Hi everyone, I just posted, in the OM-D thread, some measurements and info from my testing of the 12-50 macro mode in the Nauticam port. I think you will it find of interest when deciding whether to get the zoom gear or not.
Bottom line, the 12-50 gives, in 35mm terms, 1:1 magnification. You can fill the frame with an object roughly 24x36mm. This is true "macro" under any definition. Remember that m43 carries a 2x magnification factor over 35mm, so 1:1 in m43 is actually 2:1 in 35mm.
The 12-50 set-up is absolutely remarkable, combining this "true" macro with semi-wide scenic capability and zoom for fish portraits.
This macro performance is with no diopters to further degrade the image, and no hassle of carrying/installing the diopters underwater, and no expense for diopters themselves.
If you want more magnification, for ultra-macro, you can get it. The "regular" 1:1 magnification is at 2" working distance from the front of the port, so further magnification with diopters is possible with care, although it will be tricky as you will be very close. Still possible, though, for static subjects like nudis or anything else that is not spooked. Having this ultra-macro possibility on a standard/wide lens is unprecedented. Talk about "do it all!!"
For larger subjects, there is a range of about a few feet for focusing in macro mode, so you can back off to do larger subjects as well without having to switch to regular zoom mode.
There is no comparision to trying to save money by foregoing the gear. The port alone is $450.00. The gear adds an extra $350 if you buy them together.
Consider the alternative. The port at $450 to save money. But then, a diopter at $200. Then a flip adapter at $200 if you want any sort of speed in switching modes. Already more expensive, and you cannot even zoom the lens!
That is, to me, a wholly unsatisfactory solution that deprives you of the "all in one" aspect that you want this lens for in the first place.
There is a post above that suggests, for another $150.00, you might add a zoom gear that will work but you cannot access macro mode
. Thus, for $1,000 you have a makeshift rig that will let you zoom but require external accessories for macro and, probably, will not give you the same versatility or speed of operation as the port and gear. If you are buying from scratch, it will be less expensive to buy the port and gear.
Edited by guyharrisonphoto, 29 November 2012 - 08:53 AM.