RE: [OM] Please recommend lens & accessories for beginner mac ro w o

Subject: RE: [OM] Please recommend lens & accessories for beginner mac ro w ork ?
From: Olaf Greve <Ogreve@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 14:41:28 +0200

> You are referring to the 50/1.8, is that a specific macro 
> lens or just the ordinary Zuiko all-round lens.

Yes, this is the run-off-the-mill-highly-under-appreciated and very
ubiquitous standard 50/1.8 :)

The good thing about this lens is that it gives high quality at extremely
low cost, they're so ubiquitous that at times you can pick up one of them
for as little as $20. However, more interesting even than its low price is
the fact that it works really well for simple macro work, just add some
extension tubes (or a reversing ring) and you're all set, it can't get any
cheaper, really. Another good thing is the bright viewfinder image you'll
get because of its f1.8 aperture (very handy for focusing), this is a big
plus when you start adding extension tubes, as they take out a lot of light.

> I ask this question because I already own the 50/1.8.

Yes, as (almost ?) everyone else on the list, and that's exactly what makes
this option in my eyes the nicest if you want to minimise the damage
financially spoken, just think of it:
50/1.8 ---> $20
ext. tubes (off brand) ---> $20
Total ---> $40

This was my introduction into the realms of macro land, now, you already
have the 50/1.8, so the only thing you'd have to do is to check a few camera
stores (or eBay) for a set of off-brand extension tubes, and then for some
$20 you would have the option of focusing from infinity to more or less 1.5x
lifesize (depending on the extension tubes).

The 50/3.5 macro lens is strangely enough also far from rare on the second
hand market, your best hunting grounds for this lens will be eBay, as lots
of them appear over there (typically the auction batch found using the
search key "olympus" has between 2-5 of them). In shops you should expect to
pay some $200 for it, but this is one of the few lenses the market principle
(demand <-> price) works well for on eBay. Surely it's possible to find one
for $125 - $150. I was very lucky as I got a 9- sample (MC too) for $115,
including shipping to The Netherlands. The added advantage of the 50/3.5 is
the close-focus aberration correction (and the lens itself already allows
for up to 0.5x lifesize magnifications), so when using this lens at 0.5x
lifesize you're working at its optimised setting, also from what I've
understood, because of this close-focus mechanism the results with extension
tubes are better with this lens than with the 50/1.8.

> By the way, I also own a 55/1.2 (focuses up to 45cm) : would that be of
> use to me for macro work ?

I myself am not familiar with this lens, so I'm not 100ertain, but I
would expect it to work fine, and you have an f1.2 aperture which gives very
bright viewfinder images. Anyone knows how this lens holds up when used for
macro work?


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