60mm macro tested at Photozone.


Image courtesy: Photozone.

Photozone (Click here) published the full Olympus 60mm macro review: “The question of the day is whether to prefer the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 ED macro over the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH OIS ? As far as the key aspects is concerned the Leica lens may be a tad sharper whereas the M.Zuiko has a slight edge on the bokeh side. The choice is yours. :-)

More tests:
E-PM2 tests at Digitalcameraworld.
Bokeh comparison @ 20mm and 19mm at M43photo.
GH3 test at Optyczne (translation here).
E-M5 review at Microfourthirds.
E-PL5 + Cooke Kinic 25mm F1.5 at DC.watch (translation here). That lens costs around 300 dollars/Euro on eBay (Click here to see auctions).

  • Yun

    I’m not serious in macro photography so will skip both excellent lenses .
    If I have to do so , the 14mm + the macro converter will be the lens for the job .
    Budget macro photographs , what do you think ?

    • Boooo!

      Wide angle and a macro converter? Good luck with that.

      • Bob B.


    • jonathan

      Budget macro photography…

      Buy a m43 extension tube, a m43 to canon adapter, and a canon 50mm cheap prime. Of course, you could do the same with nikon, pentax, yashica, etc…. all will give surprisingly good results for $75 – $100.


    • Do

      As others said, wide angle lenses aren’t suitable for macro fotography. For close-up shoots there are other cheaper alternatives to the 60mm, even if you don’t want to use manual focus: the M.Zuiko 12-50mm has a dedicated macro function with a a maginifcation rate between 1:2 and 1:3 (usually m.rates are better than indicated), and the the M.Zuiko 14-42mm in it’s first iteration does sharp close-ups at 42mm/f8 with a magnification rate between 1:3 and 1:4.
      Advanced macro photography is usually done with manual focus anyway, i own a manual Minolta lens with achromats but I seldom use it, usually for my purposes the above variants are sufficient.

  • krixoff

    i love epl-5 customed

  • hooroo

    Are macros lenses exclusively for macro or can you use it for general purpose photography?

    • No. Yes.

    • DCP

      You can use the lens for anything, it’s just macro because it can focus from a really close distance from the subject

      • tomas

        macro ability of lens means it can give 1:1 or 1:2 magnification while standard lens is 1:7 or so. But you can turn it off so it behaves as usual lens.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Definition of real macro lens is that it can give 1:1 “magnification” meaning at closest focus distance size of captured area is same as sensor’s size. And in case of 4/3 sensor that area is ~18×13.5mm.

      Focusing to such close distances requires lot more movement range of various element groups inside lens so real macro lenses have different design than normal non macro lenses.

  • admin- the new, large anti-Obama ad as the header of your website is enough to stop me from wanting to visit here. I hope that you re-think this new foray.

    • rubut

      You know the ads are placed by google and are likely based upon googles profiling of you. If you dont agree with them, click on it and cost the PAC some money :)

      Clicks can cost alot, for example keyword clicks on ‘credit card’ or ‘loan’ can cost > $30.

    • I don’t see any ads, because I use several effective ad blockers. As already mentioned, the particular ads you see are what Google throws specifically at you, based on your internet browsing habits.

      • GreyOwl

        Plus one.

    • I understand the need to generate revenue here and respect it, but this new vertical banner ABOVE the 43 Rumors horizontal banner is brand new today (at least on an iPad). I visit this site several times a day and haven’t ever been offended before. As far as Google following my browsing habits, there is no way that particular ad was targeting me, that is a paid endorsement.

      • adaptor-or-die

        The URL addresses to the ad links; googleadservices.com & googleads.g.doubleclick.net of course sort of dispute that claim. Your being tracked & targeted by your net usage habits and behaviours, so blaming Admin on that is just silly.

      • rubut


        Well we’ve told you why that particular content it is there, you can ignore facts all you like, but it is a fact that googles ad platform will present ads that are being targeted at people who fit a certain profile, same as facebooks ad network.

        I don’t know any particulars about you, but if thats the sort of ad you are seeing it is likely that you are in the US and within a target demographic. Its not as if admin is some how endorsing the Tea Party or something.

        But seriously if you dont agree with it either:
        1 – ignore it
        2 – click on it and cost the political action comity some money and also create some revenue for this site (good choice this one)
        3 – Use the adblock browser for iOS https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/adblock-web-browser-speed/id366147874?mt=8
        4 – keep on whining about it here and have nothing change

        • MarcoSartoriPhoto

          I don’t know how google decided that I’m intersted in how to improve my abdominals LOL I don’t really need it ;) And basically I simply browse photography forums and ebay.

          • rubut

            Maybe you’re spending to long browsing and they figure your middle is getting soggy :)

            • MarcoSartoriPhoto

              Good point! :D

      • admin

        Sorry, we are just testing. Everything should be fine soon.

    • Timccr

      Hey, that’s not fair – I haven’t got any anti-american ads!

    • Fafhrd

      Whaaaa! My little eyes saw an ad that was mean to Obama! My life will never be the same. Oh! The humanity!

      • rubut


    • Freddy

      @ artjones… be a man!

    • Mr. Reeee

      Run an ad blocker.
      I do in Safari.
      Problem solved.

  • These technical reviews are loosing credibilty for me. They are complaining about high amounts of CA and state that this is not the sharpest lens around according to the useless mtf numbers. My experiebce using this irl is totally opposite. Its razor sharp at 2.8 and gets mind blowing stopped down. I have seen minimal traces of CA. Comparing it to pl25 and o45 the 60 is mindblowing in sharpness an CA control.

    • tyutyu

      Yes, who needs technical reviews carried out under controlled circumstances when you have opinions lol

      • So according to this test the 60mm is not that good in optical quality. A score of 3.5/5? Come on. The problem with these “controlled” test is that they are not controlled in any way. All reviewers use different cameras and testing methods. There are no standardized tests. Therefore they are nonsence! Look at the test pictures they posted and try to find a trace of CA. I have a hard time doing it even pixel peeping!

        These skewed technical reviews are only giving people headaches.

        Its much better to read peoples opinions and real world use reviews and try looking at actual shots taken.

        • juyol

          The only people who get headaches when someone says anything about their lens are the fanboy brigade , I love my 60mm I love the images from it and as a bonus it was a good bit cheaper than the 45mm.

        • El Aura

          Your complaint about 3.5 stars is likely based on a cultural misunderstanding. For Germans, 3.5 out of five is actually pretty good. As an example, in my iTunes library only about 1% of my rated songs has five stars and only about 5% has four stars. Using the same standards, a four-star lens would need to be part of the top 5% of all tested lenses. Does the Olympus 60 mm lens fall into that category?

          • W. C.

            +1. 3.5 = 7/10 = 70% = B/B- grade = Good-Very Good

            • Maybe it’s a sliding scale? ;-)

    • adaptor-or-die

      Tech reviews seem to be concerned more with specs and numbers, the actual application of photography is generally ignored over statistics. If you can’t try out a lens yourself, I find more value in “real world” reviews. Where the tester is a photographer, simply using the lens as they would any other. The proof is in their output. A handful of sample shots on the day gives a lot more relevant feedback and graphs, charts and multiple shots of brick walls …

      • Exactly. And Photozones reviews doesn’t even add up. The PL45 macro got a maximum of 2390mtf sharpness in the center. The 60mm got 2889. So how can the PL45 be sharper? It’s all about real world use.

        • adaptor-or-die

          Some people find the specs important, for me it’s the output of a lens in application. At least both types of reviews exist.

        • ha

          Well, read the review and you’ll see: PL45 was on 12MPix cam, the Oly 60 on a 16MPix one.

          • I know this and it shows how useless these reviews are.

            • i76o0

              You need four times the pixels to double resolution so an extra 4 will not make a huge difference

              • With extrapolation of the percentage higher resolution of 4MPx we should get a better MTF of about 16.6% bringing the 45mm pana to almost the same level of the 60mm oly. That is in line with oter tests just about anywhere which show that. I think the comments on the numbers tested by the reviewer are not so objective (given he had taken them). Also the microcontrast (less lpm is used for that but not tested here) is said to be slightly higher for the 60mm. So with all respect for the reviewer the comments about resolution are just a bit slanted in my opinion.
                What is strange is the large CA noted in the review that does not seem to come up elsewhere. ??? I have the 45mm lens and I can testify it is superb but a bit slow focusing. Being able to be slightly further form the subject is an important consideration and speed of focus also. These 2 variables are what make the 60mm lens a better lens in my opinion for most photo subjects. The size of the 45mm lens is better. The OIS is nice for Pana owners but for MACRO it is a bit inefficient.

                • It also depends on which F values we shoot at. The 45mm lens is a bit better at keeping sharpness at different values than its optimal F5.6. Most photographers will often prefer wide open values and in this respect the 45mm “seems” a bit sharper from the test. I use this lenses mainly underwater and a high f number is needed like F11 at a minimum to keep small critters in focus. The 60mm seems to lose sharpness to diffraction faster and this is a better score for the 45mm lens.

            • spam

              Photozone groups it’s reviews based on the lens mount and MP-count within the same lens mount and state that results, at least MTF aren’t comparable between the groups. What more could they do? Stick with the same camera/MP-count forever?

              Some uses of macro lenses require excellent corner to corner sharpeness and resolution and generally few weaknesses. All test I’ve seen indicate excellent results in the frame center, but somewhat weak results for the corners. How this influence the total score is of course a result on how the tester weigh the different properties.

              It’s also why the total score isn’t that important to most people. If you want to learn how well a lens perform from a technical review then look at the parts of the test that’s most imoportant to you. If you want to see that a lens can produce some great images in the hands of a good photgrapher then read a “real world” test. I read both btw, experienced photgraphers doing real world test can be very useful for usability and other hard to define properties.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            Beside’s difference in amount of pixels also possible changes in micro lenses on top of sensor could sure cause differences.
            Would be interesting to see same lens tested in front of different sensors.

            With hole in general purpose lens line up Panasonic also probably optimized PL45mm to work as general lens so at normal test chart shooting distance it might behave seemingly better.
            Olympus already had 45mm and 75mm primes so this 60mm is probably fully designed to perform best as macro/close up lens.

    • peevee

      They test a standard Imatest chart at standard distance (probably several feet, just like with other lenses). The testing at several feet is not very relevant for the macro lens optimized to work at 80 mm, just as it is not relevant for superteles optimized to work at 100 m or landscape lenses optimized for infinity. But yet it is the best we have now (of course lensrentals who test dozens of copies are better).

    • Es

      The problem is, your opinion is entirely subjective. I knows tons of people with P&S cameras that talk about how good their quality is. They are incapable of putting it into perspective.

  • dau

    if im shooting macro sharpness is keyn not bokeh. but thats just me.
    also, the 60mm looks a little bulky…

    • Esa Tuunanen

      So don’t stare too much results measured at normal lens focusing distances.
      Dedicated macro lenses are usually optimized for working best at (very) close focus distances and test results from distance of normal lenses can give lower results.
      Testing macro lens at real close focus distance would require extremely accurate, and no doubt insanely expensive test chart way beyond accuracy of most printing processes. (heck, most papers look rough and very uneven in macro shot)

      And it’s not bulky, but actually quite “slim”. Just like with E-M5’s hump close ups of small lenses make them look bulkier than they are.
      Panasonic isn’t really any less bulky, while shorter it’s fatter and more box like.

  • BdV

    How come the 60mm results are a bit disappointing here, after reading the ming thein review..?

    • Because Ming looks at real world use and photozone does not. The 60mm is an awesome lens nothing else. Compared to the PL45 it is a bit sharper, longer working distance, weather sealing and focus limiter switch. All of this for less money and weight.

    • nobody

      Did you ever read a bad opinion about an Olympus product by Ming Thein? Just saying…

      • Well, if 3 different reviewers and lots of other people say the lens is awesome we have to be skeptical about these “number reviews”.

      • i76o0

        I think Ming is in the Robin Wong league of reviewers IE a cherry picked fan. I will trust the pro reviews every time over these type of infomercials.I am not saying only Olympus do this all the companies have their own favored few , I don’t trust them either. Personally I am very happy with the 60mm even on a GH3 without stabilization

      • gardener

        Ming has been critical of the earlier Olympus lenses and some of the Pen’s

    • BdV

      Thanks for these answers!

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    I never tried Panasonic/Leica 45mm macro, simply because I don’t know anyone who has it, and I have never seen it in those 2,3 shops I visit. I tried Zuiko 60mm macro from a friend: my first impression was “wow! It’s so light!”. The lens is really sharp at f2.8. This friend uses it for food photography. It works and renders well also in portraits: out of focus area and bokeh are slightly different than those of Zuiko75mm. I think many would hardly notice which portrait has been taken with which lens. Yes, Zuiko75mm is sharper, and faster, and more expensive too, BUT if it didn’t exist I think I would have bought this 60mm for its mid-tele focal lenght, with the plus (at least to me) of its macro quality. The OMD-Em5 macro kit obviously pales, compared to the 60mm, but I’m not so much into macro photography therefore I can skip it.
    As I already wrote, looking at numbers and charts is extremely boring to me. If someone can take beautiful pictures with a camera+lens, then I know what that combo can do. We can talk about numbers and fight over equivalences at the bar, but I prefer watching silently at some nice photographs.

    • Ross

      I bought it predominately for macro but also the focal length was going to be good for other uses too. I couldn’t justify the cost of the 75mm lens but this was a bargain for me I love it.

  • Fafhrd

    I understand the need to monetize the investment in time and money that this site represents. I also understand that every ad served up might not be my cup of tea. But, for the love of God get rid of skimlinks! They add NOTHING that is useful to a visitor.

  • W. C.

    You folks complaining about Photozone, if you don’t agree with their findings, just disregard it. And enjoy your gear. Simple. Rely on “real world” testing by “real photographers” who live “real lives” because they are so “real”. Photozone staff are actually robots created by Leica to make life miserable for plebeian humanoids relegated to the use of significantly lesser optics.

    If Photozone gives your favourite lens a 4/5, they are the best testing site around. If they “only” give a 3.5, they are the arch-enemy of m4/3. Same thing goes for DxOMark: bunch of fraudists, sponsored by N & S, and conspiratorial haters of m4/3.

    Notwithstanding their critical findings, two of the three testers at Photozone use m4/3 for their hobby photography and seem to enjoy it a lot. If you read their forums, they are positive about the m4/3 system, and have given plenty of time and resources to testing the format’s lenses.

    These technical reviews are not for everyone. I personally think Photozone does a very reasonable job with their reviews. I find their lens testing legendary. They are the truthseekers. They uncover the hidden garbage behind mandatory software correction. Instead of glossing over it, sweeping it under the carpet, and giving it a positive spin like most other reviewers and testers. I almost fall off my chair when I see the uncorrected distortion results. I’m sure they do too. Overall, Photozone are clinical, straightforward, sparse perhaps, but reliable. A good reference point for lens purchasers.

    • W. C.

      On this nonsense of technical vs real world reviews: If Photozone reviews are not real world, I don’t know what is. Unlike the paid and sponsored “real world real photographer” testers that people worship as gods,–who use the lens for a day,–maybe more,–and then send it back to their sponsor, Photozone staff source the lenses themselves by purchasing it or borrowing it from fellow users.

      Instead of spending the first ten pages gushing over the paintwork of the lens like the “real world real photographers”, Photozone give a straightforward summary of build quality, general feel and overall responsiveness in their Introduction (Pg 1). The second page is their technical findings from the lab. The third page is their verdict and sample images. Where did those sample images come from? Out of an encyclopedia? No, they actually took the lens out to the real real world (yes, unbelievable!) where they took some real real images of real real things in real real time. Even to remote locations and overseas places as well as in town in their hometowns. Those Photozone staff sure do some real real good work for a bunch of Leica robots.

  • Es

    The focus limiter, the distance scale and the slight additional range, as well as the lower price undoubtedly make the Olympus 60mm macro a better lens than the Panasonic.

    • quiquelbola

      The pana 45mm have also focus limiter. Anyway price dont make a lens better or worse. Price make thing more or less afordable

  • Es

    Also, macro shots at f/2.8? Who even cares about that? I would say how good they are at f/11 matters more than f/2.8

    • spam

      Most lenes serve several purposes and performance at F2.8 is interesting for e.g portraits. Any (good) mFT-lens tested with a 16MP sensor will have lost some resolution at F11 because of diffraction, easy to see on the Photzone test btw. F11 give very even resolution over the entire frame, but center resolution is quite a bit lower than at F4.0 and F5.6.

  • I wish all oly lenses had this black finish. Sigh.

  • Admin, I have no problem with the google ad if you really need it but please think about putting back an obvious link to the home page ;)
    All the best


    • admin

      Sorry, obvious bacj to the home page? Don’t knwo what you mean. Can you please explain? :)

      • Well the website logo is back now so no problem. When you were experimenting the google ads it was gone and there was therefore no more “home” link. ;)

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