Using 12-40/2,8 for macro photography

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
MatsP
Contributing MemberPosts: 872Gear list
Like?
Using 12-40/2,8 for macro photography
3 months ago

When i got my 12-40/2,8 I sold the 12-50/3,5-6,3 ED kit lens. The 12-50 has a macro mode, and I was wondering if I maybe lost something regarding macro capability. So I decided to try the 12-40 to see what can be done in macro with that lens just as it is, without any extension tubes or macro converters of any kind.

Closest focus distance of the 12-40 is 0,2 m. That's very close to the front lens when zoomed out to maximum 40 mm. I took a couple of shots in MF mode and with 2s self-timer, handheld but with the lens hood supported by the table. A very simple experiment.

Here is the result. I'm not sure if the marinated herring label was as close as possible but the scale and the coin indeed was the closest I could manage. The traditional definition of a macro lens is the ability to reproduce an image at 1:1 magnification on the film plane or sensor. If you look at the scale you'll see that if this had been a FF camera it wouldn't have been too far from that. Well, it's 1:1,3 to be exact. But as it is a 4/3 sensor it's rather 1:2,5 on the sensor plane. Is that macro? However, the definition of macro seems to be a little wide sometimes. I once had a Sigma 17-70 zoom lens (for APS-C) that had "Macro 1:2,3" printed on it. The 12-40 is almost as much macro as that one. The 12-50 macro mode offer 0,36x magnification which is the same as 1:2,8 if I figure it right. So the 12-40 has nothing to be ashamed of in this respect, especially as Olympus doesn't claim it has macro capabilities.

Let's have a look if we crop to what a real 1:1 on sensor macro would have shown:

Although this was a very simple experiment, handhold and without good lighting, I don't think I have have any reason at all to miss the macro capability of the 12-50. This is also much better than I ever got from my 17-70 "Macro".

 MatsP's gear list:MatsP's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Canon Pixma MG8150 DxO Optics Pro Standard +1 more
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow