Work with Fixed Macro Lenses - dummies

By Thomas Clark

A fixed macro lens has an unchanging focal length and enables you to focus when you’re close enough to your subjects to achieve a true 1:1 macro capture. Use this type of lens to achieve the highest quality macro and close-up images and to avoid having to deal with extra parts, pieces, and accessories.


The better informed you are about photography equipment, the more likely you are to make wise decisions when purchasing camera gear. Knowing your stuff means you don’t have to rely on the advice of a salesman and can get the right gear for you.

Photographers have many options when it comes to choosing a macro lens, which can make it hard to get what you’re looking for at first without wasting time and money.

The only downside to shooting with a fixed macro lens is its lack of focal length options. Any photographer who is used to shooting with fixed lenses won’t mind, and in macro shooting situations you often have sufficient space to move toward or away from your subject as needed because your subjects are so small.

Some of the benefits to using a fixed lens include the following:

  • Fixed lenses tend to provide sharper image quality than zoom lenses.

  • Fixed lenses often have larger maximum apertures, letting in more light during a given exposure time, and making them more useful in low-light scenarios.

  • A fixed macro lens doesn’t require any extra attachments or accessories to produce true macro images. (Although you can combine your fixed macro lens with an extension tube or tele-converter to get even more magnification out of it.)

  • Most newer models of fixed macro lenses enable you to focus on subjects that are very close (within a few inches) or on subjects that are very far away (up to infinity), and everything in between. You can reveal detail in the tiny bee in your garden, or on the moon in the sky with just one lens.