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Macro Lens Suggestions

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by snegron, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    I'm thinking about getting into macro/micro photography and would like to know which lens (native or adapted) you recommend. I currently have a G5, sturdy tripod and Nikon mount lens adapter. I have been contemplating the Nikkor 55mm 2.8 Micro AIS, 105mm 2.9 Micro AIS and 200mm 4.0 Micro AIS.
     
  2. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Both Nikons are good lenses (there is a decent priced 55 on fmforums right now), although sometimes the 105mm can be hard to get a good deal on. They are both 2:1 without an extension tube.

    The native lenses are both really good (and 1:1) but will run you more money. The 45mm gives you IS which can be handy at times but a tripod or flash can be more effective at preventing blur anyway. The 60mm is a great lens, fairly fast focussing for a macro, and perhaps a little better IQ than the pany.

    Other options would be 4/3 lenses. The 35mm (1:1) can be had for $125-150 and the 50mm(2:1) about $250. Both are great lenses, better used as manual focus but you do gain auto aperture over other "legacy" lenses.

    I think if you are just starting out, the nikon 55mm would be a good place to begin, especially if you already have a adapter.

    Sent from my Samsung Note II via mu-43 app.
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    For macro, it's very hard to go wrong with legacy lenses. The main question is how close do you want/expect to be to your subject. I found the 55 a bit short when it came to working distance (small flowers and whatnot) but it's really a matter of what interests you. If you're thinking about the 55/2.8, you might also consider the 55/3.5. Since you'll be stopping down a lot to get any meaningful DoF for macros, the wider aperture isn't really worth paying extra for.
     
  4. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    Thanks! I edited my original post last minute to include the 200mm 4.0 Micro as well. Not to stray too far from the lens topic, but I'm also thinking about what lighting set up I will be needing as well. All I have now are two Nikon SB800's, Vivitar 285HV and a Handle mount Sunpack 555. I doubt I will be able to connect any of these lights to work with my G5, so I'm considering using available light and a silver/gold hand held reflector.
     
  5. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    I'd like to get images to look as large as possible (bordering on what I could get with a microscope if possible). I would prefer to be a bit back from the subject (especially bugs) in order to capture them as natural/unsuspecting as possible. I'm leaning toward the 200mm 4.0 AIS in order to create that distance.
     
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I would look at the 90mm to 105mm focal length range, for the reason discussed above, more working distance between you and the subject - particularly useful if the subject is a moving critter. This is one area where the 3rd party producers lenses are every bit as good as the camera brand's lenses. The Vivitar 90mm f2.5 (and the optically identical Tokina) are rather legendary. So is the Kiron 105mm f2.8. The Tamron 90mm f2.5 SP is also in the same class, and it's my favorite of these because it's smaller and lighter than the others - although these lenses are all substantial hunks of glass and metal. IMHO, given the crop factor, 200mm is too long to be all that useful in this format.
     
  7. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Just have to remember, especially if you are starting out, the longer you go the more difficult the lens is to use. Yes a 200mm has greater working distance but its field of view is also so small that framing can be difficult without a 4way macro rail. I think you would be setting yourself up for disappointment jumping right to a 200mm.

    Its a noticable difference stepping up from the 60mm to a legacy 100mm even using the stabilized view of the om-d.

    Best lighting starting out is any hotshoe shoe flash, either mounted off camera with a cord and some type of beacket; or mounted on camera with some type of homemade diffuser (just google, there are lots of ideas).

    Sent from my Samsung Note II via mu-43 app.
     
  8. kawhona

    kawhona Mu-43 Regular

    174
    Jun 22, 2013
    Phoenix
    Don Thompson
    The Tamron SP is a very good value lens ... I have one for my Nikon but, I am using the 60mm Oly more and more.
     
  9. OpenCS

    OpenCS Mu-43 Regular

    168
    Sep 16, 2012
    Northumberland
    I use an Elicar 90mm f/2.5 which does 1:1 and it's astonishing optically. Very, very difficult to get a clean shot out of it, but if you have the patience (and the tripod, and the remote shutter), it may be worth a look if you can find one. Mine wasn't particularly expensive.

    All the ultra-close macros in my flickr were taken with that. The ones which are merely close-focused are more likely to have been with the 1:4 Sigma 24mm.
     
  10. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    I have been very happy with my Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro. As well as being a good macro lens, it is also a good medium telephoto.