Close-up and macro photography for entomologists

Variable close-up lenses

Variable close-up lenses screw into the filter mount on front of a normal lens, in the same way as ordinary close-up lenses. However, by turning a ring the power can be changed, and different magnifications achieved. Definition is not as good as that provided by a macro lens or by simple close-up lenses, but at small apertures the results may be adequate for some purposes. Try one out on your camera before buying. There is a slight light loss, but not enough to need compensation.

Variable close-up lens with 50 mm lens on 35 mm camera

Camera focus Attachment focus Working distance Subject size Magnification
infinity furthest 490 mm 390 × 260 mm 0.09
infinity closest 95 mm 126 × 84 mm 0.29
closest furthest 160 mm 141 × 94 mm 0.26
closest closest 41 mm 72 × 48 mm 0.5

Range of magnifications with 50 mm lens on 35 mm camera

   0      0.1     0.2     0.3     0.4     0.5     0.6     0.7     0.8     0.9     1.0  

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Created 27th December 1997   —   Updated 10th April 2001
Copyright ©1987–2001 Alan Wood

Close-up and macro photography for entomologists