Panasonic and Olympus are yet to produce a macro extension tube for the Micro Four Thirds camera system.
This is somewhat unfortunate given that the Micro Four Thirds system is better suited to macro work than dSLRs as:
- accurate manual focus is much easier and faster to use as there is no mirror to move out of the way
- lighter cameras means your hands don’t tire as quick when doing hand held nature work
- 2x crop factor gives you more magnification or working distance
- smaller sensor may allow more depth of field which is so critical in macro work
- the flip out swivel live LCD of the GH-1 further adds to its versatility in macro work
Of course you can use practically any macro extension tube set ever made – for example you can use an Olympus OM extension tube or bellows with an Olympus OM lens – all you need is an OM-MFT adapter.
But now there is another option which will suit those who have various brand macro lenses – Rong Jin (jinfinance/muh) has just announced availability of a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) extension tube set on Ebay shipped from China for $US38.50 – see here.
As this is a MFT mount tube set, it means you could use any MFT lens with it – but unfortunately, you will not be able to change its aperture or use auto-focus as there is no electrical coupling available.
This means this extension tube set would be most useful with legacy lenses which have an aperture ring and means all you need is a legacy lens to MFT adapter to use a legacy lens with it.
Note that Rong Jin also makes a large range of legacy lens to MFT adapters – see his Ebay store.
Oh, and if you don’t believe me that MFT can do great nature macro shots, check out Fardel2009 on Flickr who uses a Panasonic GF-1 with Leica 45mm MFT macro lens to give shots such as these: