It’s a small world

It’s a sunny weekend and the yard is set for another home-made season of Minuscule!

I manage to coax my Canon Ixus 220HS (also known as ELPH 300HS) to do some macro shots, with a little help from an old friend – a Polaroid close-up attachment shown below. The lens used to belong to the close-up kit for Polaroid 100 packfilm cameras and had seen better days of service before I recycled it for my carry-it-all-around macro attachment.

The lens measures 35mm in diameter and 15mm thick

It doesn’t really fit onto my camera and I hold with my other hand against the lens, the front of the close-up lens agains the front of the camera’s lens.

So what do I gain with the accessory? At the wide end, not much except for a slight magnification and a little spherical distortion, as shown in the test pictures below. Since the Ixus 220Hs has a 24mm wideangle lens, there is a port hole effect at the wide end. I either crop or keep the circle depending on the composition.

Wide with attachment

Wide without attachment

At the 120mm telephoto setting, there is a big difference in minimum distance shooting. The pictures below illustrates the difference in framing as a result of the minimum distance at which the camera can focus on the carpet pattern.

Telephoto with closeup attachment

Telephoto without closeup attachment

In both test shots, I have chosen high contrast scenes so that the camera’s autofocus system locks on easily to ensure a more or less reliable evaluation of the minimum focus distance. In real life when shooting the microscopic world, especially with foliage, this camera has a lot of trouble getting the right focus, even in the absence of the close up lens. 8 out of 10 shots on leaves are out of focus so there is a lot of practice to get to “help” the camera get it right. It’s a fair trade off compared to bulkier equipment, especially when going in the low bushes. Here are some of the garden celebrities that I manage to snapped up. Click on them to zoom in.

To wrap this post up, I would like to thank my informant, who’s been hiding behind a young quince leaf…yeah, these little fellas have been picking up in numbers in my yard in the last months.


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