After a rather short vinter, spring seems to be approaching — at least here in Denmark, where the temperatures approached 14C yesterday. A rather big differenced compared to the very windy -10C I experienced last week in Manhattan, but more in line with the temperatures here in Southern France, where I am right now.

And with spring, flowers start appearing in the our lawn.

One of them is depicted here. Even though macro photographs are probably best done with a macro optics, the one depicted here shows that very sharp results can be done with less dedicated equipment.

This flower is shot with a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 at f/8.0, using a Canon 500D achromatic diopter mounted in front. The disadvantage is of course that you can only focus on things 30-50cm in front of the lens, and there are some slight traces of chromatic aberation present if you look really hard.

But it allows you to work at full aperture, f/2.8, so autofocus works really well. Even vibration reduction (VR) works surprisingly well. And the zoom allows you to quickly frame the shot and vary the reproduction ratio all the way down to 1:1.6, which at least partly compensates for the limited focusing abilities. Here, I had the D200 in AF-C mode using the AF-ON button to maintain the focus, compensating for the lack of VR in this 3rd direction.

Oh, and the working distance is of course excellent, compared to what is usually achieved with e.g. a 60mm macro lens or even a 90-105mm macro lens.

So all in all, for an occasional macro photographer it allows for sharp pictures in a pinch, with an easily portable solution. If you anyway can fit the 70-200mm into your bag, there surely also is room for the screw-in 500D two-lens “filter” type diopter.

The full sized picture is here, if you want to see things at 1:1.