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Reverse macro confusion!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Badger666, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Badger666

    Badger666 New to Mu-43

    3
    Apr 23, 2016
    gday guys, new to this forum and new to photography so please go easy on me.

    I recently recieved a new EM10 (1st gen) as a gift, gotta say so far i love this camera.

    HDR is going to be my main pursuit but i recently heard about reverse macro which got me intrigued.

    I purchased a reversing ring adapter, i sold the kit lens that came with the camera and picked up a lumix 14-45 to replace it with.

    The first couple of trys worked well, a little shaky but i could see that things were working as they should. However on my last attempt and so far every consecutive attempt things havnt been going so smoothly.

    My first few attempts i set the camera to manual mode, adjusted my aperture, disconnected the lens and switched it back to front. No dramas.
    On my last attempt in doing the same process for some reason everytime i push the lens disengage button the lens shuts down n goes completely black which as you will sure be well aware is just not gonna get me results. Very confused as i really dont recall doing anything different.

    Would love to hear peoples thoughts on this as im stumped
     
  2. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 19, 2016
    I dont know what is going on specifically with what you are doing but would note what you are doing risks damage to the lens, and or its firmware. As a general rule using a zoom( normally or reversed) for macro isn't ideal. I would suggest you either look for a manual focus legacy macro lens( film era) or even better and probably cheaper look at getting an enlarger lens. Either option would work well reversed, and provide you with good quality results. For enlarger lenses you could get a Schneider Kreuznach or Rodenstock 50/2.8 some cheap extension rings( m39) and an M39- MFT adapter for less than $60.00( it would take some hunting) and you would produce much higher quality results than with your reversed zoom.

    As an example of a legacy lens there is this( I don't know the seller):

    Minolta MC Rokkor-X 50mm F/3.5 Macro Lens w/ 1:1 Macro Extender near mint w/case

    you would also need a Minolta MD-MFT adapter. A canon alternative would be this and you would require an FD- MFT adapter ( again I don't know the seller I just did a quick search on ebay
    Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm f/3.5 lens in excellent condition
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  3. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    @Badger666@Badger666, it sounds like you're trying to disconnect the lens while the camera is turned on. You aren't supposed to do that because of the sudden change in electrical currents flowing through the camera and lens. Also, the contacts slide past each other when unscrewing a lens. I'm not an electrical engineer so I don't know how risky it is, but the electronic components on both sides are delicate and I've read warnings in the manual about turning the camera off before changing lenses. (However, I have forgotten once or twice and changed lenses with the camera on, with no apparent catastrophic effect.)

    I used a reversal ring with a manual SLR lens, but I never tried reversing an electronic lens. The method gives nice magnification, stronger with shorter focal lengths, but I always worried about putting the lens's weight on its filter threads.

    Macro extension tubes can be used for manual lenses, or there are Micro 4/3 extension tubes with the electrical connections for auto-focus and aperture control. Amazon sells electronic tube sets from Fotga and Neewer.

    The next level of investment is a manual macro lens. I like the Micro-Nikkor 55mm/3.5.

    After about 4 years of these work-arounds, I finally bought the Oly 60, but it was a fun challenge to exhaust every alternative first.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  4. Badger666

    Badger666 New to Mu-43

    3
    Apr 23, 2016
    Yes, your right i have been trying to remove while the camera is switched on, as thats what had been suggested on other forums dedicated to reverse macro.

    I didnt believe i could be damaging any of the software as others have done the same and produced decent results. But in saying that it was probably very naive of me.

    Thanks for the links kiwi, i was trying to keep this on the cheap but as youve shown with a little hunting and smart investing much greater results could be achieved with less risk
     
  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Contrary to what has been said, pushing the lens release button actually turns off electrical contact with the lens so disconnecting it should not short anything out. It will black out the viewfinder and screen when you push this button in regardless of if a lens is attached or not (press it with no lens mounted while watching the screen as a test).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nonsense. Any interchangeable lens camera is designed to swap lenses at any time.

    The problem for the OP is that the lens actually doesn't stop down the aperture to the set aperture until you click the shutter button. If you have a DOF preview button, you can push that and then remove the lens and sometimes the aperture will stay, depending on lens design.

    Really, extension tubes, a manual lens, or both would be a much more friendly way to go about it.
     
  7. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    So you say, but page 122 of the E-M10 manual says:
    ! Cautions
    - Turn off the camera before attaching or removing the lens.​
     
  8. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Actually no, many Canon cameras have a design oversight and can actually be damaged by it. Many were not designed to shut off power to the mount and blow a fuse on the main circuit board if the contacts are shorted. Despite not being designed to do so the majority of people get away with doing it... the 5d was one camera well known for having the fuse blow (google it, the 30d, 350d, 450d, 5d, and likely more are all prone to it).

    Olympus recognized it as a problem and designed both the 4/3 and m4/3 standards with this in mind to prevent said issue.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Badger666

    Badger666 New to Mu-43

    3
    Apr 23, 2016
    Good to hear i most likely havnt damaged my lens or camera.

    Im no longer going to pursue the reverse macro however im still confused as to why sonetimes wen i do it it works and other times all i get is black, especially considering when i look thru the lens i can see light through it but when attached all j get is black
     
  10. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    If the pin which locks the lens against rotation is not fully extended the sensor/mount/shutter is powered down (hence the black screen).

    Jiggle the adapter and make sure it's rotated to the correct position.
     
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Often electrical stuff does not turn off immediately when disconnected from the power source: some electricity can remain "around" for a little time.
    It may be a fraction of a second of much more for big devices. I think this is why Olympus tries to be cautious.

    At the same time I'm sure that a lot of people, the majority?, swap lenses with power on so I would expect that eventually all manufacturers did their best to protect the camera for this common situation. I did several time, you just forget to turn off the camera every time. I also never heard of a fried body caused by a lens swap.

    I just checked the aperture thing on one lens: looking at the front element I can clearly see if the diaphragm is open or closed. As soon as I power off the camera it closes down. Disconnecting the lens when powered on it stays open (note: you won't see it closing down while powered on unless you activate the DoF preview mode or take a shot).
     
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Part of it is passive safety, the 4/3 mount is designed such that the bayonet cannot contact the pins and the spacing is such that a contact cannot bridge two pins. The depth of the bayonet and contacts on a Canon lens is such that the bayonet can short the power pins and blow a fuse.

    Just because you've never heard of something doesn't mean it doesn't happen to lots of other people, how many people own an interchangeable lens camera but only one lens? I suspect it's a majority of users.
     
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I was just reporting my experience, reading forum, blog, etc. I've seen a few threads about broken lens mounts, shutters, dials, lens/filters scratches, etc. but none about this. I remember a few threads about this topic and no posts with horror stories. It may be just a coincidence. Did you or anyone else have ever seen one?
    People with only one lens do not swap lenses, so are not really relevant for this discussion and this stat.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  14. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 19, 2016
    I think the discussion over lens damage through the technique being applied is an unnecessary tangent. Reversing a zoom is simply not the best way to get good macro shots. I kicked my self when I saw someone else's recommendation for extension tubes. A reasonable set of extension tubes( with electrical contacts for your zoom) would be an economical approach and would maintain Aperture and focus control. Alternately you could go for the manual focus macro lenses. I would note that for new macro photographers extension rings are always the best start. In my experience every macro photographer has at least one set of extension rings( I have 5 but that is due to having having different cameras)
     
  15. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    I've never herd or found a way to get an Olympus m4/3s to lock at a defined aperture while keeping it when removing the lens from the camera.

    Here is some information that some may find useful -

    Reversing a lens for macro shots can easily move one into the 2:1 - 5:1 reproduction area. This is the primary benefit of reversing a lens, something out of the reach of most macro lenses.

    The wider the lens, the more magnification. Normally this is done using prime lenses and can produce results that equals equipment designed for such photography that cost many times the amount of the reverse lens setup.

    There are two ways to do this, use an adapter such as the OP did reversing the lens and installing it on the adapter, and then the adapter mates with the normal camera mounting. The problem is if you have a lens with an electronic aperture adjustment, you need to find a way to lock the aperture at a specific f-stop to increase DoF from having the lens wide open. I think this is what the OP is intending to do without consistent results.

    If I were to do this Iā€™d find a small older wide angle (15mm ā€“ 35mm) prime with an aperture ring to use. Using a 4/3s or m4/3s lens and trying to get the aperture locked can be a real pain.

    The other option is to get an adapter that screws into the filter section of both m/4/3s lenses and then mount the setup, using the camera mounted lens to control aperture. This was my preferred option long ago.

    Here are a couple of examples ā€“ an Olympus 60mm Macro at 1:1 and the other is a 25mm f/1.4 lens handheld next to the camera body (which really presented challenges with the narrow depth of focus, trying to hold bit the camera and lens together while moving to focus, and get enough light on the subject to get a decent shutter speed. It does present the concept.

    60mm Macro 1:1
    103612-2dba3962fd5bdae039c3166bd0c4eb8a.

    25mm f/1.4 wide open and reversed
    103613-3bc6596b10d8ca84c9fee9492a82f306.

    As previously stated you can use extension tubes, get one with the electrical contacts so you can control the aperture. Getting more magnification than 1:1 can be a challenge.

    In either of these cases, the closeness of the lens to your subject can be a challenge all of their own.

    The next step up in price and ease of use are macro lenses, either adapt one from another manufacturer or one of the m4/3s macro lens. An example of the quality of the Oly 60mm macro is above.

    The ultimate setup would probably be a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens and a m4/3s adapter that allows changing the aperture from the camera, about USD $1500 for both.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 19, 2016
    Actually that would be an overpriced under performing set up. There are much better options some of which are much cheaper than US$3000 quoted here. MFT has a huge advantage in that with the same field of view MFT requires less magnification than APSc or FF with the result of a much greater depth of field. A Schneider Kreuznach APO 45/4 HM enlarger lens second hand will cost about US$400.00. Although not a true APO it will produce( mounted normally) higher resolution photographs than the MP-E-65mm with less distortion, and CA. Mounted normally the lens would perform best in a magnification range of .02 -.4X. ( Which would provide an equivalent field of view to a full frame at .04X - .8X magnification. Reverse that lens and you can get to the 5X ( FF field of view equivalent to 10X) magnification again with better resolution CA and distortion. Over the last few years I have researched macro photography and although I still have a lot to learn but one thing I am sure of is far too many people recite, unthinkingly, the mantra that for good macro work you need 1:1 magnification, people have forgotten that that mantra applies to Full frame cameras. In macro work a smaller sensor actually performs better. 1-1 is not necessary for MFT macro in mft 1-2( half life sized) should be the standard that is applied.

    I think the vast majority of MFT users would have no need to go above 1-2(full frame equivalent 1:1). For the very few who would want to go to five times magnification and higher the MP-E 65 would be one of the worst tools to use on MFT. For 5X the 5X mitutoyo plan APO Objective blows the MPE 65 out of the water on performance and working distance, and if you wanted 10X go for mitutoyo 10X plan APO. Each of the Mitutoyo objectives costs less than the MPE 65, (even when you include the cost of the tube lens and adapters needed to fit those two objectives to a MFT camera.

    MFT photographers need to apply MFT principles to macro photography!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  17. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Um, possibly wise words for some subjects, but every time I've seen someone shown off their enlarger rig it is some enormous several kilo+ thing for field use, or someone using it for dead or static subject macrophotography on an enormous bellows/helicoid thing attached to a table. Not exactly your first choice for going on a photo walk or hunting around for bugs looking for whatever.

    What someone exactly intends to shoot, how big that thing really is, and how they'd like to do it is I think probably a better question to lead with than what they intend to shoot it with first.
     
  18. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 19, 2016
    Schneider Kreuznach APO 45/4 HM (high modulation) enlarger lens and focusing helicoid ( lighter and smaller profile than the Olympus 60mm macro) and if its still too big you can go to just using m39 extension rings( particularly if reversing the lens).

    sk45b.

    sk45a.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  19. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    aSET OF EXTENSION TUBES and a good legacy 50mm can serve you well , the 14 45 panny kit is one of the best kit lenses ever made ....later 14 42s were inferior. also a macro legacy lens could be a good choice ....macro is best done mf imho
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Wait, I remember the last huge rig for one of those I saw, it was your one over here :D

    Is there anyone using that who rates it over the MPE-65 and has both? There was this guy I found on flickr with a bunch of the Schneider Kreuznach enlargers -

    Cristian Arghius


    the 45/4 seems to be the least used one of the lot going by the album count, and he seems to rate the MPE-65 over it here (though not in a straight a/b test).