Macro with M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 Macro MSC Lens

Having experienced the joy of macro photography with the Olympus MCON-P01 macro converter, my wife is all set for the real thing and she is now a proud owner of the highly acclaimed Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens.



This lens is lightweight but well-built and about 80% longer in length than the M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.8 which is another Olympus prime lens with many positive users feed back. For us the 60mm F/2.8 macro is a more versatile and useful lens for the type of photography that Elaine engage in. We treat lenses and cameras like an artist's tool set that are acquired based on its ability in adding value to our creative pursuit.

1:1 full life-size macro images of a ripe red mulberry fruit
Close-up of a fully ripe mulberry fruit the separate minute fruits of this multiple fruit is clearly visible in this 1:1 macro shot.    --    Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL2, Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 MSC Macro Lens, setting at F/9.0 1/40s and ISO 200 Build-in flash on.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is a true macro lens with full life-size 1:1 macro reproduction ratio. However for life-size 1:1 Macro reproduction the camera should be set to manual focus mode with the lens focus limiter switch set to the full 1:1 macro setting. In full life-size and half life-size macro reproduction most macro photographers focus manually by moving the lens and camera back and forth from the subject. This technique is applicable to the  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens when doing 1:1 macro photography.

Macro photograph on cactus spines from the Areole area.
A close-up macro images of cactus spines and cactus wool.     --     Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL2, Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 MSC Macro Lens, setting at F/6.3 1/60s and ISO 200.

The focus limit  switch at the side of the  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60 mm F/2.8 macro lens is a four-position switch. When this lens is used for normal photography the focus limiter is best set at 0.4 meter  to infinity position. The next setting, the 0.19 meter to infinity is the default setting allows full range of focusing from close-up to normal photography. For Macro photography alone the focus limiter is best set to 0.19-0.4 meter setting. Additional to the 0.19-0.4 meter position by twisting the focus limiter forward to the 1:1 setting the lens is set to its closest focus distance for full 1:1 life-size macro reproduction. The 1:1 setting is spring loaded and returns the focus setting back to the 0.19-0.4 meter position when the the shutter is released.

Close-up photograph of a Maroon and white flower with M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro lens
A macro photograph of an eye catching two colours flower in maroon and white at noon time under the mid day sun.   --   Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL2, Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 MSC Macro Lens, setting at F/4.0 1/800s and ISO 200.

In the default setting with the focus limiter set at the 0.19 meter to infinity position the camera occasionally seems to take a little longer to lock focus. This could be due to the focusing motor having to stretch through the full focus range from macro to infinity of the  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens. With the focus limiter set to the 0.19 meter to 0.4 meter or the 0.4 meter to infinity position the auto focusing with this lens is very fast.

The sleek looking  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is beautifully designed. The current generation of M.ZUIKO lenses focus internally, the front elements of the lens does not rotate when the lens is focusing. This is good news for users of optical filter and ring flashes which mount on the front filter thread of the lens. Another great point of the internal focus lenses is the lens does not extend forward when focusing even up to full 1:1 macro distance. M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is a MSC lens. Lenses with this designation from Olympus focus silently.  MSC is short for Movie, Sound Compatible.  All these features are especially great for macro photography of tiny insects as they are less likely to be scared away.

Macro images of Pinkish Flower with long Heart shape petals
A macro photograph of a pinkish red flower with elongated heart shape petals   ---   Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL2, Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 MSC Macro Lens, setting at F/6.3 1/40s and ISO 200.

The  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is one of the new splash and dust proof series of lenses for Olympus Micro Four Thirds systems. However the benefit of this splash and dust proof features is only meaningful if the camera is also weather seal like the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

This  Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is a respectable macro lens. In general this macro lens other than for macro and nature photography  is a perfect choice for food and still live photographers as well. With a focal length of 60 mm and a wide aperture of F/2.8 this 60mm lens is also ideal for portrait  photography. The  M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens is very sharp even wide open at f/2.8 and produce smooth buttery "Bokeh". Bokeh is a Japanese word meaning aesthetic out of focus blur background which is flattering for portraiture photo. With almost no distortion and very low vignetting this short telephoto 60mm macro lens is good for landscape and architecture photography too.

A 1:1 Macro images of a blooming Chrysanthemum Bud
A full life-size macro images of a little blooming chrysanthemum bud.   --   Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL2, Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 MSC Macro Lens, setting at F/6.3 1/180s and ISO 200 Build-in flash on.

In our humble opinion the M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro is a practical and versatile lens which can be used on a wide range of photography subject. Elaine already finds this lens indispensable and I can see this 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens adding value in extending her vision in photography.

To get acquainted with our new macro lens we decided on something quite stationery and tame as our first macro subject. This post is a "take one" of our experience with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm F/2.8 macro lens. As time goes we will have more photographs and articles from this lovely macro lens posted on our blog.

Comments

Mark Fisher said…
Another great article. Very interesting and also a good review. Thank you.
ST said…
Hi Mark
Thank you for your support and favorable comments. It's nice to see you again.

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