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Shooting Experience - Oly 30mm vs. 60mm Macro Lenses

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I have a lot of experience shooting with the Olympus 60mm macro on my EM10. I love the lens, but it does have some limitations for fish portraits and larger subjects. I was wondering if any seasoned users of the 60mm macro have tried the Olympus 30mm macro lens. If so - what are your thoughts? It seems like it could be better for fish portraits and larger subjects, and the > 1x is interesting as well. Does the 1.25x magnification require getting too close for anything but relatively static subjects? Does that make it hard to light? Is it good for medium sized fish portraits (like parrotfish-sized) and also for smaller stuff?

 

I use Nauticam and I see that the 30mm port chart calls for 36135 (macro port 45) whereas the 60mm port is 36163 (macro port 65). On a side note, has anyone found a port that could accommodate both? Right now, the 30mm macro is only $200, so I was thinking of playing around with it. Of course, the port is $300, so the total investment would be higher.

 

Thanks!

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I am not sure if the 30mm macro lens makes sense underwater. Macro lenses are optimized for - guess what - macro. But with the 30mm lens subject distance definintively will be too close when used in macro mode. As you mentioned, difficult/impossible lighting, and of course only for static subjects.

 

Of course you can use the lens for subjects further away and have less water between the fish or whatever and your lens than with the 60mm lens - but why not use a zoom lens instead? Much more versatile.

 

Jock

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You need the shorter port otherwise the 30mm will focus inside the port glass at closest focus. I'm thinking of a 30mm macro for similar reasons, I'd like to shoot weedy sea dragons and fish when on macro dives. It's all about compromises, getting 1:1 subjects will be harder with 30mm as you need to be closer, but if you don't use the 1:1 magnification so much then it makes sense. A zoom generally doesn't get you close enough for a lot of subjects like smaller nudis.

 

I'm thinking I might try the panasonic 30mm macro, it's f2.8 rather than f3.5 and test reports show it's sharper. Don't forget that the 60mm is equivalent to 120mm full frame, 60-90mm seems to the commonly used macro lens focal length for DSLR users.

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Oh yes, a very very interesting question. I think very few people have both lenses in order to compare. We have an upcoming trip to Lembeh in December and can report afterwards, but I think the Olympus lens deal expires before then. But anyway, they have lots of deals so it'll come around again.

I have shot the Olympus 60 and I do love it. I even love the Nauticam CMC with it, though it's difficult to use at first.

The question is that on this upcoming trip my wife wants something other than the 60, as we can just borrow a friend's port and 60 mm lens for her. But we would pretty much have the same images that way and face the same limitations.
So I also am thinking of getting the Olympus 30, Panasonic 30 or the Panasonic 45. The latter 2 are f2.8....now the interesting thing is that I think all of them fit in the Nauticam 45 port.
I could buy the cheap Olympus 30 or rent the Panasonic 30 or 45 from LensRentals. They have a deal now where you can get 2 week rental for the price of 1, which is really nice if you were going to try something out.

Incidentally, I have heard great things about the Panasonic 30 from someone I follow on Flickr. Here's a link to some of his images.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scipio2010/30666559550/in/datetaken/

Anyway, I will report back later in December after I get back from Lembeh. Until then, let's see if other people have any experience with these other macro lenses.

Bogdan

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You need the shorter port otherwise the 30mm will focus inside the port glass at closest focus. I'm thinking of a 30mm macro for similar reasons, I'd like to shoot weedy sea dragons and fish when on macro dives. It's all about compromises, getting 1:1 subjects will be harder with 30mm as you need to be closer, but if you don't use the 1:1 magnification so much then it makes sense. A zoom generally doesn't get you close enough for a lot of subjects like smaller nudis.

 

I'm thinking I might try the panasonic 30mm macro, it's f2.8 rather than f3.5 and test reports show it's sharper. Don't forget that the 60mm is equivalent to 120mm full frame, 60-90mm seems to the commonly used macro lens focal length for DSLR users.

Chris, do you know if any of these other shorter lenses work with wet lenses? Like the Inon wet lenses or the SubSee +5 or +10 Diopter? Because that could add a lot more functionality to these shorter macro options I would think.

Bogdan

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Don't know much about wet lenses, but do recall hearing reports that the Pany 45mm was slow to focus. I did find this review of the 30mm Panasonic:

 

http://www.reefwreckandcritter.com/blog/a-look-at-the-panasonic-30mm-macro-lens-underwater

 

seems quite positive, which is why I am leaning in that direction and I'm looking at the 30mm for the same reasons cited in the review.

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All good points. I used to shoot the Canon 60mm macro on aps-c (so 90mm ff equiv). I got used to that focal length and had to adjust when I started using the Oly 60mm. Definitely fewer fish portraits, at least medium-large fish. The problem is - the Panasonic 45mm is $800 + the port. The Panasonic 30mm is double the cost of the Oly 30mm currently. Don't get me wrong - I love the 60mm. I just wanted to explore the possibilities. $200 is a very low entry point. Maybe I can find a Macro Port 45 used somewhere.And as to why I don't just get a zoom - sometimes I will put the 14-42 on but my experience with zooms is fewer (wow!) pictures, even if they're serviceable. And to house the Pro zooms is more than I can afford for now. Plus, I like the simplicity of primes. I don't use focus gears, so there's a costs savings there as well.

 

Thank for the input - I hope the thread is updated with more people's impressions. And just so no one thinks I'm giving up too easily - I have shot bigger stuff with the 60mm macro - this being my most extreme example:

 

 

post-24977-0-00222600-1510198375_thumb.jpg

 

It took some serious lightroom work to make up for how far away I had to be with that though. I had to commemorate the moment - a group of 5 reef sharks chased us from 70 ft up to 20ft, inviting us to leave their space asap...

 

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The difference in price is a lot closer here, the Pany being only $A40 more. The place I looked had it for $A398, exact same as BHphoto but in $US! There was also a positive report on the OLY 30mm by Phil Rudin in UWP98 he mentions with Macro port 45 the subject is about 1 cm from port glass at 1.25:1. Unfortunately UWP99 is out so UWP98 is no longer free. I wouldn't pay the asking price for the 45mm lens.

 

So it seems 1.25:1 is a little difficult to use, the Pany achieves 1:1 at about 10.5 cm which is 1cm more working distance than the OLY, so about 2cm working distance at 1:1 on both lenses. In comparison, my 60mm macro has estimated 60-70mm working distance at 1:1.

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I have the OMD EM5II in Nauticam housing and use both the Leica 45mm (my macro lens) and the Zuiko 60mm (my wife's, I can use it only seldom). No experience with the 30mm Macro...

 

One can use both 45mm and 60mm lenses with the same 45 Macro Port (the 60mm lens needs an additional 20mm extension)

 

Both 45mm and 60mm have very good optics, 60mm even sligthly better (see DxO and Photozone).

 

The autofocus, even with focuslight, is sometimes problematic with the Leica 45mm and works better with the Zuiko 60mm. I think this is because the 60mm has a button to limit the focus range to macro distances, the Panasonic 45 mm does not have such a knob.

 

 

Wolfgang

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Im here... I use both lenses... oly 60mm and 30mm.... I sold my nautican 65 macro port and I travel with the port 45+20mm extension to accommodate both lenses.... last year I use the 30mm from panasonic and this summer the oly 30.... both the lenses are fun and easier to use than the 60.... but when the subjects are really small or shy I prefer the 60mm with my cmc 1... I think the Panasonic 30 have slightly better quality....

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Im here... I use both lenses... oly 60mm and 30mm.... I sold my nautican 65 macro port and I travel with the port 45+20mm extension to accommodate both lenses.... last year I use the 30mm from panasonic and this summer the oly 30.... both the lenses are fun and easier to use than the 60.... but when the subjects are really small or shy I prefer the 60mm with my cmc 1... I think the Panasonic 30 have slightly better quality....

 

Excellent! I didn't even think of that. Just to be sure, is it the Nauticam 36620 (http://www.nauticam.com/product/36620/) extension ring that you use?

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The difference in price is a lot closer here, the Pany being only $A40 more. The place I looked had it for $A398, exact same as BHphoto but in $US! There was also a positive report on the OLY 30mm by Phil Rudin in UWP98 he mentions with Macro port 45 the subject is about 1 cm from port glass at 1.25:1. Unfortunately UWP99 is out so UWP98 is no longer free. I wouldn't pay the asking price for the 45mm lens.

 

So it seems 1.25:1 is a little difficult to use, the Pany achieves 1:1 at about 10.5 cm which is 1cm more working distance than the OLY, so about 2cm working distance at 1:1 on both lenses. In comparison, my 60mm macro has estimated 60-70mm working distance at 1:1.

I'll go back to UWP98 and look for that article - thanks! I often don't get around to reading the entire UWP issues, but I do archive them for just this reason.

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Yes.... is this one... the same 20mm ring that i use with the 4.33 dome and the oly 8mm..... with this extension and the macro port 45 you can accomodate the two 30mm and the 60mm.... but mind me... the oly 30mm its slighty shorter than the panny.... the panny is closer to the port glass... ;-) one of the pros of both 30mm its minimum focus distance... you can get closer to the subject when the viz is bad... less water-less dirt.... i hope to be clear with my spaghetti english... :-P

 

if you like it i can post some shot with both lenses.... ;-)

 

 

 

 

Excellent! I didn't even think of that. Just to be sure, is it the Nauticam 36620 (http://www.nauticam.com/product/36620/) extension ring that you use?

Edited by boletus
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Yes.... is this one... the same 20mm ring that i use with the 4.33 dome and the oly 8mm..... with this extension and the macro port 45 you can accomodate the two 30mm and the 60mm.... but mind me... the oly 30mm its slighty shorter than the panny.... the panny is closer to the port glass... ;-) one of the pros of both 30mm its minimum focus distance... you can get closer to the subject when the viz is bad... less water-less dirt.... i hope to be clear with my spaghetti english... :-P

 

if you like it i can post some shot with both lenses.... ;-)

 

 

 

E' perfetto! Grazie mille!

 

That's about it for my italian. If you want to post some shots, please do.

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E' perfetto! Grazie mille!

 

That's about it for my italian. If you want to post some shots, please do.

 

grazie a te!! :-P

 

ok not the best shots... but as you see, real macro its possible...

 

panasonic 30mm

 

30726562701_79ef976aaf_b.jpg_8091453 by boletus.italy, su Flickr

 

30182798534_96d27d8c8a_b.jpg_8170343 by boletus.italy, su Flickr

 

olympus 30mm

 

37642926006_8da6bf3f46_b.jpg_8144323 by boletus.italy, su Flickr

 

36982072184_33da8b101a_b.jpg_8144418 by boletus.italy, su Flickr

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Terrific shot of the whip coral goby, Fabio. That has to be one of the nicest I've seen.

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Thanks Tim.. too kind!! i like it too..... ;-) i was there at the right moment... late afternoon close to the sunset.... :-)

 

 

Terrific shot of the whip coral goby, Fabio. That has to be one of the nicest I've seen.

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This again is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The 30mm has twice the angle of view and twice the depth of field V. the 60mm at the same F/number. The 30mm does not work with closeup lenses because of the close focusing distance while the 60mm works quite well with +5 to +25 amounts of magnification.

 

This is a bit like comparing the 7 mm end to the 14mm end of the Olympus zoom. Both work very well for what they were designed for. I look at the 30mm as a 1:3 or greater size lens while I look at the 60mm as a 1:3 or smaller size animal. If I am looking to do super macro 60mm is my choice Fabio's which are all in the appox .1:3 or larger range the 30mm works great. For an under $300.00US lens the 30mm has excellent image quality and is easer to use because of the wider angel and greater DOF.

 

I find the 30mm to be an excellent black water lens because the 60mm is a bit difficult to focus while I and my subject are both moving.

 

Bottom line is I would own both if you can afford to do that because they simply don't replace each other.

 

Photo is from a black water dive and the subject is a little larger that a US quarter, Larval Stage Sea Anemone, 30mm, ISO-200, F/7.1, 1/250th sec, two Inon Z-240 strobes, Nauticam housing and 45 port.

post-2618-0-00907000-1510339358_thumb.jpg

Edited by Phil Rudin
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Hi Phil.... umhhh.... i didn't compare 30mm vs 60mm.... just post shots from both the 30mm on the market... :-) i like more my 60mm with the option of cmc... but sometimes the 30mm its a great option too....

i think on a dive trip my use of macro lenses are 5/1... 5 dives with 60mm vs 1 dive with 30mm..... but when you find the right subject the 30mm its real fun to use... less tricky with bad viz :-)

they are like the canikon 100-105mm and 60mm... need both....

arghhh... nice black water photo... :-P which 30mm did you use? pana or oly?

 

 

 

 

 

 

This again is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The 30mm has twice the angle of view and twice the depth of field V. the 60mm at the same F/number. The 30mm does not work with closeup lenses because of the close focusing distance while the 60mm works quite well with +5 to +25 amounts of magnification.

 

This is a bit like comparing the 7 mm end to the 14mm end of the Olympus zoom. Both work very well for what they were designed for. I look at the 30mm as a 1:3 or greater size lens while I look at the 60mm as a 1:3 or smaller size animal. If I am looking to do super macro 60mm is my choice Fabio's which are all in the appox .1:3 or larger range the 30mm works great. For an under $300.00US lens the 30mm has excellent image quality and is easer to use because of the wider angel and greater DOF.

 

I find the 30mm to be an excellent black water lens because the 60mm is a bit difficult to focus while I and my subject are both moving.

 

Bottom line is I would own both if you can afford to do that because they simply don't replace each other.

 

Photo is from a black water dive and the subject is a little larger that a US quarter, Larval Stage Sea Anemone, 30mm, ISO-200, F/7.1, 1/250th sec, two Inon Z-240 strobes, Nauticam housing and 45 port.

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OLYMPUS which has just gone on sale in the US for $199.00 for other readers who may be interested.

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This again is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The 30mm has twice the angle of view and twice the depth of field V. the 60mm at the same F/number. The 30mm does not work with closeup lenses because of the close focusing distance while the 60mm works quite well with +5 to +25 amounts of magnification.

 

This is a bit like comparing the 7 mm end to the 14mm end of the Olympus zoom. Both work very well for what they were designed for. I look at the 30mm as a 1:3 or greater size lens while I look at the 60mm as a 1:3 or smaller size animal. If I am looking to do super macro 60mm is my choice Fabio's which are all in the appox .1:3 or larger range the 30mm works great. For an under $300.00US lens the 30mm has excellent image quality and is easer to use because of the wider angel and greater DOF.

 

I find the 30mm to be an excellent black water lens because the 60mm is a bit difficult to focus while I and my subject are both moving.

 

Bottom line is I would own both if you can afford to do that because they simply don't replace each other.

 

Photo is from a black water dive and the subject is a little larger that a US quarter, Larval Stage Sea Anemone, 30mm, ISO-200, F/7.1, 1/250th sec, two Inon Z-240 strobes, Nauticam housing and 45 port.

 

 

Hi Phil,

Sorry I am not so expert, but why you tell that the 30mm (Pana or Oly) doesn't work with wet macro lens ?

I made this picture of the Pigmy with the 30mm Pana + INON UCL 165 wet macro lens....

Where I am wrong ?? :unsure:

Scipionems

post-47748-0-51336100-1510479774_thumb.jpg

Edited by scipionems

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First of all the topic is shooting experiences with the Olympus 30mm macro V. the 60mm macro lens. The issue with the Olympus 30mm macro is VERY limited working distance and the port you are using. With my Nauticam NA-EM1 II the 45 port is recommended. In that port the front of the lens is about 10mm from the outside of the port glass leaving a working distance of about 10mm between subject and port at 1.25:1 or maximum magnification. Using say a plus 10 closeup lens would reduce the distance to 5mm plus the thickness of the CU lens would leave little to no working distance. In addition the CU lens would be at least 10mm from the front of the lens which would reduce the magnification of the lens because of the distance between the two lenses. Also the Olympus lens is already a 1.25:1 lens which at 1.25:1 is about the same amount of magnification as you would get with your Panasonic lens at 1:1 plus the ULC-165 wet lens. This is assuming that your lens is closer to the port glass on your housing. With the very best placement your lens at 1:1 plus the the Inon UCL-165 would get you to about 1.3:1.

 

For subjects the size of a Pigmy the 60mm macro is just the far better choice and at 1:1 you can use about +25 of magnification in front of the lens before the working distance becomes to limited. This would give you magnification of about 5:1 or a subject about 3.5mm on the long side.

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First of all the topic is shooting experiences with the Olympus 30mm macro V. the 60mm macro lens. The issue with the Olympus 30mm macro is VERY limited working distance and the port you are using. With my Nauticam NA-EM1 II the 45 port is recommended. In that port the front of the lens is about 10mm from the outside of the port glass leaving a working distance of about 10mm between subject and port at 1.25:1 or maximum magnification. Using say a plus 10 closeup lens would reduce the distance to 5mm plus the thickness of the CU lens would leave little to no working distance. In addition the CU lens would be at least 10mm from the front of the lens which would reduce the magnification of the lens because of the distance between the two lenses. Also the Olympus lens is already a 1.25:1 lens which at 1.25:1 is about the same amount of magnification as you would get with your Panasonic lens at 1:1 plus the ULC-165 wet lens. This is assuming that your lens is closer to the port glass on your housing. With the very best placement your lens at 1:1 plus the the Inon UCL-165 would get you to about 1.3:1.

 

For subjects the size of a Pigmy the 60mm macro is just the far better choice and at 1:1 you can use about +25 of magnification in front of the lens before the working distance becomes to limited. This would give you magnification of about 5:1 or a subject about 3.5mm on the long side.

 

Thank you for the clear explanation Phil

Scipionems

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Just for anyone who might be interested - the Olympus 30mm macro is on sale today at B&H for $99US, free expedited shipping (US). At that price, I had to pick one up. Now, to try and find a deal or a used shorter port...

 

OH, and the 60mm is $299. I don't have any B&H affiliation - I've just been watching m43 lens prices for a long time now.

Edited by bmorescuba

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Same here, but I ordered through the Olympus website as I had some reward points that were going to expire anyways. Didn't even know that I needed this lens :)

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