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Old Jun 23, 2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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Yesterday I got my Olympus MCON-40, a +2.5 dpt. achromatic macro lens similar to the B-Macro. I will use it for bigger insects (or other objects) for which my Raynox DCR-250 is to strong.

Here are some tests:

The pictures are crops from the original picture, the left one is from the middle, the right one is from the upper right corner.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 6x zoom, F2.8:



Good sharpness in the middle, the corner is a bit softer and shows some slight vignetting.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 6x zoom, F5.2:



The middle is similar to the middle at F2.8, the corner is almost as sharp as the middle and there is no vignetting.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 6x zoom, F8.0:



At F8.0 the picture looks a bit softer, in the middle as well as in the corner.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F2.8:



Again at F2.8 the picture is sharp in the middle and soft in the corner, with some vignetting.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F5.2:



At F5.2 we have similar sharpness in the middle. In the corner the picture is a bit softer, but no vignetting.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F8.0:



Again at F8.0 the picture is a bit softer.

Now let's compare the MCON-40 at 12x zoom with the DCR-250 at 4x zoom (similar magnification).

FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F2.8:



FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F5.2:



FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F8.0:



Surprisingly, the pictures with the DCR-250 are sharper than the MCON-40 pictures, especially at F2.8. But I don't think the DCR-250 produces sharper pictures. I rather suppose the camera lens produces sharper pictures at 4x zoom than at 12x zoom. Another thing to notice is that we can see some purple fringing at the DCR-250 pictures whereas the MCON-40 pictures show almost no purple fringing.

An important aspect in macro photography is the DOF. Let's see which lens produces a greater DOF at the same magnification.

FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F8.0:



FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F5.2:



FZ3 + DCR-250, 4x zoom, F2.8:



At F8.0 the DOF is about 9mm, at F5.2 we have about 4mm and at F2.8 it is about 2mm.

FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F8.0:



FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F5.2:



FZ3 + MCON-40, 12x zoom, F2.8:



Wow, it's hard to see any lines. We have a very shallow DOF even at F8.0. Again the zoom level is the crucial factor here.

What else can I say about the MCON-40?

The usage is a bit easier compared to the DCR-250. For example, at 12x zoom you can focus at a distance from 25 cm to 35.5 cm, that's a range of 10.5 cm. With the DCR-250 the range is <2 cm at 12x zoom and even at 4x zoom, it is <3 cm. So with the MCON-40 it is much easier to find the right distance. And you don't have to be so close to the objects wich is an advantage when shooting insects or spiders.

At 12x zoom the picture shows a width of ~2.5 cm (with the DCR-250 it's ~1 cm). So the MCON-40 will be fine for insects bigger than 1.5 cm.

I think I'm gonna like this lens.

Let's see some pictures now:

FZ3 + MCON-40, 4x zoom, F4.0





FZ3 + MCON-40, 8x zoom, F5.2



FZ3 + MCON-40, 8x zoom, F8.0


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Old Jun 23, 2005, 12:48 PM   #2
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Stoney,

Really a great comparison...However, I still see that DCR-250 is sharper than MCON-40. What I noticed though is that MCON-40 are much brighter than DCR-250. Do you think that is true...or is it just me?:?

About the pictures...They are simply outstanding...especially the one you have tweaked with BW background

Waiting for more of your MCON-40 posts...
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 7:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for those excellent comparisons! I've done some tests on the lens of the FZ3 (without added lenses) that agree with what you suggested - at 6x zoom and f5.2 you do get a higher resolution than at 12x zoom, as the resolution starts to fall off at f5.2 and above:
http://www.deviantart.com/view/11880674/

As was noted on the recent FZ5 review at DPReview, the resolution really goes downhill as you reduce the aperture to f8, at all zoom settings. mainly due to diffraction effects.
So, unfortunately for closeups, if you reduce the aperture to f8 to try to increase the DOF, you also reduce the sharpness. It's probably best to compromise and use a small aperture but not too small, that is, avoid f8 if possible.
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Old Jun 24, 2005, 1:55 AM   #4
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There is something I do not understand I have a Nikon 4T it is rated at 2.9 diopter. When I take a picture of a metric ruler, I show 28mm or 2.8cm. The Micon-40 is a 2.5 diopter producing 2.5cm picture. Can you shed some light on this?

BTW, the 4T is sharp end to end and take a 35% crop with no loss of detail.


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Old Jun 24, 2005, 2:06 AM   #5
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Stoney79,

Thanks for the detailed comparison. Well done job.
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Old Jun 24, 2005, 5:50 AM   #6
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LoveLife wrote:
Quote:
There is something I do not understand I have a Nikon 4T it is rated at 2.9 diopter. When I take a picture of a metric ruler, I show 28mm or 2.8cm. The Micon-40 is a 2.5 diopter producing 2.5cm picture. Can you shed some light on this?
Well, I don't know... I get 2.5cm at the minimum distance (25cm) and 2.7cm at the maximum distance (35.5cm). But it depends on the camera andyou don't have a FZ3,do you?

For example, forthe DCR-250there are different specifications for different cameras: http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/...exdcr250eg.htm
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Old Jun 26, 2005, 3:17 AM   #7
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THANK YOU!

The effort you have put in this excellent caparison is greatly appreciated and your macros of the flowers are superb.:!::!::!:

Hiroshi

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Old Jun 26, 2005, 4:31 AM   #8
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Thank you!
Excellent information. I have the same problem, because the my macro setup from binocular lens is too strong for bigger insects. And so I need some other lense to buy.
But than I noticed that my lens is even little bit stronger than DCR-250, as DCR has ~1cm picture width, while mine has 0.8cm, and it has similar vinegtting problems as DCR (till ~4x zoom), so actually afther this info I think, that I don't need DCR-250 anymore. :-)
Thank you, for saving my money :lol::lol:
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