Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Questions thread
baxters
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 4, 2013

I still have my E300 and the two kit zooms. Here's what I know.

1) They sell inexpensive extension tubes that would fit your 14-45 zoom, but they don't have any electrical contacts. You won't be able to focus the lens and will have no aperture control. I think these these tubes are worthless.

2) If you have an old film lens, you can buy old extension tubes for that lens and use them on the E300 with an appropriate adapter.  I know that adapters are available for less than $15 for Canon FD, Olympus OM, and Pentax K. Other mounts may be supported, but make sure they are not micro43 adapters, which won't fit. Anyway, I have used both Pentax and Olympus OM lenses with the appropriate extension tubes and adapter.

Here's a pic of my E300 and an OM 35mm lens. Real cheap on the budget for me. I've owned the lens for years, and the tubes cost $20 on ebay in 2007. I got the MF-1 adapter for free from Olympus when I bought the E300 in 2005.

Stack on more tubes for more magnification. You're limited in magnification by your choice of lens and tubes. Here's a result from the above.

3) Bellows are nicer than extension tubes. You can set an arbitrary magnification with them. This is with a different camera, but somewhere I have an adapter that attaches the bellows to an E300. I got the bellows for $25 in 2006 because it was an ugly/unwanted Soligor brand. If it were a Nikon bellows, probably 3X-4X higher. BTW, that's a Takumar 135mm f3.5 lens in front that I got for $10. Another bargain. More like $50 these days.

4) Maybe the best is to buy an old macro lens from a film camera, one that can be adapted to the 4/3 mount. Then your challenge is not paying too much for the lens. Canon FD 50mm f3.5's are around $50-75, but OM 50 f3.5 macros seems to be around $100. I don't own any macro lenses, aside from some old zooms with macro mode. You really want a prime. I expect the results will be good.

5) The costliest approach is to buy the 4/3 macro lens. Cheapest is the 35mm f3.5. I paid $159 for mine as a refurb from cameta.com. New, there are around $229? It can be funky on autofocus. Make sure there's lots of light. It gives the best results for me, better than bellows or extension tubes.

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