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Macro lens: overview, intended use and principle

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A macro lens is a dedicated camera lens that is optically optimized to handle very close focal lengths, and can capture sharp and detailed images of microscopic subjects.

Generally, it has a 1: 1 magnification and a minimum focusing distance of around 30 cm.

Unlike other lenses, the macro achieves a high recall rate.

This means that the ratio of the size of the subject on the sensor surface is equal to or larger than the actual size of the subject.

Macro lenses are mainly used for close-up photography.

Usage of macro lens

Macro lenses can be used in a variety of situations.

Suitable for taking pictures of newborn babies with small details such as eyelashes, fingers and toes.

This lens is also ideal for product photography.

The macro lens can also be used as a portrait lens.

You can capture the details and maintain proper focus even when standing very close to the subject.

It can also be used for portraits because it can be captured with an ideal focal length.

Macro lens principle

Macro lenses also have a range of focal lengths.

Since macro photography is taken at very close focal lengths, the best macro lenses are generally long barrels, usually 40-60 mm or less.

  • 45-65mm – The focal length of the macro lens, which is ideal for shooting products, the shooting of small subjects that you can approach without fear, and the shooting of scenes that require a natural background perspective.
  • 90-105mm – The focal length of the macro lens is ideal for shooting small subjects such as insects, small animals, flowers, and plants that can still be shot from a comfortable distance.
  • 150-200mm – The best macro lens focal length for shooting insects and other small subjects, and you need to shoot farther while maintaining the closest focal length.
  • Varifocal length – The focal length of a macro lens
    that is ideal for multipurpose macro photography Ideally, the macro lens should be a prim. There are both zoom and prime types of macro lenses, but if you want a 1: 1 magnification, prime is the better choice.

Macro lens for smartphones

The feature of macro lenses is that they can capture a small world in a large and clear manner. Although the technological advances in smartphone cameras in recent years have been remarkable, they are still unmatched by macro lenses for single-lens reflex cameras. But did you know that smartphones also have macro lenses that can be attached externally?

Not only is it compact and convenient to carry, there are also many models that can be easily attached with clips. Not only that, it is surprising that macro lenses for smartphones have recently appeared in 100-yen shops.

There are a wide range of choices, and the ones sold at the 100-yen uniform shop mentioned above are plastic lenses, but glass lenses with a high-class feel and high resolution are also available from each manufacturer.

Almost any model can be attached with a clip, so it is an easy attachment, but be careful as it may cause the attachment position to shift. If the image is misaligned, vignetting may occur in the peripheral area and the image may become dark.

If vignetting occurs, it is possible to crop the image, but the image size will be smaller, so be careful of lens misalignment.

How to use macro lens

Macro lenses are often mistaken for lenses that are close to the subject, but it is important to understand that macro lenses are lenses that can capture a large image of the subject, not lenses that are close to the subject.

One of the reasons for the misunderstanding is that you don’t understand the image magnification. The imaging magnification is the ratio between the size of the image captured on the imaging surface (the CMOS image sensor has become the mainstream in recent years) and the actual size of the subject. Unlike telephoto lenses, macro lenses often have an imaging magnification of 0.5 to 1x. People who take pictures in earnest often choose the same size (1: 1).

It should be noted that it is the macro lens that can increase the imaging magnification, not the lens that can be approached.

Panasonic Corporation H-ES045


It is a macro lens that can be used not only as a macro lens but also as a general medium telephoto lens.

It also has a focus switch, and the shortest shooting distance can be switched between 15 cm and 50 cm.

The optical image stabilization (MEGA OIS) function is carried.

It is made up of 14 lenses, including one aspherical lens and one ED lens. It is a lens that can perform precise focusing at high speed and can shoot from hand to infinity while being macro.

Sony Business Solutions Corporation SEL50M28


It is a macro lens that enables short-range shooting with a wider background with a 50mm angle of view.

You can easily switch between autofocus and manual focus with the focus mode switch on the side of the lens. In addition, it is equipped with a focus hold button, making it easy to lock the focus.

There is a magnification / distance display on the top of the lens, so you can easily get a sense of distance.

The shortest shooting distance is 16 cm, the maximum aperture is F2.8, the minimum aperture is F16, and the lens configuration is 8 elements in 7 groups.

Canon Marketing Japan Inc. EF180mm F3.5L Macro USM


This is a telephoto macro lens that captures large images that can only be taken from a distance. This lens is effective for taking large pictures of inaccessible subjects such as insects and small animals.

Manual focusing is possible by simply turning the focus ring after focusing with autofocus.

The inner focus type realizes a compact lens. The feature is that the lens length does not change even when focusing.

The minimum aperture is F32, the shortest shooting distance is 48 cm, and the lens configuration is 14 elements in 12 groups.

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