The Humble Close-Up Lens that You're Probably Not Using


I tend to like optics that are a bit more compact, such as the Nikkor Z 40mm f/2.0. It's fast, light, and sharp. The only problem is, it doesn't allow me to get any closer to my subject than .96 feet. That's OK, but often I prefer a bit tighter.

There are all sorts of ways to solve this problem. Most of them include bulk and expense. But I discovered a solution in my shoebox of filters from the past. And my guess is that you may have one of these yourself: the screw-in close-up lens.

I found a lovely Hoya +4 multicoated close-up filter. It works great on many of my Nikon-mount lenses, including the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS aspherical lens. Here's an example of what this tandem can produce.

ZF1_0837.jpeg Christmas Cactus - Voigtlander 40mm with Hoya Close-Up Lens, Nikon Zf.

It's not macro photography by any stretch of the imagination. But it's handheld, easy, and you can't beat the price. Here's another "around the house" flower shot, this time with the Nikkor 40mm.

ZF1_0889-Orchid-with-Closeup-Lens-2048.jpg Orchid - Nikkor 40mm with Hoya Close-Up Lens, Nikon Zf.

I enjoy photographing the world around me - my house, backyard, studio, local park. Having that simple close-up lens with me allows for a more intimate perspective while still traveling light.

Dig around in your filter box and see what you might have in there.