Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus OM-1(n) & OM-2 (n) - Macro photography

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Olympus categorized their impressive lineup of close-up accessories for macrophotography under Macro photo Group. Generally, OM macrophotography has never been easier and fun to play around with the numerous possibilities with all the system accessories offer to a photographer who are interested in macrophotography; basically, Olympus has simplified the process of setup and assuring precise exposure accuracy which previously, exposure measurement, in particular, have been a difficult job even for professionals.

Quite a number of OM bodies are quipped with a TTL direct light metering, that has helped to resolve and increase the percentage of successful close-up pictures, with or without flash, regardless of the magnification and aperture.

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All complicated exposure calculations for multi-lamp flashing has been simplified and provide a more confident handling of macro works in or out of studio. The OM system also provides a fairly complete solution including a wide choice of macro lenses that offer excellent life-size and magnified pictures as well as extension units that enable you to take handheld macro pictures. The initial OM system offers an automatic macro lens of 50mm focal length and another three bellow macro lenses. The bellow lenses can also use with all the extension tubes or a unique Telescopic AUTO tube introduced later which reacts more like a portable auto bellow. There are two lenses at each end covering the short to medium telephoto focal length range for macro works. The 80mm in particular, reputedly was the world's first Macro lens that offers a 1:1 life size reproduction.

macroside.jpg macroside2.jpg
Over the years, OM lens group grew from strength to strength and many refinement were made with new optical formula, faster lens speed and improved built quality. The vast array of precision equipment gives the creative and scientific photographer alike a perfect grasp of subjects too small to be handled by the standard lenses, and allows maximum magnifications of more than ten times life size.

The current macro lens group is comprised of seven lenses in total (as at June, 2000); comprised of a classic Zuiko Zuiko Macro 50mm f3.5, a high speed Zuiko 50mm f2.0, Zuiko 1:1 80mm f4.0 with a later inclusion of a Zuiko 90mm f2.0 and a medium telephoto Zuiko 135mm f4.5; at the shorter focal length, there are two bellow macro lenses Zuiko Macro 38mm f2.8 and a very fast Zuiko 20mm f2.0 that uses rare earth glass which has a outstanding optical characteristic of high reflective, low dispersion index. The previous two slower macro bellow lenses, Zuiko Macro 38mm f3.5 & Zuiko Macro 38mm f3.5 have been given almost a full f-stop with the two upgrades. These has enabled Olympus System has the widest selection of choices in terms of macro lenses and the most comprehensive and versatile macrophoto system available anywhere. But that is only the beginning of the remarkable OM Macrophoto Group, which provides every kind of macrophoto equipment from specialist lighting units to filters, extension tubes, auto bellows, stands, illuminators, adapters, stages, reflectors etc. and more.

As Japan's pioneer microscope maker, OLYMPUS has a long tradition and rich background enabling them to develop and provide the most for macrophotography. They have the expertise, vision and a very logical thinking in products development, resulting in a diversity of units and range of performance few other 35mm SLR system can match.But to a photographer, accessories and equipment provides in the OM Macrophoto Group stresses good characteristics like ease of handling, great compatibility and high mobility. When these are combined with the respective OM SLR camera own distinguished features such as aperture priority AE, TTL Auto Flash and also other specialized accessories like all those OM Macro flash units, macrophotography has never been so easy, precise and best of all, rewarding.

The OM system has a wide variety of accessories with a magnifications range from 1/10X to beyond 10X life size reproduction. In fact, for photographic requirement of beyond magnifications of 10X, Olympus also provide a full scale professonal setup that was put under another group of accessories, MicroPhoto Group. For magnification under 10X, below is a chart to illustrate various combinations of lens/accessories to achieve your preset magnification ratio for your macrophotography. Note: Recommneded combinations and for genertal reference only; other combination may exist, especially with those older accessories which are not specifified herein.

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Note: IF you find this confusing, use Another Chart. * 1:1 (1X) life size reproduction means that a 24x36mm subject fills the frame of a 35mrn negative or slide.

If you have a tight budget to spend on these accessories or dedicated lenses for macrophotography, perhaps other than close up lenses (OM or third party makes), extension rings set can be the next cheapest alternative to increase magnification with any of your already owned OM Zuiko lenses. Each tube incorporates a coupling lever to automatically stop down the lens diaphragm to the preset aperture at the exposure. The respective lengths of these tubes are 7mm, 14mm and 25mm, which make seven different lengths by single or combined uses.

These flexible rings can be mounted on the camera body by bayonet mounting as in case with the standard lenses. If all of these tubes are used in conjunction with the 50mm F1.8, it is possible to achieve a life size magnification or 2.3 x 3.4cm with a lens-to-subject distance of 6.8cm. The 25mm extension tube can be used to extend the magnification range of the Zuiko Macro Lens 50mm to 1:2 and 1:1 (lifesize). For life-size pictures, however, most recommended is the 1:1 Macro 80mm F4. Also see Auto Telescopic Tube. But the real treat from Olympus is still very much falls back to the core accessories which in this case are the OM macro lenses. Other than being designed specifically for Macrophotography, some of them can also be used for general photography. All these fine optics form the nucleus of the entire macrophoto group. Every lens works best at a specified subject distance. The performance balance changes at different distances, causing an increasing problem with various kinds of aberrations. Because of this no single lens can cover the whole range of distances and magnifications involved in macrophotography.

Zuiko Macro 50mm F3.5 One of the earliest Zuiko macro lens offering. The design has gone through few optical improvements since its inception. Designed for optimum performance at 1/10 magnifications, this lens is also capable of providing superb results in general purpose photography set at infinity, or for macro subjects as large as 1/2 life-size while maintaining high quality optical performance throughout the focusing range.

Its optical performance is still excellent for images up to life-size with the 25mm Auto Extension Tube, and can be used for even higher magnifications with the Auto Bellows or Telescopic Auto Tube when other macro lenses are not to hand. The lens which can equally well be used as a standard lens extends its appeal to many photographers.

Type: Zuiko Macro 50mm f/3.5; Angle of view: 47°; Optical Construction: 5 elements in 4 groups; f-stop range: f3.5-f22; closest focusing distance: 0.23m (0.8ft); weight: 200g (7.1oz); length: 40mm; filter size: 49mm; recommended focusing screens: 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:10, 1:13, 1:14

Zuiko Macro 50mm F2.0 The fastest Macro lens you can find on the market at this focal length. It provides extra bright for composition and focusing but without the excessive bulk and weight. It incorporates a high corrected optical formula and an exclusive close range focusing correction mechanism which maintains extremely high optical performance all the way from 1/10X magnification at infinity to 1:2 (Half Life Size) at its closest focusing distance. You can make use of the Auto Extension Tube 25mm to achieve 1:1 life size magnification.

Type: Zuiko Macro 50mm f/2.0; Angle of view: 47°; Optical Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups; f-stop range: f2.0-f16; closest focusing distance: 0.24m (0.8ft); weight: 320g (11.3oz); length: 55mm; filter size: 55mm; recommended focusing screens: 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, , 1.4, 1:4N, 1:10, 1:13, 1:14

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Olympus OM-1(n): Main Index Page (5 Parts) | Camera Operations (6 Parts)
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Olympus OM-2(n): Main Index Page (6 Parts) | Camera Operations (9 Parts)
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Olympus OM-2SP: Camera Operations | Other Issues
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Shared Resources: Supplementary articles: TTL Metering, Depth of Field, Shutter Speed & Aperture
Motor Drive and Power Winder: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
Motor Drive 1 | Motor Drive 2 | Winder 1 | Winder 2
Flash Photography:
Main Index Page (4 Parts)
T45 | T32 | T20 | F280 | S20 | Qucik AUTO 310 | QA300, 200, 200S
Main Index Page (3 Parts)
Macro Flash Units:
T10 Ring Flash, T28 Twin, T28 Single, T8 Ring Flash
Databack 1-4 | Screens | Finder Accessory | Remote | Cases

Zuiko Lenses: Slowly developing..

Glossary of Photography
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used Instruction Manuals for various OM SLRs and Accessories.

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Site & Message Board Maintainers: Mr. Simon Evans <>; Mr. Rick Oleson <>; Mark Dapoz <>

Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. Site created 'unfortunately' again with a PowerMac. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered tradename of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan.