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Hi, i am currently using for macro shots an Olympus 60mm with an Olympus Em1.2. For macro shots It works fine,but for anything different such as fishes it's nearly impossible due to the reduced FOV. So i am looking at some alternatives, like the 30mm Panasonic or Olympus. Has anyone tried any of these? I am considering autofocus Speed as a First parameter,as both of them seem to be Sharp.

 

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I have used both lenses and don't recall much difference in AF speed even though the Pama lens is a bit faster at F/2.8. I did an full review of the Olympus 30 macro in issue #98 of uwpmag.com if you are interested. I also reviewed the EM1 II in an Ikelite housing for the same issue. uwpmag.com is a free PDF download and the back issues are at the top of the home page. If you enter my name in the search engine you can find other Olympus and Olympus releated equipment as well. 

Rudin_30mm.jpg

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Been shooting OM-D for years. I would go for the wide lens. Allows to get close with lots in the frame and great for fish; especially large fish. I shoot the Oly 9-18 and love it. Focus is sharp as a razor.

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I use the 30mm Panasonic macro on my EM-1 II and find it sharp and AF quite snappy - MF is also more usable with a smaller throw , but I've not felt the need for MF underwater. 

The caveat with the 30mm macro lenses is that they get to life size but is achieved about 10mm in front of the port, so the practical limit for getting close enough and getting decent lighting is about 0.5x, which is achieved at about 55mm from the lens (maybe 45mm from port glass (+/-).

I swap between using the 30mm macro and the 12-40 olympus lens when targeting bigger subjects - at similar distance the 12-40 fills the horizontal axis with a 55mm object when it is 70mm from the lens compared to a 36mm object 55mm from the lens with the 30mm macro.   The 12-40 AF is very snappy even in very close and I use it in a Zen 170mm dome and is certainly more flexible if you encounter larger fish.

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What housing system you are using may influence recommendations as well, care to share?

 

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Thank you all for your comments.

I use a Nauticam housing. I Aldo own the 12-40 which may be a bit more flexible, but I do not have the zoom/focus gear.

It seems that both lenses Will do the job. I am aware that with the 30 It May be difficult to achieve higher magnifications, but I have the 60 for that and would go with the 30 whenever I favor flexibility over magnification.

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3 hours ago, lbedogni said:

Thank you all for your comments.

I use a Nauticam housing. I Aldo own the 12-40 which may be a bit more flexible, but I do not have the zoom/focus gear.

It seems that both lenses Will do the job. I am aware that with the 30 It May be difficult to achieve higher magnifications, but I have the 60 for that and would go with the 30 whenever I favor flexibility over magnification.

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Agree the 30mm will definitely do the job and is more fish friendly than the 60mm.  The 12-40 is a really nice lens if you ever get a focus gear or have the dome - it is worth trying.

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Hi Bill1946

I've also been shooting OM-D for years (though, I recently couldn't resist to changing to a mirrorless fullframe), using the M5.1, M1.1 and lastly M1.2.

I can only repeat and agree to what @ChrisRoss and @Phil Rudin already told you:

- the 60 is perfect for the really small stuff (nudis etc)

- the 30 is much easier if you go for fishes

- I strongly recommend on trying the 12-40! it's no comparison to the macro-lenses :-)

- autofocus works fine with all 3 lenses as long as there is enough light on the subject; I reckoned that the cams struggled a bit in low-light conditions

have fun!

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I ended up getting a bargain on the Oly 30mm. I think that for the price I paid it (129 EUR) it's worth a shot :)

I used to use the 12-40 with my old housing, I guess there are pros and cons: it may not replace a macro lens, but it's way more versatile. Maybe I'll try it again in the future.

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5 minutes ago, lbedogni said:

I ended up getting a bargain on the Oly 30mm. I think that for the price I paid it (129 EUR) it's worth a shot :)

I used to use the 12-40 with my old housing, I guess there are pros and cons: it may not replace a macro lens, but it's way more versatile. Maybe I'll try it again in the future.

Give us some feedback then

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I was playing with the Pana 8mm f3.5 fisheye on my Oly EPL10 in Jan and Feb this year.  Its a fun lens that lets you get close to your subjects like sea slugs and nudi to fill the frame.  I haven't been photographing much since Feb since I have been doing a lot of training dives lately. I am really looking forward to getting back to my photography.

 

Im looking forward to you sharing your experiences with the 30mm macro.

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So I recently tried the 30mm for 1 dive (3h). I really liked it, though I don't think it is super well suited for macros, as the working distance for small subjects is really tiny, hence lighting is difficult. However for fishes, larger subjects and "general" photography is very handy! 

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