A macro lens is classically a lens capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1, although it often refers to any lens with a large reproduction ratio, despite rarely exceeding 1:1. Macro lenses are specifically designed for close-up work, with a long barrel for close focusing and are optimized for high reproduction ratios. True macro lenses can achieve higher magnification than life size, enabling photography of the structure of small insect eyes, snowflakes, and other minuscule objects. Most modern macro lenses can focus continuously to infinity and provide excellent optical quality for even normal photographic situations.
Macro lenses of different focal lengths find different uses:
- Continuously-variable focal length – suitable for virtually all macro subjects
- 45–65 mm – product photography, small objects that can be approached closely without causing undesirable influence, and scenes requiring natural background perspective
- 90–105 mm – insects, flowers, and small objects from a comfortable distance
- 150–200 mm – insects and other small animals where additional working distance is required
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by Richard S - Dakota Visions Photography, LLC