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Thread: How to use close-up filters?!

  1. #1

    Default How to use close-up filters?!

    Today went to BP to take some pics, but found that I dunno how to use the close-up filters?!?

    For e.g., I shoot a flower and wanted to fill the frame, zoomed in and found that the camera couldn't focus on it. Fine, that's becoz I was too close to the flower for focusing.

    In comes the close-up filter (a Hoya +4). After attaching it, the image became even more out of focus?? Zoomed out slightly and it was better, but I couldn't get the AF to work. Ok, I switched over to MF and manage to get the focus on the EVF, but after I trigger the shutter, the captured image was completely OOF. What gives?!?

    I also tried to enable macro mode with the close-up filter, but they apparant don't play well with each other. I tried turning on the "lens adapter" to "on" in the S602Z to disable to IR phase difference detector and use contrast detection as the only means of focusing (since I suspect the close-up filter confuses the IR focusing), but it didn't work.

    How do I solve this problem? Is it due to over/under powered close-up filters? Will a higher/lower power close-up filter solve the problem?

    P.S.: Found that the +4 filters gives very soft edges on the peripheral of the image (only centre is sharp). Will a +2 or +1 filter has less softening?

  2. #2
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    hi, just to share my experience (we r using same camera same filter! ), when u use closeup filter, there will be a certain distance it can be focus properly. more or less than that distance u will totally get OOF, so i always need to move my camera near n further several times to find it...

    usually when closeup filter used, tele 6x fully, from certain distance move towards ur object, there will be a distance it is extremely clear.

    try pratice at home using a small object?

  3. #3

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    Thanks chenwei! I just realised that even at 6X the focusing distance is so near?!? Further more, it seems that the overall "focus-able" region seems *a lot* less than without the close-up filter.

    The other issue is with MF. Did you try to use MF, see the focusing is clear liao, then when you snap the pic is OOF?? Wonder what causes this problem...

    Also, +4 seems a little soft to me (at the perimeter), might be considering getting a +2 now, since it should also lengthen the focal length a bit (+4 with 6X so close confirm all the insects fly away!!).

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by darkness
    ...

    The other issue is with MF. Did you try to use MF, see the focusing is clear liao, then when you snap the pic is OOF?? Wonder what causes this problem...

    Also, +4 seems a little soft to me (at the perimeter), might be considering getting a +2 now, since it should also lengthen the focal length a bit (+4 with 6X so close confirm all the insects fly away!!).
    i tried MF but not much help so gave up at the end...

    i remembered there are people in this forum even use 2 +4 closeup filter to capture dragonfly, where a shorter distance needed, maybe he can share some of his point?

  5. #5

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    Think when using the closeup filters, your focousing distance is fixed/very very small range, so have to move the camera physically.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  6. #6
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    It's easy to calculate the fpcussing distance. Just divide 100cm by the power.

    If you're using +4, you get 25cm.

    Also powers are added up. e.g. if you're using a +4 and a +3, you get 100/7 or ~14cm.


    Also, shoot using non-macro mode (where you can use the full 210mm zoom) to get best results if you're using > around +7 (I didn't calculate).
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  7. #7

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    MF on normal consumer or prosumer digital cam is quite crappy IMO

    i tried taking afew shots using MF(zoom in all the way and MF and take) and using AF
    the AF one is obviously clearer and save alot of time trying to use the MF
    maybe the reason is because they are using fly by wire kind of MF

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by MaGixShOe
    MF on normal consumer or prosumer digital cam is quite crappy IMO

    i tried taking afew shots using MF(zoom in all the way and MF and take) and using AF
    the AF one is obviously clearer and save alot of time trying to use the MF
    maybe the reason is because they are using fly by wire kind of MF
    yup agree but sometimes the MF is handy when the focus is always on the back although the cam able to focus on the fore object, in this scenario i can only use MF...

  9. #9

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    darkness, while using the +4 closeup, like others said the focus distance is very small, typically about 12cm or so. If you try to focus at 30cm or so it won't focus.

    As for your manual focus problem, it may be that you moved while pressing the shutter. For macros, a slightly change in distance can affect the focus greatly. When u press the shutter u may have inadvertently moved the camera.

    And yes, closeup filters do cause the sides to be soft, that's why they cost only $10+! If you want better quality, can go for macro lenses, which cost like ten times more.

  10. #10

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    Thanks Zoomer for the tip. I've read abt moving the camera physically, but I didn't realise that it's so critical when using close-up filters!

    mpenza, does your formula only apply to the max 6X zoom only? AFAIK, the focusing distance changes when we use different zooms right? (I mean, without any filters.)

    MaGixShOe, luckily on the S602 there's a one-touch AF in the MF mode, then after that you can fine tune using the focus-by-wire ring. Unfortunately, I was too new to these close-up filters thing to realise the problem yesterday...

    Tweek, I dunno why the MF didn't work for me yesterday. When I see the image on the EVF, it looks ok, but when snap then blur. After the image postview, the EVF shows the image is clear again (I didn't move much). However, now that you mentioned it, I just tried it on some subjects at home. Both the AF and MF seems to produce sharp images. Of coz, yesterday I didn't realise that I only have abt 30cm focusing distance!

    All, if assuming that focusing distance is really only 30cm, how in the world can you take insect shots?!?! I'm quite sure they will fly away if you approach them *that* near right?

  11. #11

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    I did some more experimentation with a tripod (which I just confirm my tripod cannot make it lah, keep shaking WHILE THE CAMERA IS ON THE TRIPOD!!).

    I attached the close-up filter, moved the camera in enuff so that the camera can't AF anymore, then I switched over to MF and tried focusing. Manage to get a good focus using MF, but when I shoot in MF mode, this is what I get:



    I realised that in AF, the lens never automatically focused to that region, i.e., I suspect that AF only tries to focus only within a subset of the full range of what the lens is actually capable of focusing. However, even when the EVF looks ok, the picture is blur.

    I moved the camera out a bit and tried both AF and MF, without any problems:



    At this distance, the distance falls within what the AF is capable of focusing on, so obviously MF works.

    Side note, can see that with the +4 filter, the pincushioning actually gets quite bad...

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by darkness
    Thanks Zoomer for the tip. I've read abt moving the camera physically, but I didn't realise that it's so critical when using close-up filters!

    mpenza, does your formula only apply to the max 6X zoom only? AFAIK, the focusing distance changes when we use different zooms right? (I mean, without any filters.)

    MaGixShOe, luckily on the S602 there's a one-touch AF in the MF mode, then after that you can fine tune using the focus-by-wire ring. Unfortunately, I was too new to these close-up filters thing to realise the problem yesterday...

    Tweek, I dunno why the MF didn't work for me yesterday. When I see the image on the EVF, it looks ok, but when snap then blur. After the image postview, the EVF shows the image is clear again (I didn't move much). However, now that you mentioned it, I just tried it on some subjects at home. Both the AF and MF seems to produce sharp images. Of coz, yesterday I didn't realise that I only have abt 30cm focusing distance!

    All, if assuming that focusing distance is really only 30cm, how in the world can you take insect shots?!?! I'm quite sure they will fly away if you approach them *that* near right?
    Not too sure of them myself, but I think the answer would have something to do with extension tubes.

  13. #13

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    mpenza has already given a concise yet thorough explaination.

    With a single +4 at full tele. The focal distance is about ~25cm. This should be optimal for most insect shots, especially if a teleconvertor is added. If you want to take ants or even smaller insects then maybe +8 or +10 would be needed.

    I've no problems using AF for macros, just make sure you don't shift ur distance when focus is obtained. If you have problems focusing whatsover, it simply means that you are out of the valid focal distance. Just shift ur position slightly closer or further out and try again.

    With closeup filters, not only is the valid focus range limited, the DOF is also greatly reduced.

    This lends the image a nice dramatic blurred background if carefully composed.

    Here's a shot taken this morning with Fuji 1.5X tele and Hoya +4 closeup:

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Zerstorer
    Here's a shot taken this morning with Fuji 1.5X tele and Hoya +4 closeup:
    hmm... where do you attach the filter? between the teleconverter and camera lens or after the teleconverter?
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by mpenza


    hmm... where do you attach the filter? between the teleconverter and camera lens or after the teleconverter?
    55-52 tube->52-55 stepup->+4->55-55tube->Fuji 1.5x

    Can't attach the +4 behind the Tele without a tube in between.

  16. #16

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    I still don't understand how you can get so close to the insects without scaring them away?? Drug them??

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by darkness
    I still don't understand how you can get so close to the insects without scaring them away?? Drug them??
    yup, i think so, they got magic where we don't have, i always scared away insects.... so far only sucess once using closeup to dragonfly...

    oh ya! megaweb got spider web....

  18. #18

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    I'm about 25cm away...which isn't that difficult actually. Most insects aren't that jittery and normally won't fly off until you are really close. I saw that one in my garden and managed to get a couple of shots before it flew off.

  19. #19

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    Which leads me to another point, I suppose tripod would become necessary since it's close and focus is critical right??

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by darkness
    Which leads me to another point, I suppose tripod would become necessary since it's close and focus is critical right??
    for me i will say tripod is essential because the moment my hand shake a bit bit, the image already out of frame or out of focus liao...

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