By Jack Berglund
Its seems, as humans we’re fascinated by miniature versions of things: toy models, dolls houses, tea cup piglets, miniature ponies etc. Bigger is also better (so I’m told). This probably explains why Macro photography, the art of capturing small objects and blowing them up many times bigger than life size is so compelling.
Macro photography is defined as taking a picture of an object so that it appears on the sensor (or film) at least as big if not bigger than the real life object (referred to as 1:1). This is a not very helpful definition given that you’d rarely print or display something at the same size of your sensor and the image will be enlarged many times when presented but there you go. Some marketing literature will claim something is ‘macro’ if the object will print larger than actual size on a 6×4″ photo which is a better way of defining things but only gives you a 1:4 magnification (image is one quarter the real life size on the sensor) so your close ups will not be so close as a true macro shot.
You’ll get best results with a dedicated macro lens but there are alternatives. Some zoom lenses can take macro like photos (close to 1:1) so check what you have already. There are also macro tubes which you insert between the lens and the camera. Moving the lens away from the sensor, decreases the minimum distance they can focus at allowing you to move closer and get an enlarged view of the object even though the magnification of the lens is unchanged. There is a somewhat wacky but apparently effective option to mount one lens backwards in front of another. You lose auto-focus and have to walk round with a weird set of lenses on the front of your camera but can get good photos… Continue reading