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.

15 responses

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I’ve never used filters on my camera before. Which do you recommend for shooting macro?


    March 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

    • I don’t unless that is all you can afford. Canon makes good close up filters. e.g. 500d and the raynox filters one twist on the other snap on.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

  2. I still have a lot to learn about Macro pgtography. Your photos are great!


    March 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

  3. Beautiful!


    March 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm

  4. Too bad there aren’t ‘lens’ workshops, where an experienced photographer goes over the various lenses and what they are capable of. I am a visual learner and it would make it so much easier for me!


    March 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm

  5. I am considering to buy a camera and this post comes in handy… Thanks 🙂


    March 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm

  6. Sukanya Ramanujan

    I love macro! Your photo is great!


    March 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm

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