Low cost Close Up Photographs

I occasionally want to take close ups of electronic components with my Canon A30 (1.2 M pixel) digital camera.

As the canon close-up kit is about 30% of the price of the camera it is no bargain. I recently bought kit of pliers that came with a small magnifying glass with a focal length (distance to focus sunlight to a spot) of 100mm and it proved very useful as a close up lens.

The above is a 600 X 400 pixel section of a photo taken at the minimum distance and at maximum optical zoom with the highest resolution (1280 x 960) ie this is as big as it gets. If you have a Canon A40 then it's 2.1 M pixels will give a coin diameter about 1/3 bigger.

The above 600 x 400 section of a 1280 x 960 is not a bad result from using a "nothing" cost lens" is it?

I simply held the lens against the snout of the camera and focused as close as I could.

The colour was improved by using the auto level function in The Gimp and some sharpening was also applied.

The above is what you see through the camera viewfinder without the added lens when you get as close as you can with 3 x optical and no digital zoom.

Add the lens and you will see the view below in your viewfinder.

Here is a section cropped from the above without any reduction.

Some cropped photos reproduced dot for dot.

To take a close up I set my camera to its closest mode (portrait) and set the zoom to maximum optical (no digital). I hold the magnifying glass in front then I shift the camera until the focus looks correct, half depress the shutter which activates the auto-focus. When I get the OK signal I press the shutter. There is very little depth of field so I take a few shots and pick the best. You can see from the above shot that I should have taken a few more of the sewing needle as it is behind the focus point.

The above shot of 5 seed mix was taken for my section on bread making. The light used was the afternoon sun.