Getting Close Enough


To view my photography please visit and feel free to leave comments

The other day my post was on Macro photography. I am sure the impression was given that this is a highly technical field, and it can be. Here is a simple method that works fine in many instances to get a taste of what is possible.

Have a look at the closest focusing distances of the lenses you have. The shot above was taken with a 70-200mm lens, not what you would think it was intended for, but it works, even at distance of five feet away with a bit of cropping.

Wide-angle lenses are even better. You can get within millimeters of a plant or a compliant bug.

Sure a Macro/Micro lens is preferable and there is less cropping but while you are figuring out if you want to invest in more gear, experiment with the close focusing of your lenses. zoom or prime lens, it does not matter.

My only recommendation is if you do decide to spend money, be wary of close-up filters. They can be expensive and may not deliver the quality you would expect. I have never tried using bellows, I do use extension tubes with a 105 mm macro lens.

Experiment with the lenses you have, its worth the effort.

11 responses

  1. Orsacora

    Beautiful depth & beautiful textures!


    March 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  2. Hi Victor, great shot. I frequently use a long focal length 100-400mm for ‘macro’ shots. I like the bokeh it produces. I also occasionally use extension tubes as already mentioned or a reversal ring. I’m sure you know a reversal ring fits the lens the wrong way around to the camera reducing the minimum focusing distance without reducing the speed of the lens which can be a cheap way of getting the shot you want. Sometimes when I want to capture something small along with a distant background I’ll use a compact camera with a short focal length fixed lens as shown here
    Great to experiment isn’t it?


    March 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    • You site is great.
      I will be writing more on macro but not too technical. I have tried reversing lens on camera and lens reversed on lens, as well as diopters. My preference in the wild are extension tubes. I hope to try bellows, but that may take some time. My main point was explaining how to try macro with something most people already have. Reversing, while cheap, requires a bit of technical know-how and is tricky with insects, not impossible but tricky. On my website, you can see some of my field work with insects. Macro is a lot of fun and as soon as the weather turns I hope to do more. Thanks for stopping by.


      March 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  3. When you experiment you are sure to learn something.


    March 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm

  4. nice


    March 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

  5. What a great shot!


    February 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

  6. Lovely shot and great advice!!


    February 24, 2013 at 8:26 am

  7. I have a macro lens and love it to death but experimenting with other lens and some cropping can be fun. Good tips


    February 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  8. Beautiful shot and good advice. I use extension tubes on my 70-200 with beautiful results and they cost much less than a good macro lens. Nice post!


    February 22, 2013 at 8:51 am

  9. If only people will experiment. Ansel Adams and I am sure you know who that great photographer was, said at a lecture I attended snaps are taken, but photos are made.


    February 22, 2013 at 6:46 am

  10. Thanks for the good advice, Victor, especially the encouragement to experiment with the equipment that you already have. Many of my “macro” shots that I like the most have in fact been taken with a telephoto zoom lens. I do have a 100mm macro lens, but sometimes it can be tough to get close enough to take advantage of its capabilities without scaring away insects (with flowers, it’s nice that they don’t move when you get too close). Lighting is often easier from a distance and you don’t have to worry as much about casting a shadow on your subject. I haven’t tried shooting with a wide-angle, but I’m hoping to be able to do so later this year.


    February 22, 2013 at 6:20 am

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