Macro: Olympus or Minolta

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by 6x6, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    I am currently on the look-out for a manual 50mm macro lens. Among those affordable on ebay are the Olympus 50mm and Minolta 50mm, both 3.5.

    Wchich lens would you prefer, given the choice?
     
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I think they're all pretty good within the same range and price bracket.

    I started with an Oly 50mm f3.5 Macro and then got a Nikon 50mm f2.8 Macro + extension tubes - the extra stop of speed was really worthwhile. Both lenses date back to the early 80's.

    Now I'm starting to eye up a Kiron or a native macro that'll do 1:1 with a little longer focal length (105mm+).

    I don't think you can go wrong with either choice.

    What might sway you would be a plan to buy (or you already own) a film body for either mount.
     
  3. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Dauvit Alexander
    I have the Minolta Macro-Rokkor 50mm f3.5 and it is good BUT a bit lacking in contrast for my tastes. The advantages are that: 1) you can sort the contrast post-camera; 2) As a normal lens, it is very, very sharp.

    I've read great things about the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f4 and - if you can find one - f2.8:

    Nikon 105mm f/4 Micro-NIKKOR (1970-1983)

    I'm considering buying one of these myself.
     
  4. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    David
    The OM is a good lens. Compact and light.
     
  5. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Don't know about the Olympus, but you'll want an MD Minolta, not the older MC version because these tend to be less contrasty.
     
  6. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Get OM macro lens, it's very sharp with great contrast, and like all the shorter focal length OM lenses, the aperture ring is located in the forward position and is right where your thumb and index finger falls. It's very easy to operate.
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    If you're interested in looking at some objective performance tests from 35 years ago of six legacy 50-ish macros (Canon FD 50/3.5, Konica Macro-Hexanon 55/3.5, Minolta MC Rokkor-X 50/3.5, Nikon Micro Nikkor 55/3.5, Olympus Zuiko 50/3.5 and Pentax Macro 50/4) then you should check out [post=267248]this post[/post] which links some scans of the results of testing published in the Photography Directory & Buying Guide 1977.

    In my reading of the data, the clear "winner" is the Canon followed by the Nikon. The Minolta (the older MC version was tested) seems to have put in the worst performance in this test. The Olympus is average (at best) wide open, but when stopped down it is competitive with the others. As others have pointed out the OM is the smallest and lightest - it's about 3/4 as long and as heavy as the others.
     
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  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I believe I'm correct in saying that the Oly 50mm f3.5 Macro only goes to 1:2, a tube is required to get to 1:1.
     
  9. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    I found two from Canon, each going for € 79,-.
    One the old S.S.C. with FD, the other for the younger FDn. Tough choice! Any recommendations?
     
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I believe that is the case with any of these 50-ish macros. You'll need to add extension tubes or a bellows to get more than 0.5x magnification.
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The less expensive one. The difference between legacy macros in terms of quality and usability is pretty small on m4/3. Pick the focal length you want, and the magnification, and then see what the most affordable options are.

    DH
     
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm not sure what the difference is between the FD and FDn, but all other things being equal I would generally lean toward the newer lens as it's likely to have better coatings.

    As for the price, that seems on the high end for this lens, at least here in the US. KEH has several examples starting at $20 (depending on condition); their most expensive copy is US$76 (~ €61) which is judged to be in "Excellent +" condition and includes an extension tube.
     
  13. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Not to further muddy the waters, but I came across some more test results for the Minolta MD, the Canon FD and a Vivitar (Komine) 55mm f/2.8.

    These test show that the Canon is a bit sharper wide open than the Minolta, but that the Minolta exhibits less chromatic aberration (CA). The Vivitar surpasses both in terms of sharpness and also allows for 1:1 magnification, but at the cost of increased weight and bulk.
     
  14. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    these are the cheap options for a manual 50mm macro:frown:
     
  15. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    They're certainly cheaper than the native option (Panasonic Leica 45mm/2.8). If you're patient and are not too picky about condition, you can probably find something for less than €40.

    I also noticed that there is an Olympus 35mm/3.5 Four Thirds 1:1 macro lens available in the buy/sell forum for $180.

    If you're looking for something cheaper, you can try a close-up lens as discussed here, or get a reversing ring and perhaps some extension tubes and use a manual lens you already have.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Note that you'll need an $80 adapter to make use of the ZD 35/3.5, and the working distance at 1:1 is quite short.

    DH
     
  17. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    Thats the alternative. If my ordered 45/1.8 ever arrives, I will try it with a close-up lens.
     
  18. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Depending on what sort of magnification you are looking for, the O45 may not be an ideal candidate for this sort of purpose due to its long minimum focusing distance. However, I don't have any direct experience with it, so I can't say for sure. What type of macro work work are you trying to do?
     
  19. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    A +5 diopter Marumi achromat will allow you focus to 7 7/8" from the front of the lens when set at infinity.
     
  20. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Thanks for the clarification. What sort of magnification does that provide?

    I assume you've used this combination? Or is there some sort of mathematical formula that you can use to figure this sort of info?

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