Olympus MCON-P01 Macro Converter date with the Damselfly

The Olympus MCON-P01 Macro Converter is an add-on close-up lens designed to pair with the standard kit zoom M.Zuiko digital 14-42 F/3.5-5.6 II and also the newer kit zoom with (R) designation. However better results are obtained with this macro converter when paired with either the M.Zuiko digital 40-150 ED F/4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom or the M.Zuiko Digital 14-150 ED F/4.0-5.6 wide-angle to telephoto zoom as the master lenses.

The MCON-P01 is a very light weight macro converter at just 23 grams and is fully made of plastic. The feather weight of the MCON-P01 macro converter means there will be no load issue when mounting on the equally light weight M.Zuiko zoom lens. Certainly no stress to the master lens' micro focusing motor and the light-weight mechanism.
Photo of Damselfly taken with MCON-P01 on M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:3.5-5.6
Damselfly belong to Odonata subgroup of insect which also include the dragonfly. Odonata are ancient insect. fossils of dragonfly had been trace to predated the dinosaur era. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2, Lens: M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom with MCON-P01 Macro Cconverter. Lens set at 120mm, f/5.6 1/60s ISO 200 and built-in flash set to on.

Some may question the durability of the MCON-P01 Macro Converter because of the weight and being totally made of plastic. However the MCON-P01 is less than 1/12 the cost of a Macro Lens so it is an inexpensive way to get on with close-up photography. It is also about 30% to 50% cheaper than a set of close-up lens from other named brands.

For photographers who are seriously into macro photography a real macro lens is the way to go. However the MCON-P01 with its price is a no-brainer to leave it in your camera bag and it doesn't take up much space or weight either. Durability also depends heavily on the way the equipment is handled and from our experience we can see the MCON-P01 Macro Converter lasting many years for us. So for us, we just have fun and enjoy using it for as long as it lasts.

The MCON-P01 converter comes in two parts. The first halve is the macro converter lens itself which is mounted on a big silver plastic ring. The silver plastic ring has a bayonet mount that attaches the macro converter directly onto the M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 ED F/4.0-5.6 or the M.Zuiko Digital 14-150 ED F/4.0-5.6 zoom lens. The second halve of the converter is called the MA-P01 Macro Adapter.  This black adapter is for attaching the macro converter to the smaller M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 F/3.5-5.6 II standard zoom lens. This MA-P01 Macro Adapter adds just 10 grams more to the weight of the macro converter.

Damselfly with Olympus MCON-P01 macro converter
Damselfly taken with Olympus MCON-P01 Macro Converter around 7:00pm with the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2 built-in flash set to on. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2, Lens: M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F/4.0- F/5.6 zoom with MCON-P01 macro converter, Built-in flash set to on, zoom set at 135mm, at f/8.0 1/60s ISO 200.

With the MCON-P01 attached to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 1:4.0:5.6 telephoto zoom lens and with the zoom fully extended, at its closer focusing distance we are able to capture an area of roughly 37mm X 28mm. This is close to a macro magnification ratio of 0.47 X which is in line with what Olympus specification said. This is almost half life size magnification in macro photography jargon. When this macro converter is paired with the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 1:3.5-5.6 standard zoom at its nearest focusing distance at 42mm focal length we can capture a field of view of around 55mm x 41mm. This is equal to macro magnification ratio of 32 X. We are actually doing slightly better than the Olympus specification of 0.28 X magnification ratio.

With the macro converter attached to the master lens the camera can only focus on near field and has difficulty focusing on distant subject. The trick to use the MCON-P01 Macro Converter on Olympus Pen E-PL2 is by moving the camera back and forth at the subject till a reasonably sharp image is seen on the LCD screen, then compose and take the photograph.

My wife was taking photographs of water lily in the evening when I spotted some damselflies two three steps from her. I alerted her about the damselfly and she changed course to shooting the damselfly instead of the water lily. Her first shot of the damselfly with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 1:4.0:5.6 telephoto zoom lens was not that good because the damselfly appeared so tiny in the center of the photograph. After mounting the MCON-P01 Macro Converter on the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 1:4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom the photograph of the damselfly came alive and she was having fun doing macro photography of damselflies.

Damselfly with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F/3.5-5.6 lens
This photo of the Damselfly was taken with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens. With a minimun focus distance of 0.9m we just can't get close enough. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2, Lens: M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens. Lens set at 145mm f/8.0, 1/80s and ISO 250 with built-in flash set to on.

Damselfly is a close relative of the dragonfly. They both belongs to the group of insect called Odonata. Compared to the dragonfly the damselfly is smaller and its abdomen is skinny like a tiny twig. Damselfly's wings fold backwards along their body and look more fragile, the size and shape of their two pairs of wings are similar. The eyes of the damselfly are huge compared to their skinny body and wider apart than the dragonfly. Damselfly and dragonfly are ancient insects.  They have been on planet earth long before the dinosaurs arrived and they are beautiful looking insects as well.

All the images in this series were taken by Elaine with her Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2 with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150MM 1:3.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. This lens delivers very high image quality on it's own. With the MCON-P01 macro converter attached it still can capture very sharp macro images at the center. I have seen some purple fringing with this macro converter attached on the M.Zuiko ED 40-150 on very high contrast scene with white color objects. However on this series of damselfly images I am happy that we did not notice any purple fringing on any of the images.

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