Best adapted prime macro lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rklepper, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    So I really want to try some macro and want an adapted prime lens. What would be the best option? I have a GX7 at present.
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Well, I unfortunately cannot give you the "Best" out there, only the best that I have used.

    I've had the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 for years in Nikon mount. Served well as a macro and portrait lens.

    Recently tinkered with it on the Olympus OMD EM1 with a Fotodiox adapter employing the focus peaking. I like the results so far. Its got a good, precise focus ring. I've not used it enough adapted to say if it is worth getting solely for an m43 camera. Still experimenting. Got mine for $325.

    Just wanted to update to say that the version i have is the newer 1:1 type, not the adaptall.
     
  3. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    256
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    I've just received a Vivitar 55mm f2.8 macro in Minolta mount, see http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_951.html for info. This one goes to 1:1 without an additional adapter. Haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet (I also have a GX7) but it seems pretty good, and isn't huge.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    "Best" not sure...

    But the Tamron 90mm should be on that short list.

    Later versions of the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 will get you 1:1. I personally prefer the earlier Adaptall Tamron 90mm f/2.5 which gets you 1:2 and the 2x adapter which gets you to 180mm and 1:1 magnification.

    These were taken with a Panasonic G1 with Tamron 90mm f/2.5 and appropriate flash. The last one (lily flower) was actually taken with a Samsung Pentax *ist rebranded DSLR. Its a versatile lens with one of the smoothest bokeh in my collection. I have more but I would need to dig them up and upload.

    6928604391_c4dc6c6337_b.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I've enjoyed using the f2.8 Nikon 55mm AIS and f3.5 Olympus OM 50mm lenses. These go to 1:2 but you can get rings to take them to 1:1 (I use the PK-13 on the Nikon).

    The Kiron 105mm is pretty stellar and goes to 1:1. It comes in many mounts and is sometimes seen as the Lester-Dine - I've got an OM one I picked up from a fellow forum-member. I suspect a Nikon or Canon 105 would be just as good if you need the reach or want 1:1.

    I haven't used these as much since getting the Oly 60mm. I still use them on my film cameras or in the Nikons case, my D700.
     
  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I've got a Pentax SMC 50mm Macro... Its center sharpness is close to my 4/3 Olympus 35mm Macro.

    The Oly 35 can be found cheaply, btw, but the 4/3 - mu43 adapters aren't very cheap.

    Barry
     
  7. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    +1 for the 4/3 Olympus 35mm Macro.

    I also have a Vivitar 90mm Macro in Konica mount. Nice lens. 90mm means the working distance is further away which can be a good thing, but it took me a while to anticipate my framing. At first, I was always having to take a step backwards. Some of these old 90's/100's are also pretty heavy. So, the weight and the focal length combined can really make hand-holding challenging. At least you have IBIS with your GX7.

    90mm Vivitar Macro:

    7976763177_3fccd46b64_o.
     
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  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Wolf Spider?
     
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    My 4:3rdsSigma 105/2.8 is a very fine lens and an easy adapt. Manual focus is best. My favorite though is the Zuiko 135/4.5 on the auto extension tubes. Also can mount the 80mm with the 180 closeup lens.
     
  10. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Don't think so... although there was a whole PACK of them in the back garden!
     
  11. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    In my personal experience, the 80s Sigma 90mm/2.8 MF macro is an outstanding lens that can out resolve a GX1's sensor. Only goes to 1:2 though. Extremely light and compact though.

    I also have the Vivitar 55/2.8, and I like it as well. It's not as great optically, but it has a more convenient focal length and goes to 1:1 without adapters, and is still quite light and compact. Also renders quite nicely as a portrait lens wide open.
     
  12. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Why does it have to be an adapted lens? The O60 is a sick macro lens. A little long (physically) but extremely light weight. It can also serve as a pretty decent portrait lens to boot.
     
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I would love to have the O60, but considering I was able to get both my macro lenses for a total of $160, I don't feel too left out. Given how much you end up using MF for macro, a native lens is nice but less essential than in other cases.
     
  14. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    PS> In macro photography, your lighting is often just (if not more) important the lens choice.....
     
  15. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Ah ok. Makes sense.
     
  16. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    [h=2][/h]
    Because I am not sure I want to spend that kind of money and then find out I either don't like macro or that I suck at it. ​



     
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I also have a Vivitar 55mm in SR mount (Minolta), and while it is a great lens, I don't see myself doing enough macro to justify it. So it is up for sale. (shameless bump).
     
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    My personal experience is that Macro doesn't really demand the latest native lens. Unless you are shooting in very dynamic situations, AF actually works against you. As the focal plane is adjusted, you are also changing magnification which also changes the way the final image and how it deviates from what you initial perceived. In other words, you focus by shifting the camera+lens forward and backward rather than moving the elements inside the lens. Many macro photographers rely on focus rails for critical focus. As I mentioned before, lighting is also very important... typical apertures are relatively small than "normal" photography. It is not uncommon to see f/11. DOF is something you need to work into your favor (focus stacking too).

    The following was shot with a wider aperture (f/5.6 IIRC). Notice how shallow the DOF. Macro is often one thing in which shallow DOF works against you

    8255843309_34ac10f138_b.

    btw... That was with a Takumar 100mm (M42 mount) lens. Also a good one but doesn't obtain 1:1. Camera was an EPL-1.

    Along with shooting at smaller apertures the most creative aspect (and contributes the final quality) is the lighting. You need ALOT of light. The light itself is such an important aspect of macro photography that I would argue its even more important that the lens itself.


    The only "other" macro lens that begs to be mentioned is the outstanding MP-E65 with its 5x magnification. This is an extremely difficult lens to work but it is one that experienced macro Canon shooters strive to master. IT too is manual focus... again... most actually don't want it to AF.
     
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  19. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Very true. The chief advantage of a native lens for me is auto-aperture. Sometimes I need to shoot at f/8 or f/11 for depth of field. Although my EVF "gains up", it's certainly better for focusing when the aperture is wide open. If you're working slowly on a tripod, it's no problem focusing wide open then stopping down before tripping the shutter, but more challenging when trying to work quickly. And sometimes when working with a manual lens I've forgotten to stop down! Doh!

    Also, I don't just use my macro lens for macro. I would have to say that, MOST often, it's for "close" work rather than true macro. And sometimes just because it's the right focal length (I do love the perspective of the native 45mm -- it seems "just right" to me). In most non-macro situations, I tend to use AF.
     
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  20. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Very true.

    The Adaptall Tamron 90mm has a Kmount on it and I use an adapter that can quickly open and close the aperture diaphragm. The Takumar 100mm also a switch to do the same. It became natural BUT I forgot to mention it... Thanks for bringing it up....