MCON-P02 or something else for occasional macro?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by nandystam, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. nandystam

    nandystam Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all

    I'm looking for some advice on if I should get the MCON-P02, or another close up filter to do some occasional macro/close focus work with the lenses that I have. Currently I have the following:
    • Olympus 9-18
    • Olympus 14-42 II R
    • Olympus 40-150
    • Olympus 75-300 mk II
    • Panasonic 20mm
    It seems that the most useful lens that works with the MCON-P02 is the Olympus 45mm f1.8, which I don't have, but I could get one for 'free' using frequent flyer points. The 45 may also be beneficial to me for some indoor/low light photography. I know the Olympus 12-50 can be picked up cheaply as a used lens, and it has a built in macro feature, but I'm not sure I really need it since I have that focal range covered. I was keen on the MCON-P02 since it is relatively cheap and can work with the 14-42 if needed. Or would it be preferable to use a different close up filter with one of my existing lenses?

    Thanks :) 
  2. Why not swap the 14-42 with the 12-50?
  3. nandystam

    nandystam Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good point, not sure what a 14-42 sells for on the used market but would help absorb some of the cost.

    The thing with the 12-50 is that the reviews have been so mixed. Some seem to suggest a lot of the negative feedback was because of the original asking price, expectations being bundled with a flagship camera at the time, etc. but I guess it's been a little off putting to go down that road.
  4. That lens is what it is, a rather slow kit lens. It might have weather sealing and pseudo macro capabilities, but in other respects is pretty similar to any of the 14-42 kits. For macro it actually does a lot better than many makeshift combinations of close up lenses though. I kept it for years until I replaced it with a 12-40, which also does close up really well.
  5. vm666

    vm666 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Another cheap option for macro are extension rings. You can purchase themon eBay. I suspect that you will have less distorsion or abberations with a ring than with a close-up adapter.
    For example, without electrical transmission: Macro Lens Extension Tube Adapter Ring For Micro Four Thirds M 4/3 mount E-P5 G6
    Or with electrical transmission: Meike MK-P-AF3B Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set Ring for Panasonic Olympus
    Extension rings give a higher magnification on short focal length lens (close-up too if I am not mistaken). Check that you can have a "decent" (i.e. not too high) macro ratio with the ring that you choose and your lenses. 1:2 on MFT is equivalent to 1:1 on Full Frame and this is already quite high. The Olympus 12-50 reaches 1:3 and the Olympus 60 mm Macro reaches 1:1.
    See How can I calculate what the effect of an extension tube will be?
  6. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 15, 2016
    Buy old 28mm or 50mm prime and reverse it.
    Reversal rings cost like 10$+10$Adapter+10$lens = 2:1 macro with 50mm and 5:1macro with 28mm

    Pro - you gather all the light you have, fast, high magn.
    Con - Manual work, fixed working distance, Shallow DOF.

    Stacking lenses. You can reverse your 20mm prime and put it on other lens - it works just like magnification Filter.
    You can calculate magn=l1/l2
    So 40mm on camera, and reversed 20mm prime would give you 2:1 magn.

    Pro: autofocus, aperture control, variable magn.
    Con: light loss, image circle crop with some combinations

    Sent from my D5503 using Mu-43 app
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  7. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I use the MCON-PO1 on my 14-150II. I find it works very well for my purposes. With good lighting, it returns great results.

    Lighting here wasn't great, but here is an eclosing dragonfly taken with the 14-150II and MCON. I am more than happy with the detail.


    I would expect the MCON-PO2 to give similar results, maybe even better on the 45mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I use a combination of the Pan 42.5 f/1.7 that has a closer focus than the Oly 45, a closeup filter, and extension tubes depending on what I'm doing.

    The 12-50 is not a bad lens and the weather sealing is a nice benefit even if your body is not. You can cut a hole in the end of a plastic bag and shoot with the lens sticking out. It also has a good range and the power zoom is great for video. It's problems are it's high retail price, slow aperture, premium kit lens expectations. If it's retail was $399 instead of $499 to start or was f/3.5-4.5 then I think it would be looked at differently.

    And since you can find them for under $200......
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    MCON-P02 and MCON-P01 both work great on a 14-42 II R. THe MCON-P01 also works well on a 40-150mm. Since closeup lenses give greater magnification on telephotos, and it works on 2 of your lenses, I'd try to find a MCON-P01.
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The MCON-P01 takes the 14-42 II to .28x magnification and the 40-150mm to .47x (essentially 1:2). 14-150 with the P01 is listed at .4x
    The MCON-P02 is a stronger diopter and takes the 14-42 II to .38x magnification and the 45mm f1.8 to .3x. I've also used it on my Panasonic 42.5mm and since that starts out at a pretty high magnification, that goes to about .4x based on my tests.

    So your best bet for highest magnification is the MCON-P01 on a 40-150 or 14-150, followed closely by a 14-42 II with the MCON-P02.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    what happens with the dof? is it extremely short like with the screw-on close-up filters?

    FWIW considering this for the 14-150ii
  12. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I'd buy a Canon 500D in 58mm -works great on the 75-300 and 40-150 (works good with a adapter ring on the 35-100). I've also used it on my Pany 12-35. I kept my 77mm 500D from my Nikon days and use a 72-77 adapter ring for my PL100-400.
  13. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    I have an MCON-P01 and I like it's results on my 40-150R for macro purposes better than my 12-50. YMMV.
  14. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    The downside of replacing your 14-42 with the 12-50 is that the 12-50 is physically much longer, so it would make your camera less pocketable.

    I agree with the idea of seeing if you can pick up an MCON-P01 or P02 cheaply. You don't need to add a new lens yet unless there's another reason you want the 45. If you discover you really like macro, you might want the 60mm instead.
  15. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I use the MCON-P02 on both my 25/1.8 and 45/1.8. But ... I also picked up a set of auto extension tubes for ~$29 from Amazon. It's possible to use both 10 and 16mm tubes as well as the MCON-P02 on the 45. Haven't tried it on the 25 yet.
  16. nandystam

    nandystam Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks all for the responses.

    I have been doing some further reading about some achromat lenses like the 500D, Marumi DHG 200, etc. There's someone selling a used 500D (58mm) locally at what seems a reasonable price, less than what an MCON-P01 or P02 would cost new.

    Which leaves me with a couple of extra questions:
    • If I got a 12-40 f2.8, would using a 58mm close up filter via a step-up ring cause any problems? Would it be worth using a close up filter on this lens in any case?
    • With the achromat lenses, would a +5 or +3 be better for flowers with the 40-150mm?
    • What is an MCON-35 worth used? I found one on my travels and it seems a well regarded achromat as well.
  17. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    500D is for lenses longer than 100mm. 250D is for shorter lenses. You probably would get vignetting but macro shots are normally centered so cropping probably be ok.
  18. Jason_DiMichele

    Jason_DiMichele Fine Art Photographer and Printer

    Jan 26, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Jason DiMichele
    I suggest just using extension tubes so that you don't lose any image quality and you can then get either macro or close-up capabilities on all of your lenses.
  19. Johnny The Greek

    Johnny The Greek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 19, 2015
    I bought the converter, meike extension rings, and was satisfied with both but bought a 12-50mm which takes tremendous macro-esque photos for $150 used and is weather-sealed.

    It also saved me the hassle of attaching and removing the aforementioned converter or rings.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. vm666

    vm666 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    The depth of field depends upon two parameters only:
    • the magnification ration = size of the image divided by size of the subject.
    • the aperture ratio F.
    So I suspect that the DOF is the same in all cases.
    I have a doubt: as the screw-on lens shortens the focal length of the lens (actually that's how it works), there might be a subtlety here. Could the F value be decreased?
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