OMD+Legacy Tamron 90mm+Last of the Butterflies

Started Aug 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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OMD+Legacy Tamron 90mm+Last of the Butterflies
Aug 27, 2012

Decided to try some macros with the OMD and my legacy Tamron 90mm this weekend. A butterfly bush in my backyard was in late bloom and was still attracting quite a few butterflies (many with battered and beaten wings). I've had good luck with the Tamron and my Nikon DSLRs but was curious to see how it fared on the OMD. In general, I was pretty pleased with the results but was hoping I'd be able to nail the detail with this combination. Probably just poor execution, but I'm not sure this particular lens+body combo is the perfect match for macros. A couple of lessons learned:

  • IBIS is helpful but no substitute for a monopod or tripod when it comes to shooting macros.

  • Manual focusing with the EVF worked pretty well. About the same hit rate as with manual focus and optical VF of my Nikons.

  • Using the EVF magnification to fine tune manual focus was challenging. The problem is that the 5X magnification zooms too much and makes it difficult to locate and remain on your target. Even the tiniest movement of the butterfly or the most gentle puff of wind and you've lost it. 2X or 3X would work better, but as far as I can tell there is no option for adjusting the minimum magnification to less than 5X. (Can anyone confirm that?)

Here are the best of the bunch from the weekend. For the most part, I was shooting at ISO 400 in order to keep the shutter speed high enough to stop movement and found that f/8 or higher was needed to ensure that the entire butterfly was in focus. No flash. Both were shot in RAW, processed with ACR 6.7 and edited in Photoshop.

This one was the best overall. Good detail but not the most I've been able to wring out of this lens previously.

The spider in the image below was tiny (the body was approx. 1/4 inch). I had to add a 21mm extension tube to get a bit more magnification and the image is cropped about 50%. I shot it with the camera mounted on a tripod, which combined with the fact that the spider was sitting still while chomping on a gnat, allowed me to use the 5x LV magnification for focus. However, I should've stopped down more to get the the legs fully in focus.

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