Photo kit field guide: best gear for macro photography

Zohreh Soleimanpour
(Image credit: Zohre Soleimanpour)

Most photographers are familiar with what a macro lens does and how it differs from conventional optics, of similar focal lengths. However there are multiple types of macro lens available in the modern age of photography, as well as several options of camera format. This can complicate the choice of gear considerably and it is critical to understand just how various items impact the type of creative macro shots we can capture.

Magnification ratio is the first important factor to consider, as this will directly influence how close you can get to your subject. To clarify, this does not necessarily refer to the minimum focus distance of a lens, rather the magnifying power of the optical design and the resulting reproduction size of the subject in the final frame. For beginners, many lenses have a ‘macro’ function, especially telephoto zooms, such as a 70-300mm. 

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Peter Fenech

As the Editor for  Digital Photographer magazine, Peter is a specialist in camera tutorials and creative projects to help you get the most out of your camera, lens, tripod, filters, gimbal, lighting and other imaging equipment.

After cutting his teeth working in retail for camera specialists like Jessops, he has spent 11 years as a photography journalist and freelance writer – and he is a Getty Images-registered photographer, to boot.

No matter what you want to shoot, Peter can help you sharpen your skills and elevate your ability, whether it’s taking portraits, capturing landscapes, shooting architecture, creating macro and still life, photographing action… he can help you learn and improve.