Close up Filters and Macro Lens – Do they work together?

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Hi all

I decided to switch over to Blogger, mostly due to the ease of uploading photos to the web via Google+.

On this occasion I also renamed the blog: Zoom Therapy

Here is the link to the new blog:

Hi all

I found in my drawer a kit of close up add-on filters, manufactured by Cozo. It consists of 3 filters:+1, +2 and +4, so one can have a close up from +1 up to +7.

I wanted to see how they work (or don’t work) with my 50mm/2.8 Sony Macro lens.

I started by taking a close-up photo of an handkerchief. Here is a crop from the original photo

Then, I put a +4 Close up lens, and tried to take a photo. The AF didn’t work – I seems it doesn’t like adding optics to the lens, so I had to tune manually. Here is the result:

No change in size, as I had to tune back the lens, so eventually the distance of the tip of the lens from the object remained the same. The only difference is that the photo is somewhat darker due to the addition of the filter.

Next, I tried to see if I can extend the maximal magnification of this Macro lens using this close up filters.  Here I tuned manually the lens to the closest point it focuses (1:1)

and after adding a +4 close up filter (I kept the same lens settings) I received the following photo:

Well, here we have a change, I succeeded in magnifying the image by ~30% by using the +4 close up lens. Does it worth the investment – I doubt it does, you can always crop the photo to get a larger image.

To conclude – If you have a high quality Macro lens – adding close up filter will not help you 😦

PS: I found this article after getting some feedback:


to HDR or not to HDR

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Hi all

I decided to test the benefits of using the internal feature of HDR. When strolling in Jaffa (see previous blog), I took the picture of a wall, where part of it was shaded. Here is the original photo:

Now, this is the result of the Auto HDR produced by the camera (The camera takes 2 photos and processes the combined result)

Finally, I applied the Auto single photo HDR feature in PS5.5 to yield the following photo:

What do you say? Which is better? The internal 2-photo HDR or the 1 photo PS processed HDR?

Twilight Photography

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The SLT-A55 is packed with features. Among them, a unique feature helps with taking photos at low light, such as outdoor evening or even night photos where there’s some light.

To activate this feature, dial the Scene position and select Hand-held Twilight. Once you hit the shutter button the camera will shoot several times, and later use the individual shots for creating a merged photo with less noise and more details. As each of the individual shots is shorter compared to a single exposure, there is less blur for each of the individual photos and the end result is with lower noise and is sharper.

To illustrate the benefits of this feature I photographed my dog, while resting on the carpet at low light conditions

I used the SLT-A55 in programmable mode with 18-250mm lens at focal length of 150mm with aperture of 6.3, SteadyShot on

Here is a crop of the photos taken

Reference mode: shutter speed of 1/5, ISO 1600

Twilight mode: shutter speed of 1/30 (x6 times), ISO 6400

Links to the full pictures: Reference, Hand held Twilight

The difference is quite obvious, showing the benefit of using this feature also for live objects 🙂

PS: it is possible to use this feature with flash as well, but the time between each shot is significantly higher…

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