A Look At The Olympus 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens For Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Another macro lens for Micro Four Thirds – yawn! But is Olympus’s 30mm macro boring?. Not so much. It has a couple of tricks up its sleeve, one of which is the 1:1.25 reproduction ratio. The other is a little less expected.
In association with ePHOTOzine – http://www.ephotozine.com/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=davidthorpe
Sound post production by Charles Walkowski at www.walkowski.co.uk
See my M43 blog at http://m43blog.dthorpe.net/
See my recommended gear – https://kit.com/Bluelemmy
Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/mftman


Paul Fernyhough says:

Thank you for your thoughtful and balanced reviews on MFT – you helped me to decide to shift from DSLR – as a result I have recently moved from Pentax K5 set up with primes (like you David). Luvvly system but I have transformed into a twitcher with a need to record my obsession. I have the G85 with 100-400mm panny zoom and am planning on getting the 14-140mm kit lens – have you tried this as a macro lens – close focusing distance is stated as 30cm so with the big reach would seem feasible – otherwise I was considering the 60mm oly.

Felippe Gazio says:

Another Great Video!

Morrie Glick says:

Excellent review, as always. The focal length is much too short to be of practical use for anything but still objects.
Looking forward to your review of the Lumix G9. Perhaps you could comment on the use of Olympus Pro lenses with this camera, particularly the impact of NOT being able to use the DFD feature (how slow is the autofocus, hunting, etc.?).

Dave Dee says:

Thanks for the review, David. I find your reviews can be refreshingly honest. I have the Sigma 30mm and the focal length suits me better than the standard 25mm.
I’d appreciate it if you could have a word with your sound person. The sound quality in all your videos is far too bassy for vocal presentation and it’s very difficult to catch all the words without hiking the volume up, especially as I need to keep the noise down because I’m at work! See if you can get the higher frequencies (3KHz) boosted which is much better for talking. Thanks!

gerardg1950 says:

I bought this lens in june ’17. A great general purpose lens and good for shooting flowers, plants, etc. You can get very, very close with it. Perfect lens for not moving objects. AF is a bit slow, not that I care. Cheaper, less massive and faster than the 12-100. This is what I tell myself because I paid too much for it. Thx for the review.

Matthew Talas says:

The 30mm macro has too much overlap with the lenses that I already own. I think I’ll wait until I can justify the 60mm. I probably also need to figure out if my next lens should be an ultra-wide or a macro first as well. I have a range of fast primes, wide to mid-range zooms and a long zoom. I think that leaves macro and ultra-wide as the only remaining gaps in my kit. After that I’ll need to work on my reasons and justifications for needing to upgrade my lenses to their more expensive pro and Leica badged versions.

Roman Geber says:

Looked at the Oly Macro Lenses while switching over. The 60mm was first choice due to it’s increased working distance. However I realized that most pro zoom lenses have great closeup capabilities. Usually more then enough to make a true macro lens unnecessary.

SC Things says:

I also bought the lens during the $99 deal frenzy. I have been happy with it’s value. I needed something small to carry in my travel bag. This did the trick. Thanks.

Mohd Firdaus says:

What are your thoughts on the 4/3rds 50mm macro?

Kenny75 Photography says:

I have this lens and I really enjoy using it although it has to be said that the auto-focus isn’t the best and as you say, David, 30mm is a bit short for macro work. Regardless of that though, I still thinks its good value for money.

Renato Valenzuela Jr. says:

Olympus has been making it look easy lately. I bought this for my dad’s GX85 from B&H for $100USD Black Friday Sale. Some lenses, for when the price is right, are harmless no-brainers. I still can’t believe i paid $100USD for the Panasonic 25 f/1.7 2 years ago.

Chaitanya Shukla says:

I am not sure why micro 4/3 makers aren’t releasing a long focal length macro lenses. I find 60mm macro just too short for working with venomous snakes and other dangerous animals.

Minolta4Life says:

Last month this lens was on sale for $100.00 dollars here in America for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and for about two weeks afterwards.

Mark Laurendet says:

A bit off topic here, but there has been some talk at my forum about manuals and hopefully you will do a menu book like you did for the G85. If you do could you produce on in PDF as well. For some reason in Australia we could not buy the electonic version due to some copyright thing. Could only buy the book and it helped when I first got the G85.

Anyway looking forward to your G9 review

Andrea Rotelli says:

Your reviews are great as usual and you are one of the fewest to review macro lenses in such variety. Thank you!

Hugh A N says:

I have many 35mm negatives which I want to digitise. I *don’t* want to use a film scanner (which I already have) as each scan would take far too long. I want to set up a camera with macro lens over a lightbox (which I have) and photograph the negatives. Any suggestions for the optimal macro lens for this task? I have two GH4s and a G7… but no macro lens yet. Thanks in advance.

Leo Naiss says:

I like Oly 30mm/3.5 using it with my Lumixes and Yi M1 ….    https://www.getdpi.com/forum/4-3rds-cameras/63100-yi-m1-4k-30fps-231-a.html#post748740

cco827 says:

Another excellent and helpful review. I do hope you will be reviewing the Lumix G9 soon.

Micro Four Nerds says:

What an interesting lens. I’ve had my eye on the Olympus 60mm macro for a long while but haven’t yet had the spare cash to buy it, as it would mostly be a fun lens for me to use occasionally. Maybe this is a more cost effective solution

Gabriela Lamberti says:

@David Thorpe – what camera do you recommend for macro photography/bird photography and stills: Olympus OMD 5 Mrk II or Panasonic GX85?
Thank you.

Chris Williams says:

I’d like to suggest Olympus could nick another brand’s strapline for this with only slight modification: “The only thing premium is the price”. The 1.25 magnification is just about the only non-standard, non low-end feature, but it’s hard to see how it would have much application even for macro fans.

Luigiz28 says:

I purchased this lens for $99 back when Olympus had it on sale. It’s a fantastic lens and I was pleasantly surprised how versatile it is. It’s plenty sharp and for general macro work, it’s awesome!

Dave's Nature Productions says:

Great review.I do like the natural look it has, but I prefer my Olympus 60mm over this for the focal length as I had a Panasonic 30mm Macro but sold it as it was far too short, but at times I do wish there was longer focal length like 75mm and 90mm MFT macro lenses with IS since there is 150mm and 180mm full frame macro lenses, but no equivalent in MFT. I sometimes find 60mm too short for animals/insects that can scare away easily if you are too close or cast a shadow or make noise like dragonflies or butterflies. For a time I did use a Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds T Smart adapter with a Sigma 105mm macro and it became 210mm but it wasn’t as sharp as I’d like due to the MFT sensor on a full frame lens, and it was a bit heavy.

Morrie Glick says:

Thank you for your prompt & informative reply.

Waldemir Queiroz says:

Great review. I will keep my 60mm macro for the moment.

Pavel Pavel says:

This lens is not good. Sorry.

Keith Spillett says:

Have you reviewed the Panasonic 30mm macro?

Kevin Davis says:

Thank you for the very nice video and the extremely useful comparison information and alternatives.

Cabe Cat says:

And again another video missed in my feed…

Ricardo Gomez says:

Wow! Great value-glass! I agree that it has a natural, contrasty look… Which I very much like. Would be a great street-photography and general walk-about lens.

Michael says:

You should sell the image at 3:00 minute mark of the video – of the ocean and the pier. That is the best photo I have seen in my lifetime. Beautiful. You are very talented with a camera David.

bruce cg Gallagher says:

This is interesting in my case as I recently purchased an Olympus 30 mm f3.5 macro in the older 4/3 mt and attach it to my EM1 with the Panasonic
DMW-MA1 4/3-m4/3 adapter. I wanted to invest a modest amount $60 Canadian or 34 pounds sterling. I have not been disappointed as optically this lens is a winner and has some wonderful micro contrast. It does work wonderfully for landscape and with its ability to reach 1-1 magnification fulfills my desire for a macro tool. Not too bulky either, even with the adapter at only 2 7/8 inches in length though somewhat of a chunky monkey in girth. Another great review David, thank you! Bruce from BC

orange42 says:

Got one a couple of weeks ago with the B&H $100 special. Love it.

Photonerd says:

So what do you think, how does it performs against the Meike 85mm Macro?

Michael says:

I love the choppy to the point narration of your videos and hold your opinions in high regard.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!