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I would have thought this was easy to find an answer to but wasn't successful. I have a Raynox 6600 0.66x wide angle converter lens which has 58mm threads on the camera side and 72mm threads on the filter side. Used on my Sony DSC-H1 (a 5.1MP 1/2.3" sensor cam with 36mm-432mm focus range (35mm equivalent)), this gives me slight vignetting at the widest range.

Now I want better closeups, using closeup filter lenses (like, say +4 dioptres). Basically there are two questions:

a) is there any sense in using the wide-angle converter at all in this setup? b) if yes, should the closeup lens be for the 58mm end or the 72mm end of the wide-angle converter?

Since the whole point of using such a closeup filter lens is to be able to get near the object while still employing tele settings (which have a reach of about 1m which a +4 should allow me to shorten to 20cm), vignetting should not end up being a problem.

But I just lack the feeling of whether a 72mm +4 lens (which would then be usable only with wide-angle converter and be likely quite thicker or heavier) would make any sense at all or whether either way I should just go for the 58mm end.

EDIT: here are two photographs done without and with wide angle lens that made me think of possibly including it in the setup. However, it may be smarter to just use a stronger closeup lens instead. Though I'm not sure about the light yield. Also obviously the wide-angle converter poses more of a shadow-casting problem but that's a different issue.

Closeup without wide-angle converter Closeup with wide-angle converter

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As you know, camera’s sport a focusing mechanism that causes the camera lens to move towards or away from the camera’s body. When focusing on far distant objects (infinity ∞), the lens is positioned at minimum distance from the camera body. As we close focus the distance, lens to body increases. At some point, the forward movement of the lens reaches maximum due to mechanical limitations. Now we are forced to remove the lens and insert a spacer to gain more forward extension or we can mount a supplemental close-up lens before the camera lens.

The supplemental close-up lens has its roots in reading glasses. These allow us gray-hairs to read. They too are suppled in diopter powers. Because reading glasses are sold in most drugstores, you can buy or maybe even tryout various powers without leaving the store. All you need do is manually hold a +2 or +4 etc. before you camera. This will allow you determine what power you need for your task. The reading glass assortment is not photo grade so they will induce distortions. However, the quality they deliver might be OK for your task. If not, experimenting with them will point you in the right direction as to the power of supplemental you need.

Mount a +1 diopter and with your camera set to infinity ∞, you achieve focus at 1 meter from the front of the camera lens. Since the camera set to infinity allows moving the lens away from the camera body, likely you can achieve focus in the range of 1 thru ½ meter.

Mount a +2 diopter and the range shortens to 500mm thru 333mm.

Mount a +3 diopter and the range is 33mm thru 250mm

Mount a +4 diopter and the range is 250mm thru 200mm

Mount a +4 = 250mm thru 200mm

Mount a +5 = 200mm thru 167mm

Mount a +6 = 167 thru 143mm

Mount +7 = 143mm thru 125mm

Mount +8 = 125mm thru 111mm

Mount +9 = 111mm thru 100mm

Mount +10 = 100mm thru 90mm

Note: The range as stated is 1 diopter power; your camera’s focusing movement may allow a greater range.

I don’t think mounting a wide-angle converter and + power diopter supplemental is wise, too much glass increases aberrations. In any event, the close-up supplemental should the up-front lens.

No joke, you can test with reading glasses at the drugstore. Once you determine the power you need, you can order a photo grade supplemental. This will be a doublet (two lens elements sandwiched in the cell.

  • Let me guess: if the camera attachable supplement is not actually a doublet, it won't deserve to be called photo grade. And a 58mm supplement is likely going to yield a better picture than a 72mm supplement in an adapter ring. So basically there is little point in trying to go for a local cheap offer of a 72mm supplement set... – user78040 Oct 1 '18 at 20:36
  • I was talking about eyeglasses not being photo grade. A single element close-up displays color fringing around objects. A doublet consist of a strong positive and a weak negative sandwiched together. This lens is called an achromatic (free of color error). You likely can find doublets in both 58mm and 72mm however 58mm likely will have the greatest selection. – Alan Marcus Oct 1 '18 at 21:59
  • With regard to testing in a drug store: it appears that the manufacturer recommended accessory Sony VCL-M3358 has a specified f=33cm, so at least to match the camera's expectations when specifying a macro converter in the setup, a +3 macro lens seems appropriate. – user78040 Oct 3 '18 at 11:02
  • @ user7840 -- Your conclusion is invalid. You should test with various powers of reading glasses to get a handle on the power you need to accomplish your goal. – Alan Marcus Oct 3 '18 at 13:27
  • @ user7840 -- The VCL-M3358 is a photo grade doublet focal length 333mm = + 3 diopters. Mount a +3 -- your camera to subject distance will be 333mm to 250mm (about). You can mount this or find +4 thru +10, The power determines the revised camera to subject distance. You can mount anything (power) as long as you can figure out how to mount - you can use duct tape to mount etc. – Alan Marcus Oct 3 '18 at 14:02
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  1. Take the lens and hold it in front of your camera. If it works, it probably makes sense. If not, probably not.

  2. Repeat turning around the converter.


But a wide angle converter is not a close-up converter. You have that wrong.

Being able to stay closer to a subject and keep that in focus is a side effect of a wide angle lens. But that is not the main purpose.

You are probably just adding glass nullifying each other.


But again, the simplest answer is to go and play with your gear.

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It doesn't make much sense to use the two together. The close-up lens allows you to get closer to make the object bigger on your sensor, while the wide-angle makes it look farther and smaller. They will somehow compensate each other, but add a lot of distortion and/or softening.

The stronger the close-up lens, the more difficult it is to use. A 4D is OK for still photography, but will require a lot of skill to shoot bugs, while using a 2D would give you good results more often. Ideally you have both. Another thing to check is the minimum focus distance of your naked lens. If its MFD is, say, 33cm, if you have a 4D lens there is a zone between 33cm and 25 where you can't shoot anything.

  • "Compensate each other" is probably sort-of the right description. I think that the main point of the images I added after the fact is that using the wide-converter lens allowed me to use more of the camera zoom while managing to keep the target focused. Which is probably mostly getting focus distance gains from the longer lens contraption and will be easily trumped by the focus range extension from a macro lens. – user78040 Oct 3 '18 at 21:02

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