Macro photography is a fascinating discipline because it allows the photographer to explore a world that is difficult to view with the naked eyes. It opens up a completely new and beautiful world that often goes unnoticed. From simple everyday miniature objects to butterflies and bugs, there are a number of interesting subjects that look great when viewed from a very close range. Having said that, capturing pictures at such a close range is somewhat difficult considering that most cameras have limited macro photography capabilities. Although, even inexpensive cameras have some basic macro mode, in most cases, the option is limited. Generally, special equipments are needed to photograph a subject at macro level. There are some macro photography tips and tricks that help achieve the desired result.
The first choice for macro photography is to use the features existing in the camera itself. Most cameras have macro mode that allows photographing tiny subjects from a very close range. Usually, a standard lens of the camera is designed to take shots about 1 m away. However, in the macro mode the same lens can be used to photograph subjects that are about 0.5m away. For the more elaborate and good quality close-up pictures, SLR type camera and special equipments are essential.
A massive bonus with the DSLR camera is that its lens can be separated from the body. This opens up various possibilities for different types of photography. For close-up, the first option is to use a dedicated macro photography lens. Such an optimised lens is mounted onto the camera body and the photographer is ready to take photos of close-up subjects. Shorter macro optics are light and compact. They are the preferred option for nature enthusiasts permitting to work at distance.
The next choice is to use an extension tube (no optic) which is used to simply extend the lens from the camera body and its sensor. This turns the same normal lens into a macro lens. The most common lenght are 12, 25 or 36mm: the wider the tube, the larger the reproduction ratio. Unfortunately, extension tube reduces light entering the camera and will not permit long working distance like a macro lens would.
Among various macro photography ideas, some are related to close-up filters and the reversing ring. Close up filters are cost effective adds-on that are simply screwed onto the camera lens. Those looking for professional quality sharp pictures may not like to use this option. Filters slightly compromise the image quality because there are more glasses through which the light filters through before reaching the camera sensor. They may not match a macro lens for sharpness, but they are a more economical solution for beginners.
Reversing ring is a nice option for macro photography. It simply allows the lens to be reversed and mounted onto the camera body. This accessory operates best with non-zoom lenses. By reserving a lens in this way, its optical centre is displaced from the sensor plane, introducing a level of extension and enabling it to focus much closer.
Those looking for macro photography tips need to consider using high-quality flashguns or lighting systems. Photographers who intend to do such photography quite often need to invest in a ringflash. This type of flash gives even lighting on the whole macro subject so the pictures are fully bright and all the details come out clearly.
Our last advice: at macro level even slight blur gets magnified so it is important to use a robust tripod to avoid any camera shake. You can read further our tripod and monopod buyer guide on our website.
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