Monday, 14 February 2011

Wrong way round

A quick post about lenses.

A while ago I waxed lyrical about the 70-300 Zuiko zoom, the top left lens in the group shot above. This is not one of the Olympus Top Pro range or even from their middle ranking Pro range, yet it performs very well indeed as a telephoto up to about 200mm. Beyond that it seems to go very slightly soft. However, it can focus down to a meter or less, and at the long end, that qualifies it as a macro lens.

So, lets see how this telephoto-turned-macro performs against the excellent Zuiko 50mm macro, (bottom right lens above) which is simply the sharpest lens I've ever used. Surely a long tele zoom with a macro setting bolted on will be outgunned in this test.

Now that is a surprising result. The 70-300 has been holding back a secret. The 300mm end is optimised for maximum sharpness as a macro lens. Apparently I owe it a an apology.

While we are there, check out the ultra narrow depth of field from the 50mm macro at f2.8. It gets even narrower if you open it up to f2 ;-)

So, lets return the compliment: How does the 50mm macro do as a short telephotos? Here's a shot of our Town Mayor some years back taken with the macro lens.

Close examination shows that it does very well as a telephoto. So you can use both these lenses the wrong way round and get good results. You live and learn.

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