As soon as I started using my first Olympus Pen camera (the now retired Pen E-P5!) I started checking out the fantastic selection of prime lenses offered by Olympus…
Very quickly I narrowed it down to two can’t-live-withouts (the 17mm f1.8 and 45mm f1.8) and over time began to investigate others. Recently the versatility of the Olympus M.Zuiko 30mm f3.5 lens – often included in best lens reviews for micro-four-thirds! – has caught my interest. As demonstrated by Pen ambassador Jay McLaughlin, it can take beautiful portraits but also be used for extreme close-ups (very sharp from corner to corner) as well as creating beautiful bokeh.
It occurred to me the dual purpose of this could be quite useful for bloggers sharing an outfit, a landscape, a food shot and then creating an accompanying aesthetically pleasing up-close detail image with the gallery function . So I thought I’d put together some examples for you – a selfie, a shoefie and and shelfie why not!
I also cannot stop myself when it comes to flowers! And this is where a macro lens really comes into it own – with the right light, you can create the dreamiest of hazy shots and lovely bokeh (the aperture has 7 blades which can create nicely-shaped round light spots in the background) and get in close for some mind-bending detail.
Macro Top Tip
When you are shooting close-up – and remember this 30mm has a close-focus of 9.5cm (it magnifies to 1.25x, so the subject can be enlarged 2.5x in frame) – the key thing is steadiness! Make sure you are resting your camera on something solid or ideally are using a tripod – if you are shooting in-hand only really close up, make use of something close to you which you can lean against to provide the necessary stability.
Another trick is when using a tripod is to put the shutter release on self-timer to avoid any shake when you are touching the camera…
Also, I took all these shots wide open at f3.5, but nothing to stop you experimenting with the f-stop value and see what results you get! Peak sharpness will be found at f5.6; the lower your aperture the more shallow depth of field (nice blurriness) …
Current Olympus Pen offer btw! If you buy an Olympus E-PL9 you can claim a free M.Zuiko 30mm f.3.5 lens worth £249 (currently reduced to £229 as a stand alone)
Outfit Selfie + Jewellery Detail
Shoefie & Detail
Shelfie + Detail Shot
Flowers In Close Up
For some of these shots, I placed the camera on the table and shot from there, others I had the camera on a tripod but leaning with using it to brace myself, if that makes sense! It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do what works for you!