Macro Filters/Lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Genocide, May 23, 2009.

  1. Genocide

    Genocide TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to do some more macro photography, but don't want to shell out the money for an expensive Sony macro lens. So I was looking at getting some screw in macro filters such as these:

    55mm Close-up Lenses +1 +2 +4 & +10 (Macro) for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand

    As you can see they're really cheap. I was wondering if they're worth it and/or a viable alternative to a macro lens?

    Currently only have the 18-70mm kit lens for a Sony A200.
     
  2. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    They are worth it, but they have a very narrow depth of field. You need to move the camera slowly forward until you are in the range where the auto focus can take over, or focus manually.

    skieur
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Inexpensive close up lenses aren't the greatest, but then again they are inexpensive. On balance, they aren't a bad was to start for for some types of closeup and near-macro work. They don't produce less depth of field than other closeup methods; its just that any extreme closeup arrangement has very shallow DOF.

    1. Closeup lenses generally produce decent image quality in the center but not on the edges of the picture. As a result, they work well for macro-wildlife and similar work (bugs, flowers, ... where the edges are a different distance and out of focus anyway) but are very poor for copywork where the edges must be as sharp as the center.

    2. CU lenses don't disture any of the camera's automatic systems making them easy to use. The range of focus with any one lens is relatively narrow (perhaps this is what the other poster was refering to) and often AF systems seem to fail when its really the result of your subject being at a distance that can't be brought into focus. In general, you should move in an out to get the image roughtly in focus before pressing the release part way to allow the AF system to fine tune the focus. You may find that focusing manually, perhaps using the electronic rangefinder display if you camera has one, is the most productive.

    There are some high quality, often multiple element, CU lenses available. These are generally sold as single lenses rather than in sets. They greatly reduce the issues in #1 above but are somewhat limited in the lenses with which they work well. Most are designed to work with modest telephotos in the 70-200mm range. Canon's 500D and 250D are well regarded as are Nikon's now out of production 3T, 4T, 5T, & 6T lenses.
     
  4. F1addict

    F1addict TPF Noob!

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    Your kit lens actually does double as a macro lens. You can't get as close to the subject as with say Sony's 50mm Macro(minimum focusing distance on the kit lens is 1.3ft compared to I believe about 7 inches for the 50mm macro) but it still produces decent images. I'd say play around with your kit lens more and save up for a real macro lens. The 50mm macro from Sony and even Sigma's 50mm macro aren't overly expensive lenses (relatively speaking, $450 is still quite a lot of money) and you'll just end up spending more by buying these macro filters, then in a few months deciding you want a real macro lens
     
  5. Genocide

    Genocide TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help guys
     

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