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    X2

    One of my favorite lenses
     
  9. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    My dad may actually have a 50mm OM lens already. I just need to check if its a macro or not.
     
  10. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Manually, of course. That's why you don't need autofocus for macro. No autofocus, no need for wires.
     
  11. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    with a conversion like the oly one, it is only design for a 37mm thread. I use a canon 500D close up lens with a 58mm thread, and have 58mm to 52mm step up ring for it. And the AF is spot on when I use a small AF point.

    The problem with tubes is you will have to alway need 2 hands unmount and remount the tube, it can be a pain to use for handheld close ups. It also increasing he chance of dropping the lens or body. Here are some example for a simple an light weight system. The 500D will work on the 40-150. But with the short lens the the 4 diopter 250D would work better. Step up rings are pretty cheap on ebay. The 500D comes in 52mm, 58mm, 72mm and 77mm.

    https://www.mu-43.com/f38/macro-option-epl-1-panny-45-200-a-7106/
     
  12. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    You miss the point. You can't manually focus these lenses unless there is power to them. There is no gear in them that focuses them. You turn the ring, the ring tells the body its being turned, which then the body tells the lens to move the focus.
     
  13. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    yup if the ebay tubes do not have electrical contacts. You will not be able to focus. And I think you might be stuck at the widest aperture also. So you will have allot of dof issues.

    And some of the cheapo tubes have light leaking issues also. Especially if they are plastic.
     
  14. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I'm pretty sure it's you who are missing the point here - perhaps stopping to listen to what people here are trying to tell you would be more beneficial than arguing. You've been getting lots of good advice in this thread. You can focus any lens by physically moving it farther or closer to the object you're trying to photograph... It's called "focusing with your feet". People took macro photographs long before the application of electricity to cameras.
     
  15. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    MFD needs to be taken into account. As sometimes focus with your feet will present an issue. You might move in to close and shadow your subject.
     
  16. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Can't say I've ever had that issue. I even shoot macro using enlarger lenses at the end of extension tubes with great success. No wires, no focus ring. Works perfectly. Takes some patience, but macro is all about patience.
     
  17. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    I have had that problem with shadows. Especially with subjects that can decide to up and leave. Sometime patience will not get you the shot, where a faster setup will. There are valid pros and cons about both methods. But mf focus is not always need with modern AF and lens. They do spot on jobs for hand held things like this, as this little guy flew away right after I took the shot.
     
  18. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Never said AF is bad for macro. Just said AF isn't needed for macro. I can get an equally fast or faster shot without having to focus my lens at all by simply moving the camera in and out to focus, so speed isn't an issue. I've used AF for macro, and my manual technique has proven faster and more precise every time. To each their own. Simply trying to answer the OPs question about focusing using extension tubes. My point stands.

    This little guy flew was hauling to get out of this flower, and flew away shortly after I took this shot.

    4642412281_13de8cf977_b_d.

    Out.
     
  19. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    Like I said modern AF will work just as good and even better in some cases then mf and focus by feet. And you do have shadow issues as you get close to your subject. Especially if you are not shooting back lite. It comes down to what your preferred.
     
  20. icase81

    icase81 Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Feb 22, 2011
    Philly, PA
    Why are you trying to talk down to me? You're not reading MY question properly. Unless there is power applied to the u4/3 lenses, you absolutely can not focus them manual or otherwise, short of moving yourself/the body of the camera. Telling me to manually focus the lens is like you asking me how to start your automatic car if the battery is dead, and I tell you to just pop start it. It physically can't be done. See what in saying here? The only way to focus the kit lens or the 40-150 is by turning the autofocus motor. No power means no focus ability. I'm also very open to other suggestions which is why I noted I do have a OM adapter and possible access to an Oly 50mm lens but I'm not yet sure if it is of the macro variety.

    So again, before belittling me, try grasping the entirty of the question being asked instead of assuming I'm stupid and thought that the only way to focus a lens was with electric since the beginning of time.