More about Macro/Close-up Photography
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There are several ways to get close to subjects like insects. Long lenses that permit close focusing and wide-angle lenses generally tend to focus close. You can test your own lenses by seeing how close you can get to a subject and stay in focus. Cropping is normal in close-up/macro photography. The other ways to get nearer to your subject are to reverse the lens on your camera, use close-up filters, extension tubes or a dedicated macro lenses. Reversing a lens (with a cheap adapter) means it is permanently in manual mode with no metering and it’s a bit fussy to use. Close-up filters mean more glass between you and your subject, and only the most expensive preserve image quality. Extension tubes can be bought that maintain the cameras electronics between the camera and the lens (Kenko is a good brand). Extension tubes will mean losing a bit of light but letting your lens focus closer than it was designed for and I use them all the time. In the Kenko kit there are three tubes that can be used alone or all together. The middle tube is 24mm and it works fine for most hand-held work. I couple this with a 105mm macro lens. There are many macro lenses of various sizes. The crucial issue is how close you want to be to your subject physically. At 105mm my closest focus is about 25 centimeters. With a 60mm lens it would be half that. There is only so close I want to be to an insect of any kind! Lenses longer than 105mm can pose challenges for flash photography because the barrel of the lens may get in the way. This is why the 105mm or 100mm focal length has been the most popular focal length for macro.