One of the simplest approaches to macro photography is the close-up lens, a lens that fastens to the front of a regular camera lens. A close-up lens allows one to get closer to a subject, closer than the camera could otherwise focus at. The subject then appears larger. 

Below is an example using two close-up lenses: a Canon 500D and a Cinevate 'Cyclops', both now discontinued. They screw on like a filter (72mm thread diameter in this case) and are most effective at the 'long' end of a zoom range, at 70mm rather than 24mm in the following example:

Stronger close-up lenses are available from Raynox. These clip on to the camera lens rather than screw on and they work with filter diameters 52-67mm. They work best with longer camera lenses. Here I used an 85mm prime, currently my longest Nikon Z lens. The 'DCR' units are meant to be used with camera lenses 75mm or longer. while the 'MSN's are meant to be used with camera lenses longer than 100mm and 135mm respectively.

The last two Raynox lenses are quite strong, for 'micro' rather than 'macro' photography, and they take the photographer into realms where focus stacking is appropriate because of small depths of field. 

Very Long lenses

I said that my 85mm Nikkor Z was currently my longest lens, but I do also have a 300mm 'Photo Sniper' lens modelled after a Russian WWII military lens (the camera and lens were mounted on a rifle stock). Here it is, complete with Makinon No.1 2X teleconverter and Fotodiox PRO M42-Nikon Z mount adaptor:

The camera above is a Nikon Z6 and in this photo, the Cinevate Cyclops close-up lens is attached to the front end.

Taken without the close-up lens, that is, with just the 600mm lens setup, here is a full-frame photo from the minimum focus distance, 8 feet (top photo):

The lower full-frame photo above was taken with the Cinevate Cyclops added, from a greatly reduced minimum focus distance, 4 inches. Impressive, yes, but not everyone has a 600mm lens to use. Instead, why not try your lens with a Raynox DCR-250 for example, currently priced at $90 on Amazon.ca.

Doug McMillin, 19 May 2021

PS. All of the above-mentioned close-up lenses also work well with "Super-Zoom" cameras, although there may be some image quality issues due to their relatively small sensors. On the whole, my experiences with superzooms and telemacro has been entirely positive, all the way up to the 3000mm-equivalent Nikon P1000.

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Comment by Avril Kirby on May 19, 2021 at 10:16pm

Good work, Doug, interesting options.

August minutes

Pierre introduced the new team who will help shape the Club in the future.

Simon Henson

Larry Citra

Maggie Vancik

Roger Brooks

Maureen Milburn

Ellen Vesterdal

Justene Tedder

Plus returning executive members:

Pat Page

Kahsia Hartwell

Wendy Rosier

Anna McColm

This group will infuse some new energy and direction into the Club. Feedback from club members indicates that people would like more interactive educational activities (workshops, classes, small field trips etc.) and maybe a schedule of educational opportunities ahead of time so that people can plan to attend.

The Victoria Camera Club has an external speaker every month and are willing to share their list of speakers so we can participate, at a cost of $5 a person. The club has funds to cover this at the moment. This would require using the  Zoom format (which has worked so well during this Pandemic).

Club meetings will resume in October, giving this new group time to work out their ideas for new directions.

Some people are cautious about in person meetings (because of health issues) and others are ready and able to jump back in. Maybe in person meetings and Zoom meetings can co-exist. Something to talk about.

Maureen has offered to look into a monthly newsletter with, possibly, more coverage than the website offers such as emails, using facebook etc.

Avril would like to see an improved use of the website: more posts, more comments, more helpful critiquing. We might need a refresher course to remind us how to give constructive feedback.

Doug has a show about Covid in September at the library -  in the Community Program Room. He will give a talk on September 7th at Noon. This will be previously unseen material, not the triptychs we have seen on the website.

Photosynthesis has a virtual show coming up, starting on August 31st. Some club members also belong to this photography group.

There is no theme yet for the photography challenge in October but when that is decided it will be communicated to everyone.

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