My Precious

The Canon 500D Close Up Lens--Big "wow", little package.

500D Close Up Lens by Canon
Watsonia 2
Peeking Through
My Precious...
Gull Feather with Sand
Black Eyed Susan Vine

I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a macro lens for my Nikon D80, but wasn't wild about spending a lot of money. As I enjoy gardening and photographing the "fruits" of my labors, I wanted to be able to capture the flowers close-up.

In doing some research on macro photography, I learned about the close up lens. I bought a cheap one at a local camera store just to see how it worked. Not great. Tiny area of focus, lots of blur.

So I ordered the much-lauded Canon 500D (77mm) and the step-up ring to fit my Nikon lens. To be clear, the 500D isn't a lens, but is a relatively inexpensive accessory that screws to the front of your existing lens, exactly like a filter. It is designed to fit Canon lenses, so if you have a Nikon, you'll need to get an inexpensive adaptor "step up" ring, sold by most good camera supply stores.

When it arrived, I screwed the ring adapter and 500D onto my 18-200mm lens (over the UV filter) and headed out to the back yard.

What I saw through the lens was at times other-wordly. Little bugs, aphids, pollen, imperfections, and glorious detail. I am sure the neighbors thought I had lost my mind, muttering "holy cow" and "wow" every time I zoomed in on a flower or a bug or leaf edge. Little things became big as life. The zoom lens became a whole 'nother tool. And not only did I get some great pix (at least I think so), I found out what was chewing on my vines.

I'm a relative newbie to the world of photography, so maybe I'm just easily impressed with this kind of thing, but for just over $100, in my opinion, you get a lot of "wow" for not a lot of money.

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13 responses

  • david ong

    david ong gave props (9 Jun 2009):

    great story, hm... makes me want to try after seeing all these amazing macro! rocks!

  • Nicolas Whittaker

    Nicolas Whittaker said (19 Jun 2009):

    Very interesting story.
    I use an extension tube for my macro shots.
    It's not very expensive, it's attached between the camera and the lens, so you can use a variety of lens(es)?

  • Kel Casey

    Kel Casey said (20 Jun 2009):

    Hi, Nicolas,
    I was deciding between the extension tubes and the 500D (eventually I'll probably have both). Mostly I was factoring in space--where do I keep all my stuff, lol... I think the set of Kenko tubes was slightly more expensive, so the 500D won the toss-up.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (5 Jul 2009):

    Hell...Yeah! It rocks!

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (8 Jul 2009):

    Great article!

  • hamra yahya

    hamra yahya said (16 Jul 2009):

    wow! i like your picture...i just start buying third party lens, I am using Nikon D70s and D300. i use standard lens. i took wedding and other picture.

    i just brought tamron 10-20 mm, may be you can teach or give me a tip on using this lens. by next week my marco lens will be come. you can visit my blog and put some comment.

    the address

  • Ron LaFond

    Ron LaFond gave props (18 Jul 2009):

    "Yeah!" I'm really tempted to get the 500D filter myself now. I do have the Kenko extension tube set and I like them. There's just something about having lots of photography gadgets laying around. . . . "Yeah!" R

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (20 Jul 2009):

    My enthusiastic vote......thanks for the info and the beautiful photos!!!

  • Greg Lightbourn

    Greg Lightbourn (Deleted) said (27 Oct 2009):

    Ok you've sold me on this...

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz gave props (28 Oct 2009):

    me too - excellent work

  • Michael Griffey

    Michael Griffey gave props (10 Nov 2009):

    Ask the divine powers for "how to" inspiration & it comes the next day in the form of a jpg story. Fantastic shots, Kel! A 550d is now on my Christmas list!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (28 Nov 2009):

    I have a 18-200 Nikon lens myself and I would love this close-up lens also. I am definitely going to check this out and add it to my camera equipment!!! Voted : )

  • Monique Guilbault

    Monique Guilbault (Deleted) said (2 Sep 2010):

    As I enjoy myself macro photography, but with the 60mm macro lens of a friend for the moment, I will just try that. thanks for the tip....

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