Close-up filters

Written by Gail Bjork

Close-up filters are small and lightweight and are often used for close-up photography.

Close-up filtersClose-filters, also known as close-up lenses or macro filters, attach to the front of a lens or lens adapter and extend the close-up range of a digital camera. Though not as high quality as a macro lens, close-up filters are small and lightweight.

Close-up filters are much less expensive than a dedicated macro lenses too.  While they can reduce image quality they also provide better magnification than the built-in macro mode found on many digital cameras.

Close-up filters have diopter ratings such as +1, +2, +4, +10 and can be bought individually or in sets. When stacked, they provide more magnification than if only one close-up filter was used.

If you stack filters, the order you do so is important. Always put the strongest filter (highest number) closest to the camera lens, then the next strongest, etc.

If using a standard filter and a close-up filter simultaneously, attach the close-ups first and the filter last.

Because close-up filters can decrease Depth of Field, use a smaller apeture to photograph the subject.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.