BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Will Wohler
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/2/2004

close up filters/lenses

I have been look in to purchasing a set of close-up filters, or lenses, which ever they are refered to. I was wondering if anyone has used these and if I could get any recomendations as to which brand I should purchase? I am also curious about how they would compare to acctually purchasing a macro lense? I use a Nikon N65 with Sigma Lenses

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10/16/2005 9:54:58 AM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  You can buy extension tubes which can help you get closer. I've heard that they are better than close-up filters, but not as good as a macro lense.

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10/16/2005 10:00:12 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I would also recommend the extention tubes. I thing a few brands also make macro 50mm lenses that are pretty good. They don't cost too much I guess, but they're not going to be around the price of those lenses that you're talking about. I have a few photos in my gallery using promaster +1, +2, and +4 single element close up lenses. They're fun to mess with and they work pretty good actually. They quality won't be as good with the other methods mentioned but it might get you started. I think they make some double element ones as well that are of better quality.

My most recent finalist, the macro flower, was actually taken on my 20D with my kit lens for my Canon Rebel GII (35-80mmf4.0-5.6) and all three of the filters I think. The other similar flower photos were taken with these filters as well.

I was just looking on and they have some of the dual element filters which are supposed to cut down on chromatic aberration for better image quality but of course, the cost more.

Now, I try to use these only on my best lens of a given lens diameter which happens to be my 50mm f/1.8 but every so often I try to put it on my 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 and most everything looks like crap. It looks all foggy. I assume this is because of so many lower quality optics. Although, I can get extremely close to some things with decent quality. For instance, I can get a picture of ".betterphoto." in the frame. If you get the lower quality ones, make sure you get them in the size for your best lens but if you wanted to get better quality and go with the double element ones, you might just want to go for the extension tubes.

Kenko makes a set of three for $159. The good thing about these is that they don't have any glass in them so lesser quality tubes won't really do anything to the image quality.

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10/16/2005 11:03:42 AM

Will Wohler
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/2/2004
  thank you both for responding. I may start with the close-up lenses and the graduate to the macro lense, as price is a real issue.
Thanks again

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10/16/2005 11:20:59 AM

Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I've bought +1, +2 and +4 screw on filters (as well as a +10) for both my S5000 and Nikon 8800. It takes some getting used to but you can get decent shots with it. It sure fit my budget (plus I don't have a DSLR!) I got them on e-bay...

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10/16/2005 3:21:43 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  What kind of camera do you have? Is it a dSLR? Is an M42 (Pentax screw mount adapter available for it?

You can pick up a Pentax 50mm or 55mm screw-mount lens in excellent condition for under $50, and get extension tubes for another $10, and close-focusing bellows are available for $25 or so... all on eBay. If you can get the M42 adapter for your camera body (they're available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, and Sigma dSLRs), then you can get an excellent macro setup for under $100 that will take incredible photos.

This stuff isn't auto-everything so it will require you to figure exposure out by a test shot or two and checking the histograms, but the resultant photos will knock your socks off... and blow away anything you can do with the close-up "lens" filters... and for about the same money.

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10/16/2005 3:52:10 PM

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