Macro lenses reproduce small objects at up to 0.5x life size on the imaging sensor of a camera. Often, dedicated macro prime lenses go further still, allowing full 1.0x or 1:1 magnification at their closest focusing distances. But, makes a great macro or micro lens? Keep reading to know the answer:
Choosing the Right Lens
The majority of standard zoom lenses provide a maximum magnification of around 0.3x Zoom lenses. Even some prime lenses that have a macro badge offer a greater magnification of about 0.5x. However, if you wish to purchase a lens for close-up photography, a macro prime that offers a full 1.0x magnification is a perfect choice. Again this magnification reproduces an object at full life size on a camera’s sensor. You can take advantage of a bonus of you will use an APS-c format camera that has 1.5x or 1.6x crop factor because you will fill more of the image frame with smaller objects, offering greater magnification. You can various macro prime lenses on the market designed exclusively for APS-C format cameras. But, it is usually best to purchase a full-frame compatible macro lens. In general, this lens is not much bigger, more expensive, or heavier.
Considering the Focal Length
When picking a macro lens, it is imperative to take focal length into account. Unlike when you purchase regular lenses, it’s not about wide-angle coverage or telephoto reach. Rather, it is about the minimum focusing distance. A micro lens that has a longer focal length has a bigger minimum focusing distance, which means more work space between you and the object you want to shoot.
Macro lenses that have 90mm to 105 mm focal lengthy are most popular. This has to do with the manageability of their size and weight, affordability, and convenience. The distance between the front of the lens and your subject is often around 14cm, which tends to feel quite natural for close-up shooting.
Nowadays, macro prime lenses feature image stabilization. They are more effective for close-up shooting because of their ability to correct for vertical/horizontal shift in the camera. However, although stabilization is good to have for general and moderately close-up shooting, it has not many benefits for extreme close-ups.
Overall, experts recommend a macro lens that has a 90mm to 105mm focal length, an f/2.8 aperture rating, manual focus facilities, good autofocus, and effective image stabilization. You can take advantage of the autofocus, stabilizer, and fast aperture for portraiture and general short-telephoto shooting.