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Archive 2013 · Best mirrorless option for macro
  
 
chupacabra31
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p.1 #1 · Best mirrorless option for macro


What is the best mirror less system (image quality being most important color, sharpness, image stabilization) + macro lens out there right now? Budget is a concern (no more then $1600 for both). Mostly will be for shooting images of insects.


Feb 02, 2013 at 06:04 PM
CalW
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p.1 #2 · Best mirrorless option for macro


I can't speak for "the best" as the only option I have used is the OM-D E-M5 with the Pana-Leica 45mm f/2.8 DG Macro-Elmarit. I think that this combo works pretty well - here are a couple of samples. It is pretty clear from published tests that the Olympus 60mm Macro is somewhat better than the Pana-Leica, but I am pretty happy with what I have and as yet not sufficiently motivated to make the change.





Grasshopper

  E-M5    LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45/F2.8 lens    45mm    f/11.0    1/80s    200 ISO    -0.7 EV  







Assasin Bug Nymph

  E-M5    LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45/F2.8 lens    45mm    f/8.0    1/50s    320 ISO    -1.0 EV  




Feb 02, 2013 at 06:24 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #3 · Best mirrorless option for macro


If stabilization is important, m4/3s and Samsung are the only options. Sony's only macro lens for the NEX doesn't have OSS, same goes for Fuji. I have no experience with any Samsung camera or lens, so their 60mm might be the best macro ever. I have no idea. To me, going Oly makes more sense, simply because you can get stabilization with or without an OEM lens, and that opens up the use of a lot of great MF macro lenses. You can pick up a lightly-used OMD between eight to nine hundred, and that leaves you with a nice lens budget. If AF is important, you've got good options with the LeicaPanny or the Oly. If you'd rather go MF, I'd look at the Leica 60/2.8. You'll be able to find one well within your budget and I think the colors are right on par with what you're seeing in Cal's beautiful samples from the 45.


Feb 02, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #4 · Best mirrorless option for macro


Olympus 60 macro is insanely good, and inexpensive too.


Feb 02, 2013 at 06:56 PM
CalW
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p.1 #5 · Best mirrorless option for macro


Thanks for the complement, Brad!

Jordan, I agree - if starting from scratch the Oly 60 is a no-brainer.

The lens is much more important than the camera - here is the same Pan-Leica on a GF1, now a much smaller investment and a real nice little camera Often wish I hadn't sold mine...





Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

  DMC-GF1    LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45/F2.8 lens    45mm    f/3.2    1/1000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 02, 2013 at 07:13 PM
briantho
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p.1 #6 · Best mirrorless option for macro


For insects, I'd go with a longer lens, 90-120mm. IS and AF isn't important for macro. Tokina 90/2.5 (1:1), and a NEX body for the peaking would be a great start. You would also need a tripod, bellows and maybe a linear table to be able to do proper focus stacking.

You could also reverse mount any wide angle lens on a bellows to get higher magnification than 1:1.



Feb 02, 2013 at 08:27 PM
mawz
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p.1 #7 · Best mirrorless option for macro


The best option is unfortunately wildly beyond your budget (that's the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit 100/2.8 on a NEX-7).

Note NEX is most certainly an option for IS and macro, but you may not be able to fit the IS option in your budget as that would bee a 100L on a NEX body with a smart adapter, which means $2k+ or so depending on body and adapter choice (my suggestion would be the NEX-6 right now if you need a remote release, NEX-7 otherwise).

Otherwise my choice would be the NEX-6 or 7 with an LA-EA1 and your choice in Alpha-mount macro options, probably the Tamron 90/2.8 or the Sigma 105/2.8 or 150/2.8 depending on what you can find in your budget. Personally I use a NEX-7 and a Tamron SP 90/2.5 freehand for insect & flower work. I fins it works quite well (note that I'm shooting with a purely manual lens here, not the fully-coupled setup you'd get with a Sony/Minolta mount Tamron 90/2.8 and the LA-EA1)

For free-hand shooting the best lineup in your pricerange is going to be an OM-D and an m4/3 or 4/3rds macro lens (they're all pretty good to excellent) just for the IBIS.




Feb 02, 2013 at 09:24 PM
chupacabra31
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p.1 #8 · Best mirrorless option for macro


CalW wrote:
Thanks for the complement, Brad!

Jordan, I agree - if starting from scratch the Oly 60 is a no-brainer.

The lens is much more important than the camera - here is the same Pan-Leica on a GF1, now a much smaller investment and a real nice little camera Often wish I hadn't sold mine...


Beautiful example! Me likey lol! Do you think this would be better then say a nikon d300s + some sort of either sigma/tamron/nikon macro lens?

My number one priority is image quality sharpness, color, contrast, etc



Feb 03, 2013 at 01:16 AM
plasticmotif
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p.1 #9 · Best mirrorless option for macro


Why mirrorless for macro?

I'd get the cheapest Canon flash, MP-E 65, and any Canon Rebel, off-camera cord + flash bracket.










Feb 03, 2013 at 03:21 AM
mawz
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p.1 #10 · Best mirrorless option for macro


plasticmotif wrote:
Why mirrorless for macro?

I'd get the cheapest Canon flash, MP-E 65, and any Canon Rebel, off-camera cord + flash bracket.



Because the LV implementation in any mirrorless setup absolutely blows any Rebel out of the water for macro work (LV or OVF). Macro is one place where LV is a massive advantage for usability and no DSLR can match a Mirrorless or SLT for LV implementations

The MP-E 65 will work fine with a NEX-6 or NEX-7 and off-camera flash (via cord or wireless) via a smart adapter. Sony also has a rather nice little LED ringlight that's reasonably priced and as it provides constant illumination it's very well suited to LV/EVF use.



Feb 03, 2013 at 04:52 AM
 

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mawz
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p.1 #11 · Best mirrorless option for macro


chupacabra31 wrote:
Beautiful example! Me likey lol! Do you think this would be better then say a nikon d300s + some sort of either sigma/tamron/nikon macro lens?

My number one priority is image quality sharpness, color, contrast, etc


The 16MP m4/3rds bodies will beat a D300s for IQ. The native m4/3rds macros are also excellent, as good as anything from Nikon.

Frankly if I was looking at a Nikon equivalent it would be the D5200 with an 85/3.5 DX VR Micro (The D5200 for the flip/twist LCD and 24MP). The latter is quite a good macro lens for the cost, I've shot that lens adapted on my NEX-7 with excellent results:


The Bee by Mawz, on Flickr



Feb 03, 2013 at 04:56 AM
jonrock
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p.1 #12 · Best mirrorless option for macro


I usually just use my Tokina 100mm f2.8 ATX-Pro Macro via an adapter on a Sony NEX 5N. There's no AF but it's pretty easy to manually focus on a Sony NEX. I've seen also pretty good results from those who use an Olympus OM-D with the Olympus 60mm f2.8.


Feb 03, 2013 at 05:25 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #13 · Best mirrorless option for macro


briantho wrote:
Tokina 90/2.5 (1:1)


It's a great lens but it does only 1:2.



Feb 03, 2013 at 06:16 AM
ShadowWalker
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p.1 #14 · Best mirrorless option for macro


+1 for Olympus OM-D and 60/2.8 macro. Incredible combo.


Feb 03, 2013 at 04:22 PM
plasticmotif
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p.1 #15 · Best mirrorless option for macro


AhamB wrote:
It's a great lens but it does only 1:2.


It can come with a 1:1 adapter.



Feb 03, 2013 at 05:01 PM
chupacabra31
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p.1 #16 · Best mirrorless option for macro


mawz wrote:
The 16MP m4/3rds bodies will beat a D300s for IQ. The native m4/3rds macros are also excellent, as good as anything from Nikon.

Frankly if I was looking at a Nikon equivalent it would be the D5200 with an 85/3.5 DX VR Micro (The D5200 for the flip/twist LCD and 24MP). The latter is quite a good macro lens for the cost, I've shot that lens adapted on my NEX-7 with excellent results:


Nother fine example. More and more being sold on the micro four thirds



Feb 03, 2013 at 05:28 PM
mh2000
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p.1 #17 · Best mirrorless option for macro


Why not just get a Canon DSLR if you are going to mount the 100L on it

mawz wrote:
The best option is unfortunately wildly beyond your budget (that's the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit 100/2.8 on a NEX-7).

Note NEX is most certainly an option for IS and macro, but you may not be able to fit the IS option in your budget as that would bee a 100L on a NEX body with a smart adapter, which means $2k+ or so depending on body and adapter choice (my suggestion would be the NEX-6 right now if you need a remote release, NEX-7 otherwise).

Otherwise my choice would be the NEX-6 or 7 with an LA-EA1 and your choice in Alpha-mount macro options,
...Show more



Feb 03, 2013 at 10:06 PM
flashinm
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p.1 #18 · Best mirrorless option for macro


They're all good. If you're using a flash there's no need for IS, so I'd get one of the good mf macros. There are lots of them for relatively cheap. I just got a Canon FD 200mm f4 macro which does 1:1 without an adapter and gives a nice working distance. If you want greater than 1:1 get a Raynox DCR-250 or reverse another cheap prime on the front. Personally, I don't see any advantage to AF or IS for macro.


Feb 03, 2013 at 10:21 PM
CalW
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p.1 #19 · Best mirrorless option for macro


For what it may be worth. all three of my examples above are natural light, no flash, with auto focus, and using in-body stabilization - which most certainly does make a difference in that situation.


Feb 03, 2013 at 11:35 PM
mh2000
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p.1 #20 · Best mirrorless option for macro


Ok, I guess I like the LV on my m43 and I love shooting on a tripod using my m43 way more than I ever did a conventional D/SLR, so I guess I can see the point, but doubt I would go through the expense of outfitting a NEX with a 100L.

My current m43 macro setup is a C/V Color-Skopar 50 with Russian Z39 tubes, works really well... but If I was really serious I'd just get the P/L or Oly macro...



Feb 04, 2013 at 02:50 AM
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