Close-Up Filters: ebay, Adorama, or Hoya

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by captbunzo, Dec 28, 2006.

?

Which close-up filter kit should I buy?

  1. eBay Set ($25)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Adorama Set ($40)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Quantaray Set ($40)

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Hoya Set ($63)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Tiffen Set ($73)

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    Hey folks.

    I recently upgraded from the D50 kit lens, a 18-55mm zoom, to a 18-70mm zoom when my 18 month old decided to see if my camera could handle a drop from the dining room table to the floor. Well, the camera was fine, but the plastic mount on the back of the lens just couldn't handle it.

    Anyhow, my new lens includes metal mount happiness, so I think I'll be safe next time. However, it also (I discovered after the purchase) includes a larger diameter set of filter threads. Now, this is good as it is a faster lens. But bad since I have to replace a couple filters.

    Fortunately, I only have a couple to replace.

    Anyhow. Before with my prior lens, I had a 52mm Close-Up filter set that worked great. I bought it off of eBay as discussed in this thread. And it included +1, +2, +4, and +10 adapters. Very nice for about $25 - $35 or so.

    Well, now I need to replace it. And knowing a little more now, I realize I can get these Close-Up filter sets as well from other sites and manufacturers. So I have found other options for my purchase. This includes the following close-up filter sets, all containing 3 filters - +1, +2, and +4.
    1. $40 - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Adorama-Close-up-Filter-Set-Lenses/dp/B000ARA4W2/sr=8-10/qid=1167348764/ref=sr_1_10/102-8138705-8708123?ie=UTF8&s=electronics"]Adorama[/ame]
    2. $40 - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Quantaray-67mm-Filter-Close-Up-Set/dp/B00009WBBU/sr=8-3/qid=1167348764/ref=sr_1_3/102-8138705-8708123?ie=UTF8&s=electronics"]Quantaray[/ame]
    3. $63 - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Hoya-67mm-Close-Up-Filter-Diopters/dp/B00009R9CH/sr=8-4/qid=1167348764/ref=sr_1_4/102-8138705-8708123?ie=UTF8&s=electronics"]Hoya[/ame]
    4. $73 - [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Tiffen-67mm-Close-Lens-Set/dp/B00004ZCFS/sr=8-5/qid=1167348764/ref=sr_1_5/102-8138705-8708123?ie=UTF8&s=electronics"]Tiffen[/ame]
    Now, the questions I have to answer are:

    First:
    Do I really need the +10 close-up filter. In all honesty, I don't remember how often I used it before. I did slap the close-up filters on my camera on a regular basis. However, I didn't keep horribly track of which one and often switched around until I found the right match for the job. I SUSPECT that the +10 is probably optional...

    Second:
    If I determine the +10 is not really required, or not VERY required, then what brand of the +1/+2/+4 kits is the right choice? What do I get for spending $40 vs. $64 vs. $73. Are either of the more expensive brands (Hoya & Tiffen) really worth laying down the extra cash.

    And, just for frame of reference, all are within my budget. I just hate to spend more then is really needed.

    Thanks for your time and effort, especially if you read this far. I am new here, but not to forums. And I am very glad that I found what looks to be an excellent photography board.
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need a poll to get comments on closeup lenses? My advice is to avoid all of these like the plague. Good closeup lenses are multielement and kind of pricey. Canon has one of the best. I'm sure it is well over $100. I have a 72mm Nikon two element model that cost around $60 15 years ago. Better than any of these single element lenses would be an extension tube or two.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Re close-up 'filters': they're not filters, but lenses.

    I'm inclined to agree with fmw. A set of extension tubes or a bellows is a far better option. In most instances where you wish to get close to an item, you're going to be using a tripod and setting up the shot with care. Under those circumstances, a bellows or extention tube is not much of a problem.

    As an aside, I do use achromatic close-up lenses when the need arises, and they work well.
     
  4. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    I truly believe that this forum can do better then this. With all due respect, gentlemen, neither of you actually addressed any of my questions. And you, fwm, were even relatively rude.

    I have been active in forums for years now. And my philosophy is usually that no question is too small.

    I am not interested in spending "well over $100" on a mutlielement close-up lens. I am interested in spending $25 - $75 on a simple set of close-up filters. Btw, generally speaking, I've heard them referred to as close-up filters. This identifies that they screw onto the filter thread of a lens, rather then a an actual separate lens.

    Anyhow, please, seriously, could someone please answer my actual question?
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did. In the second sentence I suggested you buy none of them.
     
  6. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    Another helpful response.....
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you are asking for advice, then you have to be willing to accept it. I have to agree with the other two gentlemen, who happen to be very talented, experienced photographers. There is a very good reason that neither of them, nor I, are going to recommend the use of closeup lenses. Theywill not give you the best image quality, and for the money, a set of extension tubes will work much better for you.

    I don't know anything about Nikon cameras and lenses, so I don't know if you want AF, or AI, but here are two excellent choices.

    http://www.adorama.com/MCAETNK.html

    http://www.adorama.com/MCAETNKAF.html

    If it's out of your budget, then save, because like anything, photographic equipment is expensive, and it's worth it to buy good quality. A 50mm f/1.8 is another piece I would recommend to go with this. When coupled with all three tubes, you'll get greater than 1:1 magnification, and excellent sharpness.
     
  8. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    First: I am in no way unwilling to accept advise - that is NOT the issue at hand. Rather, I think it is reasonable to hope that someone might answer the actual question being asked. My question has never been: "Do you recommend the usage of close-up lenses?" It is simply: "Do I get anything significant quality improvement by going with any of the more expensive brands I mention above?"

    Second: No matter someones level of experience, you are never a good helper by belittling someone in your first sentence to them: "You need a poll to get comments on closeup lenses?"

    Third: As indicated by your post counts, you guys have obviously invested plenty of yourself in this forum. As someone who has done the same a number of times in other forums of other subject matters, I would think that you would want to bring a newbie into The Photo Forum with a good experience. If I was a less persistent person, I would have left and never came back after reading fwm's first demeaning response.

    Forth: It is an unreasonable response to say "wait until you can afford something better" as the end result to a question. In any hobby, people have to make compromises based on budget. And sometimes when you need a tool, you need it, even if it means buying something of less quality for now.

    I needed a tripod recently and couldn't afford to buy a nice one. So I bought $20 walmart crap. It does the job, for now.

    I needed new wide-angle zoom lens recently. I would rather have bought the nice ($800) 18-200 VR fancy lens that is on my wishlist. But it was out of my price range, so I spent less and got a 18-70 one that will do for now.

    I think the actual answer to my question that I can infer from you guys is something like: Close-up lenses are crap. If you have to buy one at all, spend as little money as possible and later buy the right choice (a dedicated macro lens or extension tubes).

    However, since my actual question was passed over by all of you guys, I can't be sure that would be the actual advise. For instance, I really do have the feeling that either the adorama or hoya choice might be a wise step up from the cheapo ebay option. And maybe once one has spent the money for the hoya option, then perhaps the tiffen's are even a better choice.

    Of course, at that point, I am brushing the doorstep of the extension tube option. However, I think there are other things to consider there. In my reading about Close-Up lens filters and Extension tubes, I ran across the following issues:
    1. Loss of light - it was mentioned that using extension tubes would required stepping down aperture or shutter speed to compensate for the lack of light. This concerns me as I am going to be taking macro pictures primarily of my marine aquarium, which can be lower light sometimes while taking pictures.
    2. Shakiness - this was mentioned. It was also mentioned that this can be accommodated with the use of a tripod. However, this is not always ideal in my case, again due to related issues of photographing items in a marine aquarium. Also, at this time my budget has not yet included a decent tripod, so that might cause a bit of an issue there as well.
    These factors, and previous results with a close-up lens set lead me to believe that they are at least a reasonable, or even better option. And there are, btw, professional photographers who use close-up lenses for macro shots. If you care so much, I'll dig up the reference I found yesterday...

    Anyhow, that leads me back to my original question.

    Lastly, please go checkout this article. It is about helping others learn and is very applicable to any forum setting, not just the aquarium related examples given.

    http://www.reefland.com/rho/2006/05/aquarium_educator.php
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The question was answered indirectly, but nevertheless, advice was given. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest buying something better. As photographers, we are always trying to get the best image quality we can, and what was suggested wasn't something that is very much more expensive than what you are quoting.

    Anytime you photograph something close up, depth of field becomes an issue, which means you are forced to stop down your aperture to obtain enough depth of field to get a reasonable shot. So yes, loss of light becomes an issue. With extension tubes, it is more of an issue, because you are increasing the distance from the rear lens element to the film plane. You can expect to lose 1 stop of light at least.

    If you are going to shooting handheld, extension tubes are not the way to go. They work very well for shooting stationary subjects with a tripod, but your situation sounds a bit different.

    So that leads me to a macro lens, or close up filters. Obviously you are not ready to drop $$$ on a macro lens, so then yes, get close up filters. I personally don't buy anything off of ebay. I buy everything from Adorama, and get a brand I know and trust. Hoya is one that I trust. I've never purchsed any Adorama brand anything, but I'm sure they are of decent quality at least. I would stick with Hoya or Tiffen if you can afford it.

    As far as needing the 10+, I have no idea, because I really don't know exactly what you're going to be photographing. I can say that it's better to use 1 10x filter than use 2 or 3 stacked filters of lesser magnification. Any time you stick some glass in front your lens, you decrease the lenses ability to resolve detail and contrast. It's just more glass for the light to bounce through.

    I hope this answer is closer to what you are looking for.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry I responded. I promise to stay away from your future posts. That way you won't feel belittled.
     
  11. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    Very much so, Matt. Thank you for the excellent response. Especially thanks for the detailed discussion of what's happening with loss of light, extension tubes, and so on.

    Yes indeed. Perhaps I should have clarified at first, but this "macro setup" will be used for not just stationary objects (like pretty, sessile invertebrates (corals)), but also subjects such as fish, mobile inverts (shrimp, starfish, etc), and etc...

    I so would love to toss down the money for a nice macro lens, I even have one [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00021EE4U/ref=wl_it_dp/102-8138705-8708123?ie=UTF8&coliid=INWKJON1MU3P7&colid=11KN28UAIAG9C"]picked out[/ame]. I just really can't justify or afford to spend that kind of money right now, especially after replacing my wide zoom lens last week.

    Based on this response I am currently leaning toward the Hoya set. It sounds like it would be worth the extra cost to get a set that I can guarantee to be quality.

    Thank you again for your response, Matt. I apologize if I came off inappropriately. I appreciate you sticking in here and answering my questions.
     
  12. captbunzo

    captbunzo TPF Noob!

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    I apologize if my response was inappropriate in any way, fmw. I do believe that you could be fair, however, and see the points that I am making.
     

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