Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ladiver33

Baby's First Macro Lens - 60mm vs 12-40mm (trip to Bali)

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hello. Recently upgraded to a GH5 setup w/ Nauticam housing from a TG5. Primarily was shooting macro with the Tg5 for two years and it was wonderfully easy. Decided I wanted to take things up a notch. Have spent a few days with the GH5 using a 7-14mm lens, just to get the hang of using the camera under the water. Think I got the general gist of how to operate the camera. I have a trip coming up to Bali, in the Amed/Tulamben area. Lot and lots of tiny critters, muck diving etc. Have visited this area before and the subjects tend not to move too much....

My question is : Will the 60mm be too small? From the examples I have been seeing onine, it's primarily eyes, mouths, faces, blemmies etc). If there is a frogfish the size of a golfball - I imagine the 60mm would be "too much" for it?

Would I be better suited with a 12-40mm lens, allowing for more range in available macro subjects? Would either lens be any more difficult to use than the other for a "first timer"? One consideration is that I already have the Nauticam N85 port, so it could/would potentially be one less port to purchase.

Final n00bie question, with objects such so small, and a large housing / lens - I imagine I would only need ONE strobe? (or centered positioned video light)

Any insight or tips would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ladiver33
Spelling / grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can shoot larger critters with the 60mm, you just have to get farther away...which can introduce water-quality and strobe-power problems, but it's worth it. The 60mm is a terrific lens and easy to use (exceeded I think only by the ease of the 30mm). And it is a LOT cheaper (even with port and gear) than the 12-40. The 12-40 is a very good lens, but for macro I prefer the fixed focal length because I really like the manual focus gear (with peaking turned on). I do not think I get enough light from a video light, plus for macro it can almost fry your little subjects. The reason you see so many eyeballs with the 60mm is because it is possible. I've git a lot of frogfish pix with my 60mm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Remember there is also the Panasonic-Leica 45mm f2.8 Macro (great lens, maybe a bit slow on the focussing, but has not been an issue to me). Value for money on that lens is an issue though. In addition to that there are also 30mm lenses by Olympus and Panasonic, which I've not used, but they may be a good solution as well.

Edited by hyp
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listen to tursiops!  The 60 is a great lens, focuses quickly and is very sharp.  I differ from his advice only in that I use autofocus, usually S-AF but if there is much movement from current or surge I will switch to C-AF. 

You can certainly use one strobe and get good macro photos but you will have harsh shadows.  Video lights are not strong enough, once you stop down to get decent depth of field.  

If you're worried about the 60mm being "too much" here are two examples from a recent dive taken with that lens.  

 

 

P6011656.jpg

P6011680.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, troporobo said:

Listen to tursiops!  The 60 is a great lens, focuses quickly and is very sharp.  I differ from his advice only in that I use autofocus, usually S-AF but if there is much movement from current or surge I will switch to C-AF. 

I use S-AF too, but then peak it manually. The AF never seems to settle on quite the part of the nudi (or whatever) that I want sharp. I'm always afraid to use C-AF because I'm leery of running down my battery before its second dive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really depends on what the water is like, you certainly have to back off with the 60mm.  Having said that I used the 60mm exclusively in Lembeh.  Whether or not you can use C-AF will depend on the camera and its AF capability.  I had an EM-5 MkII and C-AF was not that good, on upgrading to an EM1- MkII I found C-AF plus tracking was excellent.

Personally I found the MF focus gear on a 60mm a bit useless, you need two or three turns of the focus knob to see any change in the focus. 

I have the 12-40 and think it's great for big things like frogfish but the very best you can do is fill the frame with a 60mm long subject and you have to be almost on the dome to do that.  I use it around Sydney on dives where I'm likely to find large fish, small port jackson sharks, smallish schools of fish, big rays etc.

An alternative is the 30mm macro lenses, you need a shorter port as they focus extremely close to the lens at maximum magnification and even then UW half life size is about the limit, any closer and lighting gets difficult 1:1 is theoretically possible but that is about 10mm or so from the port glass.  Having said all that, it is my preferred lens for muck diving around Sydney being good for 25mm nudis through to weedy sea dragons (300-400mm long ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question... what setting do you keep your lens at? I just got the 60mm and I'm confused if I should leave it at 1:1 or the .4 to infinity etc

 

Also I plan on using autofocus since I didnt buy the focus gear... or should I buy the focus gear I was told most people do auto 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I use 0.19m to infinity.   You can't leave it on 1:1 it's spring loaded and just takes you to 1:1 (min focus) and springs back to the 0.19m - 0.4m range.  Some people claim the AF improves when on 0.19 -0.4 setting but I don't see any difference.  If you leave it on 0.19-0.4 you can't takes shots on anything bigger than about 120mm on long axis of frame.  I leave it on 0.19 to infinity which allows you to focus over full range.

The focus gear is pretty useless - if you try using the lens in MF out of the housing it takes a lot of movement on the focus ring to see any noticable change in focus.  The focus gear is geared down even further so it needs proportionally more turns to see any change, so you just end up endlessly spinning the housing focus knob and not getting anywhere.  So I would just use AF. 

Edited by ChrisRoss
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use either S-AF or C-AF depending on the visibility, but I use back button focus. In case of poor viz, focusing for each picture is a pain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...