Macro Photography - Tri-State Photographic Society

Macro Photography - Tri-State Photographic Society
Macro Photography
Using camera equipment that renders a 1:1 or
1x image on a film or sensor.
The image is the same size on the film or
sensor as it is in real life, at minimum
focusing distance.
Macro lenses
Typical macro lens focal lengths and 1:1
distance (for 35 mm film)
– 50 mm macro – 1.5 inches
– 105 mm macro – 4.5 inches
– 180 mm macro – 9 inches
Special adaptations allow for close focusing.
Increasing Ratio from 1:1
Adding 50 mm of extension tubes (no glass)
or bellows to a 50 mm macro lens changes
the ratio to 2:1.
Adding a 2x teleconverter changes the ratio
to 2:1 or doubles the working distance at 1:1.
Using close-up lenses or filters that come in
1x, 2x, 3x or other magnifications.
Important Items
Depth of Field
Eliminate Movement
Depth of Field
Depth of Field (DOF)
DOF – Lens Focal Length
Shorter focal length =
 Wide angle of view
 More DOF
Longer focal length =
 Narrow angle of view
 Less DOF
DOF - Distance to Subject
Given the same camera,
aperture and lens
An image taken closer
has less DOF than an
image taken further
DOF - Aperture
Large aperture =
More light =
Small depth of field =
Small f-stop number
Small aperture =
Less light =
Large depth of field =
Large f-stop number
DOF – Sensor / Film Size
The larger the film size,
the smaller the DOF,
given the same focal
length, the same
distance, and the same
APS-C has less DOF than
full size sensor.
Movement Kills!
Don’t hand-hold!
Use a sturdy tripod that is
appropriate for your
camera / lens size.
Eliminate Vibration!
Use a remote shutter
release to eliminate any
movement from your
Use a mirror lock-up to
eliminate any vibration
internal to the camera.
Minimize Wind
Use Plamp™ to hold subject or “wind breaks”.
DOF – Creative Use
DOF - Isolation
DOF – Isolation 2
DOF – Parallel Planes
DOF – What’s the Subject?
Natural Light
Macro Flash Units
Ring Flash
Off-camera (hand-held)
“Flat light”
Cannot direct
One directional
Potential shadows
Twin Lights
Greater “depth”
Diffusers / Reflectors
“softens” harsh light
Bounces light back into
Eliminates shadows
DOF – Rule of Thumb
DOF is 1/3 in front of the focal plane and 2/3 behind the
focal plane.
DOF for 35mm Film
50 mm
8 in
0.24 in
50 mm
8 in
0.67 in
105 mm
8 in
0.03 in
105 mm
8 in
0.1 in
180 mm
8 in
0.00 in
180 mm
8 in
0.01 in
180 mm
8 in
0.02 in
Stacking Images
Use software, such as
Helicon Focus™, to
“stack” images with
different DOF, to get
one image with a larger
This picture was made by
stacking 37 images.
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