Questions tagged [macro]

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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39
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
33
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4answers
21k 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 ...
31
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4answers
30k 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 ...
28
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7answers
45k 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 ...
28
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5answers
3k 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?
27
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2answers
4k 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 ...
25
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 ...
24
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2answers
9k 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 ...
22
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4answers
1k 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 ...
22
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1answer
1k 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?
22
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3answers
4k 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 ...
21
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6answers
3k 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?
20
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10answers
2k 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 ...
20
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1answer
828 views

What are Extension Tubes?

What are Extension Tubes?
18
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2answers
5k views

Why is it called “macrofocus” and not “microfocus”?

Typically, when referring to an image of a small object, or just something small, the prefix 'micro' is used. For instance, a tool to look at tiny objects in clear focus is a microscope. A device that ...
18
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5answers
8k 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 ...
17
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11answers
40k views

Which prime lens for Pentax APS-C?

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 ...
17
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2answers
36k 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 ...
16
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9answers
47k 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 ...
16
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6answers
13k 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 ...
16
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2answers
5k 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 ...
16
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3answers
1k 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, ...
15
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3answers
9k 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 ...
15
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11answers
12k 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?
15
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3answers
890 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 ...
14
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5answers
2k 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 ...
14
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3answers
6k 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
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3answers
4k 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?
14
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2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
14
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8answers
7k 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 ...
13
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3answers
3k 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 ?
13
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1answer
3k 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 ...
13
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2answers
2k 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
1answer
21k 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. ...
12
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6answers
4k 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 ...
12
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4answers
3k 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
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5answers
7k views

What software is available for macro focus stacking?

What software is available and widely used for macro focus stacking? In other areas photoshop, lightroom, aperture, etc are kind of industry standard options. Is there such a thing for focus ...
12
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10answers
3k 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 bit,...
12
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
750 views

Different colors of light are disrupting my focus. What lens feature minimizes this?

I took this photo with a Canon 50mm compact macro lens & Canon "life size converter", and it looked somewhat fuzzy. After separating out the RGB channels, it seems evident that the different ...
12
votes
4answers
368 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 ...
12
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2answers
869 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
1answer
633 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, ...
11
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6answers
673 views

Low-key photo suggestions for fish?

I would like to ask for some inputs on how I can achieve similar low-key results for a fish: Current setup: Small aquarium 30 x 15 x 15 cms (LBH) The sides and the back of the aquarium are covered ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What are the constructional differences between a macro and a regular lens?

I understand that to reduce minimum focusing distances, macro lens design must focus on maintaining certain distances between the lens and the sensor. However, is the placement of the lens and its ...
11
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3answers
2k 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 ...
11
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4answers
16k views

How do zoom, magnification, and focal length relate?

Zoom lenses and cameras with superzooms are often sold with a times ("×") zoom number — like a 12x zoom or 30x zoom. The question How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom? ...
10
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12answers
2k views

What macro techniques offer an alternative to expensive optics?

I was wondering what are the alternative macro techniques people use instead of buying expensive macro optics. I know about single lens reverse macro technique; what other alternative techniques allow ...
10
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6answers
2k 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 ...