Question about underwater macro on the 12-50mm lens

Started Dec 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Gakuranman Senior Member • Posts: 1,165
Question about underwater macro on the 12-50mm lens

Hey all,

I've been reading about underwater housings for the E-M5 and E-PL5. I'm interested in using the 12-50 kit zoom in a housing to gain access to both wide angle and macro photography, as well as avoid the expense with 3rd party housings and specialised ports and gears.

However, due to the complex nature of the 12-50 lens, from what I've read, the macro function cannot be used in an underwater housing, except the Nauticam housing with specialised gear ($800 for the port alone!).

I've also read that a firmware update for the E-M5 and E-PL5 allows the user to switch between the wide angle and telephoto settings of the zoom lens (with no stop inbetween). This would be a fine solution providing that the telephoto setting is in macro mode.

That's where things get a little hazy. According to Phil Rudin, the in-camera switch does not put the lens into the specialised macro mode, but instead only uses regular wide and telephoto. However, the Olympus website says that the two modes are underwater macro and underwater tele..?

I do not own the 12-50 lens, so I cannot confirm it myself. So, if anyone has the lens handy with the latest firmware, could you perform a quick check for me..? I wish to know if the camera (E-M5 and/or E-PL5) can switch the 12-50 lens between both wide angle and macro modes (the super macro function on the side of the 12-50 lens - not just regular telephoto macro). I believe this is achieved by selecting one of the two(?) underwater modes in camera.

Of course, the best solution would be a way to switch between wide, telephoto and macro modes on the 12-50 lens all from within the camera. If we could do this, we'd effectively have a point and shoot with 3 modes and amazing dynamic range and image quality for use underwater. I always loved point and shoots underwater for their ability to shoot a range of different types of photography, but always wanted better image quality. It would be great if the 12-50 lens can provide that.

Thank you kindly in advance!

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Olympus PEN E-PL5
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