Author Topic: Close up lenses  (Read 6186 times)

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Offline digital master

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Close up lenses
« on: August 15, 2005, 02:42:16 PM »
Have any of the forum members had any experience or comments on the screw type close up lenses often seen for sale.

My last experience of this type of lens was probably with my Kodak Flashmatic camera...showing my age...I have never used them on a SLR lens.  

My gut feeling is that they seem too cheap to be any good, but perhaps they be of use for a bit of fun?

(dcap please "keep the answer tight"   :wink:)

Offline ISO3200

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filter
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 02:57:36 PM »
You mean the magnifying filters, right?

I started off on those and was dubious about a macro lens - I thought will a macro really do anything much? Of course it does!

But, a close up filter on, say, a 24-105mm lens isn't completey useless and, if nothing else, alters the focusing distance and brings a subject closer. It's when you pile up 3 magnifying filters on one lens that it looks god awful. :o

They're a bit of fun, sure, especially with digital now. Why not shoot? See what you get?
SB-400, 28-200/3.5-5.6 AF G, 50/1.8 AF D, 60/2.8 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 105/2.8 AF-S VR G Micro-Nikkor, 70-180/4.5-5.6 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 200/4 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 70-300/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR G, Nikon PB-6... Yes I quite like macro.

Offline gazraa

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Close up lenses
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 03:35:49 PM »
i used the screw on diopters to get closer to the subject. The results were pretty good. Obviously the better quality glass you buy, the better the resulting image. Try not to stack them though. You can get really close, but the picture quality suffers.

I have found that extension tubes helped provide the best macro shots. There's no glass to degrade the picture quality, they fit on any lense and they can be picked up pretty cheaply. Ok, you might not get autofocus but at macro distances auto focus is pretty useless anyway.
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Offline Akshay Jamwal

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Close up lenses
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2005, 04:07:21 PM »
Well, strictly speaking, they are lenses and not filters :). The filter name sticks probably because they're available as a screw-in attachment.

I've experimented with them. They effectively reduce the focal length of the attached lens, allowing you to get closer as well as act as magnifiers.
The cheap ones are completely useless IMO. Most of the cheaper ones are not coated, so expect a) flare, b) chromatic aberration (typically blue/purple fringing),  c) softer images, and d) vignetting or at the very least, softness at the edges.
Adding one in front of a zoom will generally make all those undesirable effects even more pronounced. I now use one cheap close up lens attachment that I'd acquired as a magnifying glass (all it is, essentially, is a convex lens). They're available in various dioptres (+1, +2, +3, +4,....+10). The higher the diopter, the closer you can get to your subject. This is irrespective of your focal length; whether you have a 50mm or a 200mm or a zoom or whatever, you just have to set your mounted lens to infinity... and you can get closer. Of course, the higher your focal length, greater the magnification achieved. A 200mm with a close up attachment will, for example, give you greater magnification than a 50mm with a close up lens attachment of the same dioptre.

You'll be better off if:

First, you use it with a prime, preferably a telephoto. Zooms already are kind of maxed out where elements are concerned, and really don't need yet another one in front of them.

Second, if you do go in for one (or a set) buy a well-known brand, such as Nikon, Canon, or Kodak. Nikon and Canon both offer two-element close up lenses that are coated as well, if I'm not mistaken. The two element variety takes care of some of the problems, especially flare and softness at the edges. These will be reduced, mind you... not eliminated.

They're not to my taste at all, frankly. But there are people who do use them and manage to get some really good images, in spite of their shortcomings.
The better close up lenses are more expensive, so you'd probably be better off buying an extension tube as gaz suggested. Or put in even a little more and you'd be able to get a macro.
Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.  ~Ansel Adams

Offline digital master

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Close up lenses
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2005, 04:37:29 PM »
Wow, what a lot of helpful replies...as always on this forum of course...it must mean everyone else is at a loose end like me on a Monday afternoon.

I think as most have suggested, they could work and given I am now in the digital domain, it costs nothing to have a "play" to see what can be achieved.

Thanks once again for your valued input..

Offline Akshay Jamwal

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Close up lenses
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2005, 05:31:11 PM »
Quote
..it must mean everyone else is at a loose end like me on a Monday afternoon.


It's a national holiday where I'm at. Independence Day :).
Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.  ~Ansel Adams

Offline ISO3200

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Close up lenses
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 07:45:03 PM »
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Akshay Wrote:  Well, strictly speaking, they are lenses and not filters . The filter name sticks probably because they're available as a screw-in attachment.


True they are lenses. However, lets not confuse them with camera lenses. That'd just be crazy. :)

I've got the summer off.
SB-400, 28-200/3.5-5.6 AF G, 50/1.8 AF D, 60/2.8 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 105/2.8 AF-S VR G Micro-Nikkor, 70-180/4.5-5.6 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 200/4 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 70-300/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR G, Nikon PB-6... Yes I quite like macro.

Offline Akshay Jamwal

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Close up lenses
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 08:55:49 PM »
Heh. Indubitably, my friend.
Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.  ~Ansel Adams

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Re: Close up lenses
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2005, 09:14:32 PM »
Quote from: digital master
(dcap please "keep the answer tight"   :wink:)


they're rubbish   :lol:

Offline ISO3200

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Close up lenses
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2005, 11:15:37 PM »
In short...
SB-400, 28-200/3.5-5.6 AF G, 50/1.8 AF D, 60/2.8 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 105/2.8 AF-S VR G Micro-Nikkor, 70-180/4.5-5.6 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 200/4 AF D Micro-Nikkor, 70-300/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR G, Nikon PB-6... Yes I quite like macro.

Offline digital master

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Close up lenses
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2005, 09:19:12 AM »
No...say what you mean dcap  :wink:

Ronin

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Close up lenses
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2005, 10:06:12 AM »
I have a variety of ways to photograph macro and close up depending on what I want. Including bellows, macro lenses, extension tubes and dioptres filters. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But a good macro prime normally the safest option.