Use of close-up lens with telephoto?

Started Jun 24, 2014 | Questions thread
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
Flat view
Craig R K Forum Member • Posts: 65
Use of close-up lens with telephoto?

I am not a technical guy with respect to cameras & lenses and have just purchased a K-3 with the 18-135mm WR lens, and 55-300mm WR lens with a Pentax 1.4x TC and a Polaroid brand 500D close-up lens (similar to Canon 500D?). I am doing some "desktop experimenting" and have some questions.

Probably 80% or more of my photography will be nature/wildlife oriented and done on hiking trails or from a kayak. While there will be a lot of landscape-type scenic images, a great many images will be either telephoto shots of critters that are at a distance (full telephoto + TC), or insects/flowers at very up-close distances (maximum "magnification" and minimum focusing distance). The problem is I would like to be able to switch between these two extremes very quickly, with a minimum of lens changing. I also prefer to hike/kayak with the telephoto & TC on the camera, as the distance/critter shots usually come without warning and require a very fast response (seconds or less), while the close-up stuff often gives a little more time.

I have found (with my "desktop experiments") that I can get the maximum image size by adding the 500D close-up lens onto the 55-300mm/1.4xTC combination. I have a minimum focusing distance of ~15"-16" with this combination. This would seem to be ideal, as I can hike with the telephoto/TC combination, and only have to screw on the close-up when needed. This also avoids a lens change that exposes the camera/lens internals to the environment, which sometimes is less-than-ideal (humid, rain, splash etc.). Seems too good to be true . . .

Is this a common thing to do? Mount a close-up lens on a zoom telephoto? What am I giving up? Depth of field? Light? Is this a good way to meet my needs? Suggestions of other approaches? I'd like to work this out as best as possible and test it prior to our next trip, and I don't have a lot of $$$ left, so I more-or-less have to work with what I have.

Any insight into this issue would be appreciated. Thanks.


 Craig R K's gear list:Craig R K's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR +6 more
HD Pentax DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED WR Pentax K-3
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow