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Macro lenses.. 50mm f2 or 60mm f2.8?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dmcgrew, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. dmcgrew

    dmcgrew Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Feb 1, 2016
    Looking to buy a macro lens to go with my Pen-F. Which one is typically better? I hear a lot of good things about the 50mm.. but not much about the 60mm.
     
  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Are you talking about the 4/3rds 50/2 macro? If so, the first thing to know is that you will need an adapter to use it on the Pen-F. And with no phase detect points on the sensor (like is on the E-M1) the auto focus will be very slow. But if you were going to manually focus for macro shooting then that won't matter, but if you want to use it for normal AF non-macro shooting, you might find the AF performance lacking.

    Edit: almost forgot to mention. The 50/2 is a 0.5x macro while the 60mm is a true 1:1 (1.0x) macro.
     
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    There's also a ZD 35mm (f3.5 iirc) which is 1:1 macro; also needs an adapter (e.g. MMF-3) and PDAF or MF.

    There's a couple threads here with LOTS of images from the m.ZD 60mm.

    Note the working distance is going to be different between the different focal lengths; what do you plan to shoot?

    Barry
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    60mm f2.8 definitely. If you want something a little more compact, the PL 45mm macro is getting quite cheap on the used market, too.

    Those two lenses are really superb macros. There's little point in adapting old 4/3 ones unless you already owned one.
     
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  5. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Concur with tkbslc on the Oly 60 f2.8 macro, superb IQ and focuses to 1:1. There are lots of examples on this site as well as others on the great photos you can get with it. And, it's worth checking if the PEN F will support the in-camera focus stacking and bracketing with the 60mm that was introduced in the later firmware for the EM5 II and EM1.

    PEN F does support focus bracketing, but I'm not sure if it does focus stacking.
    PEN-F 20MP Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera | Olympus
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Depends what you want to shoot.
    The 60 won't AF at 1:1 anyway, so a legacy manual or the 50 f2 may be fine if you get a great deal on it with an adaptor - I've read reviews indicating its amazingly sharp.

    I love the 60 but came to it after the OM mount 50mm f3.5, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 and Kiron 105mm. The manual lenses got me great shots at the time but I consistently got more keepers with a more modern colour reproduction (probably due to fancy new fangled coatings) with the 60.

    The 60 is also a nice tele. Bokeh can be busy compared to the O45 but the slightly longer reach can be handy.
     
  7. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    ..... definitely go for the Oly 60 f2.8 macro .....
     
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  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have used the Canon 100mm L macro and the Lester Dine 105mm macro and honestly the 60mm is the best macro lens I have every used. I really like the lens, the slick lens hood, and the small size (compared to the two that I have used).
     
  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Mine will AF at 1:1, do it all the time.........
     
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  10. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. dmcgrew

    dmcgrew Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Feb 1, 2016
    Thanks everyone!
     
  12. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Perhaps you meant something else because of course it "can" AF at 1:1, however if I am going to be shooting around 1:1 for several shots I generally go to MF as it is easier to make fine adjustments, maybe that's what you were trying to say.
     
  13. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    274
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    The 60mm macro was first thing I bought on eBay 20% off days. They were sold out within minutes.
     
  14. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    With regards AF 1:1 on the 60, its more likely poor technique on my part - if I'm at 0.19 or thereabouts and hit the shutter release it'll usually focus somewhere back from 0.19. If I change the selector switch to 1:1 it moves to a fixed position which will only be in focus at 0.19 (ie I have to physically move the lens/body to that distance to get 1:1), the rocker switch on the focus limiter also doesn't lock at 1:1 - you need to be in MF mode otherwise it'll reset to 0.19:0.4. With 0.19:0.4 selected I've never had it AF to 1:1 without me either MF-ing or setting the limiter to 1:1.

    Most of my macro stuff is flowers - so I'm pretty happy sitting in the limiter sweet-spot of 0.19:0.4. But I definitely get frustrated when you select 1:1, hit the shutter button and the lens racks back and forth to refocus - I should probably program some custom keys to set 1:1 and MF simultaneously, with another button to set back to 0.19:0.4 AF.

    If people can share their 1:1 AF technique I'm definitely keen to pick up some tips.
     
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Funny, every time I see this lens at B&H, the price seems to keep rising ($897.99 at last count). Glad to hear that used copies can be had at reasonable prices.

    --Ken
     
  16. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    274
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    :eek-31: I paid ~430 AUD ($300 USD) for the 60mm brand new!
     
  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've got one. It's definitely not worth full retail price. I got it for less than half of that and they seem to be going for upper $300s on ebay lately for good used copies.

    I also owned a 60mm macro and it's hands down a better macro only lens. But I like the PL45 more for all around photography and it does great macro, too.
     
  18. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I was interested in the 45 when I first bought into the system, but ended up with the 60 as it was a premium to buy the 45 back in 2012-2013. It is one of my favorite lenses, and I am still not sure how they justify the price for it. And I have the PL25 among other lenses, so I am not one to bash Panasonic.

    --Ken
     
  19. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Some questions -

    What do you want to shoot with it? Some bugs (stuff over about 30-50mm in size, damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies, etc) can be easier to get photos of with an ordinary telephoto lens with good native magnification, some other bugs (like at or under 20mm big) will benefit from being able to go beyond 1:1 (which the 50 and 60 can also be made to do, but there are other options). If you want to do product photography or slides then that's potentially another thing again.

    Do you need it to be a general walkaround lens? Like - are you going to go out to specifically shoot 'bugs' and not much else, or are you intending to shoot a lot of different things (birds, flowers, bits of architecture, people, etc) and the occasional close up shot of an insect or spider with it along the way?

    How comfortable are you with manual focus? The 60mm is pretty decent AF speed wise for a macro lens but not great compared to just about anything else, and the 50 will likely be even slower than that on anything but the E-M1. If you are happy to MF then there is a gigantic world of macro lenses outside of M43 you could use.
     
  20. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    The ZD 50mm and 35mm will focus very slowly even on an E-M1; the focus limiter on the 60mm gives a large speed boost.
     
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