Instructables
Picture of High Quality Aspherical Close Up Lens
When I've had my first serious digital camera (a bridge Panasonic FZ20) I built a close up lens (with a lens from a binocular) to add on it, and I've made beautiful macro photography with that. 
So, when I got on to an DSLR, I decided to build another close up lens which fits my Canon zoom EF 28-135.
I wanted a very good quality for it, and of course it should be an aspherical lens, to reduce chromatic aberrations at borders of the image. I decided to go asking to my usual good optical shop here in Milan for a glasses' lens. So he provided for this great quality aspherical lens, of course it's uncutted.
I'm not able to give you the detailed characteristics of it, but if you explain to your optic your pourposes he should make the best choice for you. [UPDATE: I've found the envelope, following are the characteristics of my lens: DX OP CR.39 1,5 ASPHERA 3, Sph +500 ,Cyl + 0]
Ah, mandarin is only to keep the lens up... and to catch your interest of course ;-)
 
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Step 1: The rings

To connect the close up to my lens, the best way is to use the ring of an UV filter. I say UV because it's the cheaper one, but you can use any filter of the right diameter, also another close up lens. I've had to use an adaptor too, because in my case the lens was a bit little to cover all the surface of the big 74mm filter ring of the EF 28-135, but maybe you're lucky enough to find a lens with the exact diameter.
You can find very cheap filters and adaptors on eBay, there are some steps in the available diameters (24, 27, 30.5, 37, 40.5, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77, 82, 86mm), so take note of them before going to ask for the lens. You also can find adaptors to reduce or enlarge diameter of your lens, but remember that the more you reduce it, the more you loose luminosity.
crazyg2 years ago
DX OP CR.39 1,5 ASPHERA 3, Sph +500 ,Cyl + 0], can anyone explain the various elements of this and the affect they have?
Drake4112 years ago
For this step I used a cheap pair of measuring calipers made in India. They are made of steel and quite robust. They are the kind that has a thumb wheel to move a carriage down a rule. I sharpened the measuring tips with a file. Since they are adjustable you can remove a few different sizes of rings. I can still use it to measure because I left those surfaces untouched.
crazyg Drake4112 years ago
i may well borrow this idea at some point!
andrea biffi (author)  Drake4112 years ago
A caliper... this is a great idea, you're right!
stevmorpix2 years ago
Your lens was a plastic (CR-39) 5 diopter aspheric hyperopic lens. Make sure it has a sphere power only, no cylinder power (asticmatic, toric). An optical lab can cut it on it's optical center to fit into a round holder.
andrea biffi (author)  stevmorpix2 years ago
Thanks! Indeed it's very light and thin, maybe a little more weak to wounds. I read prescription numbers "Sph +5.00 ,Cyl + 0", they should be right about full sphere power and no cylinder power.
Ciao Andrea... I am very interested in making one of these for my son, who is an aspiring young photographer. Do you have a link to any of your macro photography? Grazie!
andrea biffi (author)  Antoninos Dad2 years ago
Yes, I've these, but I've taken them with my old Panasonic and a lens from a binocular. http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreabiffi/3093261666/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreabiffi/3092953761/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreabiffi/3039254768/in/photostream
With new close up I've only the Led's one. Bye!
Amazing! I will definitely be trying this one!
andrea biffi (author)  thebeatonpath2 years ago
don't forget to share your macro photos ;-)
Definitely!
nmeans2 years ago
This is an awesome project we often forget taht we can get high quality optics, without a prescription from our local optical store. The numbers "Sph +5.00 ,Cyl + 0" looks like a good prescription number. Thanks for the awesome project!
nmeans2 years ago
What was the prescription numbers from the eye glass lens you used?
andrea biffi (author)  nmeans2 years ago
Hi, if I'm right these are the prescription numbers:.
Sph +500 ,Cyl + 0
I also can read this on the lens envelope:
DX OP CR.39 1,5 ASPHERA 3
clarasoft2 years ago
Andrea trovo molto interessante la tua idea. non fornisci però nessuna info sulle caratteristiche della lente asferica. grazie claudio
andrea biffi (author)  clarasoft2 years ago
Ciao Claudio, io posso mandarti i dati della mia lente (per me quasi incomprensibili), ma se chiedi ad un ottico ti consiglierà di sicuro.