What is Macro Lens and What is it Used For?
Let's zoom and the lens panel can get close to what you want to capture. in and peek at it more closely.
You must have seen those reality-warping photos of insects, bugs, and flowers which look magnified. The subjects in those photos look bigger than their actual size. These images are taken using a special kind of lens called a Macro Lens. This lens is specifically designed and is used to take photos of a very small subject.
Normal lenses can't focus on subjects smaller than a coin and produce a magnified, sharp, and detailed image. A Macro Lens allows you to focus extremely close to the subject, resulting in capturing even the minute, minuscule details on an even smaller subject. This is all possible as the focusing distance of a Macro Lens is very short and the lens panel can get really close to what you want to capture.
Macro Lens usages
Macro Lenses are mostly used to capture small subjects like flowers, plants, insects, bugs, flies, etc. Any small object that captures your attention and you find interesting can be shot using this lens. It magnifies the object and captures the small subject in great detail and vibrant colors.
It is also used extensively to capture small nuances and highlight the beauty of a variety of products.
Going beyond the Macro Lens
Due to its unique abilities, the Macro Lens gives you a great depth of field thus giving you an amazing perspective to the shots, which aren't traditionally of a super small subject. This enables you to capture some amazing portrait shots. The lens becomes highly versatile due to its compression abilities and stabilization.
You can shoot some amazing and smooth B-Roll footage with them. Due to their stability, you can shoot a lot of hand-held shots too. You can go up and close to the subject as well as go away and still get some amazing blurry look to the background while making the foreground pop and look even sharper.
Zoom vs Macro Lens
Most modern cameras, these days, are capable of some sort of zoom ability. The resultant images from regular cameras might confuse some, that that you can do macro photography. But these aren't close enough to provide optimal performance at its closest focus.
1:1 magnification ratio is an important part of macro photography and lens. This simply means that the size of the subject is projected the same onto the image sensor size. But generally speaking, a 50mm lens or anything above is considered to be a Macro Lens.
What is an extension tube?
This is something you put in between your lens and the camera to enhance the magnification ability of the lens which is not a Macro Lens. This will allow you to focus much closer on the subject. It is a perfect starting point for beginners, who are not sure about how much use you would get out of a dedicated Macro Lens.
The image quality is also pretty decent when compared to a dedicated lens. If you already have a lens between 20-30mm focal length, then extension tubes work best with them. They are cheap but the only hassle with them is adding more tubes or removing them depending on the situation.
A Macro Lens is a dedicated lens that helps you to capture a super detailed image of a small object from a close-up angle. The lens, though, specifically made for macro photography, has a wider utility in different scenarios as well. The functionality is up to the creativity of the person using it as one can push the boundaries and use it for a variety of other purposes as well.
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