Which close-up lens for 80-200/4 zoom?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by sarkar, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. I want to add close-up lens(es) to my 80-200/4 zoom, filter size 55mm,
    until I get a true macro lens. A quick search in B&H reveals that
    several brands are available: B+W lenses for $18.50, Minolta lenses
    for $30, and multi-coated Hoyas for $105. I could also use $46 Nikons
    in 62mm size with a step-up ring. I have heard that 2-element close-up
    lenses are optically better. I know that the Nikons are 2-element
    ones. Are the B+Ws & Minoltas 2-element lenses too? Are they good
  2. B+W's catalog doesn't say whether their closeup filters are multi-element diopters.
    Minolta's closeup lenses are 2-element diopters.
  3. In the time honored photo.net tradition of answering a question you didn't ask, have you thought about using a close up lens with a prime lens, as opposed to a zoom? In my experience, I've found it easier to use close up lenses with a fixed focal length lens, and you tend to get sharper results. If you have a prime lens at a focal length that meets your needs, you might consider buying a close up lens to fit that
  4. I think the Nikon's are your best bet (with step-up ring). I use the Canon 500D and I think it is equivalent to Nikons in quality. Both are double-element diopters.
  5. pvp


    I recommend the Canon 500D. I don't know if it is available in 55mm size, but you can get it in 58mm and use a stepup ring. It is a 2-element type and is excellent by any standard.
  6. Since the Minolta prices are attractive... anyone know about the quality of these multi-element close-up lenses?
  7. John Shaw's book "Closeups in Nature" recommends using the dual-element Nikon diopter (closeup) lenses with zoom lenses. The achromat design greatly reduces color fringing, which improves sharpness at the edges of the frame. There are two strengths, 1.5 and 3.0 diopters, in two diameters each.

    The examples in Shaw's book are stunning!

    Using a diopter lens allows the lens to remain in focus as the lens is zoomed. Furthermore, you do not have to apply exposure correction (as with extension tubes.) On the down side, it also reduces the working distance, since it reduces the effective focal length. The 1.5 diopter lens will allow a 1:2 image ratio with the 80-200/f4.0 lens.

    Extension tubes may be better optically, but they require re-focusing when the lens is zoomed. Extension tubes are my first choice with fixed lenses, particularly with medium format.
  8. At this site, http://www.angelfire.com/ca/erker/closeups.html you can find all two elements close-up lenses. I recommend Minolta No 0 or No 1 for your lens. I have a Minolta No 2 myself. It gives very good result with a normal lens, but gave awful result with a macro tele lens, when I tried that combination. According to the site above it is not recommended for tele lenses either, unlike No 0 and No 1.
  9. Canon's, Nikon's and Minolta's diopters are about equal in quality. Their main difference is their strengths and diameters. The Minolta diopters come in 49 mm and 55 mm diameters.
  10. I was wondering this myself recently. I asked this question on the Minolta user's group on Yahoo, and received an informative reply from Olaf Ulrich from Germany (obviously). You can search the archive there if you are a member.

    This jist of what he was saying is that longer lenses should use lower powered close-up lenses (+0, +1) and shorter lenses (50mm) should use the +2 or +4 lenses.

    I've purchased a set of uncoated Hoya lenses and the Minolta +0 and +1 lenses. I'm planning to do a reasonably comprehensive test when I find some time. I have a 70-210 f/4, a 100-300, and a 100mm f/2.8 macro to try them on. When I put the Hoya filters on they all seemed fuzzy/blurry (like having 10 beers and then trying to compose a photo). I need to experiment some more and see what combinations work best.

    Stay tuned!

    Let us know if you make your choice and how it works out.


  11. I looked up the table in the angelfire link above and this seems to agree with what I said in my previous post - for the Minolta series filters at least. It would seem the Nikon units are for the same focal length range and just different strengths. Interesting.

    I always thought that diopter was equivalent to magnification (with respect to the idea that you can use CU lenses on any lens) but maybe a better way to think of it is that diopter strength is equivalent to lens focal length for best results. Any thoughts?

    I'm going to relook at my John Shaw books and see which CU lens he used with which camera lens and what the results were.


  12. I used Nikkor 80-200/4 with T5 (2elements), but didn´t like the results. Once you´ve used real macros and care about quality, you might be very disappointed with the close-ups. I was, anyway.
  13. I have shot with the Nikon 5T and 6T on my Mamiya 645 and would lay them beside shots taken with the best macro lens out there. Might not be able to tell it from the post, but it is tack sharp.

Share This Page