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Camera House : Better Pictures 12
A smAll world Macro photography reveals a miniature world in close-up. If you really want to get the best results when photographing flowers, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, a macro lens will be your new best friend. what Is a macro lens? A macro lens is a specialist lens that delivers life-size reproductions of minute subjects. It has a ratio of 1:1. Therefore, all the detail you see magnified through the lens is what will be reproduced in your image. A dedicated macro lens is far more able to deliver maximum sharpness and colour clarity than the use of other attachments, such as close-up filters. Since capturing detail is so important, depth of field, sensor size and magnification are critical when choosing a macro. how many mm? A macro lens can come in a range of focal lengths and is able to focus from infinity to extremely close, but for our money, the best focal length macro lens is one of 100mm. This will allow you to keep a reasonable distance from your subject, so you don’t scare it into flight – yet you’ll still be able to fill the frame. FocusIng wIth macro The majority of macro lenses on the market these days offer auto focusing and if they also use some type of silent motor system, you’re in business. Still, most pro shooters prefer to focus their macro subjects manually. Set your magnification level on your lens, then focus down until your subject is crystal clear – then activate your AF to maintain focus if the subject is moving – the best of both worlds! Feature life in miniAture trIpod v Flash While today’s macro lenses usually come with image stabilisation systems built-in, you can’t go past a tripod for ensuring your image remains sharp and finely detailed, as shooting with a tripod will eliminate all but the worst camera shake. You can lock off your tripod, so when you finally squeeze off your shot you don’t accidentally change your framing (a must when working at such a close-up level). Alternatively, you can opt to use an electronic flash to illuminate your subject and minimise blur – this also allows you to shoot handheld and place your camera exactly where you want it. other optIons Want to shoot close-ups of insects and plant life but don’t have the funds for a quality macro lens? You could always consider an extension tube as an alternative, like teleconverters. They fit between the lens and camera but are hollow, with no optical components, and work by simply extending the lens away from the sensor, decreasing the minimum focusing distance. They are best combined with a short focal length lens and are available in a variety of strengths. ■ Small, lightweight and super fast, this f/2 lens from Tamron provides a longer working distance for macro shooting than its predecessor. It offers 1:1 reproduction that is super sharp and immensely detailed. Stop down to f/2 and you get crisp images from edge to edge. tAmrOn 60mm f/2 Di ii lD lens 21 021_Bpics12_Macro.indd 21 28/02/13 2:45 PM
Better Pictures 11
Better Pictures 13