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Help and advice for beginners If you don't classify yourself as being particularly expert or experienced and you have a question or problem that you need help with in the area of improving images, this is the board to get the assistance you seek.

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  #1  
Old 16-10-06
lumix
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Closeup lens

Can anyone help or advise on the use of closeup lens filters. With a fixed zoom lens on my Panasonic FZ20 I have no other way of reducing the minimum focus distance of my lens. In macro mode I can get down to 5 cm wide angle and 200 cm at full zoom. Ideally I would like to work at about 100 cm at the tele end of my zoom. Reason for this is to get larger images of small creatures like bees. Going in to close has not proved very successful as this normally spooks them to fly off. Question is will a closeup lens allow me to get usable size images from further back? If so what Diopter power do I need, or how do you calculate the dioptric power for a given subject to lens distance.
Here is what I am trying to achieve, thank god spiders cant fly away when you get in close.
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  #2  
Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

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Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Can anyone help or advise on the use of closeup lens filters. With a fixed zoom lens on my Panasonic FZ20 I have no other way of reducing the minimum focus distance of my lens. In macro mode I can get down to 5 cm wide angle and 200 cm at full zoom. Ideally I would like to work at about 100 cm at the tele end of my zoom. Reason for this is to get larger images of small creatures like bees. Going in to close has not proved very successful as this normally spooks them to fly off. Question is will a closeup lens allow me to get usable size images from further back? If so what Diopter power do I need, or how do you calculate the dioptric power for a given subject to lens distance.
Here is what I am trying to achieve, thank god spiders cant fly away when you get in close.
I might have an answer for you. I haven't been able to verify this, but it's my understanding that if you focus a camera lens to infinity and fit a +1 diopter close-up lens, the distance at which sharp focus will now be is one metre (which is what you are trying to achieve).

A +2 diopter lens moves the sharp focus distance from infinity to half a meter and so on. The formula, for a lens set to infinity, is focus distance (metres) = 1 divided by positive diopter value.

In reality, I expect that there coudl be some variation as zoom lenses do complicated things to the optics at different focal lengths in order to maintain constant focus, but it's a good starting point.

Maybe you can find a friendly local camera shop that will let you try a close up lens on your camera before buying? There are single element and dual element apochromatic close up lenses available and naturally the latter are more expensive, but should help control fringing and improve corner sharpness.

I'd be interested to hear how you get on if you decide to try or buy a close up lens.

Ian
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

Thanks for the response Ian. I've used a bellows between lens and camera for macro work, but that was in the days of film SLR. This fixed lens problem is all new to me. I searched the web for info on closeup lenses and although there is loads of sites out there I have yet to find an answer to my question. My only camera shop Jessops, which is 12 miles from here, only stock the smaller sizes. I need a 72 mm and they are only prepared to order this in if I pay a deposit. Looks like I will have to try further afield for a more helpful stockist. At this size they are very expensive if you want a quality lens so I'm reluctant to order until I know it will do the job. Was hoping someone on here had used this type of attachment and could confirm they do what I want.
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

If I can find my old close up lens set, I will verify the calculations for you. Haven't used them in 20 years though!

Ian
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

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Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Thanks for the response Ian. I've used a bellows between lens and camera for macro work, but that was in the days of film SLR. This fixed lens problem is all new to me. I searched the web for info on closeup lenses and although there is loads of sites out there I have yet to find an answer to my question. My only camera shop Jessops, which is 12 miles from here, only stock the smaller sizes. I need a 72 mm and they are only prepared to order this in if I pay a deposit. Looks like I will have to try further afield for a more helpful stockist. At this size they are very expensive if you want a quality lens so I'm reluctant to order until I know it will do the job. Was hoping someone on here had used this type of attachment and could confirm they do what I want.
It might be worth exploring the Leica site, as your camera has a Leica lens.
I know they make a close up lens set to fit a Leica/Panasonic camera, wonít be cheap but they will be good.
Donít forget if you canít get the exact size you could use a stepping ring for a small difference.
If you can try it out first that is best.

Patrick
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
It might be worth exploring the Leica site, as your camera has a Leica lens.
I know they make a close up lens set to fit a Leica/Panasonic camera, wonít be cheap but they will be good.
Donít forget if you canít get the exact size you could use a stepping ring for a small difference.
If you can try it out first that is best.

Patrick
Hi Patrick, I'm only a pensioner doubt if I can afford one with Leica on it. Would be nice though. I intend to try before I buy that's for sure. Got heaps of gear here that looked good in the adverts but now just attracts the dust. re the stepping ring, I can get down to 62 mm before I start to lose the corners so that may be worth considering. Thanks for your help.
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumix View Post
Hi Patrick, I'm only a pensioner doubt if I can afford one with Leica on it. Would be nice though. I intend to try before I buy that's for sure. Got heaps of gear here that looked good in the adverts but now just attracts the dust. re the stepping ring, I can get down to 62 mm before I start to lose the corners so that may be worth considering. Thanks for your help.
Ron, have you looked in 7dayshop.com? They sell kits with three (+1,+2,+4) and they have 72mm kits at the moment.

Would they be worth a try? Here's a link

Pol
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Old 17-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

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Originally Posted by Pol View Post
Ron, have you looked in 7dayshop.com? They sell kits with three (+1,+2,+4) and they have 72mm kits at the moment.

Would they be worth a try? Here's a link

Pol
Thanks Pol, I'm just waiting till I have a bit more info on focus distance etc. when fitted to my 432 mm lens. Easty-uk is kindly doing some testing with his set.
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Old 18-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

that saved me typing the same thing pol!

i bought one of these sets a few years ago, and spookily, used it again on sunday. however, i only ever use them for extreme close ups (10cm or so) on the not-too-sharp 28-200 zoom lens . i'll try and get an image uploaded this evening in between working through the 3200 photos from the cardiff marathon last weekend
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Old 18-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

Hi Dave, can you verify whether or not a 1 diopter close-up lens fitted to a camera lens set to focus at infinity changes the focussed distance to about one metre or half a metre for a 2 diopter close-up lens? This should, in theory, be regardless of focal length, but Ron is more interested in using a telephoto focal length.

Do your close-up lenses have diopter ratings as not all do, frustratingly!

Ian
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Old 18-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

hi ian, i've not done any tests such as that, but googling close up filters / lenses confirmed your maths. i.e. infinity changes to 1/diopter strength(result in metres). the rest of the focal range adjusts accordingly. so, for a lens that has a focus distance range of 50cm -> infinity, this would change to:
25cm -> 1m with a +1 filter
12.5cm -> 50cm with a +2 filter
6.25cm -> 25cm with a +4 filter
etc etc
assuming perfect physics ;-)

the kit i bought does have the dipoter strengths written on them.

when using the 28-200 i found that reeling the lens in from 200mm to about 180mm allowed the lens to focus down to about 20cm instead of the 25-30cm at the 200mm setting (distance from front element). this was done about 3 years ago so the numbers may not be totally accurate!
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Old 18-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

Thanks Dave. Ron doesn't actually want to get too close, instead he wants to be able to use his 420mm equivalent tele on his Pansonic Lumix superzoom to focus to about one metre. So it does look like all he needs is a 1 diopter close up lens, focus to infinity and he should be in business at 1 metre.

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  #13  
Old 19-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

the maths gets a bit weird with the 420mm zoom if the closest focus distance is 200cm. that means, with a +1 fitted, the close focus halves to 1m, and 'infinity' changes to 1m. good game eh?
again, assuming perfect physics. ;-)
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Old 19-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

I'm seriously impressed with the number of people that have taken the trouble to answer my question. Thank you all it's very much appreciated. I have decided to purchase a very cheap set on Ebay so as to prove to my self that I can get the results I want. Once I've established that I will purchase a good quality one (single lens) with the most useful power. I'm also hoping that using such an attachment will help reduce the DoF and give me improved backgrounds to my shots. Thanks again all, will keep you posted of my progress in the near future.
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Old 19-10-06
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Re: Closeup lens

Lumix I'm sure that you will have a lot of fun with the close-up lens set when you get it. I have spent hours trying to get a good shot of the bees and other little insects with mine but always used them to get in close, as close as possible, never used them from a distance. I found with my shots that I always had to sharpen them to some degree in photoshop hence the purchase of the new sigma 150mm 2.8 macro lens... Just need time to use it now lol
Hope to see some of your shots posted soon....

Regards
Tony.
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