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

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Questions
garyroxene
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Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
Apr 3, 2013

I have the 3-300 w/ Zuiko 14-45 & 40-150 and want to know what the best budget Macro shooting scenario /  lens or tube .. My knowledge of macro lenses is minimal except that they are the more expensive route and I am dirt poor at the present so it appears that a tube/tubes are the path or least financial resistance.  I tried the cheap "Crystal Titanium" Super Wide Macro/Wide Angle and was rather disappointed by comparison to the Nikon 990 995. My experience with tubes is only from owning a Spotmatic years ago that had a set of ext.tubes.  I loved the shots I got with that camera which was why I bought the Nikon 900 series that I was very fond of as well.

My shooting is mostly nature but I do sell a lot on ebay and it is the selling that has prompted this search as I did not like the results I got with the Zuiko shooting some old phono cartridge/styli shots that I want to be crisp and sharp with a good depth of field.

What would I enter in a search via eBay or craigslist?  Do I just need to know the thread match up or do I need to buy a tube that is specific to my lens/camera for best results?  Even thought of going generic if the glass gave reasonable results.

Thanks in advance

PS I noticed that I could not tag my 14-45mm Zuiko as it was not listed.  Kinda strange as it is a very prevalent lens.

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Nikon Coolpix 990 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-300 / EVOLT E-300
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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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Aaron Sur
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 5, 2013

If you want to keep the cost down and get something that will be compatible with other cameras after all your camera is a 9 year old model then look at these .

http://www.cokin.co.uk/pages/effects1.htm

scroll to the bottom of page to the close up filters , these will fit on your current glass with a screw in adapter.

cheers

Aaron

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Ivo Verhaar
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to Aaron Sur, Apr 5, 2013

you might want to repost this in the Olympus SLR forum, though i am pretty sure a lot of the SLR people (like me) are reading this thread for what they stuff in a smaller pocket from time to time..

But afaik bellows with a manual lens will indeed give the largest magnification ratio short of bolting a body via an adaptor straight to a macroscope or microscope.

A set of focus rails could be very handy for focus control and Focus stacking software might be needed to get that ultimate depth of field.

Looking forward to the end results.

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garyroxene
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to Aaron Sur, Apr 5, 2013

Aaron Sur wrote:

If you want to keep the cost down and get something that will be compatible with other cameras after all your camera is a 9 year old model then look at these .

http://www.cokin.co.uk/pages/effects1.htm

scroll to the bottom of page to the close up filters , these will fit on your current glass with a screw in adapter.

cheers

Aaron

Aaron thanks for the re: but I don't know what's up with the link you sent.  There were no live links for Sizes available,  A Series,  P Series and the lens avatar was live but just reloads the same page.  hmm 

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OldSchoolCQ

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Ivo Verhaar
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 6, 2013

http://www.cokin.co.uk/pages/cokinA.htm

http://www.cokin.co.uk/pages/cokinP.htm

Top left....

Cheap, nope the cokin holder is not.... but it is flexible

Want higher quality go for some multicoated close-up lens instead... Canon, Nikon make them..

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baxters
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to baxters, Apr 6, 2013

From KEH.com, a decent macro lens. I have purchased their BGN rated lenses and found them quite clean.

Canon 50mm f3.5 macro for $45

Same as above in excellent condition for $59

From ebay, a suitable adapter.
FD-M43 adapter for $14.29 shipped

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Danielvr
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Reverse ring
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 6, 2013

I have the 3-300 w/ Zuiko 14-45 & 40-150 and want to know what the best budget Macro shooting scenario /  lens or tube .. My knowledge of macro lenses is minimal except that they are the more expensive route and I am dirt poor at the present so it appears that a tube/tubes are the path or least financial resistance.

The cheapest (~$3) option would probably be a reverse ring. You screw it to the filter thread of your lens (so get the right diameter) and mount it to your camera body. You'll usually have to focus by moving to or from your object. It's best to use the ring with high quality manual lenses (eg an old 50mm that you may still have laying around) that have an aperture ring so you can set the aperture for greater depth of field.
For a current selection of reverse rings on eBay see http://www.ebay.com/sch/Cameras-Photo-/625/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=olympus+reverse+ring

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PaulM2
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 6, 2013

Hello,

I came across a e-330 on eBay, bid-won and received the package. In another post here on this forum, "A Unexpected Camera Purchase" I described this transaction, as I also received a 14-54 mk1 lens included in the deal.

Well I have had a problem with this camera as far as Auto-focus. But the manual focus works just fine.

Here in my bunch of gear, is also a eBay 35mm Macro lens purchased cheap. It is in great condition, so last evening I put it on the e-330, manual mode, "B" live view and with the 10x magnification I took a picture of a penny.

The setup was a real quickie, taped the penny to a box with double sided tape, set it under the desk lamp, put the camera on the desk top, slide it back and forth for a rough focus and then focused with the 35mm Macro lens and its focus ring..

Not bad for a lash up setup. Picture below.

I originally bought this camera so that I could use my old Minolta Legacy lenses. I also have the Minolta Bellows unit and all the adapters, so more fooling around later.

Good luck with your endeavors.

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CJackJr
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 7, 2013

I'm not sure what your budget is but the Zuiko 35mm Macro is an excellent lens at a reasonable price. I just checked B&H Photo and they have one new for $229 and a used in excellent condition for $169.

Regards, Conrad

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Messier Object
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to garyroxene, Apr 7, 2013

Gary

In macro shooting AF is not that important and good quality manual lenses are IMO  the best value for a low budget option. The OM 50mm f/3.5 lens is perhaps the best, and the most plentiful on the used market. You can pick up a nice one for under $100 to $140, or less if you take your time,   but take care to avoid anything with fungus.

You will need an OM to 4/3 adapter but they can be found for around $10.

And for a few more dollars you can pick up generic OM extension tubes  for higher magnification.

These shots were taken with the OM 50/3.5  A lens that cost me just $96

Peter

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ravduc
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Re: Olympus E-300 Best Macro equipment/results on a budget
In reply to Messier Object, Apr 8, 2013

I own several macro lenses including the 50mm OM 3.5, 55mm Vivitar 2.8, 90mm SP macro Tamron, Olympus zd 35mm macro. My favorite in the M42 mount Russian 50mm volna 9 macro. This lens is very sharp and the bokeh beats them all. The M42 to four thirds adapter can be purchased on ebay for about 15usd.

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