What are the macro fliters?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by alaios, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
  2. rtex42

    rtex42 TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 14, 2013
    Houston, Texas, USA
    They are add-on lenses that screw on the front of a lens to allow it to focus closer.
    I have no direct experience with that specific set but at that price I would not expect too much quality.
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Exactly - you can focus closer, but usually you'll loose even more quality than when using extension tubes. It's always best to use a dedicated macro lens if you truly want to do macro work.
  4. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 17, 2012
    I've used several sets of 'macro filters' or dioptres as they are known and they all have various issues optically. Even 'expensive' sets of these add on lenses are not up to true macro lens quality. The best of these types of adapters are the 'Raynox
    branded adapters - I've used these and they're pretty good. Still not a substitute for a real macro lens or even a standrard lens on macro tubes or a bellows / reverse setup.
  5. jereswinnen

    jereswinnen TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 11, 2013
    Jeremy Swinnen
  6. lowbone

    lowbone TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 21, 2012
    Generally speaking these are one element glass filters that fit over the camera lens and allow you to focus closer. Depending on what you expect from these filters the results can be fun or disappointing. Yes, you will get closeup images when using these alone or in combination but focusing is much more critical and because of the cheap optics distortion can be expected especially in the corners. If you want to get closer without spending money on a specialized lens I would recommend the two element achromatic closeup filters like the Canon 500D. Marumi also makes these but I'm not sure of their model numbers.
  7. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Before buying expensive close-up filters, I'd rather go for legacy macro lenses. They'll still be better than your usual close up filters and usually have a nice focal length for macro work.
  9. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    If you shoot macro all the time that makes sense. But if you shoot macro only occasionally a close up filter makes sense since you can use it on any lens and it takes up much less space in the camera bag and weighs considerably less.
  10. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    I have quite a few legacy macro lenses. I think the approach really depends on what kind of macro pictures you're taking. Unless absolute flat-field is important (stamps, circuit board), I don't think you'll be able to tell one from the other (macro lens vs close-up filter), provided both are with good technique.

    In practice, close-up filter on top of good zoom lens will be very flexible, especially out in the field. In terms of focal length and working distance, zoom lens provides that too.
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I recall one comparison I've seen made by Dr. Hubert H. Nasse which compared the corner sharpness of a good close-up filter on a 50mm f/1.4 Planar with a two-lens close-up lens attached vs. a 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar, both stopped down to f/4 at 1:2 magnification. Sure, the 50mm Planar isn't the best lens out there, but I'm pretty sure no zoom lens outclasses it at f/4. And the result at 100% magnification showed pretty clearly why you should use dedicated macro lenses - it simply was a day-and-night difference regarding contrast and resolution.

    But I understand the advantages in size and weight, and if you do macro shots just occasionally for fun, there's nothing to say against such solutions.
  12. macro

    macro TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 3, 2012
    New Zealand
    Danny Young
    Raynox DCR-250, 3 lenses in 2 groups, no CA at all from that adaptor on good quality legacy zooms. Up to a 4:1 ratio on a Canon FD 100-300 F/5.6L on the NEX-7. On this page is also quite a few from the Panasonic G2 with the Raynox DCR-250 mounted on a zoom. No crops

    Macro the small world

    The biggest advantage is that you get a 3:1 - 4:1 at a lens to subject distance of around 180 - 200mm. A macro lens with tubes or bellows, you will be just about touching the subject for that ratio.

    All the best.

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