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Macro lens for orthodontics between 50mm and 100mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Walls, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Walls

    Walls New to Mu-43

    Dec 11, 2015
    Hello there,

    My wife is a dentist (orthodontist actually) and she needs a macro lens between 50mm and 100mm. I had a look at the lens "Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm / F 2,8" but I read somewhere it's actually a 120mm instead of 60mm. I guess it's duplicated due to any photographic concept I don't know.

    What macro lens could you recommend in that range? (between 50mm and 100mm). The cheaper the better :) 

    Thank you for your help!
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Panasonic have a very well regarded 45mm macro (pricey) and they're also coming out with 30mm . . .

    Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Products(Lenses)

    Another considering is shooting distance, depending on the level of detail required and the positioning of the camera relative to the object you need to image, you may find the longer working distance afforded by the 60 a little more suitable.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Does she have an Olympus or Panasonic camera that uses the micro-four-thirds mount? Do you have a process in mind for utilizing the photos within her practice?

    If you have little to no photographic experience and this is for a professional setting, I'd be looking for an off-the-shelf photography setup that is designed just for this purpose. Trying to roll your own and when you have paying clients depending on it can be problematic, all to save a few bucks.

    If you know what you are doing and just need a lens in the 50-100mm equivalent range for reasonable cost, then the Panasonic 30mm may be worth a look.

    (And the focal length doubling has to do with sensor size. Camera that have smaller sensors than 35mm film, cause the lenses used to appear longer. A 60mm on olympus m43 will give the same view as a 120mm lens on 35mm film. For most low cost DSLR, that factor is about 1.5. So if you had a NIkon 40mm macro, that would look like a 60mm on film. The 30mm I recommended above will appear like a 60mm lens would have on film when used on Pansonic or Olympus. It can be confusing I know).

    If you want the cheapest macro setup with new gear, the Nikon 40mm f2.8 macro on a Nikon D3200 or D3300 body would probably be it. But if you already have a camera that takes m4/3 lenses, look at that 30mm Panasonic.
  4. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Yes, first question is what camera the lens will be used with. Olympus and Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses fit Olympus and Panasonic cameras and little else.

    The Olympus 60mm Macro is excellent. It is not "really 120mm," it is 60mm on a 2x crop factor sensor.

    EDIT: Ok, I saw in your other thread that the camera is an Olympus OMD-EM10. The Oly 60mm is the best out there but if you need a shorter focal length, the Panasonic 45mm is excellent, albeit a little pricey at $899.00. The Panasonic 30mm is a shorter and less expensive option.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    ...... Olympus 12-40/2.8 PRO zoom + FL-300R flash will get the job done .....
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Ok, let's try. Lenses have a specific optical focal length but when used on different cameras this same focal length gives a different magnification of the subject.

    For example a 60mm on a m43 camera gives twice the magnification that you'd got on a typical film camera with a 60mm lens.

    To sort this confusion the concept of "equivalent focal length" is used. "History" decided that the old film rolls are the reference format and you compare lenses from other systems to the magnification you would get in that format. This film format is called 35mm (these mm have nothing to do with the mm of the focal lenses). In the digital world this format is usually called full frame (FF).

    A picture taken with a 60mm lens on an m43 camera will be the same of a picture taken with a 120mm lens on a full frame camera.
    So you say that the 60mm lens on m43 is a 120mm equivalent (and the crop factor is 2x).

    So if you want a 50-100 equivalent you should look for a 25-50 in the m43 world.

    But the question is: do you really need a 50-100mm? Because it's more complicated then this. The problem is that full frame cameras are not that common, because they are expensive ($1500+) and the vast majority of digital cameras around use a different format, called APS-C. The Canon APS-C has a crop factor of 1.6, the Nikon, Pentax and others is a 1.5.

    To summarize:
    on full frame: 120mm written on the lens (equiv. 120)
    on m43: 60mm written on the lens (equiv. 120)
    on Canon: 75mm (120 / 1.6) written on the lens (equiv. 120)

    Yes, it's a mess...

    So do you need a 50-100 equiv or a 50-100 to be used on an APS-C or...if you are still reading do not worry, I think the answer really does not matter.
    The 50-100mm range you gave is quite wide, so I think there is not a very strict requirement for a specific value.

    In the m43 world there are practically only three true macro lenses:
    Olympus 60mm
    Panasonic 30mm (cheaper)
    Panasonic 45mm

    Just multiply by two to get the equivalent focal length. All these give the same magnification, called 1:1.

    Do you plan to use it handheld? Do you have some special support that limits the distance from the subject you can use?

    In general, the longer the lens the greater the distance you can keep from the subject. In other words with the 30mm you need to get the front of the lens at about 4cm from the subject to get the maximum magnification. With the Oly 60 the front of the lens distance is about 11cm. Of course you can move back and get a smaller result.

    One last question: do you really need a true macro lens? A true macro lens (1:1) used at maximum magnification is quite complex to focus (even with AF). This is the kind of magnification you get (yes, the picture is blurry and horrible):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    If you do not really need this magnification there are other options, like the Olympus 12-50 zoom that magnify half of that.

    Hope this helps.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Question to the OP: Just how small a detail does your wife need to photograph? Without adding more technicality to the conversation, the term "macro" can be pretty loose. True macro will allow you to see the facets in a bug's eye, but there are lesser degrees that are achievable by lenses that are not dedicated for macro. It primarily has to do with how close to the subject they can focus, as well as focal length. I'm not sure how close your wife would want to take the picture, and I assume m4/3 is a good choice for this sort of thing because the lenses are small and less "in your face" (pun intended).

    Edit: just realized a lot of us are asking the same thing.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  9. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Nice explanation by Klorenzo above. One factor that should be emphasized again is that the longer the focal length of the macro lens, the further away from the subject the camera may be. Or, put another way, if you use a shorter focal length lens, you must get closer to the subject for similar magnification. When photographing skittish insects, for example, a longer lens allows one to photograph them without frightening them away more easily than with a shorter lens. I suspect the same would be true if photographing inside a dental patient's mouth if that is the end use here.
  10. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Caveat: I am no expert in this. Nikon used to have a Medical Nikkor lens which was a 120mm or 200mm macro lens with a custom ringlight setup made especially for medical/dental photography. The 60mm f2.8 may be fine for her application as you need some working distance to keep your patient comfortable as well as accommodate lighting. You can probably find a ring light to go with the 60mm.

    You can find some threads on this site regarding ring lights and the 60mm macro.
    Ring Flash for OMD?
    Or something like this.
    NEEWER® 48 Marco LED Ring Light with 6 Adapter Rings
    by Neewer
    Link: http://amzn.com/B0031AQ302

    One reviewer cautioned about using these kinds of lights on lenses that rotate to focus. The light would move too. I think the 60 has internal focusing, right? Can't remember.

    Tkbslc and Oldracer have good points. Sometimes you're better off buying a preconfigured solution like Lester Dine's.
  11. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 10, 2012
    To the OP: please do not let anybody talk you out of getting a dedicated macro lens. A macro is absolutely appropriate for use in a dental office. Even if you do not use it at its closest range, macro lenses are optimized for close range performance. Your wife may also need to get close on occasions.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Sorry, but this is flatly wrong. A lens always puts exactly the same size image of each object in its field of view onto the sensor/film. There is no change in magnification. How could there be? The lens doesn't know what camera it is mounted on.

    It is true that various lenses are designed to cover different size sensors/film. A 200mm M43 lens, for example, will produce a very small diameter spot on a piece of 8x10" film. Conversely, a 200mm lens designed to cover an 8x10" piece of film is massive overkill for producing an image on an M43 sensor.

    What is changing here is the field of view of the resulting photograph due to the size of the sensor/film. Taking again the M43 and the 8x10" lens, visualize the small spot that the 200mm M43 lens puts on the sensor/film. If you mentally overlay the 200mm 8x10" image, you can see that the size of the objects projected into that small spot is exactly the same BUT the field of view that the 200mm 8x10" lens provides is vastly wider.

    A "35mm full frame" (24x36mm sensor) has roughly twice the diagonal length versus an M43 sensor. This is where the 2x "crop factor" or "equivalent focal length" notion comes from. If you took a frame of 35mm film with an image shot by a 200mm lens and, with a scissors, cut it down to M43 size, the objects on that smaller piece of film don't change size of course, but you have cut the field of view down with your scissors. If you want show the same field of view on the smaller sensor you will have to use a lens that is shorter than the 200mm -- specifically you will have to use approximately a 100mm lens to get the same field of view into the smaller frame.

    Wow! I don't understand why this is so hard.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Walls

    Walls New to Mu-43

    Dec 11, 2015
    First of all, thank you very much for all your answers. I'm surprised how collaborative this forum is, you help a lot each other and provide so much information. Thank you! (especially to Klorenzo for his deep explanation). Finally I have a clear idea of the focal length conversion ratio!

    I missed some information when creating the thread so I'l try to add it now:
    We currently own my old Canon 30D with a regular 17-85mm lens. Since she needs a macro between 50-100mm, we have two options:
    • Buying a macro lens for the Canon 30D + ring flash
    • Going into m43 (I'm looking forward to! :D ) and buying camera + lens + ring flash
    I want to move into m43 since long time ago because we mainly use the camera when traveling and should admit sometimes I shoot with my phone instead of the Canon 30D due to its weight/size. If I had a m43 I would use it more often. Now that my wife needs a camera as a work tool, it's a perfect excuse to move to the m43 world :yahoo:

    For those who ask if she really needs a macro lens: I understand your questions, I also asked her in the beginning. The thing is she needs to take photos when the patient is laying on the dental chair, that's why she needs a macro lens. If she uses a regular lens, the patient has to be laying on the ground (otherwise she won't be able to focus). The reason for the range 50-100mm is that, in case of using a 100-300mm lens she won't be able to take a photo of the full mouth but a small detail of a single tooth.

    Going back to our m43 beginning: We want to spend no more than 1,200€ so we thought about:
    • Olympus EM-10
    • Panasonic 30 mm f/2.8 macro (due to your advise)
    • Cheap ring flash solution if we find it
    So just one question, are these camera and lens 100% compatible despite of being Olympus and Panasonic? I guess they are because I read all m43 lens are supposed to be interchangeable, but just to double-check :) 

    Again, thank you very much for your help!
  14. One thing that might be helpful here is to relate it to actual sizes and distances rather than crop factors and whatever.

    When people talk about reproduction ratios like 1:1 and magnifications like 1x - they mean as relative to the sensor size. The E-M10's sensor is 17.3mm wide by 13mm tall, so if you have a lens - any lens - that does 1:1/1x as its maximum magnification, that means that a 17.3x13 wide object will completely fill the picture and have 16mpx on that target.

    On the M4/3 cameras - you will get 17.3x13 at -

    18cm from the camera's sensor on the 60mm.

    15cm from the camera's sensor on the 45mm.

    10.5cm from the camera's sensor on the 30mm.

    If you used an adapted Lester A. Dine 105mm, you would get 17.3x13mm at 35cm from the camera's sensor.

    All of these lenses are 1:1 at closest focus, so that means you can't physically get any closer to the subject than this without other gear added on the lens. Bear in mind also that the entire camera has to be in the plane for this - so for the Lester A Dine, if you wanted to get someone's wisdom teeth (or whatever), you need to get the camera at the correct angle at 35cm away from the subject with no obstructions in the way.

    (if you notice these don't seem to scale quite the same way relative to the mm of the lens, it's related to how the lenses behave when they focus, let's just not get into that right now and use the numbers).

    The other factor to consider here is the physical size of the lens - so 10.5cm from the subject on the 30mm and 18cm from the subject on the 60mm have different effective working distances from the end of the lens itself.

    The 30mm is 63mm long, the 45mm is 62.5mm long, and the 60mm is 82mm long. So you get -

    42mm working distance from the end of the lens on the 30mm.

    89.9mm working distance from the end of the lens on the 45mm.

    98mm working distance from the subject on the 60mm.

    As best I can tell the extended length of the 105 is 138mm (kind of hard to find this figure?), plus the length of the adapter to m4/3 - assuming a nikon mount, about 42mm long - which gives ~170mm working distance from the end of the lens.

    One thing the Lester is handy for - it has a printed scale for dental work on it using the dental ring flash. Here's where we unavoidably run into having to look at the crop factor of the camera :D 

    So using that -

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    As best I can tell - it says

    Quadrant - 1:1, F/32,

    Anterior - 1:2, F/32

    Occlusal - 1:3, F/22

    Portrait - 1:10, F/16

    All of those are based around using a sensor (well, for this older lens, film) roughly twice the physical dimensions/4x the area of the M4/3 sensor. Without wanting to get massively deep into it - this basically means -

    1) The actual focal lengths, reproduction ratios and magnifications never change - a lens that does 1:1 is a 1:1 lens on any camera, it's a ratio between the subject's physical size, and the size of that subject as projected onto the sensor by the lens. Similarly the focal length is basically a physical distance measurement, and doesn't give a crap about what camera it is on.

    2) however, because the sensor size can be different, relative to each other, the images you see from 35mm film and an m4/3 camera will be different if shot at the same focal lengths and reproduction ratios. 1:1 on 35mm is a 35mm wide subject on a 35mm wide piece of film (we will just ignore any minor physical differences in 135 format/"35mm" cameras size and aspect ratios for now :D ). 1:1 on m4/3 is 17.3mm wide subject on a 17.3mm wide sensor. Depth of field also comes into play here, too - the same framing and distances will produce different depths of field, so those F/ numbers will produce different amounts of the subject in focus also.

    You can find a DOF calculator here -

    A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator

    Into which we can plug in different numbers for sensor size, focal length and f/stop. Just need to be careful using this for a couple of reasons - 1), manufacturers really push things in terms of rounding focal lengths - so that Lester A. Dine is a lens which has a design that has been marketed as a 105mm 2.5, and a 100mm 2.8 lens, without anything actually changing in the lens design itself (a calculation of its minimum focus distance vs magnification indicates it is actually something closer to 87mm at 1:1)! and 2), internally focusing lenses - like the 30, 45 and 60mm native macros for m4/3 - change their focal length as they focus closer. For the 60mm for example - in terms of calculating depth of field and the effects of changing the reproduction ratio, we actually need to plug in the numbers for about a 47mm lens at 1:1, 51mm at 1:2, and 54mm at 1:4. And the calculator isn't really interested in our effective reproduction ratio - it will tell you the amount of the image that will be in focus at a given F stop, focal length, sensor size and focus distance, but it's got no idea about the dimensions of the subject or magnification we want.

    With that out of the way - going back to those markings on the Lester - whatever you read as 1:1 on that scale for 35mm film, you could capture an image of a subject of the same physical size at 1:2 on m4/3. That 1:2 image would be - bearing in mind our focal length can change as the focus distance changes - taken from a further distance from the subject than the 1:1 minimum focus distance. Same goes for your 1:2, 1:3, and 1:10 markings. That's basically what's being talked about when you mention you heard it's "actually 120mm" - it can act in some ways like a 120mm lens on a 35mm camera in terms of the view angle, but then, it will fill its whole sensor's with a subject half the dimensions as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    The macro lens for Orthodontic purposes you would need as a start would be;

    A Panasonic 30mm Macro or the 45mm Macro version. You don't need a 60mm Macro -- it's an overkill for denture work.

    However, if your wife is planning to do a series of dentures to submit to insurance companies to claim for work especially if it involves "ROOT CANAL" and a crack crown, you might want to investigate this lens.

    It's a very unique macro lens. It's called the Yasuhara Nanoha Macro lens for micro 4/3 cameras. It's similar focal length to the 45mm Macro, but
    1, It has a even closer working distance
    2, It has a macro LED ring light built-in

    Downside.. Very little depth of field.

    Here is the lens itself..
    Yasuhara Nanoha x5 Macro Lens Review

    Available from BHPhoto but currently out of stock.
    Yasuhara Nanoha Macro Lens 5:1 for Micro Four Thirds YA24-NAN5M

    There's not a lot of choices in regards to ring flashes. Probably you need to adapt a ring light just like that you see with the Yasuhara Nanoha and go from there. Ring light is better, so you can see the tooth with live view. It gets dark especially if you want to photograph the molar area caused by Pericoronitis.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 2
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    To answer your question........Yes they are all interchangeable. The only thing to keep in mind is if you the OMD EM10 it has IBIS so any lens you use with it will have image stabilization. Not all Panasonic cameras have IBIS, so Panasonic puts the image stabilization in their longer focal length lenses.
  17. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    I had just posted in that thread about GAS during the winter saying that I had my next purchases all planned out and nothing could change that. The one thing I missed coming from Canon was the wonderful MP-E 65mm. I did not know something like this was available for µ4/3, now my list could get disrupted.
  18. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Sorry Phocal, I didn't mean to disrupt your list! :) 
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    While I shoot all year because the weather is nice down here in Texas.........this lens sure would make for some fun when I am stuck inside this winter :026:
  20. The USB light on it is cool but I wonder if it might be simpler to construct a microscope holder/helicoid where you could drop in different microscope objectives. Seems like that's what it's using.
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