The macro lens should be called a versatile lens, here's why...

This crested gecko was photographed at f/11 to give enough depth of field when working close to the subject (Image credit: Brian Worley)

Macro lenses are one of the more popular purchases for photographers building their kit bag up. After the telephoto zoom that brings distant subjects closer, the humble macro lens makes small things appear much larger. The first time you see details in your photos that you’ve never captured before is rather special. 

As a short telephoto lens, the macro lens is also ideal to make flattering portrait photos. More than just the close-up of an eyeball, you can capture great-looking pictures of the whole face or person. The telephoto has the effect of pleasingly compressing the facial features for flattering results. Being a prime lens, you’ll find the need to zoom with your feet, instead of a zoom ring. Since the field of view is constant, you’ll soon learn how far you need to be from the subject for your composition. 

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Brian Worley

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus.