As we all know, in a lot of situations, ideally we want to fill the frame with our subject.  In order to do this we zoom our lens in and use a larger focal range (ie we zoom from 70mm to 200mm).

Using this method we can sometimes get close enough to see individual feathers or strands of fur.

So what is the difference between zooming in like this and macro?

Well in macro photography, we use a macro lens that is specifically designed for taking photos up close.  A dedicated macro lens can photograph tiny objects in full and crisp detail.

The difference is kind of like looking at something from 100 paces away and then walking in closer to 20 paces away (zoom lens) as opposed to crawling in really close and looking from only a few inches away (macro lens).  Get the idea?

So a macro lens is worth the money if you really want to get clean, crisp, sharp photos of small objects or animals.

But what if you want to get in even closer?

You could purchase a larger macro lens ($$$), or you could just use your existing lenses in a different way…

The images below were taken by attaching my 105mm macro lens to the camera and then attatching my 50mm prime lens to the front of that – backwards – using rubber bands.

That’s right, I created a Frankenlens.

Attaching the 50mm lens backwards to the front of a dedicated macro lens amplifies the macro capabilities of the lens.  Unfortunately, it also reduces the depth of field to only a millimeter or two.  So a tripod and remote release is mandatory to take the shot with no shake or blur.

Getting the right part of your object in focus is quite hard using this method as the depth of field is so tiny.  I recommend moving the object rather than the camera but it is still quite difficult.  The objects in the photos below were only a few millimeters away from the front (back) of my leading lens (50mm).

I recommend you all give this method a try.  Insects might be quite hard to shoot this way but everyday objects will be a lot easier to practice on and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Happy Shooting!

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