Tuesday, February 28, 2017

New toys

While Ken was in North Carolina, I ordered some new do-dads for my camera. A little background: I regularly look at a few photography blogs on the internet. One in particular is written by a guy in Oklahoma who posts weekly photos taken exclusively with his "nifty fifty," a 50mm prime (fixed) lens. One day last year he mentioned that he had acquired a set of magnifying filters that he can attach to his lens to simulate macro photography. I was intrigued.

Depth of field is tricky with the mag filter, so I'll have to work on that. Chains, 50mm +4 mag, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 5000.

I have a 100mm macro lens that I like. It's big and heavy, so lugging it around is not always easy. But with magnifying filters, I can take the 50mm lens (small and light) and have the versatility of using it alone or with one of the four different mag filters. The filters were inexpensive and come in +1,
+2, +4, and +10, and they can be combined for even more magnifying power. So I'm starting to play around with them.

This first time out I used only the +4 filter. With it attached to the lens, I have to get in real close to the subject to get a focused shot (which I don't have to do for the 100mm macro lens). But so far I'm liking the effect. Watch for more experiments in the days and weeks to come.


  1. Your aesthetics are exceptional as are your technical skills. I'm ready for all your close-ups, Mr. DeMille!

  2. As far as photography is concerned, I'm not technically oriented and I still miss the Kodak Brownies of the '30s! I wonder if, à l'instar of AI (artificial intelligence) for computers, there will be a PI (photographic intelligence) for digital cameras that will take care of the various planes in a macro photo and make each of them crisp and beautiful?

    This photo is interesting. Waiting for other experiments.

  3. You've been taking some interesting photos lately. Looking forward to more.

  4. My how times change. When I was attempting to make a living at photography in 1969-72, those things were called “close-up lens”. We used them on a 35mm camera when you couldn't afford a lens extension, which was a bellows like device, had sufficient light, and didn’t mind using a tripod. With a lens extension, you kept the sharpness of the lens. With “close-up lens”, the picture got progressively softer as the magnification increased and at high magnification, a tripod was still needed.

    Also, there was no such thing as a “prime” lens. That was the normal—no wide angle or telephoto effect—lens that usually came with the camera. For 35mm systems, that meant a 55 or 50 mm lens. Now with a Panasonic GH4, I have no idea what constitutes a normal lens.

  5. You're going to have fun with those filters, Walt! They make for great playing and experimenting. I've got a few Raynox lenses (worth googling) which I attach to an old manual lens > good for hours of fun (and lots of out-of-focus pics, hahaha). :))

  6. mitch, thanks! With one look...

    judy, merci !

    chm, that already exists! It's called focus stacking, and it's done with software. Of course, you have to have a good set of shots to start with. I've never tried it.

    evelyn, thank you. Stay tuned!

    peter, they're still called "close-up lenses," at least on Amazon. I took all the first batch without a tripod, and I haven't noticed any unusual softness yet.

    elgee, I hope so. I'll take a look at Raynox (I'm not familiar with them).


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