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Macro Lens Recommendation

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jarola, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Jarola

    Jarola Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jan 15, 2012
    Tampa FL
    Jarek
    Hello,

    I am currently shooting the Panny G3 with the 14/2.5 and 20/1.7. I am looking a good macro lens that doesn't break the bank.

    Any suggestions / ideas?

    J
     
  2. brnmatsumoto

    brnmatsumoto Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Jul 18, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello Jarlo:

    I'd recommend getting a legacy macro lens that has manual focus. Mine is a MicroNikkor f2.8 55 mm lens with a Nikon adapter to the :43: system mount. You will find manual focus, especially at the closer settings, to be more convenient than automatic focus. For what it is worth, most of the used manual focus macro lenses at the 50 mm focal length should work as well and they can be had for a very reasonable price. I use a Nikon because I've owned for the last 15 years and see no need to change. There use to be older lenses with an aperture of 3.5 and they will sell for an even better price. This is one field of photography were I prefer the legacy lens over any of the modern equivalents.

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Hyun

    Hyun Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jan 20, 2012
    California
    Well, for macro, you don't really need autofocus--you'll be wanting to use a tripod and manually focus to get the best results. You can get a used Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 macro lens in good condition for around $50, add another $25 for a FD-to-m43 adapter, and you're all set!

    Here's KEH.com's listing of the FD 50mm macro lens:

    Canon Manual Focus 50 F3.5 MACRO FD (52) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS STANDARD ANGLE LENS - KEH.com

    (FYI, I always buy bargain (BGN) rated lens from KEH, and they are invariably top notch. In KEH's ratings, BGN is one step below EX)

    Some info on the lens:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/fdmacro/50macro.htm

    ... and some sample shots on a m43 body:

    Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro *****
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jarola

    Jarola Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jan 15, 2012
    Tampa FL
    Jarek
    Thanks for the recommendation....I am a bit scared of manual focus lenses. But the price is right.
     
  5. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Umm, for macro purposes you need to work with MF. AF will hunt a lot at high magnification.
     
  6. Hyun

    Hyun Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jan 20, 2012
    California
    Once you start using it, I think you'll find manual focus for macro work to be very intuitive, especially via the LCD with manual focus assist (where it magnifies the focus point on the screen). You probably want to get a remote release if you don't have one already, so as to minimize any kind of shake. $5 from Amazon for a third-party remote:

    Amazon.com: Fotodiox Camera Remote Shutter Release Cable 1P for Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, G2, G3, GH1, GH2, GH3, GF1, GF2, GF-3, G10, DMC-L1, LC1, L10 and DMC-FZ15, FZ20, FZ20K, FZ30, FZ50 Digital Camera, Fully Compatible with Panasonic DMW-RSL1, DMW-R
     
  7. Jarola

    Jarola Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jan 15, 2012
    Tampa FL
    Jarek
    Thanks for the info!

     
  8. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I have both a legacy Nikkor Micro and Four Thirds Zuiko Macro. I find the AF on the Zuiko a bit slow but way more convenient.
     
  9. Jarola

    Jarola Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jan 15, 2012
    Tampa FL
    Jarek
    What lens is the ZUIKO?

     
  10. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    While there's many insist that ZD 35 macro f3.5 isn't a good macro lens due to the focal length, I quite satisfied by the lens which like every macro portrait need good lighting. Here a few sample of ZD 35mm + EPL-1 using built-in flash and focus help from LED torch light. You need the AF 4/3 to m4/3 adapter + 2nd Generation of Panasonic m4/3 body if you want to AF, and you can only AF until 1:2 from 1:1,5 to 1:1 you need to use MF. I got ZD35 for about US$100.

    P1010486ax.
    P1010465a.
    P1010448a.
    P1270293ax.
    P1270253a.
    P1260241ax.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Zuiko 50mm f/2 macro is about as sharp a lens as you'll ever find, but the Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 macro is right on its heels! The 35mm also gets twice the magnification through a much closer focus distance. The 50mm will give you more working distance though and can also double as an excellent sharp portrait lens with a faster aperture and decent focal length. However, the 35mm is a lot cheaper. All thins considered, I would suggest the 35mm given your requirements.

    Tyhere is also the Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit but hat's on the costly side.

    Besides those options, everythin else practically is manual focus (there is also the Zuiko 70-300mm tele-macro, which can get he same macro magnification as the 50mm macro, but not as effectively). As others have said though, I would not discount the MF lenses, as AF shouldn't be used for macro anyways. My favorite macro lens is the Kiron 105mm f/2.8, aka Lester A. Dine Dental Macro or Vivitar Kiron 100mm f/2.8 Macro. I just like that focal lenght. Oh yeah, there are also two more AF options I nearly forgot, the Sigma APO 150mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8, both macro lenses in the Four-Thirds mount, with AF. The 150mm APO is the better quality one, but both are good lenses.
     
  12. brnmatsumoto

    brnmatsumoto Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Jul 18, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    You have gotten a lot of good advice on using manual focus lenses. There is only one trick you have to remember when using them. The camera has a command in its custom menu for SHOOT W/O lens. You must make sure this command is set to ON; otherwise the camera won't work with the legacy lenses. This was the case with my G1, G2, GH1 and GH2 so I presume it is also true with the G3. If you set the camera mode dial to A, it will provide you automatic exposure when you close down the diaphragm for greater depth of field.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the manufacturer's 50 mm macro lenses. The Canon, Nikon, Minolta, and Olympus all had excellent reputations for sharpness. Vivitar Series 1, and the Tamron 90 mm macro are also good so you have a wide range of lenses to choose from. My only warning is make sure they have diaphragm rings that will stop down the iris diaphragm. Some recent lenses, such as the Nikon G series, will not have this control and you have to make sure you are using an adaptor that allows you to stop down the lens.

    As for not having automatic focus. On my Nikon gear, I will turn off the autofocus mechanism and use it as a manual focus. Automatic focus is an annoyance rather than a labor saving device in macro work.

    Brian


    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Nordentro

    Nordentro Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Oct 6, 2010
    Norway
    U already have the panacakes, flip them and enjoy your results :smile:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    But how do you change the aperture and maintain it?
     
  15. Nordentro

    Nordentro Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Oct 6, 2010
    Norway
    I always go to "M" and set shutter time to last for some seconds and the F number I wanna use. Then I unmount the lens while taking a picture with my settings and mount it reversed with a reversing adapter.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Interesting. This would also work comparably with other equally wide lenses, right?

    DH
     
  17. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    You can also set your aperture, use the depth of field preview to close it down and remove the lens without shutting off the camera. There's no need to cycle the shutter.

    Fred
     
  18. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Reversing will work with virtually any lens, there may be some exceptions. You'll get higher magnification with shorter focal lengths.

    Fred
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Interesting. Let me try it sometime. Thanks!

    Yep, the wider you go, the higher the magnification.

    Umm, that's true for canon cameras. There's no DOF preview button on micro four thirds cameras, right? Because, you see the DOF change as you stop down and don't necessarily require a DOF preview button.
     
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That makes sense. Given the many cheap 24/2.8 MF lenses available, could be more practical to go with one of those. Focus and aperture would be directly adjustable then.

    DH