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Some Macro work with a GX1 - recommendations please

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by harry66, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    Hi all,
    I currently have a GX1 with the 20mm and the PZ 14-42mm lens.
    I fancy doing some macro work - nothing too serious so cannot justify the Lumix 45mm.

    Options I am considering are either getting one of the new Panasonic Macro adaptor DMW-GMC1 for the 14-42mm
    getting a used DMW-MA1 plus either a Used Olympus 35mm f3.5 Zuiko Digital Macro OR Used Olympus 50mm f3.5 Zuiko Macro

    Mostly just want to capture insects or small flowers in the garden...

    What would you guys / gals recommend? the GMC1 or the Olympus + MA1 route?
    Or any other suggestions....

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

    EDIT: I mistakenly thought the 50mm was a 4/3rd lens but it looks like it is an OM lens... Is this right?
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The 50/2 is the 4/3s macro.

    The PL45/2.8 is a great lens. If you can find one used, they go for $500-600 and IMHO is a helluva deal at that price.

    The one other option you haven't listed is the new Olympus 12-50, which has close focus ability probably great for flowers.
  3. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    The 12-50mm looks quite good, but I am worried about the lack of IS when combined with a GX1? I don't consider myself to have particularly steady hands...

    Am I right to be concerned or worrying to much? I thought that if I was photographing a small insect any movement would be bad for the image.
  4. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    If you want to try shooting macro to see if you enjoy it, I suggest buying a supplementary close up lens for your PZ 14-42mm lens and trying that. This is a very low cost way of doing macro and the results can be surprisingly good. You will still have the benefit of autofocus.

    The macro lenses usually come in different strengths, +1, +2 and +4 dioptres. Don't worry about what dioptres means, the higher the number, the greater the strength of the lens and the closer you can get to what you're shooting. If you buy a set of three you can combine them to make anything from +1 to +7, although results do deteriorate as you use higher numbers or more than one lens together.

    The filter size of your lens is 37mm and the close-up lenses screw into that filter thread. The results are best with the lens stopped down a little, so I suggest you try f/5.6 or f/8 at first, in A mode. Bigger apertures (lower f numbers) will give more colour fringing, especially at the edges of the shot, and smaller apertures (higher f numbers) will bring an overall loss of sharpness due to diffraction, so f/5.6 or f/8 should be a good compromise.

    There's a very cheap set here on eBay UK from a supplier in the UK (even cheaper sets are available if you can wait for 2-3 weeks delivery from China):
    New! ~37MM Close-Up Lens Set 4 Filter Kit +1 +2 +4 +10 | eBay

    If you find you really enjoy macro, you can think about a dedicated macro lens or the Panasonic macro adapter (but wait until you see reviews of that item as the results from adapters tend not to be great). But the cheap close up lenses are a good way to try macro without spending a lot of money.

    Let us know how you get on.
  5. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    I had considered the close up lens approach but had read somewhere that they were a waste of time.
    But I suppose at £10 I cant really go wrong so I will give them a try...nothing (apart from £10) to lose :wink:
  6. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    Raynox supplementary lenses can give excellent results but at £40.- £50. each still aren't cheap. And yes you can still use AF. I recently got an OM 50mm f3.5 macro lens for £70. on eBay- manual focus and you will need an adapter.
    No macro is easy hand-held. Most folk who get great macro shots have likely used a tripod.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There is a 50mm f/2 macro in both OM and 4/3 mount. Both are excellent.

    I would definitely go for the DMW-MA1 + Zuiko Digital lenses route. You need a dedicated macro lens and you lose nothing by adapting one. Macro is certainly one area where native lenses hold no advantage. Converter lenses are not a viable alternative to a macro lens.
  8. yhbae

    yhbae Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    I'm in a similar boat but I do own a Oly body so I'm looking at 12-50 more seriously as a macro option.

    There's also the upcoming Oly 60mm macro... Hopefully this will be much cheaper than the Panny 45mm, since it doesn't have the Leica name and it also doesn't feature IOS...
  9. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    If you are planning on buying a new or new-ish lens, I suggest renting it first (if available). The $20 for the weekend could save you hundreds in the long run.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    That was my point in trying a Raynox or MF OM macro at relatively small cost. Not everyone has the patience for attaining good macro results, whatever the lens.......dedicated native macro lenses may not give you better images. All down to budget as well.
  11. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    Well, I've ordered the cheapo close-up kit of Ebay. See what happens.

    The idea of needing a tripod to capture an easily spooked (winged) insect was not something I had appreciated -most times I have tried to photograph a butterfly or dragonfly it just flies off unless I am very very careful...Not sure how I would get in there with a Tripod without scaring it off...
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is why longer focal length macros are preferred. My two favorite tele-macros for shooting bugs are the 100mm f/2.8 primes and the Zuiko 70-300mm zoom. The Zuiko 70-300mm can get 1:2 just like the Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro, but with a 3' working distance.


    A teleconverter will help as well. It will increase your magnification without reducing your working distance.

    The above shots were all hand-held by the way, and the second was adding an 1.4x teleconverter to a 300mm focal length. You don't NEED a tripod to do macro. Butterflies and dragonflies are both much larger than these bugs.
  13. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    Thanks Ned .. pretty impressive shots there.
    More choices to consider :eek: ....

    I assume the Lumix Zooms (45-175 or 45-200) don't get down to 1:2 magnification? Still like the idea of having OIS on the lenses...
  14. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    Careful, it's the Four Thirds 70-300 that's 1:2, not the Micro Four Thirds 75-300. The 75-300 (and the Panasonic 100-300) are nowhere near 1:1.

    With telephotos you can mount a diopter to increase magnification. Basically, you then zoom in to increase magnification. It doesn't work as well as a real macro lens, but if you've got a tele and don't want to buy a macro lens, it's a valid solution.

    The one thing I'd recommend with macro is to get a good flash, and diffuse it. Macro photographers have all kinds of crazy DIY flash diffusers because lighting is CRITICAL for macro, and sunlight rarely cooperates fully. You can certainly shoot ambient if you want to, but in the end it's more difficult to get good results than shooting with flash.

    On my Canon kit I use an MT-24EX. On Micro Four Thirds I use an FL-36R with a Lumiquest Mini Softbox. Both make macro a LOT easier!
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    For flowers and insects, I wouldn't bother with the 4/3 lenses. The AF won't be useful (for starters, it's way to slow) and the prices aren't all that attractive (>$250 for the 35+adapter).

    Either spend $30-40 for a good close-up filter (in addition to the DMW-GC1, Marumi and Raynox have options that are pretty good), or spend $100-125 for a manual focus 50-60mm macro lens and an adapter (there are lots of possibilities - Nikon's 55/3.5 is one example).


  16. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    The Canon FD 200mm macro is fabulous as well. Easily adapted to micro 4/3 and inexpensive.

  17. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    This was done with my GF2 and the Olympus 50 f2 macro for 4/3 on the Panny adapter, handheld with a macro ring light when I was at BaselWorld 2012 watch show recently...works fine!


    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  18. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Can you help me with that?

    I need a lens for closeup, would love some specifics.

  19. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    Thanks - will wait for my close ups but definitely still considering the Olympus 50 f2 macro for 4/3.

  20. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    With the recent £50 cashback offer from Lumix and a work bonus (small one:redface:) burning a whole in my pocket I went for the Lumix 45mm...

    Just been in the garden for a few minutes - its a bit breezy but managed the two attachments handheld - need to go back out with a tripod...

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
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