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How to Super-Macro w/ m43?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by retnull, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    Any thoughts?
    Working on a project that needs greater than 2x magnification.
    Are adapted lenses the way to go?
    Any recommendations?
    (Low budget solutions are preferred.)
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, adapted lenses. That way you can pile on the accessories (extension tubes, teleconverters, bellows), usually starting from a 1:1 macro lens then getting closer from there with the accessories.

    Or you could get the Ultra-Macro Nanoha lens made by Yasuhara for m4/3 mount, which will get you to 5:1 naturally. Only problem is you can only back out to 4:1 or something so you can only use it for extreme macro.

    You can also use Four-Thirds lenses for an almost native alternative. The 4/3 system has the 25mm extension tube which will turn a 35/3.5 macro into a 2:1, as well as very high quality teleconverters which can double the magnification of any lens. If you go the teleconverter route then you can also adapt your legacy SLR glass to 4/3 and use the exquisite 4/3 teleconverters. It will work with all other SLR mounts (with adapters) and are as good converter glass as you're ever going to get. That way you don't have to take chances on the quality of your teleconverters, which could ruin an otherwise good legacy lens. You can for instance be using Nikon, Minolta, Canon, and Pentax glass, adapt them to 4/3 so they can all use the same 4/3 extension tubes and teleconverters, then use a 4/3 adapter to adapt the whole thing to your m4/3 body. This will give you the least amount of accessories needed for the greatest variety of lenses. Plus you can still add accessories made for the lens' native mount as well (ie, if you want bellows for instance, which 4/3 doesn't have).

    If using native 4/3 glass you have the Sigma 150mm and 105mm, and the Zuiko 50mm and 35mm macros, all of which are 1:1 except the 50mm (which is 1:2 until you add the extension tube).

    Or... there are now extension tubes available for m4/3 so you could use native m4/3 macro lenses. However that limits you to only 2 lenses - the Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit or the m.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro... both of which are costly lenses and you still have the option of ONLY extension tubes and no other accessories. Nor could you use old legacy accessories to fit them as you could with the 4/3 or straight legacy adapted options. You will never have more accessories until the system grows to include more. You said you're looking for budget options, so that would be out of the question anyways.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    M42 bellows (ex. Takumar)
    50mm f/1.4 lens (ex. Takumar)
    M42 -> micro 4/3 adapter
    Sturdy tripod
    Focusing rails
    Lots of light (ex Sunpak GX8R w/ Wein safe sync)

    That should get you 2x and beyond...

    Its cheap
    Its Fun
    Can be challenging to use (very little working distance)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I use my Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D on an adapter but I'm not sure that it does 2:1 (I've never compared sizes). Being forced to focus manually is not an issue in my opinion for macro work (unless it is crawling bugs) since the subject usually holds still long enough for you to take your time focusing.
  5. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    Ditto on macro bellows. I have a Nikon PB6, they're not very pricey any more.

    Alternate (but a bit harder to nail focus) is to take any wide angle lens and reverse it w/ a reversal adapter. You can do some insane stuff with a reversed 20/1.7
  6. Dont know the proper term but mounting two lens face to face work?
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes.... you can find reversal filter rings to hold them together.

    Its difficult to focus and working distance is next to nothing
  8. romzL

    romzL Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2012
    you can try getting an 18-55 (Nikon/Canon), use a reverse ring, a DIY flash diffuser and m4/3 adapter (Nikon/Canon) mount, slap it on your camera and you'll get beyond 2x macro. i do it before on my DSLR with the RR technique so you should be able to get a higher magnification on a m4/3 camera. takes a while to get used to it but once you get the hang of it, you'll get great images. see my link below. those are all shot using the RR technique with some more than 1:1 magnifications

    Macro bucket - a set on Flickr
  9. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012

    Yep...I have new Oly 60mm macro, which is absolutely a great macro (and Kenko af-extension tube set for M4/3), but sometimes this is still fun to use:

    View attachment 258021
    Konicas separately by Harmonica's pictures, on Flickr

    View attachment 258022
    Konicas together + bellows by Harmonica's pictures, on Flickr

    View attachment 258023
    Konica-bellows by Harmonica's pictures, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 3
  10. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Interesting thread! Recently on a whim, and for only $9, I bought a vintage, mint Vivitar 3x tele-extender for the OM mount. I don't think it's ever been used even. On the barrel it is marked 3x-21 —*what would the "-21" mean? I plan to use it with an OM-m43 adaptor [still to be found] and some sort of legacy Olympus OM macro lens. What legacy OM lens would suit? How does a tele-extender affect closest focus? If a particular macro lens focuses to, say, 6" with 1:1 magnification, how would adding such a 3x tele-extender affect closest focus and what would the resultant magnification factor be? Also, if the usual rule of lost f stops applies, would an f2.8 lens become an f8.4? Thanks in anticipation if anyone can answer these questions —*especially which OM or OM-mount lens would give the best optical combination for good macro. I am used to manual focus in macro, even with my P/L 45.
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There will be no change in closest focus distance, but the magnification factor will triple (to 3:1). Tele-extenders increase magnification without changing distance, and require glass to do so (which is why you need a very high quality tele-converter to match your lens). Extension tubes increase your possible magnification by reducing your closest focus distance, and require no glass to do so.

    You lose one stop of light with a 1.4x teleconverter, and two stops of light with a 2x teleconverter. For instance, an f/2.8 lens would become f/f with a 1.4x or f/5.6 with a 2x teleconverter. I've never actually seen or heard of a 3x teleconverter. By the pattern I would guess you'd probably lose 3 stops of light (making your f/2.8 an f/8)?

    Be wary though... the greater the magnification of your teleconverter, the greater the image degradation. That's why I love my 1.4x teleconverter so much. Even with the great glass in the Zuiko Digital teleconverters, there is still a notable difference between 1.4x and 2x. As I said, I've never heard of a 3x teleconverter... that would be a hard one to swallow.
  12. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks Ned, I knew you would know this stuff. I assure you it is a 3x — in original packaging with instruction manual and all. I could post a pic to convince you. Probably sat on a shelf for the last half century or so. Back in the late 60s I also had a [forgotten brand] 3x tele-extender to use on my 35mm Miranda Sensorex body with 50mm f1.8 lens. It was a cheapo, and you're right, the image degradation was pretty bad. Back to the question of good legacy OM-mount macro lenses — what to look for?
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Don't worry, I totally believe you on the 3x. Having not heard of one though, I simply question its quality. In the photographic world, which is very old, many things become "standard" because they work while many things are unheard of because they're questionable in some way. :) 

    For legacy OM macros, there is a Zuiko 50mm f/2 in OM mount, which is similar to the well-regarded Zuiko Digital version. Probably the brightest macro lens of its time... I don't know whether that still holds true or not. I think that would be a top contender, although the others (like the 50mm f/3.5, etc.) are also excellent lenses. I have an affinity to longer macro lenses myself, but I don't know of the longer macros in the Zuiko lineup. I often use the Kiron 105mm, myself.

    Only thing with using OM macro lenses though... Manyare made to use the accessories and are only 1:2 without them. I don't know why this is, as Olympus does have a very good macro system. I guess it's just meant to be more modular. At any rate, you should be able to achieve what you're going for, but you may need to pile on more accessories.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks Ned. I will be looking for the longest possible OM macro or that 50mm f2 [sounds great]. I could then use it with the 3x and even my existing m43 extension tubes, between an OM to m43 adaptor. Sounds a bit Rube Goldberg, but what the heck.
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Or you could say... "What the hack". :rofl:
    • Like Like x 1
  16. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I just read this thread and remembered that I got 2 rings along with the OM-1 body and lenses. I attached both rings to the 50mm 1.8 lens and with the adapter I mounted them to the OM-D.

    I took this shot hand held the ruler marks are mm:

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  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So I dug out my M42 bellows and picked up a 50mm Macro - Takumar f/4. Attached it all together with a powerful ring light and took a quick samples.

    As I recall... very hard to use. Almost no working distance but it brings out a world that can be very interesting to photograph. Samples:

    Tip of my finger


    The Aperture pushpin on M42 lenses.

    This was all handheld (no IS) on an EM5 with aperture of about f/16. I recommend playing around with perhaps a 85mm or 100mm focal length to get a bit more working distance (loose magnification) If this is my "thing" and I had a big budget, I personally would go with Canon MPE 60mm. But by the time you buy that lens, camera and all that is required to support it (light, geared tripod, geared arm, etc) you are looking at several thousand. It too as a difficult lens to use. Most high magnification macro lenses are.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  18. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    I would recommend using an Olympus OM 80mm macro mounted on a bellows for magnifications between .5x to 2.0X and still have a reasonable working distance. I have a vary large variety of macro equipment which includes this set-up. Check out the specs. here.

    Auto Bellows – Olympus OM macrophoto group
  19. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I imagine the proper equipment (bellows, supports, lights, etc.) will produce beautiful and quite unusual results, but for a less expensive solution, maybe something like this might work well. Specially with a better choice of focal length than the 50mm lens I have. The lens and spacers are from a OM-1 kit I just bought last week.

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    The first image is re-sized to 15%, and second one is a crop of 100% of the center of the coin. I did use a tripod, I cannot hand hold the camera well enough to get good shots.

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  20. trucarp

    trucarp Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2013
    Those are some crazy close-ups! Would I be correct in assuming the best way to get into the macro world is some cheap extension tubes off ebay? No worries about low quality glass, anyway.

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