Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Using a zoom for macro photography

Macro photography requires a lens that will allow close focus and high magnification.Most manufacturers make very high quality  macro lenses but these come at a price. My tip for the day is that you can get very close to such lenses in terms of image sharpness and magnification on the cheap. All you need is an old style manual lens. Look for something with the optics still in good condition since you will be buying second hand.

Tip 2 is that the shorter the focal length of the lens is, the higher the magnification will be that you will obtain when the lens is reverse mounted. Therefore a 50mm lens will give about half the magnification of a 24mm lens.

Tip 3 is that you will find a prime lens may limit you too much since it will only shoot at one magnification. You can change this by using extension tubes, but this process consumes time each time you need to reduce or extend tubes. A cheap alternative is a good quality manual zoom lens. Something like the Vivitar 28-70mm. Most newer Nikkor will also do since they still have a manual aperture ring.

Below are two photos taken seconds apart. They are not the best photos but they clearly show the benefit of having a reverse zoom.

Have fun!

1 comment: