Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro lens field test at Dunyeats Hill nature reserve

Last weekend saw the 1st visit of this year to Dunyeats Hill nature reserve in Dorset. This reserve has proved to be a great location for dragonflies and damselflies over the past few years, and so excellent opportunity for the first serious field test of the Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro lens with the Olympus EM5 MkII camera.

The dragonflies and damselflies were about in abundence, and provided ample opportunity to try out this lens and its autofocus and focus range dial features.

I used autofocus in S-AF mode and had a very high success rate at most distances. It did occasionaly fail, not unsurprisingly where 1) the working distance between the lens and the subject was very small, and 2) there was a lot of surrounding vegetation. I did wonder if the focus range dial would be of any real value however I have to admit I found myself using it throughout the day to quickly and easily set and limit the focus range.

This lens is small, and weight is not an issue when combined with the compact Olympus EM5 MkII camera for hand held shots and carrying around the whole day.

The one negative that really stood out from the days shoot was the difficulty in manual focusing with the lens when the autofocus was not able to find the subject. This maybe down to my experience with the lens, time will tell.

I am yet to try out the focus bracketing.

Here are the results

The Dragonflies

Female Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum)

Female Common Darter
Female Common Darter
Female Common Darter (2)
Female Common Darter (2)

Immature and adult Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum)

Immature Male Black-tailed Skimmer
Immature Male Black-tailed Skimmer
Immature Black-tailed Skimmer
Immature Black-tailed Skimmer
Male Black-tailed Skimmer
Male Black-tailed Skimmer
Male Black-tailed Skimmer on leaf
Male Black-tailed Skimmer on leaf

I also managed to catch this Male Black-tailed Skimmer launching itself off the leaf due to shooting in sequential shooting L mode (approx. 5fps) and have a little bit of luck!

Up and away!
Up and away!

The Damselflies

The other advantage with shooting macro in sequence mode is that you can get a stack of several images as you shoot near to far (or vice versa).

This photo of a pair of mating Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) is a stack of 3 seperate images.

Mating Common Blue Damselflies
Mating Common Blue Damselflies

A Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa).

Emerald Damselfly
Emerald Damselfly

and a Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Large Red Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly

I did also manage a 2 image stack photo of a Large Skipper butterfly (Ochlodes sylvanus).

Large Skipper stack
Large Skipper stack

 

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Pete

I have been shooting nature with Olympus digital & Olympus OM camera gear on film since 2004

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