In our last post, we looked at an introduction to macro photography.
In that video, we saw that macro photography doesn't have to be expensive. There are less pricy options for beginners or anyone who is looking to dabble in macro to see what it's all about.
In this post, we’ll look at two of those options: close up filters and extension tubes.
Close Up Filters (also called close up lenses) are magnifying glasses that you screw onto the front of your lens.
Close up filters come in various powers, measured in diopters with values that usually range from +2 to +5. The higher the diopter number, the higher the magnification. Close up filters are often sold in sets of three with diopter values of +1, +2 and +4. Multiple filters can be stacked together for greater magnification.
The video below shows close up filters in action.
So, are close up filters the best macro option for you?
Image quality is often a problem with close up filters. Image distortion and softening can be especially problematic around the edges of the lens. And quality goes down as the diopter number (and, therefore, the thickness of the filter) increases.
Double element (also called dual-element or multi-element) close-up filters (such as the Canon 500D and the Canon 250D) have significantly better image quality, but they can be hard to find and are generally sizably more expensive than the single element variety.
Extension tubes are hollow cylinders that fit between the camera body and the lens. The extension tube is mounted to the camera body and then the lens is mounted to the extension tube. This configuration increases the distance between the lens and the camera sensor which increases the subject magnification.
Extension tubes comes in several different lengths. The longer the length, the more subject magnification. Two or more tubes can be stacked for greater magnification.
Extension tubes are fitted with electronic contacts, so autofocus and exposure functions can still be used. However, with extension tubes in place, you lose the ability to focus on distant objects.
Since extension tubes are mounted to the camera body, they are brand specific. So be sure to purchase tubes that work with your particular camera.
If you are still wondering if extension tubes are for you, check out the video below.
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f you are just getting started in photography, exposure is one of the first things you need learn.
But even beyond that, getting a good handle on exposure and how the different components of exposure work together is essential if you want to take control of your photography and the images that you are creating.