Friday, October 16, 2020

Great New Filter - Test & Review


I was asked by Gary Farber of Hunt's Photo and Video to test a new, long-awaited close-up filter.  And it is a winner! 

If you love macro but do not have a macro lens, OR even if you do have a macro lens but want to get in even closer to your subjects, this sweet filter is just the thing. And the price is right! The official name of this filter is the Promaster 5D Achromatic Close-Up Lens, and it comes in a variety of sizes to attach to most lenses.

Long ago and far away, there were a couple of superb close-up filters made by Canon and Nikon. It was a simple matter of just attaching the filter onto any lens, and you instantly had an inexpensive macro lens that could get you in close for beautiful shots. Over time, those filters were no longer made, and that was a sad day for many of us.

Fast-forward to today, and I'm happy to report that those types of close-up filters are once again being made, now by Promaster. As many of you know, I rarely recommend any gear or software, and when I do it is ONLY after I have tested it, like it, and then use it myself. And I REALLY like this filter.

From the moment you take it out of the box it is clear that it is a well-manufactured, quality product. For me, the optical quality of any filter is critically important, and this one passed all my tests with flying colors. 

I tried it on a variety of subjects, and was happy with how it performed on all counts:

- Optically it is first-rate. There was no degradation of image quality that I could detect, and colors were represented accurately and clearly. 

- It was very easy to attach it to my lens. Just screw it on and you are ready to shoot. 

- It does not interfere with your ability to autofocus. Focus remained quick and precise.

- It does not cut light transmission through your lens.

- All of your normal camera controls work as they should. The filter does not interfere with any of your normal camera functions.

And as if all that was not enough, Hunt's Photo and Video is making these filters available at a very attractive price. You can view and purchase the filter at the special discounted price by clicking on this link

As with all macro shots, when you are in close to your subject, Depth of Field is very shallow. That is one of the charms of macro to me. I love the soft look, with just a small area of most importance being sharp. If you prefer macro images that are sharp throughout, there are some good focus-stacking software options available. While I do not use that sort of software, I have some colleagues who get good results with that approach.

So if getting up-close-and-personal with flowers and other macro subjects appeals to you, this filter is just the ticket. If you do get one,  let me know how you like it!

And a quick word on Hunt's Photo and Video - I have been buying much of my photo equipment from them for over 10 years. I have found them to be easy to work with, very professional, friendly, and fast. Gary and his crew are first-rate, and are always there if you have a question or need something special. I like buying from real people whom I trust to handle their camera gear properly, and to ship it well-packaged. I trust them much more than a faceless mega-supplier, and their prices are very competitive. If you have not dealt with them before, give them a try. You will find it a refreshing change.

TECH SPECS  1/200 sec at f/4, ISO 1600. Promaster 5D Achromatic Close-Up filter on Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set at 70mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.  

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."  -- Albert Einstein

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