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Macrophotography with Olympus Four Thirds dSLRs

see also:

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:

Examples of MF lenses using an adapter for Four-Thirds:

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.

Shooting modes:

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)