Close-up, Macro, and Micro Photography: What You Want to Know

A lot of new photographers are confused between macro, micro close-up difference and how every photography game differs from one another. Macro micro photography often refers to the same thing. Nikon uses micro for its range of macro lenses. The word “macro” means big while the word “micro” means small. So how are they connected? If the subject you want to shoot is small and you want to make it look big, you will have a macro view of a micro subject.

Macro photography is taken with a dedicated macro lens while micro photography takes a micro lens. A macro lens can achieve can achieve at least a 1:1 magnification.

Close-Up Photography vs Macro Photography

This type of photography refers to the method of photographing objects in close range so the subject fills the frame. It can be easily achieved with any lens, even a 300mm telephoto lens. Essentially, macro photography is also close up photography. But, close-up photography isn’t always considered as true macro photography. For instance, if your lens is not considered a real macro lens, but provides a macro setting, this is often referred to as being close up photography and not true macro photography.

Micro vs Marco

Microphotography applies to magnifications that exceeds what you can get using macro photography equipment. You cannot get a micro lens attached to your camera. You will need a microscope to reach magnifications above X5. A lot of photographers invest in an inspection microscope for their purpose.

Equipment you Need for Macro Photography

When shooting macro, the following are the pieces of equipment needed:

  • Macro lenses. A macro lens is what you need if you want to do macro photography without using attachments. A dedicated macro or micro lens will allow you to focus close enough to achieve a 1:1 image size without any extra attachments. Also, this kind of lens can focus so you can it as a standard prime lens.
  • Reversing ring. This piece of equipment fits onto the front of the lens, letting you install backward onto your digital camera. A reversing ring lets you use a crop-sensor lens on a full-frame camera, allowing you to achieve a magnification of X4 for close-up shootings.
  • Extension tubes. Using extension tubes will move the camera lenses farther away from the sensor. Thus, the focal plane lies on the sensor, producing a sharp image. These tubes will let you achieve closer focusing distances. In general, they will get you just into the true macro range.

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