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on April 9, 2011
I was a little skeptical about purchasing these filters because of some other reviews remarking on poor image quality and such. I am not having this problem. I think the problem is not with the filters but with the fact that you simply can't use f/1.8 and similarly low aperture settings. When you do use the lower f/ settings you do get soft images. The higher the magnification the larger the f/ has to be to get sharp images. You still get the nice DOF that you would using the lens at a lower f/ without the filter, so (IMO) you're not really sacrificing much in the way of image quality.

When I purchased them, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'm sure this is only because I wasn't reading enough. But just in case I'm not the only one unclear about this, let me explain a little how these work. They don't turn your lens into a zoom lens. What I mean by this is that if you are standing in one spot with your bare lens and you can focus on something, when you apply the filter you will not get a closer focus while standing in that same spot. You physically have to get closer to the subject to get focus. The higher magnification you are using the closer you have to get. I would say that with the 10x filter you have to be somewhere around 4 inches or so away from the subject to obtain focus.

These filters are not going to be something you can use to get macro shots of insects and bees and such (unless your brave and want to get 4 inches away from a bee, which I'm not). You will, however, be able to get closer to your subject and still be able to lock focus. On a 50mm f/1.8 the min. focus distance is 18 inches. I love the 50mm lens but I do, from time to time, want to get just a touch closer than the lens allows. That is where these filters come in handy for me. Say you want to use the 50 for a close up shot of some water drops on a leaf or an eyeball or something. You can get that with these filters without having to crop your image and sacrifice some pixels.

I think what these filters do for you lens is pretty spiffy, especially for under twenty bucks. They probably won't suit everyone's purposes but for under twenty bucks they're a fun novelty filter to own, if nothing else. I have a feeling tho that I will be putting these to use quite often.

As far as the lens case goes, I have no complaints. It folds up nice and neat and fits easily into your camera bag.

All in all, I'm very happy that I bought them.

**One final note...I placed my order through Big Mikes Electronics (I didn't notice this until just now) but the item advertised is Sakar, the item I received is Zeikos. Doesn't make a difference to me, but it might to you. Also, the filter case in the picture appears more like a rectangular wallet shape. The case I received with the Zeikos filters folds up into a square.
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on September 6, 2013
I have uploaded some sample photos I took of my blue aquamarine ring with these filters - and labeled them with the strength as well as exposure/metadata information (f-stop, shutterspeed, ISO and lens). Please have a look at them if you want to get an idea of the results you can get!

If you want to experiment with close up photography and have a very small budget, this is an amazing kit to have!!!!!!

I will concur with other reviewers that while this does have METAL rims and real glass, the metal seems to be of lower quality. So, treat with care - it looks like the threading is VERY delicate and could get damaged easily. Do not TRY to force the filter onto the lens - just keep gently turning it until it catches properly on your camera lens threading. This does not need to keep you from purchasing this - just treat the filters gently!

The stronger the strength of the filter, the shallower your depth of field gets (e.g., more and more of the subject will get blurry) - so you will definitely have to increase the F-stop on your camera. When I stacked all the filters (+1 +2 +4 and +10) I F-stopped up to 22. For the weaker filters, I f-stopped between 5 and 9.

NOTE - I shot the aquamarine photos in RAW, and DID NOT crop any of them. However I did slightly adjust the brightness in post-processing to make the results more obvious.
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on September 21, 2009
If you don't have a dedicated macro lens, or something like a 70-300mm lens with a macro mode, this is an awfully tempting deal. And for less then $10, it really is a good deal. The quality of the glass is more than adequate, and they do exactly what they are intended. The only problem I encountered was that my lens' autofocus would generally not work with the +10 macro filter. However, if setting up macro shots, you should have no problem manually focusing by hand. The case the filters was shipped in was also not of great quality, and could see it scratching the glass if they had not been individually wrapped in plastic beforehand. This is a non-issue for me, as I have dedicated filter wallets, but for someone who will be using this to carry these around, use caution.

PROS:
+ Good quality glass filters
+ Great deal for macro photography

CONS:
- It's still not as good as a macro lens
- Included filter wallet is sub-standard
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on March 1, 2012
I've had a couple of extremely sharp Nikon manual focus macro lenses (Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 Ai, Micro Nikkor 55 f/3.5 non-Ai), and some dumb (no cpu contacts/aperture control etc.) extension tubes for several years now.

I bought these filters because they were only ten bucks, I was curious, and I thought there might be some situations where they could come in handy.

I did a bunch of quick, but reasonably controlled tests with various lens/filter combinations right after I got these (sturdy tripod, mirror lockup, remote, flash,various apertures tried etc. etc.).

On longer lenses, these are basically worthless. On both my 200 micro, and my 55-200 VR set to 200mm, all of these filters, including the +1 diopter, actually seemed to result in less overall detail--you'll actually get sharper images by leaving the filters off and just cropping in post. Chromatic aberration was also significantly more noticeable on the longer lenses, especially with the stronger filters.

On the 18-55 kit lens set to 55mm however, I was extremely impressed.

When I threw the +10 diopter on my 55mm micro, I was absolutely floored. I honestly don't think I can tell the difference in image quality between using the +10 diopter on that lens compared to using a comparable quantity of extension tubes. In fact, since I have more light available, and I don't have to manually stop down before taking the picture anymore, image quality should actually be better in most real-world situations with these filters compared to my set of tubes, since I should be able to focus more accurately and stop down further if necessary.

No matter who you are, or what your budget is, if you're sufficiently interested in close-up photography to be reading this review, BUY THESE FILTERS NOW. I purchased these assuming there was a >50% chance that the image quality would be so bad I'd end up throwing them in the trash. Now that I have them, I wish I would have bought them years ago.

There's a fair number of reviews here that say these filters don't give sharp images. In my opinion, the bad experience that most of these people had was probably due to improper technique, or a poor understanding of physics. With any sort of macro setup, it's hard work to get a tack-sharp image. I have a feeling that If you handed a lot of these folks a $10,000 pile of top-of-the-line macro equipment, they'd still end up with blurry pictures.

The machine work on the threads isn't that accurate; so as other reviewers have mentioned, they grind a little bit when you're screwing them in. So, if you have nice lenses, you're probably going to want to mount these on top of a UV filter rather than straight onto the lens; but even if you don't, they should be fine.

A couple of quick pointers about using these if you haven't done any macro work before:
- Similar to extension tubes, depending on how much magnification you add,
you're going to loose the ability to focus at a distance. A lens might go
from being able to focus from 3ft-infinity, to being able to focus only
within the range of 6-7" away. Often it ends up being easier to just focus
by moving the camera back and forth, rather than adjusting the lens.
- To have any sort of usable depth of field, you're probably going to have to
set your camera to use an extremely small aperture. Extremely tiny apertures
are going to start to get diffraction limited, so experiment a bit until you
find something that gives a good compromise between sharpness and depth of
field.
- just like with long lenses, any time you magnify anything, camera shake is
going to be exaggerated. Ideally, you want a steady tripod, no wind, mirror
lock-up, and to either use a remote, or your camera's self-timer. If neither
of those is an option, crank up the shutter speed. An off camera flash is
an extremely good idea.
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on April 24, 2012
I'm a total amateur who needed a macro lens to take pictures of some jewelry to sell online. I have a Nikon D80 & using a Quantary 55-200mm lens. #1 doesn't seem to make a difference, but #2 & #4 are perfect. #10 I can't seem to get to focus at all, but maybe it's my zoom lens. When I first went to a camera store, they tried to sell me a $360 macro lens. Yes, the pictures were awesome, but for a hobbyist, this is a perfect alternative. They fit the lens well & come in a very solid storage case. Nice also that the lenses combine (although I prefer to just use 1 at a time). I will probably get a macro lens flash as the built in does tend to leave a shadow.
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on July 19, 2012
I suspect our dad, the commercial photography master, is rolling over in his urn, but I like these little filter-type close-up adapters. They're easy to use, don't mess with a camera's exposure or focus, don't take a lot of room in the gear bag, and they just work.

They are -not- going to give the best possible results, but compared to dedicated macro-lenses, the price more than makes up for any reduced sharpness or chromatic aberration resulting images may exhibit. The threads are not of the very highest quality -- expect to need some delicate fitting onto your lenses, but these aren't any worse than any other budget filters I own, and pretty well equal to some of the higher-priced competition.

Like any tool, the results are more about the skill of its user than it is the tool itself. I don't expect these to give me highly accurate renditions as I would with Canon's 100mm L IS macro or similar, but then I don't have $1000 tied up in specialist glass, nor the space in my kit that would demand.

So, if you're just wanting to try getting closer and don't want to invest in a dedicated macro, these will do the trick. Just make sure to get the same size as the filter thread on your lens.
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on July 15, 2009
I used to have a set of diopter lenses and they enabled me to take great photos of flowers - one of my favorite subjects. I have no idea why I went so long before buying a new set once I went digital, but it has been about 10 years since I used my previous set.

These lenses are great. They come in a very handy pouch, which makes storing and carrying them around very easy without worrying about damage. The quality seems great. I've gotten some excellent super-close-up flower shots again with the +10, and the +1 is great for giving me very very narrow depth of field in photos of objects a foot or two away.

These are absolutely worth the money - I'm very happy with them.
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on May 15, 2011
I am new to photography (got the D90 for x-mas) and after testing out the kit lens on the D90, I realized I could not get too close to stuff when trying to take macro photography (even on the macro setting).

So when getting the nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, I figured I'd get some filters to go with it. I got the Tiffen 3-pack essentials kit (works great as well - I have the 67mm and the 52mm essentials kits) and also saw these and thought they were a fake due to the low price...I ordered them anyway and they came well packed and they actually worked! You can get extremely close (almost touching the glass) and the camera can still auto-focus. I am pleased. For the price you might as well get these even if you don't have a specific use for them. They are cheap enough to just order so you have them just in case the situation arises.

Happy shooting

**Update - figured I'd add a photo or two that I took using these filters. The flower shot was using the +4 I think and the Jameson bottle was +10. Notice how shallow of a depth of field that is! The curvature of the bottle was enough to bring it out of focus, a few millimeters at most, impressive!
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on April 18, 2016
I've used these on my 50mm prime lens and have been really pleased with the results. Attached is a photo of an Augochlora sweat bee taken with the 10x filter. Make sure to have a tripod handy, or a very steady hand as your depth of field becomes extremely small. The challenge of this is definitely fun though!
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on August 22, 2014
So useful!!! I honestly thought I would have to sell one of my appendages to buy a macro lens and then I came across these. I love that you can stack them up but most of the time I find myself reaching for the +4 for my needs, which is shooting tiny hand crafted jewelry pieces that I otherwise wouldn't be able to zoom in on with my normal 35.

They provide I nice clear picture but there is one thing you have to be aware of. These rings are metal and they are not the smoothest so once or twice they have gotten stuck on my lens! I had to use pliers the grab hold of the rim to help it turn off, scary. Now I only screw them on very lightly, If you are aware of that then its no problem!
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