Olympus SP-570UZ Super Macro Sample

First published on: Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The Olympus SP-570UZ has a super macro mode that allows you to place the front lens element as close as 1 cm from the subject.

Here’s one sample shot in this mode. This USB connector is about 1 inch across (click the thumbnail to view the original, unedited version).
Olympus SP-570UZ super macro sample photo

That should give you an idea of the magnification you can get in super macro mode.

There are two disadvantages to the super macro mode:

  1. You cannot use the popup flash

  2. The focal length is fixed. The lens is automatically zoomed to near the wide end.

The first disadvantage can be overcome if you use a non-compatible flash (I haven’t tried using compatible Olympus flash units yet) because, as the manual says, external flash units are fired regardless of what flash mode the SP-570UZ is in.

So, for this shot, I used my Nikon SB-800 flash in A (Automatic) mode, and manually adjusted the ISO, zoom and aperture on the flash by trial and error until I got the exposure I want. The flash head was pointed up at the ceiling to bounce the light.

The SP-570UZ was set in M (Manual) mode, 1/200 sec and f/5.0.

Composing in M mode was a bit difficult as the LCD display would go totally dark to simulate the kind of photo you’d get if you used these settings without a flash. The display will light up briefly while autofocusing so that gives me a brief window of opportunity within which to compose the shot.

To get around the second disadvantage, I think close-up filters / lenses are needed if you want to get huge magnification at a focal length of your choice and don’t want to be so near the subject, skittish insects, for instance.

At this stage, I’m not sure about the use of such close-up accessories as the SP-570UZ does not allow you to screw filters to the front of the lens.

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