What is Macro Photography?

Bee on a sunflower, example of macro photography
Example of macro photograph, available for purchase at https://www.WaltPayne.Photography

What is macro photography?

Technically, the term macro photography refers to images where the subject is captured life-sized, or 1:1 magnification. Most people do not understand (or care) about this definition so any close-up image is often referred to as a macro.

Is macro photography difficult?

Macro photography is one of the more difficult genres of photography to master. You have to deal with issues such as motion blur, depth of field, and often skittish subjects. Even inanimate objects like flowers can move around in a breeze and make macro photography more difficult.

Can a macro lens be used for other types of photography?

Sometimes macro lenses are the best lenses available for other types of photography. This is especially true because most macro lenses are prime lenses and are extremely high quality. Portrait photographers often use macro lenses to get less depth of field, and therefore focus attention on the subject. As a landscape photographer, I love using my 100 mm macro lens for landscape images because of the quality of the lens elements.

What focal lengths are used for macro photography?

The most common focal length lenses used in macro photography are 35mm, 50mm, 80mm, 100mm and 180 mm. There is no reason to not use other applicable focal lengths, but those are the ones most in demand because of versatility, size and price.

Can any lens be used for macro photography?

The short answer is yes …. but. You can use any lens for macro photography, but a non-macro lens requires the use of a reverse mount ring. Using these rings can complicate the process of focusing and adjusting other settings, and is not recommended¬† for beginners. There are also lenses designed to attach to the front of standard lenses that allow them to focus at a closer distance. Or you can use macro extension tubes, which are hollow tubes that move the lens elements farther from the camera sensor and allow the camera to focus at a closer distance. The cheaper ones do not connect your lens electronically to the camera, and are therefore very difficult to master.

Do I need a flash for macro photography?

It can sometimes be difficult to get adequate light on a subject of macro photography. Depending on the lens(es) you are using, and what your subject matter is, you may absolutely need a flash or it may not be necessary. If you do need a flash, you should get one specifically designed for macro photography.


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