Review Nisi Close Up Lens Kit

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is a converter that you can screw onto your lens and with which you can take macro photos up to 1:1, depending on the lens. It is much cheaper and smaller than a real macro lens, but the results are good.

Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.

TEST RESULTS NISI Close Up Lens Kit:

PROS

CONS

  • Good image quality
  • Substantial magnification
  • Solid construction
  • Limited setting range with a fixed-focus lens

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is an ideal entry into the macro world.

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is a lens attachment that you can screw onto the front of your lens and with which you can greatly enlarge your subject. With a 200mm lens on a full-frame camera, you can nearly reach 1:1. It is an easy and relatively cheap way to get macro photos. The classic way to turn a non-macro lens into a macro is to use intermediate rings. Generally speaking, those are more difficult to use. That’s because you always have to remove the lens from the camera to place it, and you don’t always want to do that in the field. 

You also lose a lot of light and image quality due to the use of intermediate rings. This is because you make the distance from the sensor to the lens bigger than it was designed to be. As a result, much of the projected light no longer falls on the sensor, and lens errors become more visible due to the additional magnification. With a close up lens, you will not be bothered by this, because the image is already enlarged before it falls on the front lens of your lens. It is also faster and easier to screw a filter onto your lens than to attach an intermediate ring. For large lenses, there is an 82mm version, and a smaller and cheaper 58mm version was also recently released that can be used with step-up rings even on a number of lenses with 67mm filter threads.

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is not unique. Other suppliers of these types of close-up lenses are Marumi and Raynox. The Nisi is – just like the Marumi – only available in one strength, with a +5 diopter. The Raynox filters come in 2 versions: the 150 and the 250. The latter has more magnification, but also significantly more suffers from loss of sharpness towards the edges. We tested the Raynox filters before and were very satisfied with the results. However, the De Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is just one step better. The Nisi only comes in one strength, but you can easily play with the magnification if you work with a (telephoto) zoom lens. Another option, of course, is to use the Nisi with a macro lens to get an even larger magnification than 1:1.

BUILD 

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is a solidly built lens attachment. There are no moving parts. As long as you don’t drop them hard on a rough surface, nothing can actually break. The 82mm version weighs quite a bit at 205 grams. This is made to be used on larger lenses, so that extra weight is not bad. The 58mm version is, of course, a lot smaller and lighter and therefore more pleasant to take into the field or to keep with you for a long trip. The Nisi Close Up Lens Kits consist of two achromatic, coated glass elements. That explains the weight. Cheap, single close up lenses are of course much lighter, but by no means do they match the quality you get with the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit and are generally not worth purchasing.

The lens attachments can be screwed directly onto the lens, or you can choose to use one of the included step-down rings. The 82mm comes with a 67 and 72mm ring, and the 58mm, with a 52 and 49mm ring. There are also 62 and 67mm step-up rings available for the 58mm Nisi. This allows the 58mm Nisi Close Up Lens Kit to be used on any full-frame camera with macro lenses longer than 50mm, such as the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 macro, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro (both 62mm) and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro (67mm).

SAMPLE IMAGES

Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD at 200mm and the shortest setting distance 
Same lens with the NISI Close Up Lens Kit. The lines at the bottom are millimeters.

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit enlarges the image you have in front of the camera. At the same time, it reduces both your shortest and your furthest setting distance. So, you can get closer than with the same lens without the Close Up Lens Kit. At the same time, your farthest setting distance – infinitely – comes a lot closer. If you use the Nisi on a fixed focal point lens, then you are limited in your image scale and the distance to your subject. It is best to measure in advance which distance you can best use and how big your subject can be. Then you know if it makes sense to use the lens attachment. It’s easier to work with a telephoto zoom. We used the 82mm Nisi Close Up Lens Kit in combination with the new Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD.

At 200mm, we achieved a width of 4.1 cm at the shortest setting distance, nearly 1:1, at a distance of 19 cm from the front lens to the subject. With the lens set to infinity, you get 5.1 cm in frame at a distance of 52 cm from the front lens to the subject. If you want to photograph an object that is just a little bigger, or if you want to get a little more of the surroundings in frame, that does not work at 200mm. But if you zoom out a bit, you can easily get bigger subjects in frame with the Nisi. With the lens set to a focal length of 100mm, you get subjects from 7.0 to 10.6 cm in frame. At the 50mm setting, the size of your subject varies from 8.6cm close up to 22cm at infinity. So you are no longer limited in your subject size. 

IMAGE QUALITY

The image quality of the Nisi is really excellent. In practice, it is clear that the lens elements in the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit are of high quality. At the maximum magnification, the sharpness of the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD with the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit was less than when we used the Tamron alone. With macro, though, the depth of field is usually so small that when photographing flowers or insects, you only get a limited part of the subject sharp, and the rest is blurred. But due to the beautiful, even sharpness of the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit, you can also photograph subjects that are flat quite well without a big gradient. A real macro does that even better, of course, and we would definitely prefer those for reproductions. But for subjects with less straight lines, the quality of the Nisi is excellent. Chromatic aberration is also virtually absent with the Nisi.

Tamron 28-200mm at 200mm at the shortest setting distance without the Close Up Lens Kit. The corners of the box already clearly lose some detail and chromatic aberration is visible at 100%.
Tamron 28-200mm at 69mm with NISI Close Up Lens Kit. The corners of the matchbox are now much sharper, and color errors are not visible.

The funny thing about working with the NISI is that a zoom lens lets you get the same image scale with or without the Close Up Lens Kit. Without the NISI, however, you have to zoom in fully with the zoom lens and use the shortest setting distance. That usually puts you in a zone where such a lens is not optimally corrected. The same subject can be photographed with the NISI at the same size with the lens somewhere in the middle of its zoom range and with the focus at, for example, two meters. The zoom then clearly performs better, and the NISI ensures that the subject nevertheless appears quite large and with a better quality than without the Close Up Lens Kit. You can clearly see this in the above photos, taken with the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD. The NISI is an ideal combination with an all-in-one zoom like this Tamron. The Tamron offers almost everything except extreme wide-angle and macro. With the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit, macro is no longer a problem, and you have a compact and versatile solution for macro photography at hand.

ConclusiON: REVIEW OF Nisi Close Up Lens Kit

With an all-in-one zoom or telephoto zoom, you can work very flexibly with the Nisi Close Up Lens Kit.

The Nisi Close Up Lens Kit is a high-quality and affordable solution for any photographer who wants to photograph macro now and then but lacks the desire or money to take along or purchase a macro lens. The image quality is excellent, and the price-to-quality ratio is very good. And with an all-in-one zoom or telephoto zoom, you can work very flexibly with it.