So much room for improvement (Zhongyi 20mm f2.0 4.5 Super Macro)

Some years ago, Zhongyi Optics (http://www.zyoptics.net/) released a compact Super Macro Lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens featuring a high reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1 in a Full frame sensor which, apparently taking into account MFT crop sensor becomes more like a f/4 and 9:1.

I have looked and read the available blog and Youtube video reviews before I bought it. Some of the reviews were from people that did not appear to have much experience with Macro photography other reviews focused on its usability in taking pictures of subjects that did not necessarily allowed me to see how the lens would fair with subjects I planned to photograph.

Given that this is a specialty lens, and I knew for a fact that I would use it once every two weeks, I was expecting some challenges and compromises (optically and in terms of work flow).

I was expecting more challenges than the ones I have encountered, my first tests look promising. Most of the issues I have with my outputs are to do with user error linked to:

1) Focus rail set up;
2) Camera setting; (my laziness and reluctance to use a remote shutter and/or to assign a timer >2 sec to enable the tripod to stabilize);
3) Wrong lens settings (this lens appear sharpest between f 5.6 and f 8);
4) Poorly light subject (and associated with this poorly diffused light);

This lens only makes sense when I need to showcase a specific character, after knowing which view will be required, I need to then plan my set up: tripod and focus rail, lights (continuous and flash), diffusers, background, etc.

Having this lens means reviewing my entire approach and improve my planning skills. It almost feels like relearning macro, and this is fairly exciting. There are calculations that need to be done prior to pushing the shutter to know how many times I will need to push the shutter and the incremental change in the rail, how long will I need to leave the shutter open to take an exposure to estimate how much will this mean in terms of time required.

While we do have the tools for free to estimate how many pictures we would need to ensure that the subject is sharp (https://www.fotomacro.cl/calculadora-de-apilado/), free software to stack the images together (http://www.picolay.de/) this requires some trial and error and loads of experimentation.

Posted by ruidasilvapinto ruidasilvapinto, January 13, 2019 07:26 AM

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