Cheap macro lens for Lumix G3?

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Questions thread
ryan2007 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,001
Re: Cheap macro lens for Lumix G3?

andrethaiss wrote:

Hello everyone, I am new to the forums and I really like the users on here and I guess I should get some good advice from the professionals.

So I have started to get interested into photography after my mother recieved a Canon Powershot SX40HS, which is a bridge camera. Since then I have been in love with photography, specially flowers and close ups. I was thinking of starting off with a cheap m43 camera such as the GF3/G3 to start photography as I would like a larger sensor than the regular point and shoots.

I need advice in lens for close up pictures of flowers and smaller objects (nothing professional, just as a hobby). I was wondering if the kit lens on the Lumix G3 (14-42mm) would be sufficient for any close ups. If not, would anyone recommend me a set of cheap macro/close up lens under 200$? They don't have to be fancy or anything, just something simple. I know its not much in terms of lens cost but I have to start somewhere, I was also looking at the Raynox DCR macro lens/adapters but was not sure if they would work good with the kit lens.

Any help would be appreciated as I am a complete novice in the world of lens and adapters/tubes, but I am willing to learn.

Thank you!


Their are a few options.  The most important is to buy yourself a tripod and if the camera accepts a cable release buy that too.  Macro work or close up work is critical since you have to be still to avoid camera shake. You can always use a table or the ground and prop up the camera as a makeshift way to keep vibration reduced and you can use the camera's self timer in lieu of a cable release if need be.

The best option is using a lens specifically designed for macro like the Panasonic 45 2.8 and yes it is expensive. Many times in photography you get what you pay for. You can always look at something used.

The next thing you can do is buy a telephoto lens like the Panasonic 45-200 just to get the magnification part.  Their is such a thing as close up filters and Tiffen is the typical manufacture.  However, they are meant for 2D not 3D objects. It does allow a lens to focus closer but the trade off is some distortion on the edges. Its a sub $100 quick fix.

Most important when you look at lens spec's is the close focus distance.  Another feature is the lens aperture ability to help blur the background so your separating the foreground. You can search Macro flower photography for examples easily.

Last, if you are truly serious about macro photography and I am a micro four thirds user, I would tell you to buy a DSLR instead.  I am familiar with Nikon so that is what I will talk, check out Canon too.

So, Nikon has a couple macro specific lenses off the top its like a 60 mm and 105 mm, but you can also buy a ring light.  Its a special flash that attaches to the lens so the light is coming in front not above to light the object.  The reason I bring this up is so you can be informed even if you can not afford to buy it or rent gear even.

Last a macro specific lens will have the specs to do 1:1 which is life-size reproduction.  If you use my telephoto technique it will work but you can't focus as close, you have to be very steady and all you are doing is magnifying like using binoculars, not life size. If the lens can reproduce exactly what you see with such detail, One to One (1:1) that is true macro.

Remember all lenses have close focusing ability just to different degrees AND that 45-200 vs 45 2.8 at the same 45 mm focal length you will see that macro 2.8 lens does better.  It has nothing to do with f-stop, just the ability and how the lens is made.

You should go to the local camera shop and look even if its a DSLR system so you can see first hand regardless of where you buy from.

Call B&H photo if you need to talk to someone for advice as well.

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