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which lens

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rejo, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. rejo

    rejo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    i've got a gf1 and a want photograph a fly.
    I used to have a canon g10 and this had fantastic close range capabilities, which lens should should I be looking at to get the same close ups photographs as the g10.
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You should get yourself a macro lens. In native Micro Four-Thirds mount there is only one real option, the Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit, but you can get an adapter and mount a number of many other macro lenses. The Four-Thirds lenses will also allow AutoFocus, and there you have lots of good options like the Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro, which is one of the sharpest lenses you'll ever own, or the Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 macro, which is also very sharp, has 1:1 macro capabilities, and is also quite affordable. However, I personally prefer a longer macro lens. I use the Kiron/Vivitar 100mm f/2.8 Macro, and there are lots of other 1:1 macro lenses in the 100mm/2.8 or 90mm/2.5 format from other makes as well. That's a good length for a macro, allowing you decent working space with easy handling. If you want a ton of working space you can get the Zuiko 70-300mm f/4-5.6 for Four-Thirds, which allows 1:2 macro focus at 300mm (it is also a very affordable lens like the 35mm macro). Same magnification as the Zuiko 50mm macro but being a telephoto it will be a lot shakier to compose and focus but will give you ample room for lighting and to avoid disturbing live subjects. The Zuiko 35mm macro gives you the other end of the extreme (really great close-up macro) but the 100mm macro primes give you the best balance between the two extremes.

    I don't know which Micro Four-Thirds body you have, but if you happen to have the m.Zuiko 14-42mm II or 14-42mm II R kit lens from Olympus, there is also a Macro converter lens which is available for it... I wouldn't really suggest it, but it would probably be your cheapest option. Also, if you get any kind of SLR lenses you can get extension tubes and teleconverters which will also improve the macro capabilities of ANY lens you mount (at the cost of lens speed). My suggestion if you go this route would be to get a Four-Thirds mount adapter (Panasonic DMW-MA1, Olympus MMF-1, or Olympus MMF-2), which will allow you to mount the EX-25 extension tube, EC-14 1.4x teleconverter, or EC-20 2x teleconverter, and from there you can adapt all your SLR lenses from any format to Four-Thirds. Four-Thirds mount has the shortest flange of any SLR so it can be adapted to any legacy SLR lenses, but not rangefinder lenses, cine lenses, or Pen FT lenses (these can be adapted directly to Micro Four-Thirds mount instead). Olympus doesn't have much for extension tubes, but they have the best teleconverters I've ever used. Since the teleconverters use glass, they need to be of high optical quality. Extension tubes are pretty basic construction. I think Nikon has a very good selection of extension tubes, bellows, and the like for their micro (Nikon's name for "macro") lenses.
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    As Ned says, your only straight-up m4/3 lens is the 45mm macro, made by Panasonic/Leica. I use a Nikon-m4/3 adapter successfully, with a Nikon 55mm. If you're willing to adapt lenses, then the sky's the limit. Try the Olympus OM 50mm f/3.5, 50mm f/2, or 90mm f/2. You won't be disappointed.
  4. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    I use the Panny Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro. Let me simply say this is a positively excellent lens. In addition to offering excellent image quality it has long enough working distance to make this lens highly functional when supplemental loghting is required. Do not forget that just because this lens is labeled "MACRO" does not mean that it cannot be used for general purpose photography.

    Best regards,
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I just sold my PL45 last week to a fellow mu-43 user and I am already missing it a bit. I didn't use it for macro much, and this is why I ultimately sold it, but it was really great for general shooting. I was just going through some vacation photos from a couple weeks ago and really impressed with how sharp they were.
  6. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    In my opinion, it is really not fair to compare the 20mm with the 45mm. These lenses differ too much in angle of coverage. By the same token, I try tio use the 45mm lens as my "head and shoulders" lens and it is truly head and shoulders above the rest. Right now, I do very little true macro shooting,but I do a whole lot of moderately close people, animal, and smaller object photography. The 45mm is my lens choice for these shots.

    Best regards,
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Note that the smaller sensor in the compact is actually a significant advantage for these types of shots. The depth of field (amount of scene in focus) is dramatically reduced with the larger sensor. This means you will need to use a smaller aperture (larger f/ stop number) and a longer shutter speed. Because of this, lighting will be MUCH more critical than it was with your G10.

    Of course, the reward will be considerably higher image quality.
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    No one has compared the 20mm to the 45mm . . .
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    What you will want to ask yourself is how much you want to get invested in close-up/macro work.

    Lowest price entry and simplest would be a reversal ring which attaches to the front of one of your existing lenses, like the Panny 20/1.7 or Pany 14-45 zoom. Simply reversing the lens will give you some dramatic close up capability for less than $20.

    Or pick up a legacy macro from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc and a m4/3 adapter. This will cost a fair bit more, but will be more versatile.

    Then there is the bellows option, in addition to the macro lens.

    Then, as suggested, the Pana-Leica 45mm macro, which is an awesome lens and also allows you full auto focus functionality as a portrait length native lens. This is a more expensive approach, but if you intend to do a fair bit of close up work, would probably be a good route to take.

    The main thing is to decide how much of this kind of work you want to do and how much you want to invest in gear to do it.
  10. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran


    What you wrote is very true. However, in practice this often does not work as the lens used becomes diffraction limited so that the image quality deteriorates, thus rendering the apparent DOF increase essentially useless. In practice, you almost have to use shorter wavelength radiation to increase the DOF significantly because the shorter the wavelength, the less is the diffraction when all else is equal.

    Best regards,
  11. rejo

    rejo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    i want

    Thanks to everyone for thier replies and tips ..... looks like I should start saving for the 45mm.
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    That's definitely an option, but let me just reiterate what I said earlier. If you have any film shops in the Netherlands that sell used camera gear, consider buying something like a 50mm or 90mm macro lens for something like the Olympus OM mount or Canon FD mount. This will allow you to be shooting macro with identical image quality, for half the price or less. With macro, you don't use autofocus anyway, so unless you want the 45mm just because you will use it for general shooting like portraits, consider saving some money.
  13. rejo

    rejo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011

    ok whats a good make for the adaptor gf1 to canon, nothing that cheap that it only lasts 2 minutes.
  14. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Voigtlander, Kipon, and Metabones are all good quality adapters. Look in the adapted lens forum, and you'll find a wealth of information. You don't have to limit yourself to what I mentioned either. The Konica mount and Minolta SR/MD/MC mount are both highly regarded manufacturers as well.
  15. lannes

    lannes Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    I've got some good shots with the a zoom (14-140) and cropping the image from the gh2. Not sure how this will go with the gf1, but it could be a short term option while you save for a macro lens. There is quite a bit of magnification to be had, see the flower bud compared to the bee.

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  16. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011

    I recommend getting adapters and giving legacy glass a go. If AF is absolutely critical, then splash it out for the PL 45 2.8.
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