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Old Aug 9, 2012, 9:33 AM   #1
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Default Olympus 50 Macro vs. 35

So I gave my EPL1 to my mom (along with the mmf2 adapter), so that she can use it for her artwork. She works with oil paints and wants to shoot the paintings in macro mode up close, so that she can crop out the designs from the larger paintings, and frame the printed out closeups (example below shot with the EPL1 and kit lens):

Full size (she probably wouldn't use this)


a cropped closeup of a section (ugh):


So the cropped closeup I have here is garbage, but she wants to be able to get in there as much as possible with maximum detail of the paint textures. The full size picture is probably around 8.5x11, and the digital crop was probably 2 sq in.

Now, part 2 of the discussion. She took the camera to our local store in St. Louis (I'm in Pittsburgh), and the store offered her a used 50mm f2 macro lens. I originally just told her she should check out the 225 dollar 35mm, but I'm wondering if there are greater advantages with the 50mm. I've read the 35mm has better Macro magnification ratio, but the 50mm may have better overall detail, so that when she crops an image from the macro and really gets in there, it may be better.

Thoughts?
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 2:51 PM   #2
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Hi,
Either will provide exceedingly sharp results your mom is looking to achieve.

The practical differences between the 50mm and the 35mm are:

50mm @ f2.0 is a slightly faster lens
With an effective focal length of 100mm it will provide a closer crop.

the 35mm has an effective focal length of 70mm which will get more of the artwork in from the same distance.

If it were me, I would use the 35mm macro.

A tripod is a must. for really sharp images.

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Old Aug 9, 2012, 4:20 PM   #3
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Speed, a tighter view and the thing is built like a tank. There's your advantages of the 50mm f2. When holding the 50mm f2 with the MMF-2 in one hand, and the 75-300 M. Zuiko in the other, they feel pretty much identical in terms of weight. The build quality of the 50mm f2 when used on the Pens is actually a disadvantage, as the 35mm f3.5 "feels" more like a micro lens with the lighter weight, and the 35 goes to 1:1 (life size) on it's own, where the 50mm f2 "only" goes to 1/2 life size and needs the EX25 tube to get to 1:1. Real world, they both can get darn close, the 35mm can just get a little closer.

Zig loaned me his 35mm f3.5 to use on my E-P3 for a few shots while we were out earlier this week and I was impressed.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 6:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I think between the 35mm being 100 cheaper (and new), it would be best to go for that, given you both think it will get the job done.
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Old Aug 19, 2012, 8:23 PM   #5
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A tidbit I read the other day. This was one line from an email I received from Bill over at Arlington Camera...

I got to play with the new 60mm macro yesterday...incredible!

Obviously they had a visit from their Olympus rep. Sounds like that one might be coming sooner than later.
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Old Aug 19, 2012, 9:24 PM   #6
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The 35 is a true 1:1 macro, the 50 is a 1:2 macro.
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Old Aug 19, 2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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And the new 60mm f2.8 Micro is 1:1 on it's own, just like the 35mm f3.5....but it won't be $200 like the 35/3.5 four-thirds lens .
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Old Aug 19, 2012, 11:02 PM   #8
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Macro lens speed is not as important, as you need to offset shallow dof with smaller aperture. So f2 is not as important for macro shooting.

For the price you get a pretty good macro lens with the 35
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 8:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
For the price you get a pretty good macro lens with the 35
........one surely does; I find the FT 35mm on the P3 an excellent combination.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Of all the Olympus DSLR, four-thirds lenses, the 35mm f3.5 is definitely the most "Micro" of the group in terms of form factor on the Micro bodies. Nice size, very light weight and about as affordable as a modern macro lens can get. It's actually a crazy good deal, especially if you go for the one at KEH in Ex+ condition for $165.
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