Those who have been paying attention for a year or more will have noticed that I’ve tried just about every technique for doing macro photography that didn’t involve actually buying a macro lens. The only macro lens for my camera system is the Panasonic Leica 45mm, a lens that I’m sure is absolutely lovely if not for the heavy $1200 price tag on it. I’m really enjoying miniature photography, but I’m not enjoying it to the tune of that price!
The first plan was reversing the lens. There are reversal adapters you can buy, but this was such a shitty solution that it didn’t merit any more thought. Next I bought an extension tube, a $20 investment that did ok, but my selection of lenses at the time didn’t have enough range – just about every photo had the subject almost touching the lens. Lastly I picked up the Panasonic 100-300m. Combined with the extension tubes, this did a decent job. I had to hold the massive lens+adapter rig, and I still didn’t have auto-focus or aperture control, but it produced acceptable photos.
I was reading a photography blog and after a conversation with the author, it turns out that if you use an adapter, all Four Thirds lenses are compatible with my Micro Four Thirds camera, with electronic control and everything. The downside is that autofocus was “very slow”, whatever that meant. With this information, now I had a whole new system of lenses that I could look at!
I ended up Craigslisting an Olympus MMF-2 adapter for $80, and picked up the much more reasonably priced Olympus 35mm macro for 43 (only $230!) and now, finally, I have a fully functioning macro photography system.
It’s a little slow on the focus though. Thankfully, miniatures don’t move around so I can afford to wait. I played with it tonight a bit, and it’s wonderful to use! Set apertures for depth of field, pin-point exactly where I want the auto-focus to sharpen, and my tripod can hold the entire rig up! Now I need more lights…and a good place to put them.
I’ll have some photos to share sometime this weekend, but for now…sleep!