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Thread: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

  1. #1
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    Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi am planning to buy a macro lens but have got zero experience with both. I would appreciate your recommendation which lens I should buy and why? I love sharp, detail images with nice bokeh and nice colors.
    The R lens is manual and I did brief take a couple of shots and the bokeh is very nice.
    Thank you in advanced for your advise.

    cheers

    ric

  2. #2
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    depends on your budget, I'm really happy with the regular Oly 50 f1.8 and extension tubes.

    Heck, even FD 50 f1.8 gives good results:







    though tests between the FD and Olyumpus lenses seem to give me more to my taste bokeh from the Oly...

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    thank you for your suggestion of the FD 1.8 and appreciate your sharing the pics. They look nice.
    My budget is US $600. If I can get a equally good lens at a lower price and save some money that will be great.

    Viewed your nice gallery and came across a pic Feeding Time. I have seen that pic before and noticed you used the FD 300mm f4.0. I am also looking for a long lens to shoot birdie with the GH1 and from your experience which would you recommend.

    cheers

    ric
    Last edited by ricseet; 24th June 2009 at 06:43.

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi, ric,

    I couldn't comment on the Leica or the Oly, since I have never owned any of these, but I can tell you that I'm very happy with my Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8.

    If you look around here, you'll find many a shot with that lens from me for you to appreciate !

    Normally, you shoud find them 2nd hand on the evil bay well below your budget. I paid 169$ for mine in excellent condition !

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi Rafael, thank you and I will follow up on your suggestions. That's big savings and that's great.

    cheers

    ric

  6. #6
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by ricseet View Post
    ... you used the FD 300mm f4.0. I am also looking for a long lens to shoot birdie with the GH1 and from your experience which would
    well, right now I have here in the house a Oly 300 f4.5 and a FD 300 f4. I tried a side by side of them at wide open, f5.6, f8 and f11

    I can just see differences, however when I split the R G and B I see that the FD actually focuses all three layers better than the Oly does (but only at wide open and f5,6).

    I'm now scratching my head as to which one I'll sell ...

    I don't know if you saw my FD to Oly 50 comparison but while the FD was not as good as the Oly I'm also sure that the gap can be closed quickly with a little tweaking of curves and local area contrast (Eg in photoshop unsharp mask set radius to 60pixels and amount to about 15%) brings them to within ball park.

    So ... what I'm saying is that almost any 300 f4ish lens by a major Japanese maker will do very well.

    I bought each of mine from KEH for less than US$200 ... so its not expensive to fiddle about.

    I'm tending to keeping the FD lens as its more convenient to operate than the Oly is and I like the rotating mount better ... expect a blog article comparing them after the weekend.

    :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Micro Nikkor

    I went for a really rough looking one for just $34 on EBay. I thought the gamble was an obvious no-brainer for such little money but the thing with this lens is that both "glass" ends are pretty well tucked away, meaning that you have to be really ham-fisted to scratch the elements. As I said, in the auction pictures the lens looked tatty on the outside but that shouldn't put you off all that much. Another reason this was cheaper is that it was the earlier f/3.5 model. This has no bearing whatsoever on image quality and with an EVF that gains up poses no disadvantages either. The only important thing with buying Nikon lenses is that they MUST either be Ai or Ais if you're then going on to use them on a D300 or D700 - naturally working in A or M mode.
    The attached pictures I think are self explanatory. The Mini rose was taken at minimum focus at f/8, the accompanying "four finger" image is to give an idea of scale. My cat was "inspecting" the set-up so was "shot" as recompense. The adapter is made by Jinfinance. Do remember to click on each individual thumbnail for a larger image to inspect.
    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi Pellicle

    1. thank you for your link on the 50mm. From the pics I agree that the Oly is better.
    For the 50mm I have short-listed the Leica R 50mm, Nikon, FD f 1.4. Now I need to add Oly 50 mm f1.8. Plus I was looking for a macro lens as well for shooting insects like dragonfly, butterfly, flowers OUT DOORS! Read that the Leica R 60mm f 2.8 is a good macros lens and could be use as general purposes as well. So I thought a good idea of getting the R 60 f 2.8 as a macro lens and double up as 50 mm general purposes as well. BUT, someone has recommended to go for the Oly 50 f 2.0 becos of the windy environment. So AF is critical consideration which I over looked - I am new to MF and I do not shoot indoor stills.
    I welcome any other options to the Oly Macro 50mm F 2. .

    2. also thanks for your test results for the 300mm f4.0. I tried briefly the G1 on the 400mm f4.5 that belonged to a friend. Great to have that 800 mm reach. It is a pretty nice lens. Unfortunately I did not have a tripod with me and shot hand held so keepers were low. Like the colors and the sharpness as well. Thank you and I will certainly explore the 300mm as well. On second thought this may be a better beat than the 400. My PL 14-150mm can cover up to 300mm. With EZ mode this brings me to 600mm (3MP). If I need more then I fall back on the 300mm F4 to give me the 600mm reach and if I need more I go into EZ mode to give me 900mm (5MP) and 1200 (3MP). I am estimating these numbers. Does this makes sense or should I go for a 400mm f 4.5.

    Thank you once again for pointing me in the right direction.

    cheers

    ric

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi



    well, right now I have here in the house a Oly 300 f4.5 and a FD 300 f4. I tried a side by side of them at wide open, f5.6, f8 and f11

    I can just see differences, however when I split the R G and B I see that the FD actually focuses all three layers better than the Oly does (but only at wide open and f5,6).

    I'm now scratching my head as to which one I'll sell ...

    I don't know if you saw my FD to Oly 50 comparison but while the FD was not as good as the Oly I'm also sure that the gap can be closed quickly with a little tweaking of curves and local area contrast (Eg in photoshop unsharp mask set radius to 60pixels and amount to about 15%) brings them to within ball park.

    So ... what I'm saying is that almost any 300 f4ish lens by a major Japanese maker will do very well.

    I bought each of mine from KEH for less than US$200 ... so its not expensive to fiddle about.

    I'm tending to keeping the FD lens as its more convenient to operate than the Oly is and I like the rotating mount better ... expect a blog article comparing them after the weekend.

    :-)

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    Re: 55 Micro Nikkor

    Hi M3Photo

    Thank you for your recommendation and tips of buying Nikon lens and you can understand how appreciative I am becos I am new to these MF lenses - zero knowledge.
    The pics from the Nikon looks great and the cat is a real cutie.
    I also learn something new and that is not to spend too much money on these MF lens as I am new to it and may not work for me becos I am also old and my eyesight is not that great. If things works out then get something better. this is a good learning point.

    thank you for your time and helping me get started.

    cheers

    ric

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    I went for a really rough looking one for just $34 on EBay. I thought the gamble was an obvious no-brainer for such little money but the thing with this lens is that both "glass" ends are pretty well tucked away, meaning that you have to be really ham-fisted to scratch the elements. As I said, in the auction pictures the lens looked tatty on the outside but that shouldn't put you off all that much. Another reason this was cheaper is that it was the earlier f/3.5 model. This has no bearing whatsoever on image quality and with an EVF that gains up poses no disadvantages either. The only important thing with buying Nikon lenses is that they MUST either be Ai or Ais if you're then going on to use them on a D300 or D700 - naturally working in A or M mode.
    The attached pictures I think are self explanatory. The Mini rose was taken at minimum focus at f/8, the accompanying "four finger" image is to give an idea of scale. My cat was "inspecting" the set-up so was "shot" as recompense. The adapter is made by Jinfinance. Do remember to click on each individual thumbnail for a larger image to inspect.
    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by ricseet View Post
    .... Plus I was looking for a macro lens as well for shooting insects like dragonfly, butterfly, flowers OUT DOORS!
    you may have noticed that the bee above was out doors too. I have to say she wasn't sitting around waiting for me either!


    So AF is critical consideration which I over looked - I am new to MF and I do not shoot indoor stills.
    I welcome any other options to the Oly Macro 50mm F 2. .
    personally I've never found AF to be the least bit useful for macro ... and I end up moving all my lenses to manual when working. Bloody things usually hunt all over the place. Perhaps with the tracking system on the G1 it may be better.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Ric,

    I have used Olympus ZD 50/2 and Leica Elmarit 60/2.8 on 4/3 systems. Both of them are some of the best lenses available.

    But if I have to chose between them, I will go with the Olympus ZD 50/2. Even though auto focus won't be that useful in macro, it is very handy in general purpose use on 4/3 system with auto focus. Most people who used 4/3 systems would agree that Olympus 50/2 ZD along 150/2 ZD are among the best lenses available, period! What I really like about Olympus ZD lenses is that you can comfortably use them in full f-stop when much performance degradation. JMHO.

    Kind regards,

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
    Ric,

    I have used Olympus ZD 50/2 and Leica Elmarit 60/2.8 on 4/3 systems. Both of them are some of the best lenses available.

    But if I have to chose between them, I will go with the Olympus ZD 50/2. Even though auto focus won't be that useful in macro, it is very handy in general purpose use on 4/3 system with auto focus. Most people who used 4/3 systems would agree that Olympus 50/2 ZD along 150/2 ZD are among the best lenses available, period! What I really like about Olympus ZD lenses is that you can comfortably use them in full f-stop when much performance degradation. JMHO.

    Kind regards,
    What Ocean said!!!
    I owned both. The Oly is not as heavy or bulky as the Leica. I use the Oly on the G1 and recommend it because it should play well with whatever Panasonic and Olympus have coming up in the future for us. The Leica is an excellent lens, but manual focus and bulky/heavy.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Really appreciate you sharing your experience and expertise. You made a very valid point and I am just now starting to use the AF to quickly get me there and then followed with the MF with shutter half pressed.

    Thanks once again for your kind assistance.

    cheers

    ric


    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi



    you may have noticed that the bee above was out doors too. I have to say she wasn't sitting around waiting for me either!




    personally I've never found AF to be the least bit useful for macro ... and I end up moving all my lenses to manual when working. Bloody things usually hunt all over the place. Perhaps with the tracking system on the G1 it may be better.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi Ocean,

    Thanks for recommendation and yes on the plus side I can AF when I use it for general purpose lens.

    Now that you mentioned that Oly 50 is a good lens to have -- I am thinking this through should I will off load my PL 14-50mm f 2.8 or keep it to use with the Pana L10? I am not one to have lots of lens and have been shooting with PL 14-150mm 99% all the time. Guess I read a stage that I would like to get the best out of the take and come to realization that at least I will need 3 lenses min:
    1. One macro - Oly 50mm f 2
    2. Two walk about PL 14-150mm
    3. Super Tel for birding. I am still not decided on this one yet becos I may get the GH1 then presently I narrowed down to FD 300 or 400mm f4/4.5.
    But if I stay with my L10 4/3 mount which 300 or 400mm is a good lens to check out.

    Your recommendation of the Oly 150 f 2 and this little Tuna is my dream lens. With the EC2 that will give me a 600mm reach, BUT firstly it is 1.5 kg and a little too heavy for me becos I torn my tendons on my shoulders. Secondly the investment would come to about US$3000/. Plus when I carry heavy lens like the Oly 50-200 about 1 kg my left risk aches. Maybe I am doing ti wrong. Will have to start using a mono pot to get around the weight issue. My friend has one and has offered to help me out to try it out on a field shoot and see how I can take it. Heck, I should take up his offer and go try it. After all I am retired and must as well enjoy what I love most in life.

    Thank you for your kind assistance.

    cheers

    ric

    ric

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
    Ric,

    I have used Olympus ZD 50/2 and Leica Elmarit 60/2.8 on 4/3 systems. Both of them are some of the best lenses available.

    But if I have to chose between them, I will go with the Olympus ZD 50/2. Even though auto focus won't be that useful in macro, it is very handy in general purpose use on 4/3 system with auto focus. Most people who used 4/3 systems would agree that Olympus 50/2 ZD along 150/2 ZD are among the best lenses available, period! What I really like about Olympus ZD lenses is that you can comfortably use them in full f-stop when much performance degradation. JMHO.

    Kind regards,
    Last edited by ricseet; 25th June 2009 at 22:34.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi Cindy

    I am so sorry and forgotten that you have the R 60 as well. Just this week I came across a R60 and took some pics with my L10 and I like it very much. I have the itch to own a Leica R mount and am glad that the members on this forum are very practical/objective in their recommendations and and a good number has recommended the Oly 50mm.
    You raised another plus point becos I know that Pana is still working on the development of the 43/ plus there is Oly as well.
    Great I will get the Oly and stop my search for a macro lens.

    Next I need to work on the super -tel for birdies.

    Thank once again for your kind assistance.

    cheers and take care.

    ric

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    What Ocean said!!!
    I owned both. The Oly is not as heavy or bulky as the Leica. I use the Oly on the G1 and recommend it because it should play well with whatever Panasonic and Olympus have coming up in the future for us. The Leica is an excellent lens, but manual focus and bulky/heavy.

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by ricseet View Post
    Hi Ocean,

    Thanks for recommendation and yes on the plus side I can AF when I use it for general purpose lens.

    Now that you mentioned that Oly 50 is a good lens to have -- I am thinking this through should I will off load my PL 14-50mm f 2.8 or keep it to use with the Pana L10? I am not one to have lots of lens and have been shooting with PL 14-150mm 99% all the time. Guess I read a stage that I would like to get the best out of the take and come to realization that at least I will need 3 lenses min:
    1. One macro - Oly 50mm f 2
    2. Two walk about PL 14-150mm
    3. Super Tel for birding. I am still not decided on this one yet becos I may get the GH1 then presently I narrowed down to FD 300 or 400mm f4/4.5.
    But if I stay with my L10 4/3 mount which 300 or 400mm is a good lens to check out.

    Thank you for your kind assistance.

    ric
    Ric,

    I have been using an 'old' Panasonic L1. I will upgrade to an Olympus body soon, perhaps an E620. I use the 4/3 system mostly for travel. I usually carry four lenses, Olympus ZD 7-14/4, Leica 14-50/2,8-3.5, Olympus ZD 70-300/4-5.6, with either Olympus ZD 50/2 or Leica Summilux 25/1.4. For tele-zoom, the ZD 70-300/4-5.6 is a very good lens but a bit slow at the long end. For critical work, you might also want to consider Olympus ZD 50-200/3.4-4. For tele or super-tele lens, I will recommend to pair the lens with Olympus body since it has the in-body stabilization system. I also have used my Leica R and Nikon AIS lenses with adaptors on the L1, but I don't find them to be very practical at all.

    I have read that Leica 14-150 is an excellent lens. Do you find it to be better than Leica 14-50 in the 14-50 range? Thanks,

    Kind regards,

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Great we are using very simialr equipment. I am eying the E620 as well but will stay with the L10 for time being as I like it a lot.
    Thanks for sharing your lens preferences and you have a nice collections. That 7-14 I heard and seen pics fro it and it is a beauty. I shoot close-up if insects and birds and hardly do landscape and building right now.
    I should also re-look into the 70-300mm as weight is a major constraint for me. What I need is more reach with decent IQ. The f150 f2 IQ is super. It is in another class of its own.
    I have tried the Oly 50-200 shooting briefly and and at the long end it is sharper with more details than the 14-150mm. A nice lens too.
    At the short end the 14-50mm f 2.8 has better inner details and hence nicer texture compared to the 14-150mm. The shows up at 200% zoom on my iMac. So that's the reason I am using 14-150mm 99% of the time save me carry more than one lens becos I am out 3 to 5 hrs daily if my toe do not play up on me - gout.

    cheers

    ric



    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
    Ric,

    I have been using an 'old' Panasonic L1. I will upgrade to an Olympus body soon, perhaps an E620. I use the 4/3 system mostly for travel. I usually carry four lenses, Olympus ZD 7-14/4, Leica 14-50/2,8-3.5, Olympus ZD 70-300/4-5.6, with either Olympus ZD 50/2 or Leica Summilux 25/1.4. For tele-zoom, the ZD 70-300/4-5.6 is a very good lens but a bit slow at the long end. For critical work, you might also want to consider Olympus ZD 50-200/3.4-4. For tele or super-tele lens, I will recommend to pair the lens with Olympus body since it has the in-body stabilization system. I also have used my Leica R and Nikon AIS lenses with adaptors on the L1, but I don't find them to be very practical at all.

    I have read that Leica 14-150 is an excellent lens. Do you find it to be better than Leica 14-50 in the 14-50 range? Thanks,

    Kind regards,

  18. #18
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by ricseet View Post
    ... I am just now starting to use the AF to quickly get me there and then followed with the MF with shutter half pressed.
    if you're intending to use any extension on the lens I don't know if there are any such things which allow the transmission of lens information presently. This will limit your close focus with any lens. I don't know the digital 50 f2 but no matter what if you're using extension then its ability to focus will not be like you are used to when you use any lens extension.

    you no longer have infinity (or anything even close to that far away) and so focus can only be done by moving the camera to and fro

    the more extension you use (such as with a bellows or extension tubes) the more ineffective the lenses focus becomes and the more you'll need smaller apertures like f22 to get any kind of DoF



    for tripod work some sort of focus rail becomes important. I have a basic one which I got for a few bucks off eBay.
    this is my coolpix on it ....


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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi, yes the Oly 50mm has very shallow DOF. Nothing close to your sample shot of the cartridge. Right now I am not planning to use any extension tube yet.

    thank you for thwe heads up and appreciate it.

    cheers

    ric

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by ricseet View Post
    ...the Oly 50mm has very shallow DOF. Nothing close to your sample shot of the cartridge. Right now I am not planning to use any extension tube yet.
    ok ... but every 50mm has the same depth of field at the same aperture ... just incase you thought I was demonstrating something specific to the Oly 50 (I was just showing what it would give with some extension).

    have fun :-)

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Thank you and appreciate your time. All you guys has been most helpful.

    cheers

    ric

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    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi, I hope it's o.k. to add another question here rather than opening a new thread: I have also been thinking about the Leica R 60mm macro on my G1 for a long time but I'm not sure I do enough macro photography to justify the price over what I already have (a Canon FD 50/3.5 macro in the mail and a Switar 75/1.9 macro which I haven't even tried for macros, yet). I also understand that the Oly 50/2 is really worth the money, but I have so far managed without that adapter and would like to try and keep the number of formats low, I get easily confused

    Several things have been said here about extension rings, but I have not seen much about reverse adapters for macro shots. RJ offers a new m4/3 adapter for reversed 52mm lenses to be used for macro shots. Could anybody please comment on whether there are major differences in IQ and/or handling between extension rings and reversed lenses? Spending $22 for the reverse adapter and using my 50mm Summicron R (or almost any other lens with step rings) sounds much more attractive than spending $500 on a used Leica 60mm.

    Thanks,

    Stefan

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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Thanks for sharing and being so helpful. Appreciate it very much.

    cheers

    ric


    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi



    ok ... but every 50mm has the same depth of field at the same aperture ... just incase you thought I was demonstrating something specific to the Oly 50 (I was just showing what it would give with some extension).

    have fun :-)

  24. #24
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Which macro lens: Leica R 60mm f 2.8 or Oly 50mm 2.8

    Hi

    I have not used a reversed lens myself, but from what I understand it is quite the ideal way.

    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post

    ... seen much about reverse adapters for macro shots. RJ offers a new m4/3 adapter for reversed 52mm lenses to be used for macro shots.

    ... sounds much more attractive than spending $500 on a used Leica 60mm.
    I agree and I think that the advantages you may see may not be worth the $500. My vote is that since the alternative is so cheap to try it and then if you feel that it is unsatisfactory then contemplate the "money is not a barrier" options.

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