Good lenses for close focusing?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by broody, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    Of course, I'm sure the dedicated macro lenses like the 60mm Zuiko and 45mm Elmarit are great at this whole minimum focus distance thing ;) On the other hand, I've become curious about which unexpected performers are out there, as this is often considered a minor trait in a lens, but which opens plenty of creative opportunities.

    A nice surprise to me was the 19mm Sigma, it can focus really close for a non-macro lens, and while it's advertise to only focus down to 20cm, I'm sure the actual focus capability is much closer. It can focus significantly closer than the 14mm which is supposed to be able to focus down to 18mm away. I'm wary of purchasing the 17mm Zuiko, which 'only' goes down to 25cm, while we still don't know how well the unreleased 15mm Leica performs in this and other regards.

    Which lenses have surprised you with their capability to get close shots?
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is it really minimum focusing distance or maximum magnification ratio you're after? The magnification ratio is published for every lens. I shoot macro with my O12-50 at 43mm and the O40-150 at 150mm. At 150mm the focusing distance is pretty large but the magnification ratio is still decent.
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  3. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    It's not all about close focusing, it's about magnification and 'working distance'....front element to subject.

    Longer focal length macro's give more working distance than shorter focal length lenses, sorry if I'm teaching Granny to suck eggs.

    You could do worse than try a Raynox 150 or 250, I prefer the 150.

    A Raynox 150 on the front of my Panny 45-200 give me a magnification up to almost 1:1 (0.93) and an average working distance of approx 167mm across the entire range.

    They work best on longer local length lenses.

    I much prefer this combo 45-200/Raynox 150 to either of the macros on offer, I've had both.
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  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    The Samyang fisheye gets real close and offers a unique view.

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  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Panasonic 14mm focuses at just under 6 inches{although I find the AF doesn't like it that close and I have to manually focus it}. The Panasonic 20mm can focus almost as close at about 7 inches{same thing with the AF}.

    Another couple of options for focusing close is a closeup filter set and extension tubes. Closeup filters are cheap and easy and work. Kenko makes an extension tube set and it supports electronic coupling so you keep AF, metering and EXIF.
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  6. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    In terms of max reproduction ratio, the Panasonic 14/2.5 is 1:10. The Olympus 20/1.7 is much better at 1:7.
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  7. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    Yeah, magnification is the thing to look at, rather than close focus. In many ways you want to be further away from the subject while getting as much magnification as possible. The 14mm is one of the worst that Panasonic offers. Most of their lenses can get around .17x, that one only gets .10x. The 100-300 is the best, with the 45-200 close behind. Olympus lenses are about the same, though the 12-50 can do decent macro because it has a special macro mode.

    A lot of people will use something like the Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250 with a telephoto lens, it gives good magnification at a reasonable price in a small package. Though I started out with legacy macro lenses which you can often get for around the same price as the Raynox.
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  8. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    Thanks wjiang and Dave for taking the time to explain the difference to me. :)

    Yes, I'm attracted to the 20mm because it seemingly offers a bit better magnification than the 25mm lux and the 17mm Zuiko. However, the Raynox and extension tubes are great ideas. Has anyone tried any of these with any of these 3 lenses?

    I just read the other thread about it. Now I know what I'm getting for the holidays. I love the combination of wide perspective and great magnification, and this lens takes that all the way!
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  9. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    Be careful with extension tubes, some have an inner barrel which is smooth, even though it's black the smooth inner barrel can cause light reflections between the back of the lens and sensor. Kenko's set cost a little more but they have a series of black baffles on the inner barrel which inhibits light reflection.
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  10. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    The 12-40 Pro lens is said to have a very good close focus distance and magnification: almost or as good as the 12-50 in macro mode.

    Sent from my iPod touch using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    There is something to be said for close focusing, apart from magnification ratio. Some wide angles give a nice/weird perspective when focused really close but not at a high mag ratio.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    The Samyang (Rokinon/Bower/etc) 7.5mm fisheye is supposed to focus to 9cm (!!), but I think it may be even closer than that...
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  13. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    Just wanted to say thank you for bringing my attention to the Raynox macro elements - I've decided to go with a DCR-150 as I will be able to use it with my Nikon gear as well. I've already ordered a copy along with the appropriate step-up ring to couple it with the 45mm Zuiko. :) Can't wait to get started with a bit of M43 macro!