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Which Four Thirds Macro Lens?

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Robin_TB
Robin_TB  4191 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2009 - 9:32 AM

Slightly unusual question as its not Canon or Nikon related! Wink

Using an Olympus E-1 I am missing doing macro stuff that I used to do on my Finepix. Having done some trawling through the previous threads on this one the decison seems to be between:

Zuiko 35mm
Zuiko 50mm
Sigma 105mm

The Sigma is the most expensive by a long way but is it worth the extra money? Most of the macro stuff I have done previously is flowers and slow bugs so not sure I need the extra distance from subject that the Sigma offers. Any advice/experience on these lenses would be much appreciated!

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3 Nov 2009 - 9:32 AM

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Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
3 Nov 2009 - 10:08 AM

Flickr have a dedicated E-System group that has lots of discussions of this type, if its any use though I have the Zuiko 35mm and find it a very sharp performer but it does hunt a bit, and you have to get close.

If I had the money I'd opt for the 50mm - which has f2.0 I think, it has had very good reviews and is better built than the Sigma.

Last Modified By Fluke at 3 Nov 2009 - 10:09 AM Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
Robin_TB
Robin_TB  4191 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2009 - 11:00 AM

Thanks Steve, I haven't ventured onto Flickr at all but will look it up. Are Sigma known for poor build quality?

crookymonsta
crookymonsta e2 Member 6685 forum postscrookymonsta vcard England10 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2009 - 11:37 AM

The Sigma 105mm seems to be the most popular lens with macro photographers on EPZ. I have had one for nearly a year now and am very pleased with it, have found that I have expanded my range of subjects since having it.

Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
3 Nov 2009 - 12:10 PM


Quote: Thanks Steve, I haven't ventured onto Flickr at all but will look it up. Are Sigma known for poor build quality?

No, but they are not as good as Olympus.

Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
3 Nov 2009 - 12:15 PM

DPReview regard the Zuiko 50mm macro as near perfect, giving it 9.5/10

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_50_2_o20/page4.asp

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Robin_TB
Robin_TB  4191 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2009 - 1:18 PM

Thanks for the link, shame DPReview haven't compared the 35mm to the 50mm.

The Sigma does seem to give excellent results and it would be useful to be able to expand into different areas. Although it sounds form the review that the Zuiko 50mm is also useful in other situations.

The 50mm comes in at about twice the price of the 35mm, with the Sigma being a touch cheaper than the 50mm. Sounds like it's not worth spending on the 35mm though, I'd better get saving! Smile

Robin_TB
Robin_TB  4191 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2009 - 2:48 PM

Luckily EPZ have compared the 35mm to the 50mm, with the 35mm coming out much better. Perhaps the Sigma is the way forward???

Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
4 Nov 2009 - 8:49 AM

no disrespect to EPZ but its reviews are hardly comprehensive and are full of subjective terms, DPreview use methodical and statistical information to review the lenses.

But its your money.

conrad
conrad  910873 forum posts116 Constructive Critique Points
4 Nov 2009 - 8:53 AM


Quote: full of subjective terms

However a review is worded, it's always subjective.

Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
4 Nov 2009 - 10:10 AM

As I said in my first post the Zuiko 50mm macro is talked about at length in the Flickr group "E System Community"

yes its just opinion but its the biggest group of OLympus users I know of and a lot of them actually use this lens - you can also get samples of images taken with the lens.

Last Modified By Fluke at 4 Nov 2009 - 10:12 AM
Robin_TB
Robin_TB  4191 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
4 Nov 2009 - 10:14 AM

There doesn't seem to be a huge number of reviews out there (apart form the Flickr group which I will check in detail soon) so I'm just seeing what there is. Whilst subjective, if several reviews all come to similar conclusions you can then make your own mind up. No decision made yet...wife may veto anyway Smile

(She reckons I could do with a decent flash first!)

Last Modified By Robin_TB at 4 Nov 2009 - 10:14 AM
cathal
cathal  9492 forum posts Ireland4 Constructive Critique Points
4 Nov 2009 - 10:31 AM

The two Olympus lenses you mention are the ones to go for. Optically, the 50mm is one of the finest lenses available from any manufacturer, is f2.0, and makes a great portrait lens. It requires an extension tube to get to 1:1 reproduction ratio.

The 35mm, which I have, is slower at f3.5, but is 1:1. It is also considerably cheaper. I also use mine a s a portrait lens, and find it to be a superb all-round lens. It is very good value for money.

The Sigma lens takes a "one size fits all" approach, and the lens is an adapted design. Both Olympus lenses are purpose designed four third lenses, and you won't go wrong with either optic.

I've no experience of the Flikr forum, but there is a strong Olympus forum on dp review.

Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
FrankRobinson


Quote: DPReview regard the Zuiko 50mm macro as near perfect, giving it 9.5/10

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_50_2_o20/page4.asp

Fred Miranda review the Sigma 150mm at 9.6/10... which meets my personal perspective that Sigma produce very high quality lenses. Everyone has their own perspective...

Incidentally, the Zuiko is only rated at 9.5 for IQ, for build quality it scores a much lower 8. DPReview does not include the Sigma.

Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
Fluke
Fluke  659 forum posts Wales
4 Nov 2009 - 7:04 PM

well I'd pick a Zuiko over Sigma but thats just my opinion.

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