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Macro photography is a specialized area typically dealing with very small subjects. There are also "Macro Lenses" which are designed with macro photography in mind, and lower cost alternatives such as close up filters and extension tubes.

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33
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7answers
9k views

What methods do macro photographers use to get so close to butterflies, bees, insects and the like?

I have seen some super macro photos of things like butterflies and bees that left me wondering how the photographer is able to get so close to the subject long enough to take a photo. Most of the ...
27
votes
4answers
10k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I get an advertisement-like photo of a pint of Guinness?

I'm a massive Guinness fan and want to take a close up of the dark cloudy texture you get when you pour a glass. I've seen it in the adverts and just want to experiment. I have a limited-edition pint ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the best practices for DOF stacking?

What are the best practices for DOF stacking? How do you get the frames with focus just right amount apart? How do you stack them in post processing?
23
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I calculate what the effect of an extension tube will be?

There must be a mathematical description of the difference that an extension tube makes to a lens -- is it something that can be easily described? (For example, with teleconverters you can say things ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How to shoot extreme macro shot of an image formed on a water droplet?

I recently came up with this macro shot and I was curious how to take photos like these where everything is blurred out and extreme macro is in focus. I am assuming there is a lot of post processing ...
21
votes
7answers
16k views

What am I losing when using extension tubes instead of a macro lens?

After playing around with macro photography on-the-cheap (read: reversed lens, rev. lens mounted on a straight lens, passive extension tubes), I would like to get further with this. The problems with ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

How do I reduce noise, given that I have complete control over everything else?

I want to take some pictures of some crystals. Being crystals, they don't move around much so I can set up my camera and lighting as I like. I have a high-powered halogen light shining on them, and ...
18
votes
4answers
725 views

What should I consider when purchasing a macro lens?

What should I be aware of when buying a macro lens (other than that it will fit my camera)? What features should I look for? What specs should I pay close attention to? What factors affect macro ...
18
votes
1answer
420 views

What are Extension Tubes?

What are Extension Tubes?
17
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I take a macro shot without a macro lens?

I am a photography newbie and have only a 18 - 135mm canon kit lens at my disposal. I wanted to take macro shots but can't really afford a macro lens right now. One very optimistic goal of mine is to ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Which scenarios are better shot with a prime lens versus zoom lens or macro lens?

What scenarios are better shot with a prime lens? A zoom lens? A macro lens?
16
votes
1answer
617 views

What is a focusing rail?

In What are the best practices for DOF stacking? I noticed a mention of a "focusing rail". I've never heard of such device. What is it, and in what circumstances is it useful?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Which suits better for hobby usage: extension tubes vs. close-up filter?

I am looking to do a little macro work, but am not ready to invest in a macro lens. For hobby work like photographing flowers and such would it be better to invest in a set of extension tubes or in a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the biggest differences between Reversal Rings, Extension Tubes and Macro Lenses?

As far as I understand all three options help you do macro photography but are their other reasons for having the three different items? I figured reversal rings and extension tubes were just for the ...
14
votes
10answers
26k views

Which prime lens for Pentax?

My girlfriend is buying a Pentax K-5 (I already have a Pentax DSLR so we thought it made sense for us to be able to share lenses), and she's not sure about which lens to get with it, so I've been ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 450D?

My wife has a Canon EOS 450D and, after following a few threads and questions and answers, a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens seems to be popular for insect photography. I am considering buying one for ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the difference between a regular lens and a macro lens? [duplicate]

What is the difference between a 100mm lens and 100mm macro, or 50mm and 50mm macro? Can we use a macro lens to shot portraits? If yes, what focal length is the best? Please suggest a Canon macro ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How to avoid glare in macro photography?

I am attempting to take pictures of antique pocket watches, when I use my flash, even with a diffuser or farther away, I get glare from the curved elements within the watch. Are there any sites with ...
14
votes
11answers
5k views

Which macro lens would you recommend for a full frame Nikon camera?

I use a full frame Nikon camera and would love to play with macro photography. Is the Nikon 105 macro strong enough or would you rather recommend some bigger third party lens?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is 1:1 desirable for a macro lens?

Why is 1:1 desirable for a macro lens? I know it means that you can print a picture of something and it will be the same size on paper as it is in real life, but why is this such a desirable feature ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Is a macro lens suitable for distant subjects - wildlife, sports, portraiture?

Some macro lenses have a really nice focal length that would make them a nice prime-telephoto lens, but are there any downsides of using a macro lens when shooting distant subjects (besides the lack ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I reverse-mount a Canon F/1.4 50 mm for macro photography?

I'd like to experiment with mounting my Canon F/1.4 50 mm lens backwards to experiment with macro photography (on a Rebel Xti). What kind of gear do I need, and how do I go about it?
13
votes
3answers
687 views

What does “Strobist” in Photography mean?

I often come across this term "Strobist" in Macro Photography and other equipment related to it. What does Strobist actually mean?
13
votes
3answers
755 views

How do cheap macro ring flashes perform?

When I last checked years ago, the price of a typical Ring flash unit was approximately $500. Nowadays there are still ring flashes for approx. $500 like Pentax AF160FC, Pentax AF-140C, Canon MR-14EX, ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Macro photography with an ultra-wide lens and extension tubes?

While reading some reviews of Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, I was a bit surprised to notice that the lens is supposed to be compatible with 12mm and 25mm extension tubes, and with those one should ...
12
votes
5answers
531 views

What are the different focal lengths of macro lenses and their advantages?

I am interested in macro-photography. I see there are macro telephoto (zoom?) lenses (e.g. 200mm), or smaller macro lenses (e.g. 40mm) ... What are the different types of macro lenses and their ...
12
votes
4answers
832 views

How close can a lens focus?

From my understanding, if you want to do some macro photography it is better to have a lens that can focus when it is really close to the subject. Sometimes people buy extension tubes to help them ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Should I use a 100mm Macro lens as a portrait lens?

I am specifically considering using the Canon 100mm Macro as a portrait lens. If I want to have a macro in my bag, but not carry around a 70-200 2.8 due to weight, size, white color, or price if it ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

What lenses to bring while traveling? One good wide-telephoto or several smaller ones?

I have a Canon 7D and often take my camera on the road while traveling. In the past I've taken my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 and my Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6, which means that I must switch out lenses quite a ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a camera's crop factor apply to the magnification of macro shots?

If I have a lenses (or in my case extension tubes) that would allow the lens to magnify 1:1, does a 1.5x crop factor body make it really 1.5:1 ?
12
votes
8answers
4k views

How do I choose a macro lens for a Canon APS-C camera?

I have a Canon 40D and like taking macro shots sometimes, so I'm thinking of buying a macro lens. I'd also like the lens to double up as a portrait lens. I'm not a super serious photographer, so my ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Nikon measure “minimum focus distance” for Macro/Micro lenses?

This question is about Nikon SLR terminology. The answer could be different for non-SLR cameras, or for different maker. The "minimum focusing distance" in the spec — it's measured and listed between ...
11
votes
2answers
539 views

Are there any downsides to buying a third party extension tubes for Canon?

I would like to get a little higher magnification out of my Canon 100mm Macro, so I am looking at extension tubes. I know Canon makes the EF25, but it seems pretty expensive considering there isn't ...
11
votes
4answers
268 views

Does it make sense to get a non-macro and a macro of similar focal lengths?

I recently asked a question on which prime lens to get after the kit lenses, and in my shortlist of lenses there was quite a lot of overlap of focal lengths along with macro & non-macro versions ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What should I do to avoid switching lenses?

I'm thinking of buying a telephoto lens for my Canon 550D (3x zoom isn't very helpful), but I won't be able to do very good macro shots with it. Since I do a lot of both, I would be switching lenses ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How to micro-adjust distance for focusing in macro photography?

I'd like to take macro photos, but I have a problem with the focus. I put the object on a (light) table, I put my camera on my tripod and take a few shots. Since the depth of field is very small ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

I have a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro. How can I get even closer to the subject?

I have had a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens for quite a long time. It is a great lens. I use a 7D as the body, thus I get 1.6x magnification as compared to a "real" 35mm sensor body. While this is ...
10
votes
6answers
397 views

Why is the Rule of Thirds rarely followed in macro?

I've never (or rarely at least) seen a macro photo which follows the rule of thirds. Is it hard to compose macro photographs using the rule of thirds?
10
votes
1answer
295 views

What is the significance of the typical extension tube lengths?

I've been recently looking into getting an extension tube set for some macro photograpy. I've noticed that a lot of these 3 tube sets (for Canon EOS) have the same, very specific lengths: 13mm, 21mm, ...
10
votes
2answers
318 views

Why does a reverse lens act like a macro lens?

When reverse mounting a lens, it can be used to shoot macro photography, even though the only thing that has changed is the mounting direction. Why does this occur? An 'add-on' to the question that ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

What does the magnification ratio number mean on a macro lens?

I'm looking for a macro lens. I have 28-105mm Nikkor which gives me "1:2 Magnification Ratio" (whatever that means). I found another lens, Tamron 90mm Macro, which has magnification ratio of 1:1. ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What Pentax macro lens do you recommend for outdoor activities?

I am a Pentax K20D owner, and now I'd like to buy my first macro lens. Candidates I consider are: Pentax-D FA 100 mm F2.8 Macro 365 g, 560 €. Pentax-D FA 100 mm F2.8 Macro WR weather-resistant, 340 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I get adequate depth of field in macro photography?

I have been messing around with some Macro Photography using the techniques (and a reversal ring) described in a blog post by @ElendilTheTall My main issue is that I am having a hard time getting the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is more megapixels better in macro photography?

I know there are a lot of common misconceptions about megapixels and their actual utility, but does more megapixels mean I can zoom into a macro shot of say an insect and see more details compared to ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the 'Maximum Reproduction Ratio' of a lens?

A review of a Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens contains the following line It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm /7.9in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.4. So, as in the title, what is 'maximum ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a Nikon “Micro” lens and a “Macro” lens?

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
302 views

What time of day provides the best Natural lighting for Macro Photography?

When using natural lighting in macro photography, what times of day provide the light? Specifically for photographing flowers (but they are not my only subject). Also how is natural lighting used ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How much better is a macro ring flash than a “normal” external flash, for macro shots?

Canon produces two macro rings, MR-14EX and MT-24EX, and many other manufacturers also produce such rings. I have a Canon Speedlite 440EX II external flash, which I use when I don't use a tripod for ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How did Suren Manvelyan create the macro pictures of eyes?

I came across some really cool macro photos of eyes today. How did he manage to get these photos? I couldn't find any EXIF information anywhere, and I don't have enough experience with macro to figure ...