I already have a dedicated macro lens. A Canon 100mm F2.8, but I wanted to test close-up lenses on my Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS. The best option is with no doubt Canons own close-up lens 500D, but at $150 it’s a bit over my “just-for-fun” budget.
First I purchased a Fotga +3 close-up lens for $5. The combination with the 70-200 was so bad that cropping and interpolating is much better. (However, it performed much better together with my Tamron 17-50. Guess it’s better on shorter focal lengths ) Then I ordered a Green L close-up +2. At the pricetag of $7 I didn’t expect to much. This lens is as I understand it equivalent to the 500D in terms of magnification. To my suprise this combination also worked much better.
Immediately when looking through the viewfinder I saw that the clarity and sharpness was better with the Green L lens. The drawback of a close-up lens is the that it not only reduces the near focus limit, but also the far focus limit. A quick tape measure gave me a near focus limit at about 54cm and the far limit at about 72cm measured from the camera body, thus only giving about 20cm of working space. This is where I do most of my macro shots so I can live with that limitation.
Zooming in to 100% I’m surprised by how sharp it actually is after a little post processing and a unsharp mask. It also doesn’t seem to affect colour saturation either. While I was shooting this short test a butterfly was kind enough to pay me a brief visit.
As a conclusion I can recommend the Green L +2 close-up lens as a companion to Canons 70-200. It’s not as good as a dedicated macro lens, but at just $7 it performs surprisingly well.