mZuiko 60mm Macro: Putting Macro into m4/3

It seems like this series on mZuiko primes will never end! But alas we are drawing to a close and only have a couple left. Today just happens to be the day that we reach all the way out to  the 60mm mark with the mZuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro and wind up with images of tiny things!

The mZuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro is Olympus’ micro fourthirds answer to the world of macro photography. While there is the “kit lens” option of the mZuiko 12-50mm which does offer great macro results, it is a slower lens at f/3.5 on the wide end whereas the mZuiko 60mm is f/2.8. Admittedly you probably shouldn’t be shooting at f/2.8 for macros, it does have its uses for other mediums as you will see.

The mZuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro with focus scale visible.

The mZuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro with focus scale visible.

 

A 1:1 from the OM-D & 60mm macro. Lit off camera via an FL-600r

A 1:1 from the OM-D & 60mm macro. Lit off camera via an FL-600r

So let’s talk a little about features shall we? I know you are probably thinking, “what features? Does a macro lens “need” features?” And for you I say…Yes. It does indeed have a few things that I think are needed and come in quite handy.
Visible (although barely) on the left in the product photo above you can just make out the focus limiter switch. This comes in very handy when working with macros so the lens does not try to run through the whole focus range when trying to lock focus on auto mode. There are three ranges and they are: .19-.4 meters for 1:1 focusing. .19-∞ for the whole range, and finally .4-∞ . I find this really useful when NOT shooting macros

Another “feature” is that this lens is weather sealed. I guess for some people this is not really a feature but for me, when the skies open up….It is. And one I welcome!

Another example of the 1:1 images from the OM-D and 60mm macro.

Another example of the 1:1 images from the OM-D and 60mm macro.

The results I have been getting in my 1:1 macros has far surpassed my expectations. The mosquito image above was taken while it was raining, and that folks is why I love my Olympus weather sealed gear! The macro to the left again is another example of 1:1 magnification form this lens. I will be the first to admit I was doing these shots the “wrong way” but not being on a tripod, but have YOU tried to shooting jumping spiders from a tripod? Not an easy task my friend.

I encourage you to click on the images to see them larger. Keep in mind these are handheld shots…Oh and now would be an awesome time to mention that BOTH of these images were using autofocus! It is THAT GOOD on this lens. If you are interested in shooting macros with your Olympus gear I HIGHLY suggest you light off camera, and cannot praise the FL-600r enough for how well it performed. I triggered it wirelessly using the FL-LM2 flash that comes with the OM-D.

A candid out take from a lighting event I attended. OK-D + mZuiko 60mm f/2.8

A candid out take from a lighting event I attended. OK-D + mZuiko 60mm f/2.8

I suppose now might be a good time to mention why I appreciate the f/2.8 aperture even if it isn’t ideal for macros. Well f/2.8 happens to be just fine for portrait work. And I happen to have used it for just that not too long ago. The bokeh from this lens is wonderful and definitely lends itself to portraiture, I think it actually ranks right up there with the much loved Zuiko 50mm f/2 macro. I have used it on several client shoots and so far have not been disappointed in the least. I even used it in a light painting workshop when I needed a bit more length and had left my 12-50mm at home. That photo is below as well.

From a light painting workshop using the OM-D and 60mm f/2.8 macro.

From a light painting workshop using the OM-D and 60mm f/2.8 macro.

And there you have it folks, one more prime reviewed and you what is next right? I look forward to your comments and I really would like you to share links to your images! I enjoy browsing what everyone else has been shooting and sharing it with everyone else out there.

Take care ,
Jamie A. MacDonald

 

 

 

If you have the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro or another mZuiko prime lens, please let us know what you think by commenting below.  Also feel free to jump over to our Flickr group and share your photos.  You may even have the opportunity to be featured in our weekly Flickr Fridays collection.  Also remember to connect with us over at Google+, Twitter, and our new Facebook Page to keep up with the latest news and stories.

 

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About Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald is a nature and stock photographer living in Michigan’s lower peninsula. A husband and father of two boys who describes his love of photography as one that is, rooted in the desire to move people to see the world around them in new ways.

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7 Responses to mZuiko 60mm Macro: Putting Macro into m4/3

  1. Heather @ MirrorLessons July 18, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    This is a lens I’d like to buy in the future as I enjoy butterfly photography. Thanks for sharing your experience with it!

    • Jamie MacDonald July 18, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      That’s great to hear Heather. I LOVE this lens, especially for macro work. I still have some things to learn about macro shooting but I have a lot of fun with it anyways. Do you care to share any links to some of your photography?

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

  2. Andreas July 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    This lens is a stellar performer! It doesn’t have super fast AF compared to some of the quicker m43 lenses but then again it has some valuable macro features as stated in the article above. I really like the 1:1 switch and the super sharp results with practically no CA. I have this lens and recently purchased the fl-600r flash with a Lumiquest Ultrasoft diffuser. Haven’t shot much with it but here are 2 shots.

    http://www.m43foto.se/bilder/spindlar-i-badrummet/

    Btw, shameless plug, m43foto.se is my blog where I post pictures taken with my m43 gear. It is in swedish but If you really like to read the small texts you can always translate it :)

  3. Jess Demant Aggeboe August 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I spend more and more time with this lens for portraits, and it’s just as well for portraits if not better than Olympus 45mm.f.1.8, although it’s not as fast. On the other hand, it is a little more sharply from F.2.8, which also Olympus 45mm.f.1.8 first gets really sharp. Ranges 0.4 m – ∞ makes the lens pretty fast, so there are no problems with slow focus on portraits. It can also withstand a rain shower with Olympus OMD. All in all, a winner …..

    • Jamie A MacDonald August 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      I get so wrapped up in using the 45mm and 75mm when shooting portraits I often forget this lens is such a gem in that arena…Glad you remember it though!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  4. scuba_suzy August 14, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    Interesting post. This was the first lens I bought for my omd. I shoot underwater and you only really need two lenses, this macro and the 8mm Panasonic FIsheye for wide. Here are some photos from it: http://www.pbase.com/suzy_walker/rajaampat2013

    • Jamie A MacDonald August 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      WOW!! I LOVE your reef work!! Do you maintain a blog too? I would love to read about your trips to shoot underwater and how you go about it. Lighting, focusing, staying still underwater..All of that is a mystery to me!

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