Purchasing New OMD EM-10 - Need lens advise for "product photography"....

Ultrarad

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Hey Everyone,

I've been enjoying all of the amazing photos from the shadows and finally decided to update my aging Olympus E-520 with a new OMD EM-10. I have a few questions about lenses, however. I am purchasing this camera mainly for product photography. I am a metalsmith/jeweler and have been forcing myself to better my photographic skills to make my artwork look the best it can possibly can. I currently use the old 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 ED lens on my Evolt and at f11 I get adequate depth of field and not too much noise. I think the new EM10 will solve all my problems. I really don't want to just buy the 60mm macro lens - I was thinking the 17mm and the macro converter might work? Any thoughts? I really want to treat myself and try and work with primes - but I can't afford tons of lenses at first. I'm going to buy the Olympus Four Thirds adapter so I can manually use my older zoom lenses - so...... that's my problem.

I do want to branch out, artistically, however. I have a Master degree in Art from the University of Washington (in metalsmithing) and I dabbled in photography with my roommate while I was in school - hence the reason I don't want to simply purchase the macro.

Any suggestions/help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
 

fortwodriver

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There's nothing wrong with that 17mm lens... The macro convertor they're advertising to work along with it works very well. You'll spend most of your time playing with lighting and blocking when it comes to jewellery ... Have you invested in some staging and lighting gear yet?
 

Ultrarad

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Yes, Fort-

I've got lights, black and white plexi backdrops and most everything else I need - I've been compiling all this stuff for years - lol.
 

GFFPhoto

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You might want to consider the PL45 macro. It wasn't really on my radar until I saw what one of our forum members was doing with it, both macro and normal. 45 is a more flexible focal length than 60, and I think it would show off your jewelry better than the 17.

https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=52879

It really renders well for normal photography
 

barry13

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Hi,

The 12-50mm (cheap) zoom has a macro mode, as does the (expensive) 12-40mm.

Another cheap option is the Oly 4/3 35mm Macro. A/F performance is poor, but MF works fine.
I use one for all of my product photos.

Check the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) on anything you're looking at buying and see if it's adequate.

Barry
 

Ultrarad

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Wow thanks everyone. Now I have lots of lens hunting to do tomorrow... it took me months to figure out what camera to buy....hopefully the lens selection will go faster..

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WasOM3user

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Second vote for the 12-50 if you can get one at the right price.

The 12mm point if view will be different to what you are used to from your previous lens and the "macro" function is much better than I expected.

Other option could be 45mm F1.8 plus extension tubes as this works well for macro and will give you a nice fast lens for low light and/or portraits.


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Ultrarad

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Okay -

I've decided to get the black EM-10 with the optional handgrip - I have LARGE hands - and I'm going to purchase the 60mm macro, since it's $100 off at B&H. That being said, I also need a lens to shoot student work that hangs on the wall and I'm usually using the 14mm setting on my old 4/3's camera. I don't like the look of the kit lens - but that new expandable 14-42 looks kind of amazing on the camera. Would a 17mm prime work for shooting artwork on the wall - say if I were 3-6 feet away?

Sorry - so many questions - I just don't want to buy the wrong lens and have to start all over - lol.
 
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If you haven't already bought the 60mm macro (which I've been yearning for, too), an inexpensive macro option can be a legacy macro lens + an adapter for m43. It would be manual focus, but that shouldn't be a problem since you'll be shooting items that aren't likely to try to run away. I have a Canon FD 50mm macro that I've been using with an adapter. The lens cost me less than $50.

You do have a decent tripod, right? One session trying to photograph artwork (in my case, glass beads) using an uber-cheap tripod convinced me that it's worth spending a few dollars more for better quality.
 
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I found that a full-size tripod gave me more flexibility, but I guess that it all depends on what you're shooting, how you're shooting it, and what you're shooting it on (that is, the size and configuration of your table). I was also using a couple of softboxes that took up most of the space on my table.

I guess my recommendation still stands, though -- even if you're using a tabletop tripod, get a decent one.

Which Slik mini do you have? I have one that -- well, I'll be polite about it, and just say that it didn't work well for my needs.
 

wilson

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Okay -

I've decided to get the black EM-10 with the optional handgrip - I have LARGE hands - and I'm going to purchase the 60mm macro, since it's $100 off at B&H. That being said, I also need a lens to shoot student work that hangs on the wall and I'm usually using the 14mm setting on my old 4/3's camera. I don't like the look of the kit lens - but that new expandable 14-42 looks kind of amazing on the camera. Would a 17mm prime work for shooting artwork on the wall - say if I were 3-6 feet away?

Sorry - so many questions - I just don't want to buy the wrong lens and have to start all over - lol.
I was going to recommend you just try out the kit lens first to see if it works for you picture quality wise because there's no use in spending more money if the kit lens is good enough PQ wise for your use cases before replacing the lens, or getting a 17mm.

In controlled environments and the fact that you use high f-stop settings, the fast primes don't have as much advantage over the cheaper kit lenses. Are they better, yes. But are they better enough for your purposes... it depends on your criteria... and it's unique for everybody what's acceptable.

But since you already stated in your last post, that you didn't like the "look" of the stock lens (purely cosmetic/aesthetic reason) and rather go with the expandable EZ zoom one, then you should go for whatever you like the "look" of.
 

Cruzan80

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The 12-50 is too dark. Consider a prime, like the O45, with extension tubes for close ups and by itself for pics on the wall.
If doing studio work with flash, especially off camera, fast glass matters less.

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dhazeghi

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If doing studio work with flash, especially off camera, fast glass matters less.
In fact, if you're not shooting a flat subject, it doesn't matter at all. You're going to have to stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 just to get sufficient depth-of-field in your close-up shots, or most of the product will not be in focus!
 

Uncle Frank

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Since you're shooting jewelry, some of which will be quite small, I'd suggest a true macro lens (1:1 max reproduction ratio). The 60/2.8 is a good choice, since it will give you decent working distance, which is important in order to avoid shadows while using strobes. I'm not a fan of extension tubes or close up lenses, as dedicated macro lenses offer more flexibility. Jmho.
 

bikerhiker

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Hey Everyone,

I've been enjoying all of the amazing photos from the shadows and finally decided to update my aging Olympus E-520 with a new OMD EM-10. I have a few questions about lenses, however. I am purchasing this camera mainly for product photography. I am a metalsmith/jeweler and have been forcing myself to better my photographic skills to make my artwork look the best it can possibly can. I currently use the old 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 ED lens on my Evolt and at f11 I get adequate depth of field and not too much noise. I think the new EM10 will solve all my problems. I really don't want to just buy the 60mm macro lens - I was thinking the 17mm and the macro converter might work? Any thoughts? I really want to treat myself and try and work with primes - but I can't afford tons of lenses at first. I'm going to buy the Olympus Four Thirds adapter so I can manually use my older zoom lenses - so...... that's my problem.

I do want to branch out, artistically, however. I have a Master degree in Art from the University of Washington (in metalsmithing) and I dabbled in photography with my roommate while I was in school - hence the reason I don't want to simply purchase the macro.

Any suggestions/help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
Have you considered getting a 40-150mm zoom which is pretty inexpensive and then an Achromatic closeup lens. I found this combo works really well -- somewhat sharp and flexible. A tele-zoom gives you variable reach so you don't have to move your tripod much or up too close casting unnecessary shadows. I use my 40-150mm for this specific purpose -- a tele-zoom macro. I own a Marumi which is a multi-element closeup lens -- very good quality and sharp. Raynox is another brand. I got the Marumi on sale for like $30 and the lens for $99, so it sure beats a dedicated 60mm f/2.8 macro. And yet it's good enough to print on silver paper with a 75 line pairs resolution. If you're not taking closeups, then you have a functioning telephoto zoom lens to complement the 14-42 when you take off the closeup lens.
 
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