Small slices of nature, and how I found color and structure

Flower Macro #1, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

Flower Macro #1, Zilker Botanical Gardens – Austin, Texas

Its been a fun and busy 3 days for photography. I went to Drink and Click on Thursday night. I went downtown with the Olympus guys for some street shooting on Friday night and yesterday afternoon, I attended the Olympus and Precision Camera sponsored day at Zilker Botanical Gardens.

For today’s post, you’re going to see something that I rarely do, macros. In fact, I think I played with a Canon 100mm macro lens once maybe 4 years ago. While the Olympus event was there to showcase the OM-D cameras and micro 4/3 lenses, Charles said he had the very special 50mm f2 lens with him. This lens is for the old DSLR 4/3 system, not the new micro 4/3 lens for mirrorless.

Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

From what I’ve read and heard, some people consider this lens legendary. A keeper even though the 4/3 DSLRs are no longer made. I was looking forward to using it. Conveniently, I had that Olympus E-1 that I got about a month ago.

You can also use it on micro 4/3 cameras, but you’ll need an adapter. It will focus really slow on the mirrorless cameras except for the OM-D E-M1, which also supports the more compatible and faster phase detect focusing for these older DSLR lenses.

Gecko Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

As you can guess, I’m far from a macro expert. It’s not what I do. Serious macro shooters bring tripods and extra lights so they can shoot at a large depth of field. I just shot these handheld in available light. Even so, I’m really happy with the results. The lens is extremely sharp and even on this old 5MP camera, the details look wonderful.

Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas
Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

Did I mention that I love the color on the E-1? Yeah, I know, that’s all that I’ve been talking about lately.

Gecko Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

I’m not really a flower kind of guy, at least not yet. I noticed that my dad really likes to take pictures of them. Perhaps that’s what I’ll be shooting when I get older, like father like son? Anyway, I looked at these flowers more for their structure and color. Kind of the way I approach architecture, which is what I like to shoot.

I started off too far and as I got the hang of the macro, I kept on getting closer. Color and shape, that’s what I was looking for.

Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas
Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

After I returned the macro, I noticed that they also had this huge 50 – 200mm f2.8 – 3.5 zoom. It’s also an older 4/3 DSLR lens and part of their Pro Grade weather-resistant lineup. Keep in mind that for 4/3 (and micro 4/3) this lens is a 100mm to 400mm equivalent. I used this lens to isolate and also shoot macros. it’s a chunky lens but worked well on my old E-1.

Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

The two lenses see differently but they both produced some great results. I’m more impressed than ever with my 11-year-old DSLR. I’m tempted to get the 50mm macro. Its compact size and water resistance would make it a good match for the E-1. The only problem is, I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing macros.

However, in my next post, I’ll show you that a 100mm equivalent macro also works great for other things.

Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas
Flower Macro, Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

Please support this blog by clicking on my Amazon Link before buying anything.

14 thoughts on “Small slices of nature, and how I found color and structure

  1. Great post. I wanted to be at that workshop but a neighbor reminded me I had offered to help her set up for a party. Damn! You had a lot more fun than did!

  2. Very nice results Andy! And if you have a chance to get that 50mm (or the 50-200mm) lens, go for it! Camera bodies come and go, lenses last forever…

  3. Back when I was trying to figure what direction to go in my switch from film SLR to Digital SLR I was completely enamored with the premium Olympus lenses. I just couldn’t warm up to the cameras so I went Canon because I had some Canon lenses and I could adapt my Zeiss lenses to the Canon. Now I’m considering getting a E-M1 and a few of those used Olympus DSLR lenses for it but the E-M1 may make those DSLR lenses go up in price now which could make it unaffordable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s