Inspired by a thread from @Pecos, and motivated by a need to digitize my father's slide collection, I tested 3 macro lenses with the Nikon ES-1 slide copying adapter. The lenses were: Micro-Nikkor 55mm/3.5, for which the ES-1 adapter was designed Olympus 12-50mm/3.5-6.3, which shoots macro at 43mm/6.0 Olympus 60mm/2.8 Spoiler: All lenses performed adequately, and differences were slight at reduced resolution. The Oly 12-50 images were the least sharp but had the least noise. The Oly 60 images were sharpest and noisiest. The Micro-Nikkor was neck-and-neck with the Oly 60 in sharpness, with noise between the two Olys. Lens setup: The ES-1 adapter was designed to mount directly on the 52mm-diameter filter thread of the Micro-Nikkor 55. A crop sensor needs the slide pushed farther from the lens, so I used 52mm-diameter filter extension tubes between the lenses and the ES-1. The Oly 12-50 needed a 14mm extension, and the Nikkor and Oly 60 each used a 56mm extension (two 28mm tubes). The end of the ES-1 telescopes and rotates for fine adjustments so the slide image can best fill the camera's sensor. The Oly 12-50 has the same 52mm filter size as the Micro-Nikkor, but the Oly 60 has a 46mm filter size, so it needs a 46-52mm step-up ring between lens and filter extension tubes. Slide copying stack: Olympus E-P5, Olympus 60mm/2.8, 46-52mm step-up ring, two 28mm filter extensions, Nikon ES-1 slide copying adapter. Camera setup: Having the adapter attached to the lens eliminates most concern about camera shake, so image stabilization was turned off. I used base ISO, fixed aperture, and let the camera open the shutter for as long as it wanted. Aperture was f/5.6 for the Oly 60 and Nikkor; the Oly 12-50 used its maximum aperture of f/6.0 at its fixed macro length of 43mm. For consistent lighting, I pointed the lens toward a laptop screen with a white page maximized on it, and I set the camera to a custom white balance for the ES-1 through each lens before I inserted a slide. Test slide: This test was done on a truly random slide from the archive. The slide has no artistic merit to distract us from the technical aspects of its reproduction. Big picture: Below is the slide with borders cropped and reduced to 1600 pixels long in Olympus Viewer 3. All settings are vanilla, except I habitually set Noise Filter to Low. At this resolution, you have to look hard to see differences in output from one lens to another. Micro-Nikkor 55mm at f/5.6 Olympus 12-50mm at 43mm/6.0 Olympus 60mm at f/5.6 If you look closely, the image from the 12-50 lens is just a bit softer than the others. Below are 100% crops from the photo's lower-right quadrant, using the camera's full resolution, again processed by Olympus Viewer. Micro-Nikkor 55mm Olympus 12-50mm Olympus 60mm I'm glad to see the sharpness from the Olympus 60, but I was surprised that its image was so much noisier than the image from the Olympus 12-50. It made me wonder whether the lens was instructing the Olympus Viewer software how much noise reduction or sharpening to apply. In an attempt to see what each lens could do on its own, without software, I used Corel PaintShop Pro to open each Olympus RAW file and save a 100% crop as a jpeg. Below are 100% crops taken directly from the ORFs. Micro-Nikkor 55mm RAW Olympus 12-50mm RAW Olympus 60mm RAW In the raw images, the Oly 60 is still sharper than the 12-50, but just a little noisier. This suggests to me that OV3 is oversharpening the 60mm image without removing enough noise first, which may be my fault for cutting OV's noise filter to Low. Conclusion: The Olympus 60mm lens is a good choice for sharp reproduction of slides. I need to work on processing to reduce more noise before sharpening. The old Micro-Nikkor has similar image quality to the Oly 60, but changing slides in the ES-1 can move its telescoping end, and focus must therefore be checked for each slide. When there are hundreds or thousands of slides to digitize, the Nikkor's manual focus becomes onerous. The Oly 12-50 does a competent job of reproducing slides for most purposes, and its images are notably clean. When the highest resolution is needed, though, the versatile optics in this lens do not capture fine detail with the same sharpness as the fixed-length macro lenses.