So you want to take macro shots? Like those you see in the magazines? With the eyes of a spider staring at you, or the quiet, fairy-like world inside a flower from your garden?
You want to do all tis, for which you need a macro lens costing $$$, which you haven’t got? Never fear.
You can do all of the above!
This is another of those questions I get asked zillions of times. Yes, taking shots like those mentioned does need you to invest in a macro lens, but as we all know, those lenses can cost almost as much as the camera itself.
Normal lenses supplied with the camera are usually able to give you a magnification ratio of 1:10, but for decent macro shots, you need a ratio of 1:1 ideally.
Cash in these cash-strapped days is in short supply, so I am going to tell you about several ways in which you can shoot your macro shots with your standard lens.
The first method is to use Close up lenses. These things attach to the front of your normal lens in place of the filter, or slide into an attachment that you screw into that same filter thread on your lens. You can use just one or a combination of them to give you the desired magnification.Close up lenses work best with standard long lens (ie one with a focal length around 100mm or more). Cost is around $20 to over $250 depending upon the size, type of filter thread and obviously make. The most common maker of these lenses is Kood.
The second method is to use Extension tubes. These are tubes which fit between your standard lens and camera body, and serve to move your existing focal length away from infinity…that gives you much closer focussing ability. Bear in mind that because these fit between your existing lens and body, whatever electronic system there was between your camera and lens to allow for auto-focus, auto-metering etc will not work, as the tubes effectively break up the connection between your lens and camera, so you have to focus and set your camera manually…no big deal. However, you can buy some extension tubs that allow camera-lens communication, but they will set you back a lot of money, around $180 or more.
Another third method is to use Reversing rings. As the name suggests, these allow you to again use your existing lens, but in a reversed position. These again fit between your lens and camera body. You remove the lens from the camera body, fit the reversing ring to the body and then refit the lens facing backwards, onto the reversing ring. It will make your camera look rather odd, with the electrical contacts and locking pins showing up at the front, but it will let you shoot macros to your heart’s content. It’s worth pointing out that with reversing rings in place, and because the lens is now reversed, focussing may not be possible, so the only option you have left is to move the camera itself closer or farther from your subject to get it in focus.
Also worth noting is that even with reversing rings in place, you can increase magnification even further by adding extension tubes between the reversing ring and reversed lens……hope you got that! Cost of reversing rings is the cheapest option…look at spending around $15 for a single ring.
See? You CAN take macro shots without spending $$$!