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MCON-P01 - Part 1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by SRHEdD, May 9, 2011.

  1. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I'm still hoping to get that sweet gig writing reviews fo Amin, so I won't submit more pictures of a watch on my desk. I DO get outside from time to time, so consider this Part 1 of my meager review of the Olympus MCON-P01. On other sites, there is a brief mechanical overview, so consider this to be that.

    The Olympus MCON-P01 is the new macro converter in the PEN Series. It was introduced with new wide and telephoto converters, using their familiar MCON/WCON/TCON designations (Macro/Wide/Telephoto). This new MCON is designed to be added to three PEN lenses (14-42 II, 40-150, and 14-150) to allow them to focus closer. I've owned more than a few of these lenses over the years, working most frequently with the converters for the Olympus E-10/E-20. If you've owned Oly converters over the years, what will first strike you upon taking this particular converter out of the box is how inexpensive the construction seems. I suppose it doesn't NEED to be metal, and the extra weight could impact focusing on our smaller lenses, but you likely will be reminded of a Happy Meal™ toy. The MCON-P01 comes with front and rear push-on caps, and that's it. A brief instruction booklet covers the very basics. Afterall, it IS very basic. As assembled in the box, it fits snuggly on the 14-42 II bayonet. Remove the black rear flange (via bayonet), and the remaining silver lens portion bayonets onto the 40-150, also nice and snug. It also fits the 14-150, though I don't have that lens (yet). I've read that the best magnifications are at the longest possible focal length of each of these three lenses, and a quick rack of the zoom shows just that. But, while you loose infinity focus, there is a good range of zoom within its macro range on the two lenses I have.

    The front element is not threaded, for those of you wondering about filters.

    That's a brief mechanical overview. I'll get outside over the next few days to get some real-world photos. Stay tuned.

    • Like Like x 3
  2. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    It finally popped back instock on B&H so I might get mine on Wed... Hopefully I like it and dont need to send it back.... Surprised about the "cheap" comment :/
  3. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I guess it does feel 'cheap'. But I think unless something feels like it might break then being light is good, not bad. And the MCON does not feel like it could break under any reasonable conditions of use any more than an adaptor with a hefty metal frame.
    It does give the impression though, that even at the fairly affordable retail price that Olympus has quite a big mark up on the product.

    My field use of it on my 40-150 indicates that it can't rival the sharpness of a good macro set up (like Ricseet (and others in the insect thread)), and produces a less sharp image then the lens in its natural state. But it will do you better for those small things than blowing up an image without it.
  4. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I have an Oly 50mm and all three Oly extension tubes, but I suppose this is better to throw in your pocket or small bag in case you happen upon a marco shot, but still want to carry lightly. I'd say it is worth the asking price... marginally.
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    If you are looking to be a reviewer, wouldn't it have been good if you had somehow explained what the MCON-P1 was, and what it is used for in your opening paragraph ?


  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I'd like to see in the first line of your review : the MCon thingummy is a blah blah blah.
    I had to look at the picture and figure out that maybe it was an add-on lens of some kind.

    (Just saw Kevin said something on the same lines.)
  7. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Good points, and fixed. Thanks for the feedback.
  8. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I don't think this is necessarily supposed to appeal to the hard-core macro shooting crowd, and is more geared towards those who want those kinds of pictures without shelling out the $$$ for a true macro, wide angle, or fish-eye lens. In the case of the fish-eye it's $170 for the adapter or $700+ for the true fish-eye.

    Back to the macro adapter, I do like the idea you can use this one on three different lenses. If you have a 14 or 40 to 150 and an older camera with the wrong kind of kit lens (the 14-42 mark 1), at least you can use it on the 150mm lenses, which gives the tightest shots anyway.

    Good review, too.
  9. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
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