What are Macro Filters?


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Dec 6, 2004
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Hi,

I'm an absolute Newbie and just bought the Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM lens. I was originally thinking of buying the Sigma 70-300mm APO Super Macro II but after comparing the quality in the shop I went for the Canon (same price for the two lenses).

I was told that I can take good Macro shots with the 55-200mm lens using a Macro Filter. Can someone please explain to me how this works and why it is different from a dedicated macro lens (or a lens with macro capability)? Also, if macro filters are good, any recommendations on brands and price level?

Thanks, and sorry for the newbie question.
 

mich_2103

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DeltaOmega said:
Hi,

I'm an absolute Newbie and just bought the Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM lens. I was originally thinking of buying the Sigma 70-300mm APO Super Macro II but after comparing the quality in the shop I went for the Canon (same price for the two lenses).

I was told that I can take good Macro shots with the 55-200mm lens using a Macro Filter. Can someone please explain to me how this works and why it is different from a dedicated macro lens (or a lens with macro capability)? Also, if macro filters are good, any recommendations on brands and price level?

Thanks, and sorry for the newbie question.
Hi,
Just to let you know first, I am not a pro photographer and not really into macro photography but sometime back, I tried for a while.

IMO, a macro filter is like putting a magnifying glass in front of the lens. It has different ranges - +1, +2, +3, etc. Cokin, Hoya and B&W, these brands of filters most likely should carry them but I'm not sure about the price so perhaps you can drop down Ruby or Cathay and ask them about it.

And yes, there is a HUGE difference between a macro filter and a dedicated macro lens.

I found out through my past photos that I took, a macro filter is good for still objects with basic shapes, e.g., keys, boxes etc.

However when I used a macro filter on objects like flowers and insects, very detailed and small areas will appear rather 'soft'. I found out that there is a limit a macro filter can go, unlike a macro lens.

Like what some people will say - pay peanuts, get monkey.

If you have friends who are into photography also, ask if anybody has a macro lens. Try a few times and see if macro photography is for you or not because as far as I know, macro lens (they are considered special lens) are not cheap. Then again, when has photography lens been cheap?

Don't buy lenses in haste. Try, ask around, do some research. You don't want to spend tons of money on a lens, then to realise it is not your thing and end up the lens laying in your dry cabinet after a few uses.

Regards,
-Michelle- :)
 

Dec 6, 2004
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Thanks a lot for that information Michelle!
 

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