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Old Aug 1, 2010, 1:32 PM   #11
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From your retort, I should take your prior post, point by point, as I have issues with nearly all of it.

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For the Olympus E420, macro will be tough..
No its not

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Macro lenses for Olympus are scarce and expensive.
I suppose that depends on what is expensive and on what you are willing to "give up" as you say. For $199 new, the 35 macro is a very decent solution. The 50 f2 is a stellar lens that happens to be my favorite for the task. It runs double the prior amount. The 70-300 isn't my cup of tea, but it does macro quite well for $267 (amazon) or $300 (B&H). Of course, used is less.

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and there aren't any extension tubes for it except the one Olympus makes, and indications are that it's dedicated to certain lenses.
Oly's tube is about $125 and is no different than anyone elses except they have the eletronics. As to being "dedicated to certain lenses", I guess that's true, just as with everyone's extention tubes. They don't work if a focused image cannot be brought to the sensor, as is common with shorter focal lengths.

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You could try close-up lenses, but those don't work very well.
I'm guessing from you posts that you do not do macro to speak of. If you do, or if you have a thought that you might want to later, I wouldn't discount the use of something like the Canon 250D/500D close up lenses, or the Raynox setup. They do very well. I use the Canon 250D coupled to the 35 and 50mm lenses all the time for macro. The 500D on longer focal lengths of the telezooms are something that are a possibility for someone getting started also.



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But the E420 should be able to do everything elses well enough.
The E520 has stabilization and may be a better choice because of it. Both cameras are behind the rest of the marketplace in high ISO use. Those are the things that should give pause and thought before making a move.


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If it's your objective to get a dSLR for as little as possible, this could be it. But if it's your objective to get the best possible camera for a small amount of money, there are better choices
Depends. If the ultimate in a compact DSLR is important, this one wins. There is nothing more compact. Its feature set is very good too. I know you feel a need to belittle anything Olympus, but for the buck, its difficult to find a new camera that offers much more.

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Anyone that want's to do macro can concoct something, including adapting other lenses for the purpose. What matters is how much you're willing to give up in order to get there. fldspringer appears to be willing to give up autofocus and autoexposure to get macro, and that's fine, but you may not. And the Oly 70-300 he mentioned is a Sigma 70-300 APO 1:2 macro lens that does well on the Olympus' smaller image sensor, but is terribly overpriced. The same lens that sells for ~$200 for any other mount, sells for ~$350 with an Olympus nameplate on it. And while the list of AE/AF Macro lenses for the Olympus mount is short, it does benefit from the 4/3 system's narrower angle of view. There's the Olympus 35/3.5 and 50/2.0 (the 50 requires that 25mm extension tube to get to 1:1 macro), and Sigma's 105/2.8 and 150/2.8.
Perhaps you can share some of your own macro work so we can give proper weight to your comments.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 4:27 PM   #12
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Anyone that want's to do macro can concoct something, including adapting other lenses for the purpose. What matters is how much you're willing to give up in order to get there. fldspringer appears to be willing to give up autofocus and autoexposure to get macro, and that's fine, but you may not. And the Oly 70-300 he mentioned is a Sigma 70-300 APO 1:2 macro lens that does well on the Olympus' smaller image sensor, but is terribly overpriced. The same lens that sells for ~$200 for any other mount, sells for ~$350 with an Olympus nameplate on it. And while the list of AE/AF Macro lenses for the Olympus mount is short, it does benefit from the 4/3 system's narrower angle of view. There's the Olympus 35/3.5 and 50/2.0 (the 50 requires that 25mm extension tube to get to 1:1 macro), and Sigma's 105/2.8 and 150/2.8.
OR, you can go with a Raynox DCR-250 or DCR-150 (around $50) and get decent quality macros with any lens you have, and retain autofocus/exposure.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 6:31 PM   #13
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The options for doing macro work with an Olympus dLSR, that will preserve AF and AE are few. While that may actually make the buying decision easier, finding something appropriate for your particular application may be harder, so that's probably a wash, and I'll give you that one. The Olympus 35mm f/3.5 1:1 macro and the 50mm f/2.0 1:2 macro don't have direct equivalents in the 'FF' or APS-C platforms, but other macro lenses either offer more for a little more money, or less for a little less money, so let's call that a wash too.

I'm familiar with the Raynox and Canon close-up lenses. As with all close-up lenses, they magnify the flaws in the main lens and introduce some of their own. That doesn't mean these particular close-up lenses aren't among the best of their kind, it means there are better choices.

Extension tubes (that preserve AF & AE) for other mounts are available from Kenko (and other brands for the same Kenko product.) Their 25mm tube costs less than Olympus', they also offer a 12mm tube for the same price, and they bundle a set of three tubes for just a little more than the single Olympus tube goes for.

Oh, and ...
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 6:58 PM   #14
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I have never had a DSLR so don't know how to operate on so this seems a cheaper learning camera.
The E-420 is a Four-Thirds camera:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_E-420

If you are happy with the kit lens and a cheap macro
adapter, you can't go far wrong with this camera.
At 209, you can probably get most of or even all of your
money back if you decide to sell it soon after you buy it.

After a year or so, you can decide whether you want to
continue your investment in the 4/3 system or sell the
Olympus and try something else.

Read the Steve's review:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...lr-review.html

Have a look at the Flickr camera comparison page.
Note that some of the images here may have had
heavy post-processing:
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/olympus/e-520/
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 6:58 PM   #15
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I don't own Olympus, but still have a sweet spot for Oly cameras . The only downside of 420 for macro shooting imho would be a smallish viewfinder, which makes focussing a bit more difficult, but this is also true to some extend for budget Canons and Nikons as well (a bit less so). 35mm and 50mm Zuikos have very good reputation and although 50mm f/2 is listed as a 1:2 macro it does life-size shots and with an Oly extension tube it goes to twice the life size shots - probably due to the sensor size and the lens design (this is from the Oly site). You can also go for Sigma 24mm f/1.8 and 105 f/2.8 macro lenses for the same price as the other mounts of these lenses. So you already have (in 35mm equivalent): 48(~50), 70, 100 and 210mm true macro lenses. Now you can play with extension tubes, close-up lenses, Raynox and what have you. Can't see all that much difference compared to other camera systems.
On a side note, TCav, your shots are nice, but they wouldn't qualify as true macro shots, but as close-ups
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 8:21 PM   #16
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On a side note, TCav, your shots are nice, but they wouldn't qualify as true macro shots, but as close-ups
The first three were shot through a Minolta 50/1.7 and a 25mm extension tube. That's about 1:1.5. The first two are crocuses on the first day they bloomed. The flowers were about .75" tall. I'd have missed them entirely, except that my wife was out of town and asked me to photograph them when they bloomed.
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 6:24 AM   #17
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I just wanted to post a thread from 6 months ago from the Oly forum about macro and close up with the Oly DSLRs. There are examples from others, as well as myself from most of the equipment discussed here.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...ad-anyone.html

I stated that most Olympus lenses focus relatively close. The one I thought was the exception was the 35-100 and this is all it will do at .09x



This is from the 40-150 kit lens f4-5.6 (from the two lens kit) at its maximum of .14x



The 14-42 kit lens does even better at .19x so closeups are not a problem for those getting started. I cannot supply an example as I don't own that lens.

Almost all the rest of the Oly lenses run about .2x to about .25x. I don't have any examples as it seems I grab the 50 f2 when doing that kind of shooting. About the only other lens I use for closeups is the 300 f2.8/EC-20 combo and if you want a $6000 closeup, this is at .3x

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Old Aug 2, 2010, 7:38 AM   #18
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Just for the sake of clarity, most everyone agrees that 1:1 magnification is "macro", and if nudged a little, will conceed that 1:2 is as well. Anything less than 1:2 is not macro, but close-up. The last of the images I posted (the one with the wasp) was shot with my Minolta "Beercan" which does 1:4 at best, so, strictly speaking, that's not "macro".

0.09X is 1:11 magnification, 0.14X is 1:7 magnification, and 0.2X is 1:5 magnification.

In addition, I just did some math, and I found that the average magnification ratio for the range of Olympus branded lenses is 1:6, or 0.17X. If I remove the wide angle lenses from the calculation, I get 1:5.6, or 0.18X. The three lenses we've already discussed, the 35/3.5, 50/2.0, and 70-300, are the big winners of course, but the rest of the standard and telephoto lenses average 1:6.5, or 0.15X.
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 10:22 PM   #19
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Just for the sake of clarity, most everyone agrees that 1:1 magnification is "macro", and if nudged a little, will conceed that 1:2 is as well. Anything less than 1:2 is not macro, but close-up. The last of the images I posted (the one with the wasp) was shot with my Minolta "Beercan" which does 1:4 at best, so, strictly speaking, that's not "macro".
.
I consider everything posted on the second page of this thread "closeup". As to my posting, that's why I referred to "closeup" as it seemed that what the subject had changed to.

Here's a dandilion with the 35 macro/EC-14 combo with the 250D closeup lens thrown in for good measure. This is as far away as I could get and still get it to focus (you loose infinity focus with the closeup lens). For the record, I'd consider this "closeup"




This is bringing that combo to minimum focus. Its in the neigborhood of 2.5:1 and it is certainly macro.



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0.09X is 1:11 magnification, 0.14X is 1:7 magnification, and 0.2X is 1:5 magnification..
For the record, I graduated from college with majors in math and physics.


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In addition, I just did some math, and I found that the average magnification ratio for the range of Olympus branded lenses is 1:6, or 0.17X. If I remove the wide angle lenses from the calculation, I get 1:5.6, or 0.18X. The three lenses we've already discussed, the 35/3.5, 50/2.0, and 70-300, are the big winners of course, but the rest of the standard and telephoto lenses average 1:6.5, or 0.15X.
If you did that for me, you wasted your time. That's kind of the problem here, surfing site to site and thinking its knowledge. I've run the system for years and am quite familiar with it.

The Oly glass comes it three tiers. The top tier is "Super High Grade" and is heavy, expensive, and is not designed to focus closely. I'm blessed enough to have three of those lenses. They are great.

7-14 at $1569 B&H prices at .11x
14-35 f2 at $2000 and .12x
35-100 f2 at $2100 and .09x
150 f2 at $2000 and .13x
90-250 f2.8 at $4900 and .08x
300mm f2.8 at $5600 and .15x

What's my point. At those prices ( a mere $18,000 will buy the set), I think the folks that go there can afford the macro lens for that type of work. I own both macros for far less money than the cheapest of these lenses. These exclusive lenses skew the numbers just a little wouldn't you say???

Now look at the more common of the lenses used by real Olympus shooters. I'm not going to repeat the lenses I was talking about with the prior closeup pics, and I'll spare the macro lenses too.

50-200 at .21x
14-54 at .26x
11-22 at .13x
12-60 at .28x
8mm fish at .22x

For the record, that and the 50 macro is the mid tier "High grade" lens selection.

18-180 at .23x
9-18 at .12x
17.5-45 at .23x

That is the rest of the "standard grade" that goes along with the perviously discussed 14-42, 40-150, 35 macro, and 70-300.

If you take exception to the "Almost all the rest of the Oly lenses run about .2x to about .25x" comment, unless your out doing closups with the 11-22 and 9-18 (not likely) the statement holds. A couple exceeded that amount. The Zuikos, generally, focus fairly close.

Let's see if we have the macro/closeup thing right.

Closeup...



Macro




Whatever...

I'm embarassed to have gone hunting the above numbers based on someone saying Oly isn't good for this type work. Tain't so. You play with your macro tubes and I'll keep doing what I do.
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 10:58 PM   #20
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Geeeeeeeeeeezzzzz... What's so much fun about comparing numbers? Mathematically and aerodynamically speaking, a common bumblebee supposedly is incapable of flight. But, yet...

The OP gets his first DSLR and the numbers fly to "prove a point"? It's the "Chevy vs Ford" game alllll over again!

Thunderchild, enjoy your DSLR! Get a Raynox and have some fun. THAT'S what it's all about. Not number crunching to decide if a lens is going to work. Buy the lens that is within your budget. If it doesn't work, sell it. Save up til you can get the one that DOES trip your trigger. But, above all... HAVE FUN! If it works for you, so much the better.
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