Macro lenses

For ease and efficiency in the close up range a true macro lens is the ultimate tool. Focusing continuously from infinity down to one half or even full size, this lens dispenses with attachments, tubes, bellows and all other add on devices. (One exception is the type of macro designed in two parts. The prime section is conveniently short and lightweight and gets you down to one half life size. When necessary the second section can be added to achieve full life size images.)

Ease of use, however is only one advantage. A macro lens is designed with a flat field. That is, when flat subjects like photographs or pages of a newspaper are copied, the image will be just as sharp in the corners as in the center. In addition, a macro lens is computed to be at its best in the close up range, although it is still a fine performer at any distance.

Focusing is accomplished as with any other lens mounted in a focusing tube; an outer ring is turned so that the lens as a whole moves forward toward the subject. However, a macro lens has a double helical screw mount. When the first screw runs out to its limit, the second one takes over and extends the lens even farther. As the tube carrying the lens slide out more and more, scales are exposed showing lens extension, reproduction size ratios and exposure increase factors necessary information for careful scientific workers or those without through the lens metering.

It is true that a macro lens is probably the most expensive piece of ordinary equipment available for close up photography, but it produces the best image quality with the least amount of effort. Taking close up pictures is its main purpose and it does the job well.


More about close up lenses

- Supplementary close up lenses
- extension tubes
- bellow lenses
- hints for close up photography
- tips for using close up magnification