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Recommendations for a dedicated macro lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Wab, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I'm looking for a dedicated macro lens. Can anyone help?
     
  2. Native m4/3 mount with autofocus or legacy/adapted and manual focus?
     
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  3. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    If you're going native the Olympus 60mm f2.8 is popular and a very good performer. There's also a 45mm Panasonic which has the advantage of OIS if you're using a body without IBIS but is generally considered not quite as sharp, but far from a poor performer. Then there's a new 30MM Panasonic which is cheap and looks to be a decent performer from early samples but won't allow much subject distance (probably not great for insects).

    Alternatively a cheap option is to use a legacy lens like a micro-nikkor with an adapter - most manual focus macro lenses still perform pretty well.
     
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  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    There are also 4/3 lenses, a 35/3.5 and a 50/2. I have the 50 and it is a fine lens

    K
     
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  5. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    Oly 60mm 2-8 is a great choice - I am very happy with mine, both for macro work but also as a short telelense.
     
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  6. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    Yes, sorry, I should have said; legacy manual focus.
     
  7. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    I like the old micro-nikkor 55 f3.5 (not tried the 2.8). It needs a ring to get to 1:1, but has almost perfect flat field reproduction, is very sharp and available for not that much (particularly the early 70's Pre-AI version).
     
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  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You could get a Lester Dine 105mm Macro. In my humble opinion it's one of the best macro lenses ever made.

     
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  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For what kind of subjects? Do you have a budget in mind?
     
  10. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I didn't even realise that different macro lenses suited different subjects! I like insects and under £50, if that's possible, would be nice.
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Well insects typically require a greater working distance and very high magnification which means a longer focal length and 1:1 macro capabilities. If you wanted to shoot stamp collections or something, then an old 55mm macro with 1:2 would be fine. Unfortunately a longer focal length and 1:1 is going hard on your budget. You might need 3x as much to get a "real" macro lens.

    Do you have a regular telephoto zoom lens, like a 40-150 already? If so, £50 could buy you a nice close-up adapter. Maybe a Raynox 150 or a Marumi 330. Otherwise, look at putting extension tubes on a classic 50mm prime. That gets you to 1:1 for dirt cheap, but you won't have a lot of working distance.
     
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  12. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    Yes, I already have a Viv Series 1, 70 - 210 with a 1:2 macro, and it's pretty good, but the depth of field is really (really) thin. I assumed a dedicated macro might be better?
     
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    DOF is exactly the same for a given magnification regardless of focal length. A 50mm at 1:2 and a 200mm at 1:2 will be the same DOF.

    Thin depth of field is the constant struggle of a macro photographer.
     
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  14. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Nope, even less at 1:1
     
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  15. I can heartily recommend either the Canon FD 50mm f3.5 or the Olympus OM 50mm f3.5. Even without the extension tube to get to 1:1, you can do a lot. Both of those lenses are very sharp and have great color. One nice advantage to these is that 50mm on m4/3 gives you a little extra working distance. It's a nice all around set up...and cost effective also. Win win.
     
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  16. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Try a set of m43 extension tubes. You can use them with m43 lenses, or with your adapted Vivitar. $20 or so.
     
  17. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Under 50 pounds with what you have would mean -

    Extension tubes (you could get canon FD ones as well if you can find them cheaper) - would help more at the 70mm end for that lens than the 210mm end.

    Achromatic diopter lens (not sure how the raynox 150/250 does with 62mm filter thread though I believe it will probably fit) - more help at the 210mm end.

    Possibly you could find another 2nd hand lens but for under 50 pounds barring a bargain bin find I would not expect to find something that does 1:1 natively, or be of much greater capability than what you already have. Stopping down to around f8-f13+ is a pretty good equaliser for macro lenses really.

    The version of the vivitar 70-210 you have as far as I know is the version that does 1:4 max magnification by itself.

    TBH I would get some extension tubes and rather than more lenses consider adding a bigger flash and flash diffuser if you don't have one already. Tripod, flash, or focus stacking software are the ways out of DOF hell and the flash is the least hassle of those to use in practical cases.
     
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  18. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Rather than a dedicated macro lens, if you've already got the Vivitar S1 70-210mm and DoF is the concern, you may find you're better off investing in a ring flash for the front of it that will let you stop it down more without getting into stratospheric ISOs.

    I don't have any good recommendations for such a flash, but I'm sure you could find something that could give you much better results for $50.

    Also, if you don't have a tripod (even a cheap one), that's also good bet. Not as useful for most bugs (except spiders, which you can usually find in one place), but great for plants.
     
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    As others have noted the DOF with macro shots is always pretty thin. You'll need to stop down to increase depth of field.

    How much magnification do you get out of the 70-210? I think if the lens was spec'd at 1:2 on a full-frame, you'd be getting higher "magnification" on MFT. That might work well enough without any additional lenses or extension tubes, and you should have a comfortable working distance with the 140-420 mm equivalent field of view. Holding it steady and getting enough light on your subject would probably be your major concerns.

    A tripod and a focusing rack would probably be helpful for static things, but for anything else would be cumbersome.

    I'm not a macro expert, but that's what I gather from my reading. :)
     
  20. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    623
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    You'd get the same real magnification, whether it is on a full frame body or on m4/3. The field of view would, of course, be smaller when used on an m4/3 body, but magnification and FOV should not be confused. All of the exposure math involved in macro work (e.g. "bellows" factors, ...) revolve around magnification and not FOV.
     
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