Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Four Thirds macro on OMD E-M10

click photo to enlarge
When I used Olympus Four Thirds cameras I recall people being a bit sniffy about that manufacturer's 35mm f3.5 Macro lens. The consensus was that the Olympus Four Thirds 50mm f2 was better. At three times the price perhaps it should have been. However, what people often seemed to forget is that there are not many poor dedicated macro lenses and the 35mm f3.5 isn't in any way a poor lens. In recent years I used the Canon 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro, a lens that is universally regarded as one of the sharpest lenses available, and the fact is I was pushed to see a great difference between it and my Olympus lens except in the "creaminess" of the bokeh: in that regard the Canon excelled.

When it came to putting together a set of lenses to use with my new OMD E-M10 (what a clunky name!) I considered the Olympus Micro Four Thirds 60mm f2.8 Macro. However, I thought it might be useful to see how the old 35mm macro performed first. So, I bought a £25 Chinese-made adapter, with auto-focus connectors, so that I could use it with the new camera. It appears to be well-made and works as advertised but is slow (as expected) to auto-focus, and "hunts" (also as expected) too much. It would be a lot better, I'm sure, on an OMD E-M1. But, using the E-M10's manual mode with magnifier it works extremely well. And in fact, when I used the Canon in recent years, I usually used it in manual mode.

I did a little flower photography to test the combination and while snapping one of my favourite flowers, a California poppy, this hover fly settled on it. The slightly cropped shot above is the best example I secured that demonstrates the resolving power of the lens/camera combination. And it was wide-open and hand-held!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm Macro (70mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On