Macro working distance 30mm vs 45mm vs 60mm and focus breathing

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Interceptor121 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
Macro working distance 30mm vs 45mm vs 60mm and focus breathing

I have had my Olympus 60mm since 7 years now and used it extensively underwater

There have been situations (not macro targets) where I felt the angle of view was too narrow underwater so I recently procured a Panasonic 45mm.

Finally this week I have also acquired the 30mm 2.8 macro for tabletop photography

Reading the specs you see that the working distance is respectively

19 cm for the 60mm

15 cm for the 45mm

10.5 cm for the 30mm

What is not that obvious is that this distance is from the focal plane not from the front of the lens so once you subtract the lens size the actual working distances are

87mm for the 60mm

65.6mm for the 45mm

24mm for the 30mm

The 30mm needs you to be on top of subjects and is clearly a good choice for things that do not move however is a bit surprising that the increased working distance between the 45mm and 60mm is only 21.4 mm

When you are far away from targets the difference of field of view is obvious however as you get close the benefit is somehow lost.

I believe this is due to the effective focal length dropping more for the 60mm than the 45mm as you get closer so the increased focus breathing and size of the lens eats out the working distance as you get to 1:2 or 1:1 reproduction ratio.

I thought it was interesting to share this as I have found that except for small bugs 45mm is more effective for close up work of flowers where you need more field of view

 Interceptor121's gear list:Interceptor121's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +14 more
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