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Olympus - M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm - Where am I going wrong?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by soundpete, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. soundpete

    soundpete Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 17, 2011
    I got into Macro two or three years ago using an EP-2 and a Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro. Just over a year ago I bought the Olympus - M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm and have not managed to get anything even nearly as satisfying as the Vivitar 55mm out of it - at first I put it down to my lack of skill then the combination of old camera new lens until recently I bought a new EM-5… To my eyes at 1:1 - everything looks great in the viewfinder and even on the display after the shot it looks quiet good however when I get it on the computer everything looks really soft and slightly out of focus compared to the old Vivitar. I i have quite a few M43 lens and cameras so I am ruling out equipment. User error or lens fault seems most likely or maybe the Vivitar is just fooling me, if its user error where am I going wrong?

    Any advice would be appreciated - thanks.

    Both taken on tripod in strong sunlight then converted from raw to jpg in lightroom with no processing - the flower is about 5mm wide:
    Olympus - M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm

    Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro
  2. picturewow

    picturewow Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Your shutter speed of 1/80 can be too low if it is slightly windy and the flower is moving. Try a static object in your home.
  3. Dave Lively

    Dave Lively Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2014
    It looks like you used a different aperture with the Vivitar lens. That picture has less depth of field.

    Diffraction starts showing up around f8 on m43 cameras. According to the EXIF you had the Olympus 60mm set to f11. Normally this is just a little softer than f5.6 or f8. But when you focus very closely the aperture you set does not always reflect the actual aperture. I do not know if your camera corrects for this but if it didn't you might have been shooting at f22 if that was a very small flower. And f22 will cause softness due to diffraction.

    Try setting the aperture on your Olympus 60mm so you get the same shutter speed at the same ISO as when you used the Vivitar lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I tried this with my M Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro and Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro. The wind keeps gusting, so I had a lot of failures. These are both the same Chive flower, both shot at ISO 1000, 1/2000th and f/8.0 on the Vivitar and f/7.1 on the Oly. I always thought the Oly was sharper, but of the 25 photos that I shot, I had better ones with the Vivitar. Gusty winds don't help. All were shot at 1:1, Manual Focus, and 1:5 magnification to help with focus.

  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Maybe you have a bad copy. From what I've seen, its a pretty spectacular macro lens. Do a controlled test, indoors with a tripod, below f5 (to eliminate diffraction completely). If its not sharp, send it to Olympus for service (I'd say exchange, but you say its a year old).
  6. In the chive flower comparison the 60mm shot is clearly focussed on the background rather than the flower petal tips like they are with the 55mm. Testing with wind is not going to be conclusive - too much variation in focus at macro distances. Try to set up a tripod indoors with a subject out of the wind when comparing.
  7. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    make sure your focus limiter is set correctly too
  8. I love my M Zuiko 60mm Macro, but I'm happy not having the focus limiter on the Vivitar 55mm Macro
  9. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    From all my amateur testing over the past 15 years, I have NEVER, not even once, done a comparison between two cameras or lenses and had camera or lens "A" look better than "B" but on a more controlled test (or a pro review online) had those results reversed. In the old days I would test P&S cameras before they were released by looking at the photo on the LCD. Accurate? Not at all. Could it tell you which camera produced better results in a certain mode? Absolutely.

    So, what I'm saying is, that you've done quite a few tests and the Vivitar is consistently better. Those Vivitars are good lenses, so vs anything else, I'd say that it's normal. But vs the modern O60? Hmm. I'd say you're doing something wrong with the O60 or else have a bad copy, dust on the back element, etc.
  10. Hingo

    Hingo Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 31, 2012
  11. soundpete

    soundpete Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 17, 2011
    OK just to clear this up - Oly UK suggested quicker shutter speeds and that seemed to improve things, so most likely me :smile:

    [​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="Dingy Skipper"></a>[/IMG]
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