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Thread: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

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    Default Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Hi,

    Been lurking this forum for some time. Very friendly and informative. Learnt a lot from the postings here. I am a newbie in digital photography having taken the plunge a couple of months ago with a closeout e300 twin lens kit. Recently I purchased the OM adapter from ebay along with an OM 50mm f1.8. Very happy with it. Fast lens and a bit of work no doubt, with the manual focusing and exposure compensation but brilliant and sharp pictures.

    I am thinking of meddling around with macro photography and thus advise is needed. Please bear in mind this is the 1st time I will be using a macro lens.

    I do not want to spend too much of money on a macro lens. I have now 2 options open, first, I have been offered a used OM 50mm f2 lense for approximately USD130. I have only read good things about this lens but dont know how it'll fair with my e300.

    Second option would be to go for the 35mm Macro Oly lens which works out to USD220.

    Apart from the obvious fact that the OM will require manual focusing and exposure tweaking what would be the advantage of spending double the amount for the new 35mm?


    Any input is highly appreciated.

    Sleme

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    Default I will vouch for the 35mm...

    Metering and Aperture Stepping will also be challenges when dealing with the 50mm and manually focusing.

    I can point you to 2 posts that favor the 35mm Macro. I own this lens and I will vouch for it.

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=8676

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showp...5&postcount=25

    There is also a link to a SmugMug Gallery with many many shots that prove the usefulness and strength of this lens.


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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Oh, one other thing...

    The F2 won't really give you much of an advantage in terms of speed due to the fact that once you get close, your depth of field becomes oh so very narrow. The additional brightness may or may not be apparent when focusing manually, but in respect to the 35mm, I can say that the 'fly by wire' focusing is actually nice when focusing manually. You actually 'feel the clicks' of the focusing motor and for me it's nice because I have a twitchy hand.


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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by sleme View Post
    Hi,
    I do not want to spend too much of money on a macro lens. I have now 2 options open, first, I have been offered a used OM 50mm f2 lense for approximately USD130. I have only read good things about this lens but dont know how it'll fair with my e300.

    Second option would be to go for the 35mm Macro Oly lens which works out to USD220.
    Apart from the obvious fact that the OM will require manual focusing and exposure tweaking what would be the advantage of spending double the amount for the new 35mm?
    Any input is highly appreciated.

    Sleme
    First of all, ZD35 is a real macro lens - it allows to get 1:1 scale without rings, auxillary lenses or anything else. It means that if You are shooting a bug 5 mm in size it will appear as 5 mm image on the sensor. As all macro lenses it's not a very rapid focuser. It is not extremely sharp at f3.5 and shows it's true sharpness starting from 5.6 up to 16. A f22 sharpness comes worth but that's just phisics, - it's a difraction limit to this lens. Shooting real macro may require manual focusing too - maybe, not always, but frequently. But You have to understand, that shooting 1:1 nacro needs the object to be very, very close to the front lens, and shooting real macro needs investing some considerable money in flashes to provide good light: due to the problem of very narrow DOF You have to close aperture to something like 11-16. In any way, from ther point of view of image quality ZD35 is a real brilliant, worth of each dollar of its cost. I work for automotive magazine and use this lens mainly for shooting details of car exterior and interior design, elements of suspension, ets., and it gives brilliant results - the percent of shots thrown to the trash is minimal, and a lot of them are already published. Of course, theese shots are not so spectacular - but they are very important to what I do as automotive journalist.
    From Russia with Love,, Andrey Sudbin, offroad journalist

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Thanks for the input. The OM 50mm is a real MACRO lens. Some write up on this lens can be found here ..
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...oC.htm#50mmf20

    I guess I can see the benefits of the 35mm Macro and I dont doubt that it is a good lens. I just like some views as to how different it would be compared to the OM 50mm macro and whether it is worth twice the price...

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Yes but the OM50f2 is not 1:1 its 1:2 unless you also use a 25mm extension tube, just like the ZD50mm. You still need to stop down to use it, so take longer to get your shot, most bug fly away if your not carefull..

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by sleme View Post
    Thanks for the input. The OM 50mm is a real MACRO lens. Some write up on this lens can be found here ..
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...oC.htm#50mmf20

    I guess I can see the benefits of the 35mm Macro and I dont doubt that it is a good lens. I just like some views as to how different it would be compared to the OM 50mm macro and whether it is worth twice the price...
    Oops... Sorry, In my film period I used Pentax and I am not so familiar with OM lenses. So on 4/3 OM 50 will also give 1:1. So the main advantage of ZD35 is AF, that really works (not in 100% of cases, but still). The differnce in one stop is nothing for macro, in any way you'll have to use something like 11-16, but, I guess, with OM 50 You'll have to open aperture manually while focusing and close it before making a shot - and this also makes some inconvinience. Is it worth of one hundred bucks - it's up to you. In other senses the image quality must be of relatively same level.
    From Russia with Love,, Andrey Sudbin, offroad journalist

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    I agree that the ZD 50 is not a real macro lens. I have a Vivitar 55mm F2.8 real macro lens, and it's much better suited for macro than the ZD50. Manual operation is no disadvantage for close macro work, in fact my ZD 50 usually has to be manually focussed anyway, and the electronic focus action is awful compared with the silky Vivitar.
    I have seen some lovely images from the OM F2 you are looking at. I would only again buy the ZD50 if I wanted it for closeup (not real macro), and for other general use, when it's very good.
    Don

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Yes but the OM50f2 is not 1:1 its 1:2 unless you also use a 25mm extension tube, just like the ZD50mm. You still need to stop down to use it, so take longer to get your shot, most bug fly away if your not carefull..
    Don't forget about crop-factor... OM 50 will act as 100mm lens on 4/3 and will have 1:1 reproduction rate due to sensor size. The effect of cutting 1/2 of the produced image will be the same, as if You used the extesion tube.
    From Russia with Love,, Andrey Sudbin, offroad journalist

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Don B View Post
    I agree that the ZD 50 is not a real macro lens. I have a Vivitar 55mm F2.8 real macro lens, and it's much better suited for macro than the ZD50. Manual operation is no disadvantage for close macro work, in fact my ZD 50 usually has to be manually focussed anyway, and the electronic focus action is awful compared with the silky Vivitar.
    I have seen some lovely images from the OM F2 you are looking at. I would only again buy the ZD50 if I wanted it for closeup (not real macro), and for other general use, when it's very good.
    Don
    Don, we are discussing not ZD50/2.0, but OM 50/2.0...
    From Russia with Love,, Andrey Sudbin, offroad journalist

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    I would say at that price grab that lens. Olympus introduced this lens in 1986 to compliment the 50mm f3.5 macro, and they must not be confused with the 50mm std lenses of f1.8, 1.4, 1.2 that were also about. At the time of introduction this was the fastest macro lens in the world and until the 90mm f2 arrived one of the best, most versatile, and sort after.

    Do your home-work on the net, read this http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...oC.htm#50mmf20 and make up your mind. I donít know about how this lens will work on the 4/3 system, but I would say it will perform quite well if you are prepared to put the effort in.

    If you can afford a Digital Zuiko then I think that has to be best, but you may become better at your craft with the manual lens. Also it may depend on what camera you have.
    Peter

    Olympus: E-1 w/ HLD-2, E330, FL-50, SanDisk 4GB X3, Zuiko Digital: 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, EC14, MA-1 ē Photoshop CS3, Studio,
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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    I have the 35mm macro and love it. I also use a varity of other macro solutions including ext tubes and closeup filters and various OM mount lenses. (I do not have the 50 mm macro you are talking about.
    The 35mm does 1-1 but I don't find it usable for insect as they fly away if I get that close.
    The RF-11 fits onto both the 35 and the 50mm using a adapter that prevents you from getting closer than a few inches so no 1-1 there.
    I have had good results adding the tc-1.4 to the 35mm to get 49mm.
    Even though I love the results from the ext tubes I like the fexability of the 35mm in that I can take a normal shot with out removing the tube.
    It also makes for a small walk around lens on day trips around town.
    Like I said I do use the OM's but that has increased since I got the 330 as focus is harder to judge on the 300. Even with the 300 I have had good results but perfer the digital lenses for ease of use.
    JimB
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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirasir View Post
    Oops... Sorry, In my film period I used Pentax and I am not so familiar with OM lenses. So on 4/3 OM 50 will also give 1:1. So the main advantage of ZD35 is AF, that really works (not in 100% of cases, but still).
    The definition for "Macro" may not be ideal, but we're stuck with it. It refers to an image reproduction of 1:1 or greater at the sensor plane, and therefore only the ZD 35mm in this group is a true macro. The OM and ZD 50mms manage only 1:2 without extensions. Because the fourthirds sensor is a little over one quarter the size of a full 35mm frame, 1:2 magnification allows a wasp rather than a moth to fill the shot, but redefining "Macro" because of this just sows confusion as there are so many sensor formats out there. The established definition does have the plus of being based purely on the properties of the lens.

    The benefits of the ZD50 over the 35 are larger lens to subject distance, less perspective distortion (due to narrower aov), improved control of focusing and availability of a shallower depth of focus.

    The benefits of the 35 are availability of 1:1 magnification, inclusion of more background for the appearance of greater depth of focus (due to wider aov), and price.

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Hi acme,

    Quote Originally Posted by acme View Post
    The definition for "Macro" may not be ideal, but we're stuck with it. It refers to an image reproduction of 1:1 or greater at the sensor plane, and therefore only the ZD 35mm in this group is a true macro. The OM and ZD 50mms manage only 1:2 without extensions. Because the fourthirds sensor is a little over one quarter the size of a full 35mm frame, 1:2 magnification allows a wasp rather than a moth to fill the shot, but redefining "Macro" because of this just sows confusion as there are so many sensor formats out there. The established definition does have the plus of being based purely on the properties of the lens.
    in my oppinion, this is a semantic discussion in this digital age.

    Today, I can't see any advantage of having a definition of based purely on a magnification ratio. I can achieve a 1:1 'macro' setup with a high quality 50 mm standard lens, like an OMZ 50/1.8, and a 50 mm extension tube but that will produce very poor 'macro' images with my digital 4/3 camera due to the field curvature. To avoid that, a dedicted macro lens, like the OMZ 50/2.0 discussed above, which is corrected for several artifacts occurring at close distance, is required. So, the optical construction of the lens also has to be factored-in but that is most often not mentioned in these kinds of discussions.

    The fact that the 'definition' is based purely on the properties of the lens makes it a poor definition in my oppinion. In the film days, the magnification ratio was a relevant thing to take into account because it was intimately connected to how fine detail in the real world that ultimately could be captured on the negative. This ability was independent of the format of the film but very much dependent on what kind of film that was used - but note that all formats could use all kinds of films!
    Also, the magnification ratio was used in the tables and equations to determine the exposure compensations due to loss of light with different extensions. Apart from their academic and historical value, such tables are completely obsolete with modern TTL-metering cameras. The word "macro" has been abused by both camera/lens manufactures and photographers for decades and it seems almost ridiculous to hang on to a rigid definition these days. It is also a fact that the classical rigid definition based on the 1:1 magnification ratio was questioned long before 'digital' came on the scene.

    Today, it makes more sense to talk about how large physical size that can fit into the frame and add to that information if the lens is designed for that task and facts about the used sensor resolution. That gives a way better feeling for what can be achieved as an end result with a certain setup.

    Give me one good reason why we would need a rigid definition for a particular magnification ratio today - anyone?


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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirasir View Post
    Don, we are discussing not ZD50/2.0, but OM 50/2.0...
    A previous poster brought the ZD50 into the mix!
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Macro Lens Advice - OM 50mm f2 vs Oly 35mm

    I know it has not been mentioned, but have you considered adding an EX-25 to the 40-150mm. If you have not done any Macro it might be the way to start and then, once you have experimented a bit you could decide what way you want to go.
    About Bob

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