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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm F2.8 Lens, Standard Zoom, Suitable for All MFT Cameras (Olympus OM-D & PEN Models, Panasonic G-Series), Black

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Usually, I don’t use the full power of the lens because 1:1 magnification is often overkill for my subjects. That’s why many of the sample photos in this articles are close-up photos rather than “true” macro photos with 1:1 magnification or greater. In any case, it’s a highly practical lens, and a great performer, as you’ll see in a moment. Lens configuration: 7 elements / 6 groups with 1 Aspherical ED element, 1 DSA lens element and 1 Aspherical glass element

The lens is very well-designed to resist chromatic aberration, especially at the widest apertures. Stopping down will produce slightly more chromatic aberration, peaking at the ƒ/8 mark and smaller. It's visible as magenta-green fringing in areas of high contrast, confined mostly to the corners of the image. Measuring just 82mm x 56mm, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro is surprisingly small and lightweight for a telemacro lens featuring a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Below you can see an example of the distance required to fill the screen with a butterfly about the size of a Red Admiral. With the 30mm, you might easily frighten the butterfly due to your proximity, while with the 60mm, the risk is reduced. With the 60mm, you can fill the screen with an average sized butterfly at a distance of around 25cm. With the 30mm, you have to move much closer to achieve a similar composition. This means you can fill your composition with something that’s a mere 8.5 millimeters wide (about a third of an inch) on a Micro Four Thirds camera. By comparison, a more common 1:1 macro lens can only fill the frame with something roughly 17 mm / 0.67 inches wide on Micro Four Thirds. That’s a huge difference for photographing small, unusual subjects like hairs and pigment cells on tiny animals. OM-1 + OM 90mm F3.5 @ 90mm, ISO 100, 1/200, f/7.1I happen to have both the Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro and Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro lenses currently, and I thought there might be some interest in a compare & contrast between the two from a user's perspective. The lens is outfitted with a very smooth, wired focusing ring. There are no external parts of the lens that move when you change focus (not a given among macro lenses). I prefer to use the excellent autofocus whenever possible, but the focus ring is easy to use and has a guiding measurement on the top of the lens that shows the focus distance. For autofocus, there is a really useful focus limiter switch that tells the camera what focusing range to search for the subject. Lateral chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, are essentially a non-issue with this lens. The crops below give you an idea of what you should expect in a worst-case scenario. Even when shooting towards the light, this lens is resistant to flare and contrast remains high in all but the most challenging lighting conditions. Before I delve into the close-up performance, here’s a few around-town shots demonstrating the lens for general-purpose use.

As well as being technologically sophisticated inside, it is also built to last on the outside - with a dust- and splashproof outer body and specialist protective coating for the lens glass itself. You can also enjoy the focus dial to easily change the possible focus range (0.19-0.4m or 0.19m-infinity or 0.4-infinity). On top of this a special display indicates the actual focus distance for more control of your shots. Plus there’s the option of acquiring an automatic lens hood, which can slide up and down to reduce flare and protect your lens. Here are my test shots from 1:1 magnification, plus extensive crops to show the sharpness. When you look at these crops, keep in mind that the ultra-thin depth of field makes the wider apertures “seem” blurrier than they are. In terms of sharpness, only pay attention to the in-focus regions. The M.Zuiko 30mm and 60mm are both excellent products whose design, optical quality and performance are all in accordance with the ethos of the Micro Four Thirds system with a reasonable price tag to boot. However, there are a couple of clear advantages that come with owning the 60mm.

Here’s another with a stronger crop: DC-G9 + OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro @ 60mm, ISO 160, 1/250, f/11.0 DC-G9 + OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro @ 60mm, ISO 160, 1/250, f/11.0

A weakness with all macro lenses is that, with extreme magnification, the effective aperture gets narrower. Specifically, at 1:1 magnification, the maximum aperture on the lens is effectively f/5.6, resulting in a darker image if you don’t compensate for it. This darkening effect begins to look noticeable around 1:4 magnification. My overall feeling with using both lenses is that the 60mm seems to be consistently sharper, at least wide open. Not too surprising given how sharp other test shots with the 60mm have come out. However, both lenses are capable of some very sharp shots so the 45 is no slouch either. I'm not sure offhand what the specs are for each, but I could consistently get in closer with the PL 45 before bumping the min focus distance limit. The 60mm is a longer focal length of course, but I did feel like I was able to get in closer with the 45mm lens even so. At the closest distance, shadows from the lens itself can be a problem, and of course it may not even be that easy to get so close to the subject. Here’s a shot of a ruler taken with the Lumix 30mm from its closest focusing distance where it was difficult not to cast a shadow. I’ve put it alongside a shot taken with the Lumix 42.5mm f1.7 which can focus unusually close for a non-macro lens, but the difference in reproduction (not to mention lighting and shadows) is evident. This is one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used. I was capturing details I never knew existed on animals I have photographed countless times for years. Even after cropping my images significantly, the details remained clear. In fact, the lens is sharp enough that the OM-1’s 20 megapixel resolution was the limiting factor for sharpness, rather than the glass.Despite the use of plastic, I don’t doubt the lens’s durability. In particular, theweather sealing is advertised as dust-proof and splash-proof up to IP53, meaning extensive protection against dust and splashing water. It’s the same rating given to the rugged OM-1 itself. By comparison, I’ve used my M.Zuiko60mm f/2.8 for years of intense conditions. It doesn’t appear to have an official IP rating, yet has held up better than any of my other lenses. The new 90mm f/3.5 should improve on it even further. Even wide open at f/2.8, the image quality of this lens is excellent. Good contrast and an amazing amount of detail. I have no complaints at all about the image quality. This lens just delivers the goods.

This is my first foray into macro and may not cover items of interest to more experienced users. If there's anything I can add or answer, just ask :smile:As you can see above, the Lumix 30mm f2.8 Macro delivers better-defined ‘starbursts’ than the Lumix G 42.5mm f1.7 when both are closed-down to small apertures. When wide-open, there’s the slightest hint of some fringing on the Olympus body I used for testing, but it’s not a serious issue at f2.8 or smaller. Optically, I haven’t experienced any significant weaknesses on the 90mm f/3.5 Macro. The sharpness is breathtaking, even compared to the M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro that has always been my sharpest lens. Not to mention that the working distance of this lens is comfortable, and the image stabilization works as it should.

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