Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When it comes to macro photography and Nikon, what is the difference between a Micro and a Macro [Nikkor] lens?

Is the answer as simple as to say that Nikon uses Micro in its nomenclature for its macro photography lenses?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Historically, "macro" has been reserved for lenses that can make 1:1 or larger reproductions - microscope territory.

Nikon makes (or made) lenses for microphotography that they call Macro-Nikkors. Their engineers therefore decided to call the common-or-garden lenses that only go down to 1:1 for "Micro-Nikkors". See the discussion on Nikon's site here, and on Bjørn Rørslett's site here.

Nikon doesn't have an equivalent to Canons 65mm MP-E lens, which can go down to 5:1, but if they did, it would probably be a "Macro-Nikkor" as opposed to a "Micro-Nikkor".

share|improve this answer

Yup, the answer is that simple. In Nikon-ese they use the term 'Micro' to mean 1:1 reproduction - which is Macro to the rest of the world.

share|improve this answer
1  
It's worth noting that "micro" (ie: very small) is probably more appropriate than "macro" (ie: very large), in the same way that we talk about "microscopes" –  Craig Walker Aug 4 '11 at 5:31
2  
Eh, po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. You're bringing the 'micro' world into the 'macro' world. Either name works. –  rfusca Aug 4 '11 at 5:35

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.