acro photography is one of the most fascinating genres of photography because it gives us such an interesting view of the world around us. Tiny details in the larger environment often go unnoticed, yet, macro photography brings them to the forefront. But, because macro photography deals in subject matter that usually goes unseen, it can be a bit daunting for photographers to undertake.
In today’s lesson, we dive into some of the essential features of macro photography lenses and review two popular types of macro lenses to help you make an informed decision about the proper lens for you.
Magnification, Working Distance, and Depth of Field
Many macro lenses have 1:1 magnification. What this means is that if you’re photographing an insect that is a half-inch long, that insect will be a half-inch long on your camera’s sensor. Other macro lenses might have 1:2 magnification (that half-inch long insect would be one-fourth of an inch on the sensor) while others may be closer to 1:10 magnification. Beyond that, you aren’t really shooting macro anymore.
Macro lenses typically have a short working distance as well. This refers to the distance from your camera’s sensor to the subject at the nearest focus distance. A macro lens may have a working distance of 12 inches, which, if the combination of your lens and camera is six inches, there would be six inches between the end of your lens and the subject. Naturally, working distance increases as the focal length increases, so a 200mm macro lens has a greater working distance than a 50mm macro lens.