Photo courtesy of Anthony Photography

Macro Photography is one of the most exciting types of photography.  You will be exploring things that are around you that you are familiar with but look so amazingly different when you can get up close.  I don’t know anyone, who once I show them what you can do with macro, doesn’t want to get involved in some way. 

Imagine seeing the pollen on a bee that you never noticed before:

Photo by Egor Kamelev

There is several ways to get the perfect macro photo.  One of the best ways is to just get a macro lens.  All camera manufactures make macro lenses, and the biggest advantage to using an actual macro lens is that it is a lens you can use all the time because the lens will still focus clear out to infinity.  That means a lens can focus from infinity to just inches away from your subject.  If you will notice how close your standard lens will focus, it usually gets you with 12 to 18 inches minimally.  So this lens, as you focus on a close subject, your lens front just extends way out in front.  It’s a bit freaky at first, because your normal lens has such a short barrel.  Or it only seems to focus from infinity to the minimum distance with just a short turn of the lens.  The macro lens just keeps going out and out to get where you want to be.

Tokina macro lens for most camera brands

There are other good macro lenses out there not made by the camera manufacture.  The best ones would be:

*  Tokina

*  Tamron

*  Sigma

*  Quantaray

*  And there are some other lenses out there, sometimes made by the lens companies listed above but contracted to put the store name brand on their lenses.  


*  Great image quality 

*  can focus from infinity to an inch away depending on lens

*  Full automation of lens and body together


*  Macro lenses are somewhat expensive

*  Somewhat bulkier for a single lens

Photo by Egor Kamelev:


These extension tubes usually come in a group of 3.  Each one will produce a different magnification of your macro image, and you can put all three on.  These tubes go between the camera body and your lens.  They actually work on most lenses, just not wide angle lenses.  That means any lens you own now can become your macro lens.  There are no optics involved in these extension tubes, so they produce an image as sharp as the lens you are using all the time.  

The other thing I like about extension tubes is that they have a coupling or electronic contacts that go all the way through from the body to the lens, so the lens remains automatic as if it was just another lens on your camera.


*  No optics involved.  So you maintain sharpness of your lenses

*  Auto metering, auto focus links work throughout the tubes

*  Pricing is extremely good in comparison to buying a macro lens from the manufacture


*  Can’t do continuous focus from closeup to infinity.

Photo by Pixabay

As  you get to use these extension tubes, you will want to experiment with each tube, 2 tubes, or all 3 tubes to see how close you want to go to your main subject.


As  you can see, close-up filters come in lots of 3 or 4.  The group with the 4 filters I like even more because they have a +10 closeup filter.  That allows you to have an incredible amount of closeup capability.

As with these filters, I have found that you don’t want to generally put all 4 filters on at the same time.  So try a combination of 1, 2, maybe 3 at the most.  This will also work on most lenses, so you have the option to different capabilities with different lenses.  

For Example, you want to take a picture of a bee, and you don’t want to get too close, you would put your bigger lens on (60-200 for example)  and at 200mm you can still get closeup image but you don’t have to be so close to the bee and scare it off, or make it come sting you.  You can do this same thing with macro lenses.

When you order these, you would need to make sure you order the same size as your lens cap.  The front edge of your lens with all the information about the lens will also give you the filter size.  That symbol is a circle with a line through it, and a number.  That number is your filter size for that lens.  (49, 52, 55, 58, 62mm).

I wanted to end this with a few macro photos that I have found that might give you an incentive to get involved in macro photography.  Check these out:

Photo by Daniel Olah

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Photo by Carlos Quintero on Unsplash

One thing that is important to tell you is that the depth of field (area in acceptable focus) is very narrow.  You may find yourself needing to have control over your F Stop settings so you can get it all in focus.  F8, F16 is not an uncommon F number to  use in macro photography.  Which means, setting it on that F number means a slower shutter speed.  

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.