I recently stumbled over an advertising (yes, I know, they got me) for a Zomei “Premium Close Up Macro Filter” that for some reason caught my attention. This might have been due to the fact that the filter was less than 30,- USD or it had something to do with the situation that I currently do not own a dedicated macro lens. So I bought this filter to play around with.
The delivery was no problem, I ordered the 10x magnification for a 67mm filter ring which would fit onto my EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens. The available filters go from +1 – +4, +8 and +10 for more or less all the usual filter sizes (52-77mm). It comes in a protective plastic box and I was positively surprised by the build quality.
As you can see on the image above, the glass of the close-up filter stands out quite a bit when mounted to the lens, so you won’t be able to put on the lens cap after mounting the filter. And you obviously need a tripod to shoot but even with that focusing with the filter on is a nightmare. The auto-focus doesn’t really help, because it will focus but the sharpest point normally does not end up where the focus point is. Hence, manual focus is the way to go but tricky. And did I mention that the depth of field is ridiculous? But it is fun to shoot nonetheless.
The lens + filter lets you focus on things you normally barely can shoot even with a macro lens. The setup above resulted in an image of the glow wire in a light bulb, which was shot at 128mm + filter. I was not able to focus anything at 300mm that day and I haven’t been able since.
The images at the top of the page are shots of a antique wooden figure and I really like the artsy look of it. But shooting perfectly sharp macros (e.g. of insects) is probably impossible with this lens/filter combination. I feel that I might order some more filters.