Which Macro for modern Panasonic body?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by scotttnz, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. I'm planing to buy a Macro lens soon, and had more or less settled on the Oly 60 after reading some reviews and comparisons with the P45, but as both lenses are a few years old now, the comparisons I have seen don't take into account some of the features of the new Panasonic bodies. I have G85 and Gx85 bodies, so I am wondering how things like DFD focusing and Dual IS, which are both supported with the P45, but not the O60 change the equation?
    I am a novice when it comes to close up photography, although I did have a 100mm macro years ago with my Canon 5D. It remains to be seen if I have forgotten the little I learnt using it, but from what I do remember I have ruled out either of the 30mm options due to the short working distance. I was leaning towards the 60mm mainly for working distance, and price reasons, but if DFD and Dual IS are going to give me big advantages the P45 would also be a strong contender. I'd be thankful to hear from anyone with relevant experience.
  2. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I like the longer working distance of the Oly 60, and it doubles as a nice portrait lens, as well.

    For macro work, I use a tripod, never hand held, so Dual image stabilization isn't important to me from that standpoint.

    Working distance with the 45 shouldn't be too bad, either, but if dual use as a portrait lens matters to you, the 60 would have a bit of an edge there.
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi DFD is mainly intended for moving subjects with CAF, I doubt it's a factor for close-ups.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    The O60 is pretty hard to beat for the money (also generally cheaper than the 45) and the longer working distance is great. Also weather-resistant which can come in handy.
  5. Thanks for the responses everyone, I think I will stick with the Oly. It's about NZ$300 cheaper than the Panasonic here, and I do think I will enjoy the longer working distance. Thanks again.
  6. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I like my Oly 60mm, but I use it on Oly cameras, you will not be able to use fokus stacking/bracketing on a pana-camera.
  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I thought focus stacking on Panasonic cameras resulted in a JPEG file, and thus could be used with any lens (Olympus, Panasonic, adapted, etc.)?
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I havent tryed it myself, but i friend regrettet buying the Oly 60mm because stacking wasnt working on he´s pana cameras.
    I guess it´s because the camera need to move the fokus a set distance in the lens and propably need the right software.
  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    My understanding is that focus stacking will work on Panasonic cameras, with the Olympus 60mm lens, if the camera is one that supports the 4K post focus feature.

    You can't really compare this with focus stacking on the Olympus cameras, as it is limited to the relatively low quality 4K resolution instead of 16MP or 20MP with Olympus, and you don't get the raw file.

    It will work but if you are serious about this type of photography with a Panasonic camera you might consider doing focus bracketing with automatic or manual focus adjustments and then use Helicon Focus to process the results on your computer. That way you can get full resolution images.

    The Oly 60mm is a superb lens.
  10. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 21, 2017
    Mike Wingate
    I am very happy with my O 60mm macro lens on my GX80. I most often shoot macro on a tripod or monopod. The Photo Stacking from the Panasonic camera is great, but you need to keep still. The lens is small, nice and fast and a joy to use. The extra distance from the subject lets a bit more light in. It works well with extension tubes, and the Raynox 250 clips onto the lenshood. Winner.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    Ok good news for my friend, i´ll tell him that it can work :)
  12. Thanks for all your comments. I picked up the Olympus today :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    What do you expect to be photographing? Will you be working in a controlled situation where the subject can't move? Artificial light like flash or continuous lighting? Or working outdoors using natural light to photograph things that can move. (Even the slightest breeze can move a flower subject around enough to mess up focus. A bit more breeze can move the subject right out of the frame.) I work outside in uncontrolled situations. Most shots are taken at 1:2 magnification with a working distance of 12-13 inches.

    Do you intend to work at 1:1 magnification? If so, look carefully at the minimum focus distance for the lenses you are considering. Remember that the quoted distance is from the sensor to the subject. I consider the 60mm's minimum focus distance to be less than optimum. I would not want the 45mm or a 30mm because their 1:1 working distance is just too small.

    Most of the recent photos in my Flickr gallery were taken with a G6 or G7 and 60mm lenses.


    Some 60mm macros photos from last year

    Fetid adders toungue - Forest of Nicene Marks - 2/6/2016 - NatureLover

    I've used other macro lenses and find the Oly 60mm works as well as any of the others. It is a lovely lens. The combination of G7 and 60mm macro is way better than the Nikon DSLR based macro setups I used earlier.
  14. Kennikins

    Kennikins Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 25, 2017
    you can do stacking on pan using post focus.........watch this is a good tutorial.
  15. junkyardsparkle

    junkyardsparkle Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 17, 2016
    like, The Valley
    Of course, "optimum" depends a lot on what you're doing... the working distance for the Oly 60/2.8 between 1:1 and 1:2 is ~8-13cm. One thing this distance is optimal for is using a diffused camera-mounted flash for agile run-and-gun lighting. I would say this is the lens for poking around after critters that don't generally wander out into the daylight and don't stay still for very long, and might tend to be found in awkward locations. :D
  16. Kennikins

    Kennikins Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 25, 2017
    on the subject of flash and lighting for macro particularly the oly 60 can someone recommend a good competitively priced ring flash?
  17. junkyardsparkle

    junkyardsparkle Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 17, 2016
    like, The Valley
    Good, competitively priced, ring flash: pick any two. :p
    I don't think there's a whole lot of competition in the ring flash market, assuming you're talking about actual flash tubes and not LEDs (which aren't bright enough to be very useful for many purposes). Doesn't bother me because I don't generally like the look they produce anyway...
  18. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    I have found conventional flashes on the camera to work very well with the 60mm lens. The little ones that come with the E-M1 I and E-M1 II for example.