How to Use a Diopter Lens as a Cheap Macro Lens Alternative

Screenshot taken from video. 

If you are not doing a lot of macro photography, purchasing a dedicated macro lens may be costly ($200 to $500). We found this Youtube video by MetaTaylor showing the use of a diopter lens as a much cheaper yet feasible alternative for close up shooting purposes.

Unlike a dedicated macro lens, a diopter lens is an added attachment that screws directly onto the front of an existing camera lens (via the filter thread of similar size), allowing much closer focusing distance thus resulting in pseudo-macro shooting. While dedicated macro lenses are designed to minimize technical flaws and deliver high quality magnification images, the diopter lens is made of simpler optical construction and may produce image with more severe aberrations. However, there are high quality diopter lens made of achromatic doublets as shown in the Youtube video that produces satisfactory close up shooting results, especially when it comes to video which is less critical in comparison to zooming into 100% view on an actual full resolution image, say a 24MP image taken by a DSLR. Furthermore the video also cautioned the difficulties in controlling depth of field and the close up focusing distances may not be easy to work with.

For the purposes demonstrated in the video of simple product shooting and crude item inspections, the diopter lens was more than sufficient in creating extreme magnification to reveal the minute close up details which may be difficult to be seen with naked eye. For a $25 alternative, the diopter lens served its purpose well enough.