Does anyone use close-up lenses?

OzRay

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I was going through my camera bag and in the bottom of the back pocket, came across my B&W NL4 Close-Up lens. Years ago, these were quite popular with SLR and DSLR users, but appear to have fallen out of favour somewhat, or at least I don't hear of their use much anymore. Good close-up lenses can actually be very useful, as they provide an alternative to extension tubes (or where extension tubes aren't even available - m4/3s) and their biggest benefit is that you don't lose any lens speed, the max aperture stays the max aperture. To re-acquaint myself with this close-up lens, I took a few shots indoors (as the weather is woeful), just to show what you can do with one of these lenses. I took shots with the 14-35mm f2, as well as the 35-100mm f2 lens, and all were shot under just one LED downlight, letting the camera choose ISO (which came out between 3200 and 6400) and all the 35-100mm shots were with a tripod. I simply converted these from RAW to JPG, using 'Instant JPG from RAW'.

14-35mm at 14mm:

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14-35mm at 35mm:

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35-100mm at 42mm:

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35-100mm at 71mm:

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35-100mm at 95mm:

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And to complete the picture, 35-100mm with EX-25 at 95mm:

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So all in all, a close-up lens isn't that shabby and can be a very useful bit of kit for opportunity macro work.
 

OzRay

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That's actually a good point. Getting multiple element and coated close-up lenses is important in order to maintain image quality. I also have a Canon close-up lens, somewhere, which is definitely an achromatic, multi-element lens. I'm not entirely sure of the B&W one.
 

Petrochemist

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I usually use a reversed lens as a close up lens (coupled to the standard lens) but with my µ4/3 lenses I tend to get severe vignetting, so I have also tried a Raynox 250. Seemed to do the job nicely
 

BillPlumtree

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I just rediscovered mine the other day, an Olympus MCON-40 2.5x converter. Just a single element. Sample from yesterday, with this converter on a Pentax 50mm f2 (the only lens I've got which I can mount it on, and even then it needs two stepping rings)

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BigStreetGuns

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I don't yet have a mFT lens with good image ratio, but I use a Marumi DHG200 +5 achromatic lens on my Nikon V1/10-30. I've reviewed it and posted many samples here.
 

D7k1

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I have the MCON1 for my 40-150 and a Canon 500D 77mm for my Nikkors:

MCON1:
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Canon 500D
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While not as good as my Tamron 90 on either my Nikons or the EP5, still very good I think. For the person who always wants to have macro capability with them they are the way to go IMHO.
 

OzRay

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Great photos, which proves that close-up lenses can be very good accessories, as they don't take up much space, you don't lose any lens speed, nor do you really lose any significant quality.
 

T N Args

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I bought a Canon 250D in a 58mm thread for my wife, to use with her new Pana 14-140 MkII. She doesn't like changing lenses and DOES like shooting flowers and bees etc, so it is just the ticket.

Some useful general info and Canon-specific info here.

they provide an alternative to extension tubes (or where extension tubes aren't even available - m4/3s)
Several third parties make extension tubes for m43, with full electrical contacts. I got some Chinese ones on eBay and they work fine.

and their biggest benefit is that you don't lose any lens speed, the max aperture stays the max aperture.
True enough, but large apertures are usually not practical for close-ups. The depth of field becomes too small to be much use.
 

OzRay

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I Several third parties make extension tubes for m43, with full electrical contacts. I got some Chinese ones on eBay and they work fine.
I didn't know that, it being a complaint that I've seen voiced from time to time. Manual ones I'm aware of, as I have a set.

True enough, but large apertures are usually not practical for close-ups. The depth of field becomes too small to be much use.
I guess it depends on what you're photographing, as stopping down is always an option, but being able to maintain max aperture while focussing is always a bonus.
 

OzRay

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I had a look at eBay and was surprised at the option available. Just one question, do these extension tubes work in combination, or can they only be used one at a time?
 

OzRay

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So I wonder how the Chinese have managed to solve this issue, when Olympus hasn't, or doesn't want to solve? You can't, for example, use an extension tube and tele-extender together and get AF with 4/3 bodies and lenses and I tried it with the E-M1 to see if it was just a 4/3s camera thing and my EX-25 and EC-14 would not allow AF. Mind you, I can't try this out with purely m4/3 lenses, so don't know if this is just a 4/3 lens issue.
 

BigStreetGuns

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Here are some of my samples with the Marumi DHG200 +5:

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Here is my Marumi Flickr set. Gear used: Nikon V1, 18.5mm f/1.8 and 10-30mm kit zoom.
 

laser8

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Great pics here. I used the Raynox on my 14-42 too, but found the DOF and the working distance too constraining. It was more than good for light use though. Here's an example:

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Summer by Cadenela, on Flickr

I loved the LX5 for this kind of work. Much more manageable DOF.
 

leendertv

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I use the Raynox DCR150 and DCR250 on the G3 + m.Zuiko 40-150mm.
Handheld with flash.

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