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Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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Default Macro on a budget... help please!

I'm enjoying taking photos again (and videos) with my new GH1 outfit, but I do want to explore the wonderful world of macro photography.... however, I simply can't afford a proper m4/3 macro lens at the minute.

I have read that old glass is quite easy to use on the GH1 (via an adaptor of course), and have also read that reversing a lens works well for macro work, giving quite high magnifications.

I don't know what lens(es) would be best to give this a whirl though - 28mm? 50mm? 85mm? I've seen a 52mm thread reversing ring with m4/3 mount on eBay which suggests that all I have to do is find a prime lens with 52mm filter thread, fire it on, and it's good to go backwards, yes?

When you reverse a lens, is the magnification also the opposite way round - e.g. the wider the focal length, the more magnification (so a 28mm lens would offer more enlargement than an 85mm)..?

Given its' usefulness as a portrait (and video) lens, would a 50mm f/1.4 (or f/1.8) would be a good dual-purpose manual lens to have..? Is it even remotely suitable and appropriate for reverse macro..?

Any lens choices (and other macro) advice would be very much appreciated!!
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 6:59 PM   #2
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Right now the only AF option for macro with the GH1 is the leica 45mm lens, but that is not a budget lens.

If you want simple and can give up on AF you can get the oly 35mm 3.5 with the panasonic adapter, you will still be able to set aperture with the gh1. So you can see the shot without it getting darker when you stop down. I pick up a used lens for 147 on ebay and a 100 dollar panny adapter on ebay for my epl-1 and it is quite a nice marco set up. Here are some samples of the lens.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...5mm-3-5-a.html

I you want full manual, the canon fd 50mm was a good macro lens if you get an fd adapter.
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 8:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmacmusic View Post
I'm enjoying taking photos again (and videos) with my new GH1 outfit, but I do want to explore the wonderful world of macro photography.... however, I simply can't afford a proper m4/3 macro lens at the minute.

I have read that old glass is quite easy to use on the GH1 (via an adaptor of course), and have also read that reversing a lens works well for macro work, giving quite high magnifications.

I don't know what lens(es) would be best to give this a whirl though - 28mm? 50mm? 85mm? I've seen a 52mm thread reversing ring with m4/3 mount on eBay which suggests that all I have to do is find a prime lens with 52mm filter thread, fire it on, and it's good to go backwards, yes?

When you reverse a lens, is the magnification also the opposite way round - e.g. the wider the focal length, the more magnification (so a 28mm lens would offer more enlargement than an 85mm)..?

Given its' usefulness as a portrait (and video) lens, would a 50mm f/1.4 (or f/1.8) would be a good dual-purpose manual lens to have..? Is it even remotely suitable and appropriate for reverse macro..?

Any lens choices (and other macro) advice would be very much appreciated!!
Using a cheap reverse ring set-up will give you more magnification AND higher quality than even a good macro lens. And yes, the wider the angle lens, the greater the magnification - In fact I found even 35mm gives too large a magnification, you can't even shoot large bugs...

I would recomend a 50mm.

The bad news is that you lose all electronic connection to your camera, you have to focus by moving the camera, the light meter is useless. All settings must be done in manual mode.

But if you're ready to put in a lot of work, you will get better results from this method then an expensive macro lens.

Dave
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 8:32 PM   #4
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or if you need more magnification, get the oly 50mm macro with the 4/3 adapter and you will still have metering and aperture control. But if you need even more magnification, oly 35mm macro with the ex 25 tube. Almost 2:1 macro, 1.68x mag to be exact
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 8:59 PM   #5
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Macro on the cheap calls for close-up lenses or extension tubes. Reversing rings are if you want to get REALLY close, and it's likely that your GH1 won't work with one, even if you could find one.

Close-up lenses are a good way to get your feet wet, and even extension tubes might not work well because of all the funny things that Micro 4/3 cameras do with lenses.
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 9:09 PM   #6
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the extension tube is the question, I have contacted oly to see if if the ex 25 will work on m4/3 bodies.
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato View Post
Using a cheap reverse ring set-up will give you more magnification AND higher quality than even a good macro lens. Dave
More magnification, OK, higher quality, I doubt it.

A. C.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 3:59 AM   #8
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Thanks folks... exactly the knowledgeable conversation I was hoping for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Right now the only AF option for macro with the GH1 is the leica 45mm lens, but that is not a budget lens.

If you want simple and can give up on AF you can get the oly 35mm 3.5 with the panasonic adapter, you will still be able to set aperture with the gh1. So you can see the shot without it getting darker when you stop down. I pick up a used lens for 147 on ebay and a 100 dollar panny adapter on ebay...
I can give up on the AF for sure - in fact, I'd always expected to be focusing manually to get the best results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato View Post
Using a cheap reverse ring set-up will give you more magnification AND higher quality than even a good macro lens. And yes, the wider the angle lens, the greater the magnification - In fact I found even 35mm gives too large a magnification, you can't even shoot large bugs...

I would recomend a 50mm.

The bad news is that you lose all electronic connection to your camera, you have to focus by moving the camera, the light meter is useless. All settings must be done in manual mode.

But if you're ready to put in a lot of work, you will get better results from this method then an expensive macro lens. Dave
Thanks Dave - very useful! You have confirmed what I thought - 28mm might be too extreme, and I'll have to go fully manual. As I suspected, an old FD 50mm would indeed be a good lens choice then, since it could be used both ways around (with suitable adaptors of course)...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Macro on the cheap calls for close-up lenses or extension tubes. Reversing rings are if you want to get REALLY close, and it's likely that your GH1 won't work with one, even if you could find one.

Close-up lenses are a good way to get your feet wet, and even extension tubes might not work well because of all the funny things that Micro 4/3 cameras do with lenses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
the extension tube is the question, I have contacted oly to see if if the ex 25 will work on m4/3 bodies.
I would like to get really close, but what is the story with extension tubes... Obviously there are no m4/3-specific tubes, but why, if you were using standard four-thirds lenses via adaptor on a GH1 (or G1/GF1/Oly) would the four-thirds extension tube(s) not work?

I wonder if I've I missed something about adapted lenses though.... I was under the impression that if I fitted a 50mm FD lens using FD->m4/3 adaptor, I would be able to use Aperture priority mode, setting the aperture on the camera to the same as the (manual) setting on the lens. Obviously I'd need to turn "shoot w/o lens" on as there is no electronic communication between body and lens. Is this wrong, and I need to shoot fully manually...?

Adaptor prices seem to vary, but I was attracted by the fact that I could delve into super-macro using a reversed lens for very little outlay.... It seems I can pick up an 50mm FD lens for 20, reversing-ring for 13 and an FD-adaptor for 20 - that's about 50 for a fast prime when mounted the right way around, and super-macro when it's fitted the wrong way...... Lot's cheaper than even a second-hand dedicated macro lens.

Or am I being daft..?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 7:51 AM   #9
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More magnification, OK, higher quality, I doubt it.

A. C.
What do I know? I only shot with a reverse ring for twenty years?

Extension Tube Set (Macro Ring) Close-Up Lens Macro Focus Mount ...

Reverse Mounting Your Prime Lenses for Affordable Macro Photography

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Old Mar 29, 2010, 8:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato View Post
Well Dave, you'll be glad to know that I decided life is too short and valuing your advice above, I've gone for it!!

I don't have twenty years experience, but I can't argue with 32 vs 600 - I've just ordered a 52mm thread m4/3 reversing ring, and FD 50mm f/1.8 on eBay, and am looking forward to exploring the creative possibilities of my backwards setup.

I'll let you all know how I get on
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