01 September 2017

Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
In an effort to reduce the minimum focus distance (MFD) of my 400mm lens (3.5 meter) I ordered a Canon 500D 77mm close-up lens filter. This is mainly to eliminate the carrying of a second body with macro lens when out in the field with the long lens (for Birds in Flight). The 400mm works well for close-up work from a distance, but I wanted a closer focusing option (with more magnification).

Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter Challenges

With the close-up lens filter the MFD is now an effective 40 - 50mm (compared to 3.5 meter) - which brings some challenges (specific to the 400mm non-IS lens):

  • Super-thin depth of field (require smaller apertures to counter this)
  • Best useful f/stops are now f/22 - f/32
  • Requires good light or flash
  • With no IS extra stability is required (tripod) / or faster shutter speed

What I like so far:

  • Autofocus works well in good light
  • Manual focus with flash works well on tripod
  • Satisfied with the extreme close-up image quality
  • Quality of the bokeh (blurred out of focus areas)

This specific combination (crop with 400mm lens) should work beter on a full frame body (as it is minus the 1.6 crop factor) with a 70-300mm lens (as recommended by Canon). There is no point in using the Canon 500D close-up lens filter on the EOS 6D / 400mm lens as I want to be able to use it in the field (Canon EOS 7D Mark II) without removing any lenses. But, I will test it later with my Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens on APS-C (EOS 70D) and Full Frame (Canon EOS 6D).

First three images: Handheld, outside in good light and AF with manual exposure settings as I would capture Birds in Flight - ISO during the outside light testing was limited to ISO 1600.

Last image: On tripod with Speedlite 430 EX II (bounced) flash: ISO 400 (Av Mode).

All images are uncropped and processed in Lightroom 6 with some exposure, contrast and a few other adjustments.

Body / Lens used: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.5L USM Lens f/32 / ISO 400 - 1600 1/250 - 1/5000s.


Location: Milnerton, Cape Town
(Click to Enlarge)
Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Bee on Flower f/32 / ISO 3200

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Daisy flower  (Handheld) f/32 / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Small Daisy Flower (Handheld) f/32 / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Tiny Grass Flower (Handheld) f/32  / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Inside a Pincushion Flower  f/32 / ISO 400 (Speedlite Flash / Tripod