Customer Reviews

70
4.7 out of 5 stars
Olympus MSC ED M. 60mm f/2.8 Lens
Price:$449.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
This is a fantastic micro 4/3 successor to Olympus' impressive but now dated 50mm f/2.0 macro lens for 4/3 cameras. Small, light, and fast to focus, it handles well on all the micro 4/3 bodies I could find to test it on. It produces sharp images with little distortion and smooth, circular bokeh in out-of-focus parts of the frame. Unlike all other macro lenses currently available for the system, this lens is fully weather sealed -- put it on a weather-sealed micro 4/3 camera, and you're ready for the outdoors.

As to features, it's got a focus limiter switch (although it's a bit tricky to use with gloves on), a scale showing your macro magnification and focusing distance, and can be set at the lens to a 1:1 macro magnification. Oh, and it's got a video-rated focusing motor, so you won't hear the lens focusing in your movies.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
I hate to merely parrot what others have already said here, but it's really all I can do.

In my experience the lens is sharp right from 2.8, with stopping down grabbing you a bit more. But the reality is it's sharp right from jump.
I've not noticed any particularly glaring defects or aberrations of any kind. The bokeh is good. The build quality is good, though it is a plastic lens (and I'm so glad, as metal would have been $300 more), and the weather sealing merely adds to an already fantastic presentation.

I will echo one reviewer here by saying that the af is not the best. It's not terrible by any means, but I've definitely experienced hunting in situations I wouldn't expect it. The focus limiter absolutely helps with this and is an invaluable inclusion, but it doesn't fix it. Often we're manual focusing with macro anyway, so it's not a big problem. I love the 1:1 option on the dial, but I wish you could simply click it and have it stay there.
The fact that it doesn't include a lens hood is simply inexcusable. I think this is an unfortunate move by Olympus. That and the sometimes odd af issues would have forced me to give the lens 4 stars, were it not for the price. You could buy a lens hood for this lens and still (imo) be making out like a bandit, with a fabulous piece of glass for far less than the cost of a macro lens in a similar range for any larger dslr. I used the Sigma 150mm macro, and that thing is twice the price. Not only that, it weighs 1150 grams; this lens weighs less than 200. Ridiculous.

All things considered I have to, without reservation, provide this lens with its 5-star rating.

***UPDATE***

This lens continues to impress. Frankly at this point I'm shocked at the pricing vs quality equation regarding the lens. I firmly believe that this is a perfect example of the type of lenses both Olympus and Panasonic should be focusing on for this system. Who cares about metal lenses? You can make a lens plenty sturdy out of plastic while keeping cost and weight down. I think it's obvious from all the pro reviews and the growing base of user reviews that this lens is one of the most exceptional pieces of glass ever produced in its category, for any system, including the big guys. Absolutely stellar image quality, and in a package that is, when compared to the much larger and heavier competition, simply astounding.
Keep making lenses like this, and m43 is here to stay.

With regards to the AF; while it can be slow at times, and I stand by my original statement, it should be noted that macro lenses generally focus slower than normal lenses, due to the increased focus range. In the category of macro lenses this lens is plenty fast. I merely think this is an area where there is still room for improvement.

That said, I am obviously exceedingly happy with the lens; it is the best lens in my bag, without question.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
Build Quality and Handling: 4/5
It's long, skinny and light.
Plastic with metal mount but feels solid.
Weather-sealing is definitely a plus and pairs well with the OMD EM5.
Glass looks almost invisible with all the special coatings.

Image Quality: 5/5
One of the sharpest lens I've ever owned on any system including DSLRs.
Very low vignetting wide open.
CA and flare is very well controlled.

Focusing: 3/5
Not the fastest focusing lens on m4/3 in low light. Still faster than the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 though and this is a macro lens.
Manual focusing ring is nice and smooth but takes forever to turn.
Focus limiter switch helps a lot with focusing speed but might be awkward to access.
Focusing is quiet, which is great for video recording.

Quality Control: 2/5
This is mainly the reason why I gave this lens 4/5 stars. This lens is made in China and I just don't think it has the same quality control and manufacturing as in Japan. The first lens I ordered came with visible specs of internal dust. Second lens had black spots in the bokeh (possibly from dust or small air pockets). The third lens is fine as far as I can tell but it shouldn't have taken 3 tries. Just be sure to check your copy.

Value: 5/5
A very sharp lens that is a must have. I believe at $500 this lens is well worth it. It does macro but is versatile enough for a mid-telephoto / portrait lens. It's lenses like these that puts m4/3 sensors in the same league as the larger sensors. I normally would have to pay thousands to get an L lens for this kind of sharpness. The trouble of exchanging the lens until I got a good copy was worth it in the end.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Verified Purchase
Let me concur with E. Seale's beautifully stated review and add a few notes. I have a resolution test montage consisting of several sets of lines per mm charts (edges and center) as well as textural fabrics and other objects. After stepping through f2.8 to f11 and allowing for some bit of tester error (me) the proper conclusion is that it is a tie between the Olympus 60mm macro and the Panasonic 45mm macro (Leica). If I were to totally trust my set up the nod would go to the Olympus 60mm. (BTW centers of both compared well with the Olympus 75mm f1.8, extreme edges of the 75mm are definitely sharper.)

Another consideration is the lack of image stabilization on the Olympus macro lens. After shooting the same test subject with shutter speeds from 1/25th down to 1/5th of a second (bad), there appears to be some advantage for the 45mm around the 25th of a second. Not a very well controlled test, sorry, and very difficult to actually measure.

A quick trip to the lake and flower gardens yielded comparable pictures. The Olympus was more reliable at focusing on a small close subject (a flower bud with the background several feet behind), but both lenses had problems at times. Of the 8 test shots I think most would choose 5 shot by the Olympus, 2 tied, and 1 for the 45mm; surprising.

The bokeh is nice and f2.8 gives a shallow enough depth of field to offer wonderful opportunities. The 60mm allows a nice working distance and modestly better for my insect macro work.

My tests were on a panasonic Lumix GH2 (16 meg). For slow shutter speeds I would stay with the Panasonic 45mm Leica, for all the rest I'm taking the Olympus. The fit and finish are excellent, sad Olympus doesn't include a simple lens case and hood. Otherwise a truly delightful lens I look forward to taking everywhere. Hope this helps. Pura Vida
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2013
Verified Purchase
I rented this lens before I bought it and hated sending it back that I extended my rental. I love the size, much slimmer than the 12-50 kit lens, very sharp and a joy to photograph with. It does hunt at times when doing macro shots, much like the 50mm four-thirds lens, but the results are amazing that I can overlook this. The bokeh is also very nice for those who love a creamy blur. The focal length is also versitile for me. I also rented the 75mm and it was a bit too long for my taste, but the 60 was perfect. A little longer than standard view makes this lens great for inside (macro), street and portrait photography. Great addition to any micro four-thirds bag.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
I used the Olympus E-system since 2006 owning the E-500, E-30 and OM-D E-M5. I also have both Zuiko Digital 50mm f2 and 35mm f3.5 since I do plenty of macro works. Most of my macro shots are taken in the field with minimal intrusion to the subjects, usually insects and spiders.

My years of experience using the 4/3 macro lenses are generally very pleasing. I use autofocus most of the time except when I couple the 50mm with EX-25 which often causes erratic autofocus in dim light. It is also gives only 1:2 magnification but I use it often because it is significantly sharper than the 35mm. So I was wondering if there is a sharp macro lens with a comfortable working distance than can do 1:1 and functions well in autofocus. Enter the M.ZD 60mm.

The autofocus works very fine on the OM-D although sometimes the AF box tend to hit at the wrong area causing a slight misfocus when the box covers something curvy. Not really a big deal as manual focus is quite easy to use with the enlargement button. The weight is just nice, it doesn't dip the lens forward like the heavier Sigma 105/2.8. In terms of ergonomics, it is a fun lens to use. In the forest I had little difficulty to use it in awkward positions and AF with liveview was reliable.

Image quality is insanely pleasing, even sharper than the alreay magnificent ZD50/2. I was very skeptical if the lens, being smaller, can match ZD50/2 resolution but surprisingly it does. Details are well rendered and I could not have asked for anything more. I have no need to sharpen anything in postproduction.

I took some portrait shots and found that even at f2.8 the images are very sharp. Color reproduction is slightly inferior to ZD50/2 but not really noticible and in fact so much better than most prime lenses out there. I was spoiled by the excellent ZD50/2 (which is almost a perfect lens if not for it's cranky autofocus) so for the 60mm to match it for portrait shows that Olympus had it in the right track. The circular iris gives nice round and pleasing bokeh. The only lens I found to beat it clearly in this department was the M.ZD 75mm f1.8 which costs almost double.

While in the forest I tried to capture video with this lens. Image quality was excellent but the C-AF tracking was not 100% reliable. The lens doesn't need a stabilizer as the OM-D comes with an already excellent in-body IS system. The lens was silent enough that the video did not capture the sound of the AF motor.

As a macro photographer I value several things in a lens- ergonomics, image resolution and price. At $499 I think this lens gives a very good value for users of the micro 4/3 system. I haven't tried it on other cameras but for the OM-D, this lens is very pleasing for macro and portrait photography.
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46 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
After reading up on reviews and initial commentary surrounding this lens, I pulled the trigger. After three weeks, this lens was returned. From many reviewers, I was lead to believe that this lens performed reasonably well in AF operation, which isn't crucial for macro work (I'll get to that in a second) but was important when working toward the other perceived quality of this lens being a short-mid tele portrait lens. Not a stretch to assume a macro lens could pull double duty as most other macros I've used for other systems, while not the fastest to focus, were accurate and produced sharp results. The Oly is well below average (compared to other macro lenses I use for various other DSLR systems) in both AF accuracy and speed in lower light. By "lower light" I mean in normal indoor lighting. I chalk this up largely to the CDAF system which requires strong contrast, and in many cases (certainly with this lens), decent light for best results. If you do not have good contrast and/or shoot indoors you may see the performance of this lens drop considerably as it did through the 1,000+ frames I shot under varying conditions that I tested this lens through. Now, for macro we don't need AF right? Well, the MF implementation can be frustrating as well and isn't really good to begin with considering its a focus by wire setup (non tactile) meaning you don't know where you are in your focusing throw as you spin the focus ring. I did like the focus limiter switch which helped a little by enabling a quick AF throw to MFD, but you have to really have your focusing technique down if you plan to utilize an AF+MF approach to fine tune as there isn't an AF/MF switch on the lens, and depending on which camera you shoot could be multiple button pushes to disable AF if you don't want to have to hold down your shutter button half way to disable the AF from throwing itself all the way back and forth again while trying to fine tune your focus. Because this lens will (or in my case did) reset its focus distance between shots (focus by wire operation being entirely electronic), it makes it difficult to manually focus anything that may be moving from frame to frame.

The pros: It's weather sealed which is nice. When it focuses, it's certainly sharp, contrasty and produces a good image file. The price is realistic for the system, but to me it was more a waste of $500 as this lens was effectively hindered at its best for what I needed, a good closeup lens that doubled as a portrait lens.

The cons: It doesn't do well in AF or MF operation in my opinion as the system isn't really set up for a good, manual focus implementation (which is my preferred use for macro work), and the AF is hindered by the CDAF system unless you shoot in really good light (otherwise it hunts taking sometimes 2-3+ seconds to find focus, sometimes never finding focus) making it hard to use with anything that isn't sitting still or is entirely static. Hopefully we'll see a hybrid CD/PDAF system for m4/3 as we see in many of the other MILC setups in the future which I feel will help.

If you're shooting still life/static subjects from a tripod, or shooting studio work where you'll have the ability to add as much light as you'd need, I think this lens could do very well. If you're shooting moving subjects, or wanting to carry this lens around to capture closeup nature shots handheld, you may want to at least go into this with realistic expectations (which I admittedly did not unfortunately). There are plenty of people singing the praises, and a few that have voiced pure frustration, but I feel like the reality falls somewhere in between. For $500, it's a compelling option, but it's not a deal if it can't do what you need it to effectively. I went into more depth in a review here:[...]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2013
Verified Purchase
This is not a flawless lens, but it is a lot of glass for very little money.

I got some wonderful results with good light. I actually paid 399 for it and it is worth every penny. Yes, it is light sensitive, but it does a good job if you accept the limitations it has.

It's 400-500 USD! Top value for that amount of money.
Yes, my Nikon 105mm 2.0 Defocus Control or my 105mm 2.8 VR Macro with my D700 makes better pictures. But hey, those are > 800 - 1,200 USD lenses on a > 3,000 USD body. The Olympus 60mm macro on the OM-D EM5 is really a great combination.

As a friend of mine - a Leica user - put it when he saw the pictures 'I can't buy a lens hood for that money, and just look at the quality of the pictures!'. Accept the low light limitations and you will not be disappointed.

I'll upload some of my test shots in a moment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2013
I have really fallen in love with this lens. It is very sharp. It is very small and exceptionally light. I also like the optional boyonet hood though Olympus milks its customers for it. I like the focus range selector and the fact that the lens is weather/dust sealed.I have had some trouble focusing in 1:1 mode but that's not the fault of the lens per se more just me getting used to shooting with such a small focul point. My only real complaint is that the autofocus is a bit slow and results in a hit-or-miss focus of your subject. This may be the fact it is a macro lens with CDAF or I just need more practice. When compared to the Olympus 17mm f1.8 or the 12-50mm kit, it's night and day. I usually only use the autofocus to get a general focul point then hold my breath and slowly move the camera forward or backwards to get my subject in focus. Occasionally I will fine tune with the manual focus ring. I leave the focus set to S-AF/M on my OMD. The spider shots were taken with one hand on the camera and one hand on a 800 lumen flashlight to light my subject up. Check out some samples above. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2014
I got this for only $400 during a rebate promo and it's an amazing lens for the price. At the time, I wanted the 75mm F1.8, but couldn't justify it for the price. I decided to jump on this and figured I could return it if it didn't pan out. I ended up keeping it and am glad I did. It's already paid for itself. I'm not a professional photographer really, but I've won a photo contest with this lens and have been published in the local paper enough times in 1 month to pay for this lens. Enough about me. This lens shines. It's super sharp, weatherproof, has amazing bokeh, is lightweight, solidly built, has the focus limiter. Micro contrast is great.
I know it's a macro, but it's also a great portrait and landscape lens too.

I find the focal length a nice compromise between the 45 and 75, both of which are awesome and just good in it's own right. It fits my eye I guess. This lens just seems to nail focus for me as well.

If you're like me you just gotta have the 75mm and see if it lives up to the hype. It does, but this lens is every bit as good IQ. Sure it's a stop slower, but with the EM5 you won't need F1.8 much unless you are a bokeh addict...but frankly it's so easy to take good portraits with this lens and get the entire face in focus. Something that can be a problem with some F1.4, F1.8 lenses. The 60mm just nails it.

Now that I have the 75, I thought I might sell the 60, but I haven't been able to bring myself to. When I look at my favorite photos, they are often with the 60 and it's been indispensable with all the snow and bad weather we had this winter. No way I'd take the 75 out in rain or snow.

Did I mention you can just slip this little guy into a pocket when you are out shooting?

The cons:
no lens hood included (got one here for under $10 though with a spare cap)
Longish lens body (about the same length as the 12-50mm but thinner barrell.
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