|A close up lens is a lens
that fits like a filter onto the end of another lens, allowing it to
focus closer. They come in different strengths measured in dioptres, and
can be used on their own or added together. They can be purchased
singularly or in sets.
Sets often come with a set of four lenses
1, 2, 4 dioptre and a higher one, sometimes labelled macro and usually 10
dioptre. By using several of these together you can get 1-7 and 10-17
The lens its connected
Close up lenses can be used
with any lens including telephotos.
You need one that is at least as big as the
lens, so the set shown here would work with a lens with a 62mm filter size or
smaller. You can connect this to a smaller lens using a
There is a lot of difference in quality
between different lenses, some are little more than moulded glass while
others are complex sets of coated lenses within a holder. The better
ones produce far clearer images, particularly when used with a good
The part of the image in the centre can
nearly match the quality of a good macro lens but towards the outside
there is usually some distortion.
You get different quality out of
different aperture, and focal length combinations.
|Nikon Close Up lenses
Nikon did produce, up to a few years ago, a
number of close up lenses including two that were 62mm fit, labelled 5T
5T is 1.5 dioptre and the 6T is 2.9
dioptre, they can be used on their own or combined. Both contain several
lenses and the quality of the image produced with these is far superior
to the set shown above. A pair of these together second hand was
recently sold on eBay for £129.
Images right and below: Nikon T5 and
T6 close up lenses.
While most will
connect close up lenses onto their cameras filter rings allowing a lens
to focus closer, some may also use them as special effect lenses, with a
clamp holding them in front of the lens but at an angle and maybe off
centre, which allows either greater depth of field, the forced out of
focus effect or spot focusing. This is not easy to achieve but if your
camera has live view and you can connect it up to a computer, for
example a later pro Nikon used with Nikon Capture Pro 2, then you can
see the effects that you can get.