Dilemma... need help!

CD77

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I've managed to cobble together a small chunk of money that I'm looking to invest in some new glass.

There are 3 gaps in my lens line up that I am looking to fill:
• A dedicated macro lens (I've been working with a raynox 250 and some macro tubes so far)
• An ultra wide or fisheye
• A long telephoto, 300mm ideally (my current longest lens is a P45-175)

So, here is my dilemma... £300-ish doesn't get you a lot of glass.

Starting with the macro, this would ideally be the O60 f2.8, but this would blow my entire budget! Is it worth compromising by getting a manual focus macro lens (7artisans or an adapted lens... suggestions are welcome) in order to leave some funds for another lens?

If I do compromise on the macro, what is everyones take on whether a fisheye or a telephoto would get more use... I do a bit of everything from street to natural history and landscapes to macro, but I'm looking for your experiences!

For the fisheye, I'm looking at the Samyang 7.5mm f3.5, which is going for about £150, but I might be willing to compromise on this if one of the cheaper fisheyes looks good enough... I need to be convinced they are.

Then we have the telephoto... I've been looking at adapting a vintage 300mm telephoto prime to see if I like the focal length, primarily for nature work (birds, bees and other critters), there's a few 300mm F4 lenses that look interesting that are going for ~£100. I've also looked at adapting the 4/3 O70-300mm which, with an electronic adapter, would come to about £180. There is also the option of blowing my full budget on a M43 O70-300mm or P100-300mm.

I am very tempted to go all in on one lens (either macro or telephoto) and wait for the others, but I'm also open to compromising to get 2 or even all 3 if there are alternative lenses in the price range of sufficient quality to fill these gaps.

All help, advice and input is welcome.

Thanks,
Chris.
 

Erich_H

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7Artisans f:2.8/7.5 mm @ ~ US$ 130!
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Then I'd go for an adapted macro lens.

And, being me, an old vintage 400 mm. Look for a Novoflex! Don't have one, yet. But the pistol grip focusing rocks!

Being me, I just blew my food money on a Kine Exakta with yet another Tessar. Novoflex can wait!
 
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djtaylor7

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Do you have an OM-D E-M1 with PDAF? That would make the option of the four thirds O70-300mm with adapter more attractive, and you could pair it with a four thirds O35mm f3.5 macro lens. I have the latter and it works well on my E-M1 with adapter.
You do have someone selling a O70-300 on eBay at the moment in the UK. Don't know how much it will go for. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Olympus-...589970?hash=item3b48270fd2:g:lL8AAOSwDcNe1BAT
 

junkyardsparkle

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Starting with the macro, this would ideally be the O60 f2.8, but this would blow my entire budget! Is it worth compromising by getting a manual focus macro lens (7artisans or an adapted lens... suggestions are welcome) in order to leave some funds for another lens?
This probably depends a lot on exactly what your dissatisfactions with your current Raynox-based macro capabilities are. The Raynox on an ~150mm lens will get you more magnification at a longer working distance. If you're not happy with image quality, you should make sure the issues are ones which would be solved by a macro lens, and not ones inherent to macro itself (shallow DOF, difficulty supplying good light, etc). A couple of reasons you might want the Oly 60mm vs the 7artisans (aside from overall image quality, which I can't directly compare): while autofocus isn't too important for (true ~1:1) macro, if you plan on trying to take pictures of live subjects in dark places using flash, auto-aperture can be very nice to have, allowing you to focus wide-open regardless of aperture setting for the shot.

If you want to get low-angle "portrait" type shots of bugs on the ground, walls, or other larger flat surfaces, the relatively small front diameter of the Oly (~50mm) will let you get the lens axis closer to that surface than the 66mm diameter of the 7artisans (or most other legacy macro lenses). For that use case, you want the best combination of small diameter and long working distance you can get (I can get lower angle at 1:1 with the (threaded in) Raynox on my OM Zuiko 135mm than with the Oly 60, for example). Don't get me wrong, the Oly 60 is a great lens... you just want to make sure it will actually be a solution to the problems you have before blowing the budget on it. :D
 
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CD77

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Do you have an OM-D E-M1 with PDAF? That would make the option of the four thirds O70-300mm with adapter more attractive, and you could pair it with a four thirds O35mm f3.5 macro lens. I have the latter and it works well on my E-M1 with adapter.
You do have someone selling a O70-300 on eBay at the moment in the UK. Don't know how much it will go for. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Olympus-...589970?hash=item3b48270fd2:g:lL8AAOSwDcNe1BAT
I forgot to mention camera body... unfortunately no EM1, only an EM10ii so no PDAF. I thought the 4/3 O70-300 was ok on CDAF bodies???
 

3dpan

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I forgot to mention camera body... unfortunately no EM1, only an EM10ii so no PDAF. I thought the 4/3 O70-300 was ok on CDAF bodies???

The 4/3 70-300mm works on my E-M5 II, but auto-focus is a bit sluggish. That lens does have the advantage of 1:2 macro at the long end, but it's a relatively heavy lens, especially compared with the m.zuiko 75-300mm.

My recommendation is the m.zuiko 75-300mm II. It's an amazing lens at an amazing price. I bought mine, mintish 2nd-hand for $285 US. (I actually bought two for stereo at that price, separate sellers, but that's another story).
It will blow most of your budget but I don't think you will regret it. It has very good reach, snaps into focus, and excellent IQ. Check the Showcase on this site.

Fisheye is a specialty lens. As mentioned by @Erich_H above, the 7-artisans is probably the best value for money. UWA and fisheye don't exist in Legacy lenses unless you're filthy rich.

For macro, there is a huge range to choose from, legacy or native. I suggest you search other recent threads on this site to save repeating it all.
Cheers,
 

kinlau

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A good 300/4 plus extension tubes will get you tele and macro. My Canon EF 300/4 (not in your budget) goes to 1/2 life size without tubes.
 

3dpan

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I would just go for the oly 60mm macro and get one lens you will be happy with.
Get others at a later date when the funds are available.
For me every time I compromise [within reason] I regret it later

I borrowed the m.zuiko 60mm macro for a while. It is a lovely lens, especially when used with the focus stacking feature on my E-M5 II, (don't know if the E-M10 II has that feature).
For the OP's usage, it would do all the macro he could imagine.
And landscapes could be managed by stitching a couple of frames as a panorama.
And probably even sharp enough to crop as a telephoto.

Why didn't I think of that before, I should put the 60mm macro back on my shopping list, especially as the prices seem more affordable.
 

11GTCS

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Yeah, to me the 60 macro is one of the best lenses in this system. You can get close with super long lenses, but even at that point you’re still only half life size, and this light weathersealed little autofocus lens goes 1:1! I have one that I use with an E-M10ii and it is awesome. Probably one of my most used lenses! Does perfectly usable landscapes and portrait work too. I’d jump on the O60 and just save for now, the other hopes will get filled later. Every once in a while they come for a song as well. And the nifty telescoping hood is one of the better ones in MFT. Some sample shots from the past few weeks
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CD77

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7Artisans f:2.8/7.5 mm @ ~ US$ 130!
View attachment 826780
Then I'd go for an adapted macro lens.

And, being me, an old vintage 400 mm. Look for a Novoflex! Don't have one, yet. But the pistol grip focusing rocks!

Being me, I just blew my food money on a Kine Exakta with yet another Tessar. Novoflex can wait!
I'm definitely open to suggestions on the fisheye lens (in fact any of the lenses that I am look to get)... the 7artisans fisheye is one that I considered, but I read that the Samyang is a step up in terms of image quality, I wonder if anyone has had both and can provide a comparison???
 

CD77

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I borrowed the m.zuiko 60mm macro for a while. It is a lovely lens, especially when used with the focus stacking feature on my E-M5 II, (don't know if the E-M10 II has that feature).
For the OP's usage, it would do all the macro he could imagine.
And landscapes could be managed by stitching a couple of frames as a panorama.
And probably even sharp enough to crop as a telephoto.

Why didn't I think of that before, I should put the 60mm macro back on my shopping list, especially as the prices seem more affordable.
The EM10ii does have focus stacking (not in camera) and it is for this reason that I'd prefer an AF macro lens rather than a manual. The O60 looks such a good lens, and it is at a focal length that I don't have covered in a native prime so it would probably have uses other than macro.
 

CD77

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This probably depends a lot on exactly what your dissatisfactions with your current Raynox-based macro capabilities are. The Raynox on an ~150mm lens will get you more magnification at a longer working distance. If you're not happy with image quality, you should make sure the issues are ones which would be solved by a macro lens, and not ones inherent to macro itself (shallow DOF, difficulty supplying good light, etc). A couple of reasons you might want the Oly 60mm vs the 7artisans (aside from overall image quality, which I can't directly compare): while autofocus isn't too important for (true ~1:1) macro, if you plan on trying to take pictures of live subjects in dark places using flash, auto-aperture can be very nice to have, allowing you to focus wide-open regardless of aperture setting for the shot.

If you want to get low-angle "portrait" type shots of bugs on the ground, walls, or other larger flat surfaces, the relatively small front diameter of the Oly (~50mm) will let you get the lens axis closer to that surface than the 66mm diameter of the 7artisans (or most other legacy macro lenses). For that use case, you want the best combination of small diameter and long working distance you can get (I can get lower angle at 1:1 with the (threaded in) Raynox on my OM Zuiko 135mm than with the Oly 60, for example). Don't get me wrong, the Oly 60 is a great lens... you just want to make sure it will actually be a solution to the problems you have before blowing the budget on it. :D
I've got a Raynox 250 and a set of macro tubes that gets me pretty close, but when I've edited photos I've found myself cropping quite a bit to get the image I want, which is why I'm after a dedicated macro (and then will add the Raynox & tubes to it where appropriate). I hadn't considered the auto aperture aspect of an AF lens, I was too worried about losing the automatic focus stacking option if I went manual.
 
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I first got into Mu43 in 2014 with a PM1 14-24 40-150 kit. The first lens I bought was a second hand Soligar 300 mm F5.5 T2 lens for £25 on ebay + £5 for the T3 adapter (It also came with 3* teleconverter). It lasted me about 15 months before I bought my 75-300. I have since bought a T2 eyepiece and now the Soligar is a spotting scope.

The second lens I bought was a new No-name fisheye for £50 on ebay. It is great fun and phenomenal value for money; look at the showcase thread, and I still use it, though less since the Laowa arrived last year.

Get the O60 macro, it will save you messing about, if you get a cheaper macro you will still want to buy the Olympus, so buy it now and enjoy. If you have any left over, the no name ctv fisheye will give you a lot of pleasure and you may even have some left over for an old fully manual 300mm lens as well
 
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Kae1

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As an alternative suggestion I can recommend the few bits I've bought this year. They won't achieve the IQ of the suggestions above but would allow you to achieve two of your three gaps with a £100 spare!
If you just wanted to have "fun" with the fish eye, there is a s/h Olympus body cap 9mm fisheye on Wex for £47.00. For the money I've been surprised at what the body cap lens can produce and really enjoyed using the different (for me) equipment.
P1240672.JPG
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I also have just bought the Olympus 30mm macro lens which was on offer last week (£75 off list). There is a second hand one available at £154 on mpb. I won't post an image as I've not got used to using it yet, but there are some nice images on the forum.

Alternatively if you wanted to explore s/h Canon lenses then the Viltrox EF-M2 II £105 on ebay would allow you to use your body with Canon lenses. I've found the AF quite quick but CAF is a no-no. I'm sure there must be lots of alternative Canon lenses available but I don't have much experience of Canon gear.

I can also recommend the Olympus 75-300 as a vfm lens. I've been surprised at what it can produce with a bit of post processing and have recently posted some examples in the Sports and Action - Motorsport thread.

I won't recommend the spreadsheet that I usually end up producing with weighted criteria for each option, but you just need to decide what is important for you and how you can achieve it with your budget. It is a dilemma and best of luck resolving it ;)
 

ac12

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This is what I did

Macro: Old manual focus Nikon 55mm Macro Nikkor. Yes, with a manual focus lens, you cannot do focus stacking. But it was less than $50.
Being stuck in the house, and bored, I am getting ready to start shooting macros again.

Fisheye: I don't have anything less than 12mm so, I can't comment.

Long: Olympus 75-300.
If you want really long . . . I use an old Nikon 500/8 mirror ($135). But that leaves a pretty big gap between 175 and 500.
I shoot sports, where I use this lens, but even so, I don't use it a lot. Only for softball/baseball (from the outfield fence), and long/tight tennis shots.
If you are a bird photographer, you would use it a lot more than I do.

Personally, I would plan a stagged purchase.
  • Decide which is most important, say a macro.
  • Then what is next, maybe the 75-300.
  • Then last, the FE.
That is how I built my systems, in stages.
I could not afford to buy EVERYTHING at once, so it was done over several/many years, as I could afford it.
 

Stanga

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That is how I built my systems, in stages.
I could not afford to buy EVERYTHING at once, so it was done over several/many years, as I could afford it.
I was going to type a near identical sentence, but then I saw yours.
I personally think that the OP is trying to do far too much in one go with limited funds, resulting in heavy compromises. Been there, done it, and ended up stuck with some lenses that nobody is interested in when I put them on ebay. My priority out of the three lenses that the OP is interested in would be the macro.
 

Erich_H

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Forgot this one, if you're willing to cheapskate on the fisheye lens:
LRM_20170614_184532~01-01.jpeg
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NoName f:3.8/8 mm fisheye US$ ~60
 
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