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Oly 60 mm macro /GX8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by afg08, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. afg08

    afg08 Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Nov 26, 2015
    I've wanted to try macro photography for some time and when I saw a nice deal recently on the Olympus 60 mm macro lens, I bought it. The only body I have is the GX8. I tried some stills using a tripod which seemed okay. Yesterday, I tried some bees with generally poor results. Hand held attempts were blurry. The bees moved too much for a tripod but I managed to get a few ok ones with a monopod. I need to do better and I know this is going to take a lot of practice. Is the GX 8 going to work okay if I use either a monopod or tripod? Is a camera with better stabilization going to be a better choice? I'm not looking to buy a different camera though and I wonder if I should have started this learning curve with the Panasonic 42.5 which seems to produce nice close ups. I have a return period on the Olympus lens but need to decide soon. Thanks
     
  2. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I can't know if you're challenge would be solved by better IS. Macro is a focusing challenge, especially when hand holding and/or trying to photograph moving objects. The narrow DOF of macro shots makes it a special challenge.

    Camera isn't the issue. Lens isn't likely either. Practice, practice, practice.

    Try MF and moving the camera, snapped by when focus looks good. Use peaking. Don't be too hard on yourself. It's a challenge for all of us.
     
  3. yendikeno

    yendikeno Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Sep 5, 2015
    What Speedliner said. Just came back in from trying to get a good shot of a nicely colored spider (E-M1 w/60mm macro), and experienced the same thing. My landholding ability with macro isn't great,so used a monopod which did help a little. Like said, practice,practice, practice.
     
  4. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
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  5. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
  6. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    Macro is not for moving objects. You could get lucky with insects if they will just sit still. Manual focus is the best way to get what you want and Gx-8 is very easy to set for manual,as it has a dedicated switch.
     
  7. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    The flash can freeze the bees.
     
  8. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
  9. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    Here is an example of how the flash can freeze motion (shot at 1/250 second). The Hummingbird moth was hovering in front of the flower (like a hummingbird) and constantly in motion:

    Showcase - Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro
     
  10. afg08

    afg08 Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Nov 26, 2015
    Thanks for all the great information. I am going to stick with it and will likely be ordering the ring flash. I am about as ignorant of flashes as I am about macro so lots to learn. Bugs are what interest me but here in Wisconsin they have about disappeared for a few months. Gives me a chance to work on non moving subjects.
     
  11. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    320
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    As Rick said , you have all the gear, except for the flash that u need to take great macros. I too have a GX8 and O60mm. DEFINITELY read the site he gave you, its helped all of us and the author posts here regularly. You can get good pics even w/o the flash but its a lot harder. Here are some of my best shots w/o flash:
    1600px_(160812-1947)-20160811_1080809-rounded.
    1600px_(20160921_22-59)_20160917P1090714-2.

    For both of these I actually used autofocus handheld since they weren't in a position I could easily reach while using a monopod or stabilizing stick.
    Here's what I've found that's been working for me so far, if you're going w/o flash :
    1) You need good ambient lighting, you'll want to set your aperture small, f5.6+, to maximize your depth of field so the more light the better.
    2) As stated , use a small aperture , f5.6 and greater but don't be afraid to push it even higher, eg f13, if you have the light.
    3) Cap your ISO around 400-800 to get clean images
    4) Try to keep your shutter speed above 1/250th - When you're handheld your hand and the subject will be moving a lot. A high shutter speed helps to freeze the movement and keeps things sharp.
    5) If you go manual to try and keep the settings within these limits don't be afraid to underexpose a lil bit, since you're shooting RAW (you ARE shooting RAW right!?) you can recover 1-2 stops of exposure cleanly in post with your low iso.
    6) Push the focus limiter on the O60 to the 1:1 setting. This will give you max magnification.
    7) approach the target and once you see them come into focus press the shutter ALL THE WAY so it focuses and instantly takes the picture. You don't want to half-press to focus and then fully depress to fire the shutter because in that fraction of the second both you and the target could have moved out of the sharp focus. There's a setting in the menu , Custom-> pg 3/9 ->focus/release priority->Focus, that won't open the shutter unless it has focus lock. Using a smaller focus box helps with this as well.
    8) Take LOTS of pics rapidly while your in position, don't just take one. Each time the camera will try to reacquire the target and take the pic. Hopefully one of them should be focused on the part you want. I took 5 shots of the spider's face to get that one where his eyes were sharp. I took around 15 shots of that bee while he was drinking and moving around that flower to get that one where I liked the pose and it was sharp.
    9) Don't be afraid to take the shot from further away and then crop in to get the final magnification that you want, 20mp is a large picture.
    10) Realize that for all the fantastic macro shots you see here Showcase - Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro, there are a LOT of blurry, out of focus shots as well, they're just not uploaded. PLUS , most of the time, they don't look like that straight out of the camera either, there's some cropping, selective sharpening, vignetting, etc that goes on in Post Processing as well. :)
     
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  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    1. You are getting discouraged too easily
    2. Macro is a game of patience and practice
    3. You pretty much picked the hardest thing to do as your first macro attempt!

    Try some stationary bees on a flower first until you've got your technique down.
     
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  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin