Which macro lens?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dab_20, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    I have an Olympus Evolt E-500 that I would like to get a macro lens for. I don't know much and what I should get or the differences between certain lenses. I plan on buying off Ebay or another place to get it cheaper, and my limit is 400, but much preferably around 300 dollars. I want a lens that can zoom more, maybe when shooting insects.

    These are the most common I've found.

    Olympus 261003 Camera Lens - Yahoo! Shopping

    Olympus 261053 Camera Lens - Yahoo! Shopping

    Is there a huge difference in quality? There's definitely a huge difference in price. I know the 50 mm is better for zooming that the 35 mm.

    The 50 mm includes an ED lens. What exactly is that? Is it worth the price? What does the 1:1 and 1:2 mean?

    I'm really looking for something that magnifies and gets really nice focus for close up photography. I just want to make sure a I get a nice quality lens for the price.

    Thanks for any and all advice! Sorry for so many questions!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    1:1 is a proper macro lens - 1:2 means that the lens will only go to half life size (or half macro) the differences is bascially 1:2 will get you a flower head fully opened in the frame - 1:1 will get you the insects on the flower in full frame.

    Generally I would avoid 50mm options - there are some good ones, but many are made to be very cheap lenses and are often not full macros without adaptors.
    Also I am not sure what macro lenses are made for OLympus so I can't make any direct suggestions save that if you intend to shoot insects you want at least 90mm or more focal length - otherwise you will have a very smaller working distance (distance from insect to camera when at full magnification) which increases your chances of spooking the bug.

    Also -(and this is the bad news) I had a look at US prices for macro gear earlier today and for canon at least the cheapest macro lenses were starting at $400 and I would expect the same for Olympus to.
    If your going second hand you might get a good deal on a cheaper lens, but if your going through EBay be cautious since a poor copy is not what you want to get yourself lumbered with - go through a local shop where you can test the lens or a reputable second hand dealer (Adorama does second hand goods as well)
     
  3. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks very much for the advice! The 35 mm is the 1:1, which is surprisingly much cheaper. The thing is it is about 200 dollars. Does that mean it's just a cheap lens? If the cheapest is 400 for Canon, it sounds really cheap. Olympus accessories are usually much more expensive I've found, at least when I bought a Flash and a few other things.
    I haven't even found a mm range over 50 mm for Olympus. All I've found so far is the two lenses in the links I posted.

    Maybe I'll search a bit more and see if I find anything else
     
  4. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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  5. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    If you're serious about macro, you don't want to go with a 35mm. The working distance is WAY too close. With a 105mm, you have a lot more working room in front of the lens, especially if you have any interest in insects. With the 35mm, you will literally have to be on top of them to achieve 1:1. The 105mm allows a bit more room to avoid spooking them.
     
  6. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much Phranquey! That does look like a really nice lens. I would love the 105 mm. I figured if I'm going to get any shots of insects, the 35 mm wouldn't be much of an option.

    This lens is actually a birthday present from my parents. (Probably will count for a Christmas present too hehe) So I'll have to see if they will actually go that high.

    I've always loved macro photography, and I love using my lensbaby for flower shots. But I'd like to get more serious and I've wanted a macro for about a year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  7. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    I ended up ordering the Sigma 105 mm and I received it last week. Haven't had too much time to mess with it but I really like it so far. Seems to be pretty good quality for the low price.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep sigma make some great quality macro lenses - have fun with it :)
     
  9. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on the purchase....
     

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