Macro setup

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ctsc, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. ctsc

    ctsc New to Mu-43

    Oct 20, 2010
    I'd like to use my micro four thirds body to do some macro work.

    Since there are no native macro zoom lenses available (only primes!) for four thirds nor micro four thirds, could anyone recommend a third party macro lens?

    Another option is to use an adapted lens. I currently own a pentax k mount adapter and would think that any older lens would likely be of higher quality and be significantly less expensive than the newer lenses, at the cost of autofocus.

    Does anyone have recommendations for a decent macro setup? Recommendations that come from people with in the field experience would be greatly appreciated.

    The best all around macro lens I have come up with so far is the old vivitar series 1 70 - 210mm. Has anyone used one of these on a mu4/3 body? What zoom were you able to achieve?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. alipapa70

    alipapa70 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 26, 2010


    are you sure you want to work with a macro zoom?

    I used to work with a 70-300mm macro zoom and the results were just not as pleasing as with a dedicated macro prime. Overall sharpness and contrast was not as good as with the prime. And also consider the weight of the combo!

    Currently I'm working with an old Canon FD 50mm 3.5 macro and I am very happy with the results. Mangification ratio is only 1:2 without extension tubes though.
    Check my other post

    As for now my setup is GF1 or GH2, Canon FD 50mm 3.5 macro or Pana/Leica 45mm 2.8 macro, tripod or gorillapod and a remote shutter, but I will be adding a focusing rail in the near future to have more control of scale and focus point.

    hope I could help

    always good light
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Amongst the earlier zoom lenses it was quite popular to offer a 'macro' facility which in some cases is confined to either the wide or tele end of the zoom range. Magnification ratios can get down to around 1:3, at best 1:2. I don't know of any zoom lenses that can achieve 1:1, and to be honest macro lenses need all the sharpness they can muster to resolve fine details which zooms (and particularly early zooms) are rarely capable of. I would agree with alipapa, primes are the way to go for macro work.
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The most common mistake when discussing Macro photography is to focus only on the lens. Of course this depends on your intention but macro photography is one of those things that involve a system of things to work together; tripod, focusing rails, but most importantly lighting. In fact, I personally would place lighting at equal importance to lens.... is it adjustable, positionable, and does it have enough power. I say lighting because at macro, you are dealing with very very shallow DOF and stoppong down the aperture is often the most effective way to obtain a more workable DOF. While traditional photos are often shot at f/2.8 to f/8, macro photos will be at f/11 to f/16. For this you need light... alot of it... as such, lighting will be the main source... thus opening the door for some really creative options. Ring lights for smooth consistent coverage and positional twin lights for more directional. You can setup a ministudio with continuous lights for more static subjects

    As for the lens, I highly recommend sticking with a prime lens for the image quality. Most zooms with Macro mode simply address the working distance but fail i terms of magnification and resolving. Three things I look for; focal length, magnification, and bokeh. Focal length will be determined by desired working distance.... longer for those buggers. Magnification.. it would be nice to get 1:1. Bokeh is very subjective.. examine samples is the best way.

    As for m43, I personally have not much luck with adapted macros with either my G1 nor PL1. As mentioned, the apertures are often f/11 to f/13 which is not enough light to easily focus via the EVF. This forced me to manually open the aperture, focus, and manually stop down the aperture while keeping subject distance consistent. Not ideal... not easily done for non static subjects. On the EPL1, it was even more difficult because I couldnt have my ring light AND my EVF attached to the hotshoe at the same time.

    I dont own one yet, but I hear good things about the panleica 45mm... thats probably your best bet. AF, aperture diaphragm control being two factors.

    My current macro setup is a Tamron 90mm f2.5 adaptall on a kmount pentax with either twin or ring lights. I also have the special converter specific for this lens to acheive 1:1 magnification. Ihave had this lens for a long time now and I purchased it for its ulta nice bokeh.. probably one of the most pleasing I have ever had the pleasure to own. Makes for a nice portrait lens too.
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  5. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Actually there is a m4/3 macro made by Leica for Panasonic, the 45/2.8. And there is a 4/3 Olympus 50/2 macro. Oly also has a 50mm macro on their lens road map.

    I have three adapted macros and like all of them - a Pentax 50/5, Olympus OM 50/3.5 and a Micro Nikkor 105/4.
  6. John Jarosz

    John Jarosz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    Chicago Area
    just bought a 55mm Micro Nikkor lens from KEH in Atlanta for $47. This is the sharpest lens you can get for macro purposes and the lens itself will focus to around 9 inches. So with an adapter from rainbowimaging I'm set to go. Results are fantastic. I'm using the setup to scan 4x5 transparencies.

  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have a few different ways I have used my EPL1 for close up shots. Over the years I have acquired an m42 bellows, extension tubes, a set of 49mm closeup lenses and 2 Vivitar 70-210 Macro Zooms (A Kiron and a Cosina version).

    I like using the Vivitar 70-210 lenses quite a lot. They work a bit differently and I go back and forth between them. Then again I don't do a lot of macro work. If I did I would probably look at a longer macro lens like the Super Takumar 100/4 (I like a bit longer working distance).
  8. ctsc

    ctsc New to Mu-43

    Oct 20, 2010

    Thanks for your responses! A lot to read, and think about!
  9. iliakoltsov

    iliakoltsov Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2010
    Well the idea of a bellow is good not expensive but has 1 problem it is very hard to use. I would suggest for macro work the Tamron SP 90 F2.5 adaptall that is adaptable directly to micro 4/3 AD2 to micro 4/3 adapters are available. This setup will not ruin you, at most 150 euros and you get a fast prime that you can also use for portrait. If the Tamron sp 90 is a bit too expensive have a look at the Tamron SP 35-85 2.8-3.8 this lens is fantastic for macro. Not so known as it was always in the shade of the Tamron SP 90 F2.5 and as not known it is a lot cheaper :D.
  10. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    If you have a m4/3 zoom like the 45-200 or the 40-150. You can have AF and almost 1:1 macro my getting a canon 500D close up lens. They make a 52mm for the 45-200. And these are the results I get for a 60 dollars plus my zoom. They were handheld, with a tripod, you can get in much closer.

    epl-1, panny 45-200mm, and canon 500D close up lens - Steve's Digicams Forums

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