Crustaceans, insects and flowers

a naughty crustacean

One of the most enjoyable photographic moments for me other than just walking the streets with a camera in my hand is photographing underwater.  However, to do this I often use the trusted Olympus 50mm f/2 macro lens with an Olympus E3, housing and large strobes.  The whole set up is quite huge and heavy - especially when travelling on planes.  With the m43 systems and the release of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 it was time to re-evaluate how I photogrpah underwater and sell off some aging systems, but the one thing that had been holding my off the change was a good macro lens for this system.  I knew of the Panasonic 45mm macro lens, but had not had the opportunity to use this lens and at the same time there were consistent rumours of an Olympus 60mm macro lens to be soon available.  Recently I managed to get my hands on this new Olympus macro lens and have just found a little time today to see what it can and can not do.  My play time with it today was quite short and already I know that if I was to use this lens underwater I would need to change my shooting style underwater.  I always argue that if you can't fully control your lens and camera above water then you stand absolutely no chance underwater, hence the reason I put so much time into knowing the lenses and cameras I use underwater.  I will continue to use this lens  a lot over the next few weeks so I can fully understand it.  

Today I shot exclusively in Manual mode and with auto focus (mainly due to the fact that I may not be able to use manual focus with this lens underwater).  I played around with the shutter speed and aperture while using an Olympus FL-600R flash hand held in RC mode.  I would generally use the Olympus E5 with the FL-50R in the same manner, however for some reason I feel the E5 is in fact more comfortable to hold in this manner as my wrist was getting a little sore from steadying the E-M5.  Today was also the first day that the EFV actually annoyed me - at times it was near impossible to see my subject for composition because the camera tried to think too much.  It forgot that I had a great big flash in my hand that would light my subject just the way I wanted it.

Here are the first few random photos from around my house and hopefully I will get out for a few more photos with it over the next few days. The biggest plus so far is the limit switch on the lens - its awesome, though underwater I may not be able to use this so I do need to play a little.  The ability to swiftly use the limit switch to zoom to a 1:1 ratio is great.  If only the old 43 Olympus 50mm macro had this. Please note that none of these photos have been cropped - just reduced in quality for posting here.

A sneaky Hermit Crab

up close and personal to a shy Hermit Crab

One of my guard bee's with the flash positiond behind it rather then in front.  Having a bee hive or two in your yard is so more effective then a guard dog :-)

Lavender and Bokeh

A setting sun through an eschalot flower

The flower of a Jaboticaba (and a sneaky spider)

The first grapes setting for the season

An Orange Nasturtium 

Inside an orange Nasturtiun


Those are really some amazing macro shots, Shaun !! Seems like the 60mm is a lens you will use often from now on.
My favourite is that "A setting sun through an eschalot flower", there is something very magical about it. Can't find words to describe it !! Did you use the tilting screen to get the shot?

By Robin Wong (not verified)

Hi Robin - thanx for the great comments.  I am really starting to like the lens a lot (though there are some downfalls with regards to the EVF).  I did use the tilting screen which saved me from laying on the ground and trying to position myself in the right angle.  If the screen would now rotate like the Olympus E5 it would be perfect :-)

By Shaun

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