Olympus 60mm f2.8 Macro review // photo examples

Fun fact: the Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens is the lens that convinced me to switch to micro four thirds. I tried it in a shop on an Olympus Pen F. I took a penny out of my pocket and started shooting. I fell in love with the lens there and then. Here are my thoughts and some photo examples of the Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens for micro four thirds.

Funny, though, despite me falling in love with the lens and the system as a whole, it took me almost two years to actually buy the macro lens. Because the truth is, macro photography is quite niche — unless that’s your passion it isn’t something you’ll do every day — and this lens is pretty darn expensive!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I kept putting it off and off until one Valentine’s day I was in Jessops, steaming up the display windows as usual, and my husband went back inside when we left and bought it for me as a surprise. 

Now, I tried to justify the lens to myself by saying it would make a brilliant portrait lens, and I can use it for work for detail shots at weddings. Well, yes, the detail shots are brilliant with it, but I personally find the 60mm focal length — 120mm in full frame terms — a little hard to wield during a photo shoot. But the good news is, for macro, it does its job absolutely excellently.

Focusing

The Olympus 60mm has full auto focus, and fly-by wire manual focus. While it does hunt quite a bit — as most macro lenses do — there is a handy dial on the side which helps to narrow it down and pin-point where the camera should be looking. You get four options:

  • 0.4m - infinity

  • 0.19m - infinity

  • 0.19 - 0.4m

  • 1:1

Now, these are quite self-explanatory. Just pick the right distance for your subject and the hunting will be kept to a minimum. Once you know which way the dial moves you can change this very quickly without looking. There’s also a window on the top of the lens to held guide you. 

My personal approach is to try it with the auto-focus, or at least get myself in the ballpark, then fine tune with manual focus using focus peaking. Using a combination of both methods you can get your shot quickly and easily.

Size!


For a macro lens — for any lens — this Olympus 60mm macro is absolutely tiny. That was another justification of mine. It’s so small that even if I only shoot macro occasionally I can always have it there in my bag. And you know what? I do. And it’s brilliant. Comparing this to the 7Artisans 60mm 2.8 macro — which I have to say optically is almost identical to the Olympus — that lens weighs at least three times as much and is about three times as big, too. It’s quite a commitment to stick that one in your bag. The Olympus you won’t even notice.

Results

Micro four thirds is a macro photographer’s playground. You can take smaller kit anywhere with you, and the crop factor and depth of field also works in your favour. The Olympus 60mm is utterly amazing, to be honest. You can create a photography project out of just about anything. All you need is imagination.

Price

If you want a lens to spice up your photography, something to have some fun with and to use indoors or out. Something you can always take with you for those perfect moments. Something well built, well designed, and superbly sharp. Then this is the lens. 

So long as the price doesn’t put you off.

It isn’t that bad? Here it is on Amazon.

But the 7Artisans lens is miles cheaper. Check it out here.

Conclusion

For auto focus, versatility, size and weight, the Olympus 60mm macro lens is incredibly hard to beat. Yes, it is a bit pricy, but it will be something you can always fall back on if you’re feeling a bit stuck in a rut with your photography. If your main focus is macro, then I couldn’t think of a better combination than micro four thirds and the Olympus 60mm to take out and about in the world.

If the price is too much to warrant, I do love the 7Artisans 60mm f2.8.  You can read my dedicated review here. Optically it really is a beast but I’ve only ever really used it indoors because it is quite big and heavy.

In the end, as ever with photograph, I guess it all depends on your needs.

Olympus 60mm on Amazon

7Artisans 60mm macro on Amazon

Read Next: 7Artisans Macro Review (just as an FYI some of the images will look similar to the ones in this article — it’s because I did a side-by-side comparison test with the same subjects. They’re really quite evenly matched lenses! You can see the side-by-side video in the 7Artisans article for more information. And I can tell the files apart because the Olympus records the aperture in the metadata, and the 7Artisans doesn’t.)

Read Next: Meike 16mm cine lens review