GR III’s macro mode: how to get closer with a cheap filter

By MESAGI, the



Last December, I bought myself a cheap close-up filter to use with my GR III. How to use it with the little Ricoh? Is it useful? Read on for my honest and humble feedback. 

The filter and how to use it with the GR III

The filter was sold as a close-up Macro +10 diopter for 8.50€ on Bezos’ online store. It’s a relatively unknown brand going by the name of Smardy. It sounds complicated but it’s just a magnifying glass with a x10 magnification. It’ll help you see smaller details and textures if you get close enough. It won’t help you zoom from far away. To use it with the Ricoh GR III you screw it on the GA-1 adapter. You can read more about the GA-1 adapter and filters in my previous blog post: How I’m Protecting My Ricoh GR III Against Dust

A quick note about manual mode and focus peaking

I enjoy using my GR III with the manual mode. The focus range is very tight when photographing close-up objects with the macro mode. I’ve found the GR III’s focus peaking mode to be useless in this situation, especially in black-and-white. So I tend to try again till I get it right. But your experience may be different, so give the focus peaking mode a try.

Gallery: test shots

You can see below how this close-up filter helps to see smaller details and textures. The first photograph is a 2€ coins. Pay attention to the tree and leaves, we can see the beauty of its design but also small marks. The second shot is a bubble wrap, used one with dust apparent. The third shot is a microfiber cloth, notice its textures. Pay also attention to the limited focus range. All of them were taken at f/2.8 with the distance set at 6cm. The standard BW mode was used.

Gallery: in the park

I’ve taken these photographs in a small park near my house. This gallery will help me reply to the question I asked in the introduction: is it useful? Yes! It’s another creative possibility in the hand of your imagination. It’s another point of view that pushes you to be very very close. It’s something to try. The shots below were taken with the high contrast black-and-white mode, manual focus, and no tripod. Regarding what was photographed, I’ll let your imagination runs wild.

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