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Macro Photography

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Macro photography is close-up photography of small items or tiny details of a host of different subjects. The image is usually life-size or larger. Most modern cameras have a macro-mode function, however for top results, a camera that takes interchangeable lenses is required to fit a macro lens specifically for close-up shots. Such a lens provides consistently high optical quality. A standard macro lens provides 1:1 magnification but there are lenses available such as 5:1 that will deliver higher magnification. Macro lenses also come in various focal lengths to cater for more distance between photographer and subject. A simple method to increase magnification is to add a screw-on or slip-in close-up lens on the camera lens. As magnification is increased the farther away the lens is from the film or sensor, it is also possible to magnify the subject by inserting an extension tube between the lens and camera. These tubes contain no optical elements and are inexpensive. Nevertheless, only the more expensive, camera-specific tubes will still provide all electronic functions. Another method is to reverse a camera lens. Using a reversing ring, it is possible to attach the lens to the camera “the wrong way round”. This method can give excellent results and high magnification. Once again, only camera-specific reversing rings will provide all electronic functions. Depth of field is very limited when focusing on close subjects. This can be used to good effect. But if more depth of field is required, this means using a smaller aperture and either a slower speed or bright lighting. A tripod is essential when using a slow speed. For bright lighting and even illumination, use flash with a diffuser or a ring flash.

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