Re: [OM] Zeiss Luminar Lenses

Subject: Re: [OM] Zeiss Luminar Lenses
From: Don Holbrook <donholbrook@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 16:04:17 -0400 (EDT)
Excellent suggestions again.......for the same reason.

>     On May 7, 2017 at 1:43 PM Jan Steinman <Jan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>         > > 
> >         From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
> > 
> >         On 5/6/2017 11:41 AM, Maggie wrote:
> > 
> >             > > > 
> > >             I am planning... a photographic record of 600 or so of the 
> > > major flowering plants of New Zealand.
> > >             ...
> > >             All of the (many) macro shots were taken (to use his words) 
> > > using special Zeiss Luminar lenses in combination with
> > >             electronic flash as the light source… wonder how they would 
> > > perform on OM digital - probably the M5.
> > > 
> > >         > > 
> >         Sitting around in the ground, focusing a manual lens, remembering 
> > to set the diaphragm, etc. will make it ever so much larger that it need 
> > be...
> >         Lenses:
> > 
> >     > 
>     I agree with Moose, for the most part.
>     However, I am having great fun these days with a OM Zuiko 135/4.5 Macro 
> on a Telescoping Extension Tube. You can go from infinity to better than 
> life-size easily, without changing lenses or extension tubes or changing 
> close-up filters, and without a tripod, if you have Olympus IBIS. The new 
> Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II claims 5.5 stops of image stabilization, which I 
> believe, based on my experience.
>     In my OM-4T days, I would often neglect opportunistic macro, because I 
> just didn’t want to carry a tripod. Now the 135/4,5 lives in the bag, ready 
> at a moment’s notice, thanks to IBIS.
>         > > 
> >         For prime macros, the Oly 60/2.8 Macro is an excellent lens. 
> > <http://zone-10.com/tope2/main.php?g2_itemId=8362>
> >         The time and trouble saving over an old MF lens is huge.
> > 
> >     > 
>     Agree fully. It seems this macro is the modern lens to beat. With the 
> E-M1.2 (at least, possibly others), you can do in-camera “focus stacking,” 
> the camera automagically takes a number of shots at slightly different focus 
> points, and then combines them, giving you true in-focus over a much larger 
> range than could normally be achieved. Note that this is truly in-focus, not 
> merely smaller “circles of confusion,” which is what stopping down gives you. 
> (Focus stacking requires a tripod, and no subject motion for several seconds, 
> and so is not suitable for windy days.)
>     From samples I’ve seen, the result appears to be incredible and stunning… 
> but my budget won’t tolerate any more lenses for a while, so I force myself 
> to be happy with my old Zuiko macros.
>         > > 
> >         If you really need a short FL, bellows macro lens... The Oly 38/2.8 
> > is outstanding for 2-8x (4-16 eq.). On the
> >         Oly bellows with a cable release, it's semi auto diaphragm, too.
> > 
> >     > 
>     In my experience, you’ll need a tripod for the 38/2.8, and again, I 
> heartily recommend the Olympus Telescoping Extension Tube for convenience in 
> the field over using a bellows. I have had mediocre results with IBIS with 
> this lens. The high magnification factor seems to blow IBIS’s mind. I might 
> try dialing-in other focal lengths to see if I can tame IBIS, because the 
> camera seems to think that 38mm doesn’t need much stabilization. I suspect 
> the effective focal length (for IBIS purposes) is probably closer to 500mm 
> than 38mm.
>     Also, the more esoteric OM Zukio macros have become collectors’ items, 
> and are way more expensive that what I paid for them used, 30 years ago.
>     One thing Moose didn’t mention is the establishing shots. I love the new 
> Zuiko Digital 7-14/2.8. It is every bit as incredible as its 4/3rds cousin, 
> only faster, smaller, and lighter! Having a super wide angle zoom can be 
> important in a crowded woodland or cliff, where you can’t simply step back to 
> get the whole tree in the frame.
>         > > 
> >         Lighting:
> > 
> >     > 
>     I’m a huge fan of ring lights for even lighting. The Oly RF-11 is nice, 
> but is hobbled by lack of compatibility with very many lenses. I don’t 
> understand why the idiot ME who worked on this did not put filter threads on 
> the thing! I am in the process of modifying mine so it can go directly on a 
> 72mm filter thread, and be adapted down to any other filter size.
>     I’m also in the process of converting the OM System T-10 and T-8 ring 
> lights to the Olympus Digital FC-01 macro flash controller, for 
> camera-controlled exposure. The T-8 with its reflectors, in particular, does 
> awesome low-contrast, flat, even lighting.
>     Twin lights can be useful, if you need to enhance contrast. The FC-01 and 
> TL-22 combo is great, and lets you dial-in lighting ratios between the two of 
> up to eight stops. The 55mm or 49mm lens-end mounts can be adapted to other 
> filter sizes, and let you position the two flash heads at any angle.
>     I have not the budget for the latest Olympus macro flash, which is the 
> only one that works with focus stacking.
>     Other than that, I wouldn’t listen to anything “No-Flash Moose” has to 
> say about flashes… :-)
>     But I am quite partial to using a white bedsheet draped over a tripod, 
> both for wind control, and to provide flat, low-contrast light on a sunny day 
> that would give delicate macro subjects too much contrast.
>         > > 
> >         Camera support:
> > 
> >     > 
>     This is where IBIS pays off. If you can afford the new OM-D E1.2, go for 
> it. The IBIS is simply incredible, and from what I’ve read, better than the 
> rest of the Olympus Digital line, although the E5.2 may do as well.
>     Get the best IBIS you can afford, and leave your tripod home. Or bring it 
> and a white bedsheets along so you can crawl under it and get both 
> low-contrast natural light, and more importantly, wind control - - they 
> haven’t invented an IBIS to control subject motion yet. :-)
>         > > 
> >         ... the IBIS on the E-M5 II is spectacularly good. (Oly claims the 
> > even better IBIS
> >         on the E-M1 II is limited in some circumstances by the rotation of 
> > the Earth.)
> > 
> >     > 
>     I haven’t shot the E-M5.2 yet, but I am blown away by the IBIS on the 
> E-M1.2. I routinely shoot hand-held at several seconds!
>         > > 
> >         Depth of Field
> > 
> >         Here again, tech has changed the possible dramatically. The project 
> > you are contemplating is primarily documentation,
> >         not art. Focus stacking (which Oly, correctly, but confusingly, 
> > calls Focus Bracketing) changes the whole process. It's
> >         possible to have the sexual organs of a Hibiscus, for example, AND 
> > the front part of the petals, AND the bent back tips
> >         of the petals, ALL in focus at once, in one "shot”.
> > 
> >     > 
>     Not having a compatible lens, I have no experience with this, but I see 
> it a lot on mu-43.com, and it is mind-blowing! I agree that this feature 
> alone make the E-M1.2 in combo with the ZD 60/2.8 macro look like the winner.
>         > > 
> >         One problem for this is... it requires software to merge the slices 
> > of the stack, and likely more computer power.
> > 
> >     > 
>     My understanding is the E-M1.2 (at least) does this in-camera; no 
> computer needed. But I could be wrong.
>     I’ve been working with an ethnobotanist, documenting native food trees in 
> our region. This is not as demanding as what you are contemplating, and I am 
> finding the OM 135/4.5 macro with the telescoping tubes to be a winner, and 
> at least as capable as I imagine Zeiss Luminar lenses would be. The ability 
> to not have to constantly change extension tubes really helps.
>     But the new macro technology blows all that away, and should be carefully 
> considered, should you have the budget.
>     :::: Jan Steinman, EcoReality Co-op <http://www.ecoreality.org/> ::::
>     --
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