Macrophotography with Olympus Four Thirds dSLRs
on this page:
examples of AF and MF lenses that can be used
table of lenses with maximum magnification and working distance to achieve this
macro shooting modes for the E330
same example photos at bottom of page
Alan Wood's article on OM macrophotography and microphotography
nb. to avoid confusion, magnifications given are as compared to 35mm film size NOT the 4/3rds sensor size.
Macrophotography - using lenses with the 4/3rds cameras:
Examples of AF lenses designed for Four-Thirds:
macro-extender 25mm tube - ~$A320
see http://www.four-thirds.org/en/products/popup/extension_detail.html for focus range when used on various lenses
when using this, manual focusing is recommended, thus if you need to get this close, you may wish to consider a cheaper MF lens in the first place (see below), although with non-FourThirds lenses you will need to manually stop down the aperture prior to taking the photo (ie. turn the aperture ring rather than just have it set to an aperture as with digital lenses) and the Olympus digital macro flash system does not clamp onto these older lenses without some modification.
when used with the ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro, focus range becomes restricted to 21.3cm to 23.1cm giving 0.49-0.98x macro, but you don't have to worry about stopping down the aperture manually and you can still fit the Olympus macro flash system.
Examples of MF lenses using an adapter for Four-Thirds:
need a Nikon F to 4/3rds adapter.
the fastest full frame macro lenses available:
Makro Planar T* 50mm f/2 $US1124:
closest working distance 24cm to give a full frame coverage of 48x72mm which on 4/3rds is 24x36mm ie. 1:1
Makro Planar T* 100mm f/2 $US1749
"the 100mm f/2 goes several steps further by employing an optical design originally developed for the ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime T* 1.2/100 – an ultra-high performance lens for big budget feature films. Thus, the Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF lens offers an optical performance never before available for still photography, especially at wide-open apertures and in macro applications. This lens allows photographers to use selective focus on important details with unprecedented clarity, effectively isolating the subject from distracting surroundings."
closest working distance 44cm to give a full frame coverage of 48x72mm which on 4/3rds is 24x36mm ie. 1:1
|Lens used on 4/3rds||Min. mag.||distance||Max. mag.||distance||comments|
|Zuiko digital 14-45mm kit||12x18cm||0.38m||budget lens not designed for macro|
|Zuiko digital 14-54mm||5x6.7cm||0.22m||not optimised for macro but better quality lens|
|Zuiko digital 8mm fisheye||7.5x13.2cm||0.135m||for something different - 180deg diag. field of view!|
|Zuiko digital 11-22mm||10x13cm||0.28m||very good wide angle zoom lens|
|Zuiko digital 7-14mm||12x16cm||0.25m||expensive super-wide zoom|
|Zuiko digital 50-200mm||6x8cm||1.2m||very good tele zoom lens f/2.8-3.5|
|AF macro lenses for 4/3rds:|
|Sigma dig. 18-50mm f/2.8 macro||7.2x10.8cm?||0.20m||probably better off with the Zuiko 14-54mm|
|Sigma digital 24mm f/1.8 macro|
|Sigma dig. 105mm f/2.8 macro||2.4x3.6cm?||0.31m|
|Sigma dig. 150mm f/2.8 macro||2.4x3.6cm?||0.38m||APO 1:1|
|Leica digital 45mm f/2 macro||optical image stabiliser|
|Zuiko digital 35mm f/3.5 macro||1.3x1.7cm||0.146m||standard build, not as good as Zuiko dig. 50mm macro|
|Zuiko digital 50mm f/2 macro||4.8x7.2cm||0.24m||using the Olympus EX25 extension tube the magnification can be increased to a true 1:1|
|manual focus OM mounts:|
|Zuiko OM 50mm macro f/3.5||2.4x3.6cm||0.11m||add a Teleplus MC7 macro 2x teleconverter for OM then you can get down to a subject area of just 8x12mm at a distance of just over 6cm from front of lens to subject|
|Zuiko OM 50mm macro f/3.5 plus 25mm OM extension tube||2.4cmx3.6m||0.11m||1.2x1.8cm||0.06m|
|Zuiko OM 35-105 f/3.5 close||8x12cm||1m|
|Tamron SP 300mm f/5.6 OM||4x6cm||1.4m||similar range to Sigma 75-300mm OM|
|manual focus Nikon F mounts:|
|Carl Zeiss ZF 50mm f/2||2.4x3.6cm||0.24m||designed for digital and film|
|Carl Zeiss ZF 100mm f/2||2.4x3.6cm||0.44||super sharp, designed for digital and film|
|Nikon 60mm micro|
|with OM bellows:|
|Zuiko OM 20mm f/3.5 micro||2.8x4.2mm||21mm||0.85x1.45mm||18mm||requires Objective Lens Mount PM-MTob|
|Zuiko OM 38mm f/3.5 micro||6.5x10mm||46mm||2x3mm||32mm||requires Objective Lens Mount PM-MTob|
|Zuiko OM 80mm f/4 macro||45x68mm||347mm||5.2x7.85mm||78mm||some differences between auto-diaphragm & preset models|
|Zuiko OM 135mm f/4.5 macro||60x90mm?||12x18mm||230mm|
|with OM reversal mount 49mm filter thread:||must manually press DOF preview for stopped down apertures
adjusting focus ring gives very little difference, thus focus by adjusting camera distance to subject
|Zuiko OM 50mm standard||~2.2x2.8cm||0.1m||similar to normal use of OM 50mm macro but much less versatile as cannot change magnification much|
|Zuiko OM 50mm macro||1.8cmx2.5cm||~0.1||~1.7cmx2.3cm||0.1m||at infinity focus, gives ~1.9cmx2.5cm|
|Zuiko OM 21mm wide angle||~5 x6.5mm||~0.03m|
|Zuiko OM 75-150mm at 75mm||2.3x3.3cm||~0.17m|
|Zuiko OM 75-150mm at 100mm||x10cm||~0.6m||obviously, the longer the lens focal length, the less useful for macro using this method.|
Camera settings for macrophotography:
these should apply to most Olympus dSLRs.
to shoot close up photos you can use the usual M, A, S, or P modes, but in addition, Olympus provide 3 other modes for macro which restrict your options but are a way of quickly setting reasonable default options:
macro on the dial (the flower):
picture mode Vivid;
some menu items disabled such as MF bracketing, picture mode
macro on the scene mode:
live mode A possible but not mode B.
ISO auto only; WB auto only; vivid colour; built-in flash disabled, S-AF focus mode only
AF illuminator ON (but flash must be up for this to work); normal gradation only;
all scene modes set default camera functions such as:
AEL/AFL and half-press shutter function revert to mode 1 - ie. half press shutter locks focus and exposure.
picture settings: Sharpness 0, Contrast 0, Saturation 0
most menu options disabled but can still change:
file format, self-timer or remote, AF focus point, live boost.
nature macro on the scene mode:
as for "macro on the scene mode", but:
picture settings: Sharpness +1, Contrast +1, Saturation +1
if you are using a manual focus lens then you will want to use Live Mode B and 10x magnified view so this means you can forget the macro scene modes.
some people have said that bright red colours do not come out well in Vivid picture mode so may be better to use Natural
THUS, personally I wouldn't bother using any of these macro modes and just use M, A, S or P mode on the dial as you will have more control.
use a tripod where possible or flash or else consider raising ISO to 640 to give short exposure with minimal noise
if using a tripod, set mirror lock on (via menu - antishock setting to 2sec or whatever you feel like)
if using auto exposure with a legacy MF lens, you may need to adjust exposure compensation setting for different apertures
set Live Boost to ON if using small apertures, otherwise you won't see anything
Here are examples which would be very hard to do with any digital camera other than the E330 or E3:
Head of a live dragonfly trying to get cobwebs off his feet while clinging to a ceiling light.
Oly E330 with OM 50mm macro lens F/22 and 2x teleconv. and Metz Flash, all hand held at ceiling level with focus and composition via the LCD live preview screen being tilted downwards.
PS used to adjust levels and USM applied.
same is shown from different angle and magnification below:
OK, so its just an ordinary housefly, but its alive and resting on pebbles of sand on my brick pavers in the shade, and promptly flew away after the flash went off.
Seems to have the same problems as the Canon dSLRs - dust on its sensors :)
The whole image is 6x12mm in life and was taken with the 50mm OM macro lens combined with the Teleplus MC7, both at full extension.
The front on the lens was about 6cm from the fly and the camera was handheld almost sitting on the pavers with the LCD screen flipped out to compose and adjust the distance to the fly for best focus.
This image was taken at f/5.6 hence the very shallow DOF and a Metz 45CL4 flash at full power about 45cm to the left, lying down on the pavers, so not fully directed at the fly.
No post-processing apart from resizing for web (ie. no cropping or sharpening)