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Olympus Macro 60mm vs 30mm

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I currently have an Olympus 60mm macro on a Olympus EPL10 ( I have this combo).  I am typically diving Beach dives in Southern California, USA.  I have noticed I have to keep quite a bit of water between my lens and the subject to fit the subject in the frame, for macro I am going after Nudibranch like the Spanish Shawl, Opalescent, and Hopkins Rose.  I am wondering if I should look into the Olympus 30mm macro to get closer to the subject?  Do you think I should keep diving my 60mm this summer and see if I can get it to work?  I'm open to ideas.

 

Olympus has a 2x crop factor so the 60mm and 30mm lenses have a 120mm and 60mm effective focal length.

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I use both focals (Panasonic 30mm) and generally have more fun with the 60mm lens. However if your nudis are not rice grain size probably the 30mm is a good choice as it is easier to focus and faster.

 

Inviato dal mio SM-G991B utilizzando Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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I use the 30mm panasonic as well as the 60mm macro, both have their places and I swap between the two of them periodically.  The thing to know about the 30mm is even though it does 1:1, it achieves that with a working distance of about 22mm , and you have 5 or 10mm of port in the way. 

The practical limit underwater is probably about half life size, so nothing smaller than about 40mm if you are filling the frame.  At half life size your working distance is about 55mm or so and lighting that can be a challenge.  The focus on the Panasonic is very snappy and seems less prone to locking onto particles than the 60mm.

Another option is the Pany 45mm min focus distance is 45 mm more than the 30mm lens - it takes the same port as the 30mm lenses.  So working distance of 100mm at half life size, less the clearance for the port glass.

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HUUMM, there isnt much differeance between the Oly 30mm and the Pana 30mm.

 

Pana is f2.8,  longer and heavier $298

Oly is f3.5, shorter working min focus distance $224

 

for context the 3 nudibranch that I hunt the most are:

Nudi  -  Size

Spanish Shawl Nudi - up to 2.75in (75mm) long

Opalescent Nudi - up to 3in (80mm) long

Hopkins Rose Nudi - up to 1in (25.4mm) long

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The working distances at min focus are 19mm for the olympus and 22.5 for Panasonic - but the Olympus lens is shorter by 6.5mm and they use the same port (Nauticam port chart) so more of the MFD is taken up by space in the port for the Olympus, but the Olympus is 1.25x at MFD, so they are probably very close in working distances at constant magnification.  In Australia the prices were very similar.

Just tried the 30mm Pany on a ruler and you are about 100mm away for a 75mm subject to fill the frame.  For a 25mm subject you are 40mm away - that's with the subject right up edge of frame so you can probably add at least 10% for practical working distance  to give some space around your subject.  Of course the nudi needs to be in just the right spot to allow you to get the lens/port that close so in practice many times you need to back up a touch and lose some magnification.

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Yesterday afternoon I had a nice chat wit Robin at Backscatter.  We were able to chat for nearly 30min.  I think my biggest issue is changing my mind set for macro photography.  I am trying to move from fish id images to macro images.  When using the 60mm macro on a Spanish Shawl I think I'm going to try to just focus on its "head" and rinophores instead of trying to get the whole organism in the image.

 

Ill try to share some photos when I can get back in the water, we are getting rain just often enough to kill weekly diving.

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I shoot all of these on a regular basis (except the Hopkins which is quite rare in PV where we are diving. I use both the 30 and 60 but my preference is for the 60. It is sharper than the 30 and as Chris says getting them full frame with the 30 is quite tough. The other advantage of the 60 is that if you use an external diopter you get more magnification.

 

BVA

 

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A little bit of a contrary opinion, but I much prefer the Oly 30mm.  I shoot an M1 in an Olympus housing with their dedicated macro port.  Yeah, you give up some magnification due to the port size but it focuses so much faster than the 60 that my hit rate goes up considerably.  It's my default night dive lens because- in the PNW- you never know what you're going to get, from fish portraits to nudis to what have you.  Plus, it's a cheap lens- no reason not to pick it up and do some experimentin'.

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On 3/25/2021 at 12:22 PM, bvanant said:

I shoot all of these on a regular basis (except the Hopkins which is quite rare in PV where we are diving. I use both the 30 and 60 but my preference is for the 60. It is sharper than the 30 and as Chris says getting them full frame with the 30 is quite tough. The other advantage of the 60 is that if you use an external diopter you get more magnification.

 

BVA

 

Bill,

 

I just poked around your site, you have many nice photos.  If your interested in getting together for a photo dive I would love to join you.  If you run any clinics I would also be interested in joining.

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For night and black water dives, the 30 is indeed my go to lens, the 60 is too hard in those conditions. 

Bill

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