How to make a close up filter for your lens in under one dollar
In photography, a close-up filter, close-up lens or macro filter is a simple secondary lens used to enable macro photography without requiring a specialised primary lens. They work identically to reading glasses, allowing any primary lens to focus more closely. Close-up lenses typically mount on the filter thread of the primary lens, and are manufactured and sold by suppliers of photographic filters. Some manufacturers refer to their close-up lenses as diopters, after the unit of measurement of their optical power. While some single-element close-up lenses produce images with severe aberrations, there are also high-quality close-up lenses composed as achromatic doublets which are capable of producing excellent images, with fairly low loss of sharpness.
We will build a high quality close up filter, in this case based on a 52mm filter. (the lenses come in different size and you may use filters of higher diameter also depending on your requirement.)
Tools we might need for this project
- Carborundum Stone
The lens we use is a convex lens of the power +2 (reading glass bought from a spectacle store) which cost Rs 40 = a little less than a dollar. 1$ = 48 Rs. presently.
The next thing we need is an old filter, we can make use of any broken or damaged filter because we only need the thread and not the glass.
Some filters have a ring which screws on to the filter to hold the glass and others have a metal ring. This one we chose has a metal ring so carefully lift the ring inorder to remove the glass from the filter.
The lens that we bought is slightly larger than the 58 mm filter and we need to make this lens fit into a 52 mm filter so we will start the grinding process. Our technique of carefully grinding the glass with a cutting plier is a job which requires some amout of practice so if you are feeling adventurous go ahead and try, else skip this step. We do it this way because it makes the job a whole lot easier. Always wear safety glasses if you are planning on trying it out this way. Make sure you collect all glass pieces on to a paper or something and dispose it off safely.
Now our lens is approximately the same size as of our 52 mm filter and is now ready for grinding using a carborundum stone.
Another view of the lens
When you are grinding the lens using a carborundum stone make sure you wet the stone regularly, it is better to do this under running water. First grind the sides of the lens at a 45 degree angle and then the center part.
Be extra carefull else the lens surface may get scratched and our close up filter will become unusable.
Now that we have finished grinding and the lens is exactly the same size as of to fit in the filter let us fix it on to the filter.
Carefully replace the metal ring that holds the lens in place.
Let us now attach our newly made close up filter on to our lens and try out a couple of shots to check the sharpness.
Some results of our diy close up filter
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