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Old Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 21:34   #1
Jaff
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Close-up filters on a macro lens

Has anyone ever used a close-up filter on a macro lens to get that little bit more. If so were the results any good?

Cheers.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 00:45   #2
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Yes - a very long time ago because I was waiting for a longer extension ring to be delivered. - 35mm camera - 50mm macro lens stopped down well (top avoid ca problems) - under lab conditions i.e. everything bolted to massive metal mounts with about 1 kw of crude high intensity lighting. Not good for anything alive!, but I was using something like 16 ISO reversal film and very thin specimens.

It worked well enough optically but was inadequate for what I needed to do in terms of additional magnification. I seem to remember that with one macro lens the extending front element could get dangerously close to the accessory lens. The accessory lens was mounted in a 49mm filter mount and would probably have been 2 dioptre in strength.

Ignoring the lab stuff the close up lens approach possibly was more effective on non-macro lenses. I never tried this on any longer focal length macros as they were all sold as short bodied heads to go onto macro bellows. There were stronger accessory close up lenses of at least 5 dioptres, but ca was a real risk on the simple lenses around then so I never used one. There are some much more advanced high dioptre lenses around now so this is likely to be less of a problem.

Clearly fitting a 2 dioptre lens on a longer focal length macro will have a more significant effect i.e. a 100 mm lens will befome an effective 83 mm and whether this has a detrimental effect on the final image probably depends on the individual lens construction. There is also the question of auto focus and image stabilisation accuracy if you are not running on manual, though my guess is that for small changes this will not be noticeable.

I am afraid that after that brief experiment I stuck to extension tubes and bellows as everything was more predictable.

It will work but whether it is worth the effort probably depends on the exact circumstances you are operating under.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 02:42   #3
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Results pretty much same as iveljay describes. Once, with 100mm F/4 macro (pentax "M") and 100 asa pan-x B/W. Aberation not much of a problem with pan. Was mineral crystal(s) being taken. Before iso standard established, so its been awhile. Dedicated adherent to tubes, rail & bellows, and lens reversing.

One gets what one pays for. Macro glass is held to higher standard during production in general.
Wouldnt want to use budget rate close-up filters and expect outstanding results.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 13:16   #4
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Hi Bill,

Yes my ISO etimate was a translation for modern readers - originally in DIN (probably) and may not have been that fast - early monochrome Dia-Direct or similar!

I was thinking of digging out an old lens from my photo junk box and seeing what happens on a digital macro, but I think they must have got ditched along with all my copy stands etc. years ago.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 15:25   #5
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Hi Ive, that old M model did OK. Until I hazed the front elements after an extended session with a brown creeper in some frigid weather. Didnt slowly temper after coming indoors.

Still shoot an older manual focus macro, does fine. Has no low dispersion glass in it. Have noticed some fringing at wider apetures on digital sensor(s). As mentioned in above post, tightening up apeture eliminates most if not all of it.

Thought that comes to mind with close-up filters & digital sensors. Fringing occurs most often in the form of edge refraction pixel to pixel. Results from stray light at sensor. One reason why low dispersion glass is so common nowdays. Why one would want to use the highest quality possible regarding filters. Something like Raynox could be considered a close-up filter, those produce outstanding results. Benefit being overall speed and ability to shoot in ambient light (outdoors). Cottonwood trees spewing seeds into wind currently, be nice to have one in the bag instead of tubes.
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2012, 04:38   #6
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Did find a use for a couple of 49mm close-up filters bought at flea market for one $. Removed glass and epoxied back to back(filter threads facing outward), producing a 49mm macro coupler. Allows stacking of conventional lenses. Pic below was done with two 50mm SLR lens. Primary is mounted to body in conventional manner, then secondary is screwed on reversed via filter threads and adapter. In this case, wound up with app. +20 diopter with magnification ratio of about 4.5-1. Using a macro lens as primary would produce even better results as most macros are normally flat field, less aberition at frame edge. Test shot from new, cheap toy. Cost of both lens and filters less than $20.
Ants are app. 2mm long, with depth of field about half that.
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2012, 12:34   #7
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Thanks for all the info. My eye has strayed more towards lens reversing at the moment for getting the extra to go beyond 1:1.
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2012, 18:51   #8
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Different perspective going micro. A world we rarely see otherwise.
Just a few bumps that can be encountered...
Vignetting can occur, depending on focal lengths involved, can be shadowy corners to dark halo effect,
A zoom as primary can help with that. Threaded couplers need to be short as possible, unlike homemade affair here.
Depth of field being minimal, handheld opps somewhat limited.
Light/exposure is big factor, flash is almost requisite.
One big advantage to being in digital age is image stacking software and attendant technology.
Image stacking is a challenge, very rewarding when one gets that "keeper"

Another from test series, single image, handheld, primary lens @ F16, secondary lens @ F/2.8 with manual flash.
Cheerful looking daisy flower looks sinister magnified 5x life size. Yellow specs are pollen grains.
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2012, 00:52   #9
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Old thread on this subject here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....hlight=filters
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Old Sunday 24th June 2012, 12:00   #10
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Supplementary close-up lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaff View Post
Has anyone ever used a close-up filter on a macro lens to get that little bit more. If so were the results any good?

Cheers.
Result quality will depend on the quality of the supplementary close-up lens and the focal length of the macro lens in use. Decent quality achromatic c/u lenses e.g. Raynox are expensive. Single element c/u lenses are cheap and require the lens to be stopped right down to obtain reasonable results which are likely to be OK in the centre of the image and not so OK at the edges.

A better solution for increased magnification is to buy a set of extension tubes or a bellows - but may require manual exposure measurement and manual focusing unless using dedicated tubes. Manual tubes can be purchased ££reasonably and could be the best solution provided your camera and lens combination is capable of being used in manual mode i.e. if it's possible to measure the exposure manually and also focus manually. With most Canon DSLRs manual exposure measurement and manual focus is relatively easy - but with Nikon DSLRs it depends on the camera used. With 4/3 and M4/3 cameras it's also relatively easy to use extension tubes in manual modes.

One possibility worth exploring is to try and obtain some used Leica / Leitz supplementary close-up lenses i.e. Leitz/Leica Elpro lenses. These are achromatic (doublet) lenses capable of giving superb results. The Elpro 2 and VIb are 4.92 diopter with 55mm and Series VI screw threads so may require adaptors for use with e.g. a 52mm or 58mm filter thread lens. These c/u lenses are no longer manufactured but can be sourced secondhand - I use them frequently (including stacked Elpros) with excellent results. Expect to pay £20 - £45 each for Elpro lenses depending on where purchased.

Best wishes

dunk
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