Just thought I would start a page to list the enormous range of macro lenses you can use on your mirror-less camera systems such as Micro Four Thirds.
As a general rule one does NOT use auto focus for macro-photography as manual focus is MUCH easier, and many set a focus, and thus a magnification, and then adjust the camera to subject distance, using magnified live view to assess focus accurately.
Thus, this is one area where you can get by with older and cheaper manual focus macro lenses – although they may not be optically corrected as well as the new digital lenses.
Most legacy manual focus lenses can be bought on Ebay for under $200 and the main issue with them tends to be purple fringing at high contrast edges such as on edges of white petals.
You can use Canon EF lenses, but setting the aperture must be done on a Canon body BEFORE mounting on a different camera system which makes them not very practical for most macro work when you need to focus wide open then stop down.
Most of these legacy macro lenses (except Leica M, enlarger, Canon FD) can also be used on Canon or Olympus dSLRs, but generally, only the Nikon-mount ones can be used on Nikon dSLRs.
You will not be able to use TTL auto exposure mode flash with legacy lenses on a Panasonic camera, but this can be used on an Olympus camera.
See also my notes here on macrophotography.
See also examples of photos here.
Macro lenses which will autofocus on a Micro Four Thirds camera:
- Panasonic Leica-D 45mm f/2.8 OIS 1:1 macro
- Olympus M.ZD macro lens should be coming in 2011
- Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 1:2 macro – one of the sharpest lenses around; AF only on Olympus or Panasonic G2 – but very slow
- Olympus ZD 35mm 1:1 macro – consumer quality lens, slow AF
- Sigma 24mm f/1.8 macro for FT – ?AF
- Sigma macro 105mm f/2.8 EX DG for FT – ?AF
- Sigma APO macro 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM for FT – ?AF
Legacy 50-80mm macro lenses:
- Olympus OM 50mm f/3.5 1:1 macro
- Olympus OM 50mm f/2.0 1:2 macro
- Nikon Micro-Nikkor AI-S 55mm f/2.8
- Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D
- Nikon Micro-Nikkor P.C. 55mm f/3.5 1:1 – older model – must preset aperture
- Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro
- Pentax Asahi Macro Takumar 50mm f/4 1:2 auto – be sure to get the one with A/M switch so you can use it in manual mode and stop it down
- Pentax Asahi Macro Takumar 50mm f/4 1:1 preset – older version
- Minolta Macro Rokkor MD 50mm f/3.5
- Minolta Macro Rokkor QF 50mm f/3.5 1:2 – pre-multicoating
- Yashica 60mm f/2.8 macro
- Yashica ML 55mm f/4 macro
- Volna-9 50mm f/2.8 macro – Russian made
- Industar 61 L/Z – sharp, can be used as macro lens and cheaper than the Volna
- Carl Zeiss S-Planar 74mm f/4 macro enlarger lens
- Leica Macro Elmarit-R 60mm f/2.8 1:2-
- Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 – in Nikon (ZF), or Pentax (ZK) mounts, or older Contax/Yashica mount
Legacy 90-120mm macro lenses:
- Olympus OM 90mm f/2.01:2 macro – one of the best macro lenses ever made but still very expensive!
- Leica MACRO-ELMAR-M Macro lens 90mm F/4.0-Leica M – very expensive
- Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 – in Nikon (ZF), or Pentax (ZK) mounts, or older Contax/Yashica mount
- Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 1:2 macro Adaptall-2 mount – very nice, 55mm (9 blades) and 52mm filter versions (6 blades) – a bit soft and low contrast wide open. Sharpest at f/8-f/11.
- Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 1:2 macro
- Tokina 90mm f/2.5 1:2 macro – similar design but different glass and hardware to the Vivitar, and apparently great bokeh
- Pentax Asahi Takumar 100mm f/4 1:2 macro
- Nikon Micro-Nikkor AI-S 105mm f/2.8
- Nikon PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D – tilt shift lens
- Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro
- Canon FD 100mm f/4.0 Macro
- Minolta Macro Rokkor MD 100mm f/4 – 55mm filter, multicoated design, much lighter, optically better than the earlier f/3.5 lens
- Minolta Macro Rokkor-X MD 100mm f/3.5 – 52mm early design lens
- Carl Zeiss S-Planar 100mm f/4 macro enlarger lens
- Leica R Macro Elmarit 100mm f4
- Kiron 105mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1
Legacy 120-200mm macro lenses:
- Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D
- Nikon Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4.0 1:1 with built-in ring flash – aperture changes according to focus distance to enable correct flash exposure before the days of TTL flash! Big, cumbersome, requires dedicated LD-2 external power unit for flash.
- Voigtländer SL 125/2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar ?
Legacy macro lenses for use with bellows or extension tubes:
- Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 20mm f/2: – designed for 5-13x macro
- Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 38mm f/2.8: – designed for 2-6x macro
- Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 80mm f/4: designed for 0.2-2x macro (NB. there is also an older preset version!)
- Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 135mm f/4.5: – designed for 0.2-1x macro with 230mm working distance
- Canon Macrophoto Lens 20mm f/3.5 preset – 4-10x macro via Canon FD macrophoto lens adapter
- Canon Macrophoto Lens 35mm f/2.8 preset – 2-6x macro via Canon FD macrophoto lens adapter
- Canon Bellows FLM 100mm F4.0 1:1 auto Lens requires Bellows FL
- Nikon 105mm f/4 Bellows-Nikkor 1:1 -
- Minolta Macro Rokkor MD 50mm f/3.5 auto bellows macro
- Minolta Macro Rokkor MD 100mm f/4 auto bellows
- Minolta Micro Rokkor MD 12.5mm f/2 auto bellows
- Minolta Micro Rokkor MD 23mm f/2.5 auto bellows