Time to be with your loved ones

Time to be with loved ones

by sat

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I wonder if anyone can advise me? I have the panasonic gf3 with a 14mm lens. Is there a macro conversion lens I can buy (apart from the new panasonic one) - haven't had one before and so wanted something not too expensive that I can play with. Also, what do people think about extension tubes? Any advice would be great - thanks

share|improve this question
1  
Extension tubes (provided they are compatible with your cam) will lower the focusing distance between the cam and the subject so you will effectivly be able to get closer to your subject - so at full zoom you could achive greater magnification - but you will loose light. see this excellent youtube video youtube.com/watch?v=EaLCFcVJrrQ –  Rob Apr 9 '12 at 19:41
1  
We've got good stuff on extension tubes here: How Much Can Lens Magnification Be Improved Without Significantly Lowering Image Quality? –  mattdm Apr 9 '12 at 19:43
add comment

1 Answer

As attractive as a "macro converter", or even extension tubes, might be from a cost perspective, your 14mm lens is not a very good foundation for macro photography. It is a moderately wide-angle lens (equivalent to about 28mm on a full-frame 35mm body), so if you want any real amount of subject magnification, you'll need to be working in very close—your lens will be as little as 15-16mm (about 5/8") away from what you're shooting when you're in very tight. That doesn't leave a lot of room for light to get at your subject at all.

There are a couple of options for macro lenses, including the Panasonic/Leica 45mm lens you've mentioned (at around $1000) and an Olympus 45mm 1:2 macro (at around $400). They're great if you want auto-everything, except for that unfortunate money thing.

If you are willing to sacrifice automation, you may find that using a lens mount adapter plus extension tubes and grabbing a 50mm lens (of just about any make you can find an adapter for) might just be a better solution. Since the μ4/3 sensor is fairly small, you probably won't need to go fully life-size on the sensor very often, so the 50mm focal length (which would really be too short for 35mm or APS-C format macrophotography) will still give you plenty of working romm at relatively large magnifications. 50mm lenses in the f/1.8-2 range are plentiful and cheap out there, especially for older manual-focus 35mm cameras, so finding one used at a very reasonable price shouldn't be any problem at all.

It means more work for you as a photographer (manual focus and exposure), but the results are likely to be significantly better than trying to do macro work with a wide-angle lens.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 - I would note that autofocus in macro is probably of little value anyways, so a manual answer with an adapter is probably not a bad one. My goto macro is the famous Vivitar 100mm f/2.8 (the Lester Dine) lens and that's as manual as it gets... :) –  John Cavan Apr 10 '12 at 0:45
    
thanks - sorry, don't know a huge amount about this. I don't mind the camera not being on auto - but what is a lens mount adapter? –  LOUISE STENHOUSE Apr 10 '12 at 18:54
    
@LOUISESTENHOUSE - Every different type (brand, usually, or system standard, as in the case of the Four Thirds family) of camera has a mount specific to it. You need to use an adapter to mount lenses of one type on a camera of another type. You can purchase an adapter to mount just about any 35mm camera lens on a μ4/3 camera; all you need to do is make sure that it's for the right brand/mount of lens. For instance, if you pick up a 50mm f/2 Pentax K-mount lens, you'd need a Pentax K to Micro Four Thirds adapter. –  user2719 Apr 10 '12 at 19:13
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.