5 different approaches to macro photography

Macro photography is a genre that many people enjoy. But the cost of buying top-of-the-range lenses for close-up shots can make it limited or impossible. However, there are many ways to approach this photography, and not all of them have to break the bank.

Here are 5 different approaches to macro photography. We’ll start with what most people think and introduce other ways to help you with macro photography when you don’t have a big budget to do what you love.

Macro photography of plants

1. Dedicated macro lens

Buying yourself a macro lens is one of the best ways to do close-up photography. These lenses are specially designed to bring you very close to your subject. For most macro lenses, you can approach about 4 inches or 10 cm. That’s autofocus on, but if you turn it off, you’ll be able to focus more closely.

The manual focus seems to be the preferred method for macro photography. If you read, you’ll see that many photographers prefer to use their macro lenses this way. It allows them to get closer. So, this might be the place to ask, “Why would I buy an autofocus macro lens?”

Many top lens manufacturers offer options for macro photography. They are high-end products of the same quality as you would expect from these brands. However, they are also very expensive, and you can expect to pay quite a bit for dedicated macro lenses.

Macro photography of plants

Many other companies are now producing macro lenses. Some don’t have autofocus, but if you prefer manual focus, they may be a better alternative for you. They’re usually around half the price of the big brands, so if you can’t afford one of the top models, then this might be better for you.

2. Zoom lens

When many people start macro photography, they usually start with zoom lenses and do their best to get as close as possible. Depending on the focal length of the lens, you can get very close to your subject. You may not get bugs on a garden flower, but you will get the whole flower.

Some zoom lenses also feature macro, which makes it easier to take great photos and allows you to focus more closely. Zoom lenses usually focus only when you are a few feet away from the subject. If you have someone who can get closer, you’ll get a pretty good “near macro” picture.

3. The extension tube

You can also get extension tubes that fit between your camera and lens. These will bring your lens closer to your subject. With a 50 mm lens with an extension tube, you can start taking pictures very close to a macro lens. It should be noted that, although there are differences, specialized lenses for close-ups are easier to use.

Macro photography of a snail

Extension tubes are usually bought in packs of three, and you’ll get 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm. You can use them individually or in combination. You can buy one that doesn’t allow the lens to communicate with your camera, and they’re usually much cheaper. So look for what they call auto belts and use autofocus.

You have to be careful with these loops because they are not very heavy and if you put a big, heavy lens on the camera and don’t give it enough support, then you can damage the connection between the lens and the camera.

4. Close-up filter

There are many filters available for your lens, and you can also get filters that help you get really close to your subject. They’re called close-up filters, and they’re like magnifying glasses. What you can do with them is very limited, and they can be difficult to use.

When you look for close-up filters, you’ll find different levels of magnification. It’s tempting to get lots of them, but you really only need a few.

Macro photography of flowers

I also used a close-up filter on my macro lens because it allowed me to get closer to the flowers I wanted to photograph. Sometimes you have to use everything to get as close as possible.

5. The mobile phone

Most cell phones have pretty good cameras these days and you can take some really good images with them, including macro photography. You can find the macro photo option in settings.

Using your phone, you can get as close to your subject as you can with most macro lenses. That makes it great, but getting good images can be a lot harder. It’s hard to keep the phone stable enough to take good pictures. Getting good images takes a lot of practice.

6. Conclusion

There are many different ways, and while five are mentioned here, there may be more. Whichever way you choose, you can find a way to fit your budget and the time you want to photograph your subject at the macro level.

Macro photography of cherries

FAQ:

How is macro photography different?

A macro lens has the ability to focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification, meaning that the size of the image in real life is the same size as it’s reproduced on the sensor. Macro lenses also allow for closer focusing distances than normal lenses and often require you to get very close to your subject.

What are macro techniques?

There are also macro and micro techniques: big techniques that affect the whole text, such as form, and small techniques that change the meaning of individual sentences, phrases, or words.

What is a macro lens?

A macro lens is a special type of camera lens that has the ability to work with very short focusing distances, taking sharp images of very small subjects. A true macro lens has a magnification ratio of 1:1 (or greater), and a minimum focusing distance of around 30cm.

Can you do macro photography with a 50mm lens?

50mm lenses work best in capturing typical macro shots. However, these types of macro lenses have their drawbacks. 50mm lenses make subjects appear half “life-size” since they usually feature a 1:2 ratio, and require shooting at a much closer distance. But a 50mm lens is a must if you want a general walk-around lens.

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