Some times, when weight is an issue, for example walking in the mountains or traveling, close up filters can be handy. Often I have a 4X close up filter, if some interesting small objects comes by, flowers or insects etc.
Here Tussilago Farfara (called "Hestehov" in my language):
Minolta XG1, 45mm 2.0 and 4X close up filter. The quality can never be compared to a macro lens, but for capturing "impossible" images it works ok.
Well worth using, a lot of zoom lens work well with close up lenses. Little or no light loss, unlike extension tubes, no compensation for flash, and for flowers, really excellent as the slight softness of the edge barely matters. With Digital cameras they work even better as the cameras software is usually designed to over come chromatic fringing, which they do generate. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Olympus 14-42mm standard zoom works very well with close up lenses, they even provide a setting for their own close up lens, that works fine with a simple add on budget version.
Post by SuperDeluxe on Apr 27, 2013 11:49:37 GMT -5
I agree with the OP's premise and can strongly recommend the Canon 500D close-up lens. It's a bit on the heavy side for a close-up lens, but the quality of the glass/coatings results in better images than those taken with the garden-variety close-up lenses. The 500D was designed for focal lengths of 70mm and longer. Its sibling is the 250D, designed for focal lengths of 70mm or shorter (I haven't had the chance to try the 250D, but I assume it's of the same quality as the 500D). Other than on eBay, both of them are pretty hard to find (especially for larger filter diameters) and can be pricey, but it's worth the time/money.
I've had a look through my Canon bits box and I have two Canon close-up lenses/filters. These are the 240 and the 450 but unfortunately they are 48mm size which rather limits their use to some of the Canon FL lenses although I would think they could be used with a step down ring on a 49mm thread lens or maybe 52mm?
As long as the focal length is not a wide angle type, then the smaller close-ups on the lager thread should be OK, at most causing very slight vignetting, which will not show on flower shots etc.
But with close up lenses in outdoor use, don't forget to use a lens shade, the close up glass catches the light worse than the normal surfaces, and flare can jump higher. For close-ups a simple card shade will work wonders in keeping flare down.
The general rule is the longer the lens the better close-ups work, with 35mm from 50mm up, although a lot of wide angle zooms will work with close-ups quite well, I am not sure why in optical terms.
With micro 4/3 Olympus 14/42 (28 to 82 equivalent), close-up lenses work very well. It may be something to do with the digital processing applied by the cameras.
Older film camera zooms never worked quite as well with add on lenses.