Getting Up Close and Saving Cash

Strawberry flowerWe all love seeing the world like no other, seeing things others don’t see. One way to go this is using macro photography, whether it be film or a still image there is something magical about seeing the world from a bugs persecutive. Over the last couple of years I have needed to shoot macro photography and every time I have planned to do so I find myself looking to picking up a macro lens for my Canon 5D. About thirty seconds later I head up stairs, not for my credit card but for my old Olympus OM kit.

I loved my Olympus OM2n, I still do and would never sell it, I’m emotionally attached to it, and to be honest it probably has very little cash value anymore. I bought the OM2n to replace, and as an upgrade from my first camera an Olympus OM10 which I shot my A Level photography with. At university, a time before digital had really hit the main stream, I shot my degree worth with the OM2n. From that point onwards it’s lived most of its life in a flight case along with lenses, filters and extension barrels.

Twelve years later I bought my Canon 5D Mk 2 and one lens, the 24-70mm F2.8L. Try and make up or the lack of lenses  I also bought an Olympus to Canon lens adapter so I could use all my old olympus lenses. It cast about a tenner from Amazon and was OK by always felt day to day use would be a bit much for it. I had visions of the lens parting company from the camera. So the adapter joined the rest of my OM kit in the flight case. Truth be told I liked the autofocus on the cain lens. Since then I have added several other canon lenses but never a macro. Why? Well, haven’t needed it more than a few times, dropping hundreds of pounds on something I’d need so infrequently seemed unjustifiable. I could of course hire one when I need it, but when you add it travel time and cost to lens rental, you start to thing buying one is a good idea. But usually time is not on my side and I have needed one like today (Sunday) So I dig out the Olympus to Canon adapter along with the 135mm F3.5 Olympus Zuiko lens and my Triplus Auto Extension Tube Set. Together along with the 5D it looks like a creation of Frankenstine, if he had been trying to bring back to life dead camera equipment instead of dead humans.

Olympus Extension tubes

A few minutes later I’ve got the shot with the aid of a tripod and it cost me nothing. OK it’s a little bit more fiddly for focusing, as you really are focusing using an almost fixed lens and so have to move the camera and tripod to get focus. The focus ring on the lens is really only usable for to micro adjustments.

FrankenstineI was lucky that I had these bits just gathering dust around the house but for around £40 on eBay you can pick up a decent lens, extension tubes and adapter which for me would be almost the same cost as renting a macro lens for one day. And its not only photography this works for. I used the very same set up for the opening shot of my short film Chasing Dreams where I shot water hitting and running down a window pane in what looking like rivers of water due to the macro photography.