The Right Tools for Macro Photography - dummies

By Thomas Clark

You have numerous options for equipment to capture great macro and close-up photographs. You may already have a camera that takes great close-up photographs. Macro photography means creating an image in which the subject is depicted on the digital sensor (or film plane) in its actual size.

If you find that the limits of your gear fall short of where you want to be in terms of magnification, accessories are available to get you there:

  • Extension tubes or bellows are hollow spacers that you place between the lens and camera body to increase your ability to focus on close-up subjects.

  • Tele-converters, optical devices that you place between the lens and camera body, magnify the image collected by the lens before it reaches the digital sensor.

  • Reversing rings are attachments that enable you to reverse a lens in order to create more magnification in the image it provides.

  • Close-up filters, attachments that you position in front of a lens, enable you to achieve focus nearer to your subjects.

Macro-specific lenses, which enable you to achieve macro and close-up results without additional accessories or attachments, are ideal for minimizing the amount of gear you have to drag around with you, and for providing pure, unfiltered (straight from the lens to the sensor) results.

These types of lenses are for the serious photographer who is very interested in creating amazing macro and close-up images.

In addition to lenses and lens attachments, other types of equipment can help you achieve high-quality macro and close-up images. Learn about different types of tripods, tools for lighting your scenes, blocking light or wind, items useful for adjusting fine details in a scene.

You don’t have to have a DSLR to shoot great macro and close-up images. If you prefer to work with a digital point and shoot camera, you can find ways to use manual settings for enhancing your image quality, composition, and message in macro and close-up scenarios. Search out information on increasing the macro and close-up capabilities of your digital point and shoot camera.