Given my interest in macro photography (but which has always been close-up photography in my case due to non-availability equipment), I purchased a set of diopter lenses for the Canon 700D. I ordered these lenses knowing fully well that these are a poor person’s entry into macro photography. It should be noted that the use of diopters keeps you firmly in the world of close-up photography as per the definition of discerning photographers. This is because these add-on lenses give some magnification, but does not help achieve 1:1 ratio that is the real (lower side) benchmark of macro photography.
Considering that a Canon 250D or a 500D costs as much as $40 (around Rs.3000), I opted for a more affordable set from Vivitar. The set has four lenses, namely at +1, +2, +4 and +10 magnification. I go the set at around Rs.2000.
Each lens in the set is made up of single element setup, while the Canon lenses are made up of double elements. In simple terms, a lot of haze is introduced as we move away from the center of the lens in a single element lens, while the double element lens has the ability to overcome this problem and gives clarity across the whole picture. Obviously considering the cost, I went in for the four set lens.
Here is an comparative image. I used a 10x diopter at various settings. As you can clearly see, because the diopter is a single-coated one, we can see much visual distortion at the outside edges. But, the diopter is doing its’s work and providing the necessary magnification at higher mm chosen on the lens.
Please note that I am not trying to berate the Vivitar lenses or write negative about them. Given that they are single element lenses, they will have a down side. But then the double element lenses are very costly – something that I am not willing to shell out right now.