Standard or macro focusing

More and more zoom lenses are appearing with the ability to focus close enough so that the images of one quarter, one third, or even one half life size (magnifications of 0.25x, 0.33x and 0.5x) are obtained. These zooms are often referred to as “macro focusing,” although this is not strictly correct. We already know that “macro” means life size or larger, so these lenses operate in the “close focusing” not the “macro focusing” range.

There is usually a button or lever or some other device that puts these zoom lenses into the close focusing mode, although some lenses focus continuously from infinity into the close up range without a break. Also, there are lenses that go into the close up mode only at their shortest or longest focal length setting, while others will focus up close at any focal length. Check out the specific method of operation before you buy any zoom lens. Get the one that is most suitable for you.

Understandably, close focusing zooms are more complex and more expensive than those which don’t have this feature. Even so, they don’t focus as close or perform as well at short lens to subject distances as true unifocal macro lenses. However, if you do a reasonable amount of close up photography without really specializing in it, a close focusing zoom can be very convenient.


More about zoom lenses

- Focal Length Range of Zoom Lenses
- Tips about Zoom Ratio
- Standard or Macro Focusing
- Zoom Lens Consideration
- Tips on Handling Zoom Lens
- Advantage of Zoom Lens vs Unifocal Lens
- Disadvantage of Zoom Lens vs Unifocal Lens