G85 + Olympus 60mm, Raynox 250, extension tubes, with 14-140mm/45-175mm for macro?

Started 7 months ago | Questions thread
OP CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: G85 + Olympus 60mm, Raynox 250, extension tubes, with 14-140mm/45-175mm for macro?

gardenersassistant wrote:

CoolColJ wrote:

I have a G85, with a Raynox DCR-250.

Will have an Olympus 60mm macro lens next week, and some extension tubes to come in the mail.

I will be shooting mainly ant macros and videos with this setup

Would either a Lumix 14-140mm or 45-175mm zoom lens, plus Raynox 250 be redundant?

And out of these two lenses, which would offer the better image quality, shaprness with the Raynox at small apertures?

I know some people gardenersassistant have extensive experience with these combos, hopefully he can chime in

I apologise for taking so long to respond - I have been unwell and out of action for several weeks. I think by now you have already found the answers to some of your questions. Also, I don't shoot videos and most often shoot subjects that are larger than the fairly small ants I come across. Still, FWIW, here are a couple of thoughts.

In terms of image quality at small apertures, in my experience (and there is some theory to back this up) it doesn't make much difference what lens you use if you are using small apertures. This is because detail/sharpness is dominated by the effects of diffraction if you use very small apertures. I use very small (minimum) apertures when photographing insects, spiders etc and I get much the same image quality irrespective of what kit I use (camera, sensor size, sensor megapixels, lenses - close-up, macro, reversed). So I use whatever kit gives me the best usability.

(Off topic. The situation is different for flowers etc, where I use the full range of available apertures, and usually much less magnification. Here I find that lens sharpness and sensor size do make a difference. I bought the Olympus 60mm macro for this purpose, for use with my G80, and it does work quite well for flowers etc, and it is a very sharp lens. Interestingly though I subsequently bought a 14-140 for other reasons and it has turned out to be my preferred lens for single-shot images of flowers etc, with and without a mild Canon 500D close-up lens. Here too, it is a matter of usability; for single shots I prefer the operating characteristics of the 14-140 over the 60mm macro, and have been surprised at the clarity and detail I get from the 14-140. On the other hand for focus bracketing - and for post-focus used to capture 4K videos for stacking - I prefer the 60mm macro.)

The Raynox lenses are not so good with the 14-140. The Canon 500D works fine on the 14-140 because it has a large enough diameter to avoid vignetting. In contrast the Raynox lenses suffer from severe vignetting at wide angle and the vignetting doesn't disappear completely until 45mm or so. The Raynox lenses don't vignette on the 45-175 or 45-200.

As it happens at the moment I use an FZ300 bridge camera with close-up lenses most of the time for insects etc (again, for usability reasons). However, the G series cameras with the 45-175 plus close-up lenses are especially good for small subjects (springtails, barkflies, mites etc) because the field of view can be changed (easily, using the side lever on the lens) without moving the camera, which makes finding and then framing small subjects much, much easier than with any other lens arrangement (close-up, macro or reversed).

For stills, I find that using close-up lenses on a telezoom (45-175, 45-200 on G series cameras, FZ200/300 and other bridge cameras, 55-250 on Canon 70D) gives me faster (non-hunting) autofocus, including at some quite high magnifications, compared to my macro lenses, which tend to hunt increasingly even when approaching quite mild 1:1 magnification (to the extent that autofocus may be impractical, especially for moving subjects). Of course a lot of people (most perhaps) don't use autofocus for macro, so this may not be an issue. And whether it applies to video I don't know.

Appreciate it!

Yes the autofocus issues of a macro ability lens is quite annoying for video, and G cameras don't have the best autofocus speed and accuracy in video. While manual focus is really difficult due to the narrow depth of field.

When I was shooting video of the ants with the 45-175mm + Raynox 250 with auto focus, the camera would sometimes hunt and spin through the whole focus range, if you move slightly outside of the focus range. Needless to say that is a no go so I had to switch to manual focus.

And around 100mm focal length seems to be limit that the image stablizers can cope with. Any longer and it gets very shakey with a Ryanox. While the Oly 60mm macro does not suffer quite as much for the same level of magnification

On the other hand the Lumix 12-60mm kit lens seems to work quite well with the Raynox in video. I think the 35-100mm f2.8 lens could be quite good.

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