Choosing a close up filter set?

Started Feb 24, 2012 | Discussions
osu
osu
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Choosing a close up filter set?
Feb 24, 2012

Looking to add a close up filter set to my SAL24-70. On eBay prices are all over the place from very low to very high. Since these are 1 element optics is there all much difference in glass quality between the lower and higher priced models? Any recommendations appreciated.

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bgD300
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Don't bother with single element optics
In reply to osu, Feb 24, 2012

Spend a little more and get something worth having. My dad taught me that cheap tools were always the most expensive because they either didn't do the job or needed ot be replaced often.

If you want to start, get the Raynox 150 and learn how to use it. For more magnification, try the 250 but, the 150 is fne on most moderate teles.
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_sem_
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to osu, Feb 24, 2012

None of them is good, but still there are huge differences in quality, unfortunately largely uncorrelated with the price, and no one tests them seriously. You may happen to find test images for some of them of you google hard enough. Mind some are post-processed, for example lateral CA are often removed effectively; Nikon cameras do it on-the-fly.

You may not need a set because the weaker ones won't magnify much with such a short lens. You will likely need at least +3 diopter to get anywhere; these tend to be thick and heavy. Smaller-diameter diopters on step-down rings work with some lenses but vignette with others so you must check.
Some better "achromat" options:
Canon 250D (+4)
Raynox DCR-250 (+8)
Marumi DHG achromat +5 or +3 (large diameters available)

Automatic extension tubes are a good alternative with short lenses, typically less degradation of quality, but more of a pain to fiddle with.

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Statross2
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to osu, Feb 24, 2012

none. The rule is never buy anything with one element unless you know it's good.

Canon make/made one that worked quite well from images i've seen, and the raynox 150/250/202(raynox have 2 elements i think), etc are probably up there at the top of the macro filters list too.

if you have a flash and/or only do macro on sunny days then ET's may be the better option for a Zeiss lens. If you know what its max magnification is then you can find out how much mgnification you'll get with ETs

osu wrote:

Looking to add a close up filter set to my SAL24-70. On eBay prices are all over the place from very low to very high. Since these are 1 element optics is there all much difference in glass quality between the lower and higher priced models? Any recommendations appreciated.

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orionmystery
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to Statross2, Feb 24, 2012

I second getting a DCR250, but not the original canon filters...too pricey.

Alternatively, a set of Kenko extension tubes is good too. On a 50mm F1.8, you get get slightly more than 1x magnification.

http://orionmystery.blogspot.com/2010/10/all-about-extension-tube-for-macro.html
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SteB
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to osu, Feb 24, 2012

As some of the others have said, it is best to avoid the single element close-up filters. They can be sharpish in the centre, but most have a lot of fall off from the centre and there tends to be a lot of CA. Multi-element acromats are best. Although having said that it depends on what you want. If it is just a few creative shots of flowers, or something else where it's all central detail it might not be too much of a problem.

However, I'd question whether a close-up filter is your best bet with a 24-70mm zoom. The longer the focal length, the greater the magnification a given strength of close-up has. You would need a very powerful close-up filter to get much mangification even at the 70mm end. The problem is you will probably also need a larger diameter close-up lens than the powerful Raynox close-up lenses to avoid vignetting. Extension tubes may be a better bet.

If possible I would see if you could borrow some close-up lenses or try some out in a shop. That is to check whether the magnification is enough, and whether they cause vignetting. Vignetting is much less of a problem as the focal length increases.

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closeupfanatic
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to osu, Feb 24, 2012

OSU, I recommend just about anything other than 1-element close-up lenses - honestly you've better off cropping with most of them.

See http://johnsankey.ca/tripod.html#E for the close-up methods I use. A reversing ring costs less than most close-up lenses and using the jig I describe you'll get shots as good as your lens can deliver.

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osu
osu
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Re: Choosing a close up filter set?
In reply to osu, Feb 25, 2012

Some great advice here. I actually have the AF extension tube set for Minolta/Sony. It's the 3 section set. I just found it to be be too cumbersome to carry around and it's sat in my old film case for years. What is clear is that the macro filters are not a good option.

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