Using M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro

jk4u59

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
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85
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Milan, Italy
Real Name
Ivan Dalmonte
Hello all,

I just bought a second-hand M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. It seems to be an exceptional lens, very sharp and well build (I read somewhere it's "one of the top macro lenses on the market"). My first attempts confirm this good reputation (also enhanced by the "Focus Stacking in-camera body" capability), but I still have a question:
  • I saw several exceptional shots of insects' head (you know, those with giant faceted eyes, giving them an extra-terrestrial look) made with this lens. But insects' eyes are extremely tiny, so I'm wondering how can these be caught in such detail by the 60mm macro lens: I tried to shot at 1:1 magnification (the highest possible using this lens) a small insect I found in my house and, apart from the difficulty to keep manually in focus the subject, the result was far from producing such big picture of the eyes (look at the picture!)
So, how big are those "UFO insects" I saw on sample pictures? ;)

Bye
Ivan (Milan, Italy)
 

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Hanky

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Aug 24, 2021
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Centre of The Netherlands
Dear Ivan,

If you want a bigger magnification than 1:1, you will need to use extension tubes or close-up lens filters.
The next problem you then will encounter, is an extremely narrow focus area. Focus stacking can solve this problem easely, but needs a very steady hand but preferably a tripod. I encounter the same problems as you do, so I know now that real macro fotography is more or less a class of its own. Hope you learn and enjoy it as much as I do.
 
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jk4u59

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
85
Location
Milan, Italy
Real Name
Ivan Dalmonte
Dear Ivan,

If you want a bigger magnification than 1:1, you will need to use extension tubes or close-up lens filters.
The next problem you then will encounter, is an extremely narrow focus area. Focus stacking can solve this problem easely, but needs a very steady hand but preferably a tripod. I encounter the same problems as you do, so I know now that real macro fotography is more or less a class of its own. Hope you learn and enjoy it as much as I do.
Hi,

I know, I had some experience in the (far) past using extension tubes with a standard 50mm lens, and lately with Focus Stacking, but made almost "manually" by shooting several pictures and then merging them into a sigle one with Photoshop. Also, I know very well the narrow depth of field problem!

My question is, actually: is it possible to shot such spectacular pictures (have a view!) using only that macro lens, without the help of further devices such as close-up lenses or other tubes?
 

RAH

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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Dec 1, 2013
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2,124
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New Hampshire
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Rich
Hi,

I know, I had some experience in the (far) past using extension tubes with a standard 50mm lens, and lately with Focus Stacking, but made almost "manually" by shooting several pictures and then merging them into a sigle one with Photoshop. Also, I know very well the narrow depth of field problem!

My question is, actually: is it possible to shot such spectacular pictures (have a view!) using only that macro lens, without the help of further devices such as close-up lenses or other tubes?
I would say no, although you have to consider that many images you see online are heavily cropped without any mention of that. Otherwise, I think you need to either use additional equipment or find an insect about the size of the dog in @Hanky 's Profile picture. ;)
 

scb

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Joined
Oct 21, 2017
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132
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North Ridgeville, OH
Real Name
Steve
Using the lens takes practice. I suggest you take a look at what Robin Wong does with the lens and his techniques.

I'm still learning how to use the lens. I suggest you practice without using the 1:1 setting, but focus on the technique of controlling the light, f/ stop and ISO settings and using both auto and manual focus modes. I tend to use the auto focus mode (with single small point focus). Using an auxiliary light or flash can help with keeping the shutter speed high enough to allow lower ISO settings.

You can get close enough using the 1:1 setting to capture those incredible "head" shots if you can get the lens close enough. Obviously, using a tripod can help if your subject(s) are stationary or very slow moving. I can't see using tubes or extensions unless you have pretty well mastered using the lens without tubes or extensions.

Take your time and just enjoy using the lens. At first, I got frustrated and started to regret buying the lens. But, I just started using it and some of the shots I've captured have given me the encouragement to keep using the lens.
 
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