I'm still new to the subject and I'm confused by all the offerings on the market.

I'm trying to understand if you need expensive equipment to shoot good quality video and stills with such magnification.

And if not, I would love to get a recommendation on a camera and lens that can take such photographs.

Pliers cut a piece of copper Pliers cut a piece of copper

A water bottle cap A water bottle cap

A hot knife that cuts rubber A hot knife that cuts rubber


2 Answers 2


An (important) terminology thing: zoom is not "how big a lens makes things look", it is "the ratio of the minimum and maximum focal lengths of a lens". A "standard" 18-55mm lens has a zoom of just about 3× (55/18 = 3.a little bit), while a 200-400mm lens has a zoom of 2× (400/200 = 2) - but the 200-400mm lens makes an object at a given distance look a lot bigger than the 18-55mm lens. Similarly, "superzoom" does not mean "makes small things look big" but instead "has a large focal length ratio".

With that out of the way, what you want here is macro photography i.e. taking very close up photos of things. The cheap way to do this is with extension tubes, the expensive way is with a dedicated macro lens. In either case, you will probably want to invest in some way of mounting both your camera and the subject (handholding is impossible at these tiny focal distances) and a way of lighting your subject (the camera/lens are so close they will block out most ambient light).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, so if I understand correctly, to take a video of a moving object for example, it is not recommended to use extension tubes and it is better to invest in a macro lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – postFix
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @postFix, video questions are offtopic here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2023 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinove Okay, thanks for the comment, according to the technical data of the camera and the lens, can the iPhone 14 Pro Max be suitable for this type of photography? I thought of starting with it, but I'm not sure if the image will turn out to be of sufficient quality. \$\endgroup\$
    – postFix
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @postFix, the phone itself do not have lens with high magnification. So you can use 3th party addons (lens) to reach the magnifications. Also you will need tripod because every small movement will ruin the photo. IMHO phones are not good for this kind of photos. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2023 at 16:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The MP-E 65mm can't alter focus at all for any given reproduction ratio between 1X and 5X. The MFD (minimum focus distance) is also the Maximum focus distance for each reproduction ratio. I don't even know why Canon calls it a 65mm lens. The diagonal angle of view obtained when the lens is set at "1X" is 18°40' with a FF camera. That's the same angular view that a typical 135mm lens focused to infinity would yield. At 5X, the AoV is about 1/5 as wide, or about the same AoV as a 680mm lens would give. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 4:15

As has already been said, you could use a macro lens or extension tubes, but I'd also like to suggest an even cheaper alternative - tho the results might not be great - a reversing ring. - You should be able to get a reversing ring for any modern dslr and lens filter size.

It is basically a camera mount on one side and a filter screw on the other. The idea is that you detach your lens, screw the ring into where the a filter normally screws in, turn the lens around and attach it to your camera. They're really cheap, but ymmv.

I took the image below in about 2011 on my old nikon d90 with a reversed 18-200 lens. It's grains of sugar on a kitchen work surface. I did it pretty much off the cuff and without the benefit of searching the internet for advice. The image is predictably poor and the depth of field was almost non-existent as you can see. I gather different lenses will produce different output, but at least it was SUPER cheap :) Oh I had to crop this to get it under the 2mb file size limit, but you get the idea

enter image description here


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