Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Rings. I LOVE THEM.
Besides the fact that I wear 7 rings on a daily basis, diamonds are the STRAIGHT way to my attention. I believe that every bride should have an amaaaaazing photo of her ring, which means that I need to have equipment to get that shot.
I looked at a million options and ended up loving a suggestion from another photographer to check out HOYA CLOSE-UP FILTERS. My budget was small at the beginning, so this was my “well, it’s better than nothing” approach to not being able to afford a macro lens. I got into this expecting that it would hold me over until I could afford a macro lens…I’ve kept using them because I like them better than a macro lens!!
I recommend these to every photographer in the world. Yes, everyone.
How much does it cost?
Between $25-120 depending on the size of the lens. By contrast, the average macro filter is around $800+
How much space does it take up?
Basically no space at all! The three filters fold up tiny in this protective case and it’s easy to tuck into my camera bag. If I had a macro lens, I’d need to plan in an entirely new space in my bag for that lens…that’s a lot of space (and weight) to take up for a few shots on the wedding day! The ring shots are important, but do they need an entirely new lens?
How do you use it?
Just like other lenses, you twist the filters onto the front of your lens. I have a protective UV filter that is always on the front of my lens and I twist these close-up filters on top of the UV filter. You can stack as many as you would like to.
Be aware, the higher the filter number (if you stack +2 and +4 = +6) the higher your aperture needs to go. AKA, when you change the depth of field by adding these filters you will need to also manually change your aperture. Usually I use the +4 by itself and set my aperture to f/6. That allows me to see more of the ring in focus. Ideally I would set my aperture to f/11 or higher so I could see the entire ring in focus but the locations in which I shoot don’t usually have enough light to correctly expose that.
Leave your auto focus on, or use manual focus. Either works!
Does it get close like a macro lens? Does it actually work?
To be honest, it’s not as close as a macro lens, but that’s ok! It’s plenty close enough for the shots I need. It shows off the details…even down to individual diamonds!
Here are the differences: an actual lens is constructed of mirrors and engineered to get you a really clear and crisp shot. Filters are bending the light and basically zooming you in. The images are still very high quality and professional, but they are not as crisp as something you will get with a macro lens. (The more filters you stack, the less sharp the image will be.)
I use these filters on every wedding I photograph and my brides are always more than happy with the images. Here are some examples…
What size filter do I order?
The first thing to know is that the sizes are WEIRD. If you have a 50mm lens, you will not be ordering a 50mm filter…you’ll get a 58mm filter. I know, wacky. It’s all about the measurements and the diameter.
No stress though, your lens will tell you exactly what size to get. Somewhere on your lens (mine is on the bottom) you’ll see a symbol that look like this: ⌀ A circle with a line through it, followed by a number. So for my 50mm lens I see ⌀58
I will buy a 58mm filter for my 50mm lens.
This is what the bottom of my lens looks like.
How do I order?
You can buy from the distributor, but Amazon is easier 👍Use this link: https://amzn.to/2MpdVhe
Select the size of filter you want and… tada! You now have a better-than-a-macro-lens-filter. Happy Shooting!