How to choose the perfect macro lens?

For those who have SLRs, I think you have a different vision for macro lenses than other lenses. Because when it comes to macro lenses, close-ups of flowers and insects come to mind. They’re sharp and colorful, but the beauty of a macro lens doesn’t stop there. Not only does it allow you to see the beauty of everyday life, but it also brings out a side of it that you may have overlooked.

A common question for beginners to macro photography is, “What lens should I choose?” Given the number of options, this is difficult to answer and depends on many factors. But do you also want to take mysterious macro photos? Read on to learn how to choose the perfect macro lens?

perfect macro lens for plants

1. What is a perfect macro lens?

For beginners, 1:1 magnification is the first factor in making a good macro lens.

Second, when buying a macro lens, it’s best to avoid lenses made specifically for APS-C cameras.

The reason is simple — if you upgrade to a full-frame camera, your macro lens won’t work with it. Conversely, macro lenses made for full-frame cameras work fine on APS-C cameras.

Overall, full-frame macro lenses aren’t much more expensive than lenses made for crop sensor cameras, so don’t worry too much about taking a big hit to your budget

The focal length of the lens is also an important factor.

Unlike regular lenses, buying a macro lens has nothing to do with the lens’s coverage or its wide-angle capabilities. Instead, it’s more about minimum focus distance.

The longer the focal length of a macro lens, the longer the minimum focal distance. This means more space between you and the topic you’re working on. The larger your workspace, the easier it will be to compose.

perfect macro lens for plants

So when buying a macro lens, pay close attention to the minimum focus distance and try to find a lens that maximizes that space.

All in all, the most popular focal lengths for macro lenses are about 90mm to 105mm. That’s because these lenses are usually fairly affordable, have a good minimum focus distance, and aren’t too big or bulky.

Another feature to look out for is the smooth manual focus ring. While autofocus is great for portrait photography, manual focus is more effective when photographing insects, flowers, and other macro subjects.

As a result, the focus ring needs to operate smoothly and precisely so that you can determine the depth of the field and get beautifully sharp images.

2. Why macro photography?

The imaging ability of the macro lens can be said to be the sharpest of all types of lenses. The subject highlights the soft background of the picture characteristics. Without too much skill, it can also let those amateur photographers with a small macro head take great pictures. That’s why more and more people are turning to macro photography, where you can take large, visual pictures of anything from a potted plant on a windowsill to a pen on your desk to a window cut. The process of photographing can also help us learn more about the subject and search for parts of the subject that are easily overlooked by us.

Good macro shot of flowers

Of course, the charm of macro photography is not only in this, not only can shoot those ultra-close objects, still life flowers and insects these traditional subjects, but also can shoot people and scenery. It is a photography subject of high versatility, image imaging quality is high lens head. Therefore, macro lenses are generally expensive, and a good macro head is even more than the price of an SLR body. It’s not hard to see that macro lenses don’t get updated as quickly as other types of lenses, because every change takes a long time to think about, and every macro lens is a well-made product. So how should we choose the right macro lens for us?

3. How to choose the perfect macro lens?

There are a variety of focal segments available on the market, with 60mm, 85mm, 90mm, 100mm, and 105mm focal segments being common. The short focal length of the 50-60mm macro lens is suitable for shooting some inanimate and close still life objects, such as watch accessories, dessert cookies, and other delicate objects in indoor shooting. Because a longer focal length may be indoors or narrow space is not convenient to cast and compared with the single this kind of digital cameras, SLR on shooting macro is not what advantage, sometimes even need to be taken with the help of a tripod to complete accurate, greatly reduce the flexibility of SLR, also hemp vexed on the operation, if it can be equipped with easily portable macro lens will be big points.

Good macro shot of flowers

When choosing a lens, photographers often pay attention to image quality, especially sharpness.

I’m happy to tell you that for macro photography, this is usually not a problem. Why is that? The macro lens is very sharp. Even lenses at the lower end of the price range can provide professional-grade sharpness, especially at slightly reduced levels. I’ve used half a dozen macro lenses in my career and have never been satisfied with the sharpness.

But that doesn’t mean low-end macro lenses are indistinguishable from pricier options. Expensive macro lenses often provide better sharpness and bokeh.

In addition, cheaper macro lenses do sometimes suffer from chromatic aberration (usually purple and yellow edges in high-contrast parts of the image). This can be corrected with post-processing, but I prefer to avoid chromatic aberration as much as possible.

(1) Short macro lens

Short macro lenses tend to be used for more casual macro outings, or as “universal lenses” that switch to macro when needed. They’re easy to store, easy to carry, and pretty cheap. They are also easier to hold due to their small size.

Advantages: Lightweight, cheap price.

Disadvantages: Poor bokeh effect, the short working distance (bad for insects).

A good macro shot of a grasshopper

The working distance is the distance from the end of the lens to the subject. For high magnification photography with a 60 mm macro lens, the subject must be very close to the lens. Insects usually need a bit of distance to take pictures, so proximity is usually not an option.

In addition, your head (or your camera) may cast unwanted shadows on your subject, depending on lighting conditions. Shorter shots also tend to be less pleasant bokeaus.

But if you’re looking for casual macro photography with a more portable device and better image quality, a shorter macro lens may be just the thing for you.

(2) Medium distance macro lens

The focal length of about 100mm is of the highest practical value. It can not only shoot small objects at an ultra-close distance but also easily cope with those with a certain distance limit. It can also have a good effect on portrait shooting.

Advantages: Greater working distance, somewhat cheaper, very good bokeh, lightweight.

Disadvantages: Working distance is still quite short.

Among the macro lens options, the mid-range macro lens is my personal favorite. They are great for flower photography, especially with more abstract flower photography like mine. Why is that?

Good macro lens for insects

For one thing, these lenses are relatively light and have a lot of flexibility. This means I can hold them effortlessly even in low light conditions.

Second, the medium distance macro lens provides the perfect working distance for flower photography.

Finally, these lenses provide high-quality optics at a very low price.

If you want to do insect photography, or if you often shoot on a tripod and want to improve the image quality by 150-200mm, I recommend using a longer macro lens. However, if you are interested in hand-held flower photography, or if you are on a budget but want a more dedicated macro lens, I suggest you choose a mid-range macro lens.

(3) long macro lens

If you take pictures of plants outdoors, use a 180mm telephoto macro lens. Because in the outdoor environment, people often encounter some fencing Tong hinders, or insects such subjects, people can’t get close to it. If you are using a 50 mm lens, you can’t do it enough. You probably haven’t photographed scaring off the subject, so choosing this kind of focal length longer microlens is more suitable for insects, flowers and plants are the objects of life.

Good macro lens for maple leaves

Advantages: Best working distance, general bokeh, and excellent image quality.

Disadvantages: Heavy, usually very expensive.

Longer macro lenses tend to have surprisingly good image quality but are generally expensive. These lenses also provide optimal working distance, which is often essential for insect photography.

Another advantage of longer working distances is the ability to use creative macro techniques: shooting through out-of-focus flowers.

However, these lenses are heavy, which makes holding them difficult for long periods, and almost impossible to do in low light. If you want to do advanced insect photography, or if you want first-class image quality and don’t mind weight or price, you will need to consider these lenses.

4. Conclusion

If you are looking for a more versatile lens for casual macro shots, choose a short-range lens.

However, if you are looking for a more professional macro lens and prefer hand-held shots with more flexibility, opt for a mid-range lens.

Finally, if you want to shoot insects or want perfect image quality, opt for a long macro lens.

Good macro shot of flowers

Although the macro lens is aimed at a special user group it is good at flowers, portraits, still life, and other aspects of the field. Its amazing sharpness is sought after by photography enthusiasts. In addition, macro photography is easy to shoot, and due to its special characteristics, the shooting location can be chosen indoors or anywhere. The low environmental requirements are also important reasons to recommend macro lenses for those players who don’t have much time to go out to take photos. Pick up the macro lens and feel the magic of the macro.

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