One of the things that struck me most about my new DSLR was that I didn’t have the same versatility with the kit lens that I used to have with my bridge camera (shock!). It’s true to say that I missed zooming about and I remedied this by acquiring a modest zoom lens, which will feature in another post.
Another of the big misses for me was the Super Macro Mode that I’d had on my previous camera. I used to really enjoy taking pictures of tiny, tiny things like the ones below.
I’ve just spent a good chunk of money on my new zoom lens and I don’t want to spend more on a dedicated macro lens just yet. Nevertheless, I started to poke about on Amazon to see what was available. I came across the title product, the Opteka 52mm 10x HD² Professional Macro Lens and wondered what it was all about. Looking at the example images I thought that this might be a cheap and cheerful way of getting some of my macro ability back.
The product itself is basically a magnifying glass with a thread on it for attaching to the front of a lens, like you would a filter. Given the price I was not expecting phenomenal results, despite some of the positive reviews online. This really is more of a quick-fix solution to not being able to take pictures of bugs on sticks.
I took it out for a walk yesterday, using it with my kit lens to see what I could manage. To say that autofocus struggles is an understatement, so I gave up on that fairly quickly. I also struggled with deciding whether to zoom up close or stay back at 18mm – I soon discovered that I ended up with a black ring at 18mm. Mostly I ended up settling on a happy medium at somewhere around 35mm, and let the camera work out the rest for me. The images below are straight out of the camera so I can keep an accurate record of what I’ve taken.
There are many things “wrong” with the image above; the depth of field is not as large as I would like, for a start. After looking at a few photos taken with this little add on, the main pattern is that I do not have as much depth of field as I would like. Looking around at other reviews for the product, people are recommending apertures of up to f/22 – I took this one at f/7.1 which is a massive difference. On my next walk I’m going to try some much smaller apertures with similar subjects and see what the results are from there. The image below is my favourite from yesterday’s walk.