Macro with dSLR?
Sorry if this is a silly question, but what is the process of taking a 'macro' photo with a dslr?.

With a P&S camera, they usually have a macro mode or button that you can use to get really close in to the subject..

I can't find a mode like this on the dslr. Is it just done manually? Or am I missing something?.

I have seen there are special macro lenses for dslrs, but how about just using a standard lens?thanks..

Comments (7)

There are supplemental lenses that screw on the front of the camera lens. This will allow you to focus closer but the image quality may suffer..

Extention rings fit between the lens and the camera. But these are manual focus / aperture unless you get the expensive kind and you might as well bet the macro lens..

You can get a bellows set that works like a continuous extention ring. Less than a lens..

A real macro lens works best and is usually most expensive. It will let you focus closer and is corrected for that close focus..

What kind of camera and lens are you using?.

I'm gonna have to sell some of this stuff so I can buy more stuff! Mummm, more stuff!..

Comment #1

I have an Olympus E510 and it has a macro mode.....but you can also add dedicated macro lenses for closer work..

What DSLR camera do you have?.

LucyE- 510, 40- 150, 14- 54 and ZD 35 Macro lensesU ZI owner!Olympus C30-20Z Member #98, Oly Division'Photography is the art of seeing what others do not.'..

Comment #2

Thanks for the replies.I have an olympus e520..

Lucy, your 510 has a a macro mode??.

I can't find one on my 520, but since the 510 and 520 are very similar, I would think it has it. Where is yours located?..

Comment #3

The focus distance and magnification depends on your lens, or maybe aux lenses, extension tubes, or bellows if you have those attached. The strict definition of macro is 1:1. The size of the subject is the size projected on your digital sensor of film. Close focus is not necessarily the same as macro..

If the lens is at it's closest focus distance no button on a slr camera body will make it focus closer. Slr's and P&S' differ in this respect. I don't think most P&S' really offer macro mode by the strict definition, if they do the distance to the subject is absurdly close...

Comment #4

The term "macro", in common usage, is really just the ability to focus very close. There are specific technical definitions for the term macro, that you don't need to worry about that in this usage..

In a DSLR, this is handled by the lens, you can only focus as close as the lens is designed for. Your user's manual will tell you how close your lens will focus. (There are ways around this, which I will cover in a later paragraph.) Now depending on the lens, the image may still be too small for your needs, or, too large. Finding a happy balance can be a bit of a pain to the inexperienced..

Generally, wide angle lenses can focus very closely, but being wide angle, the images are sometimes not enlarged enough to be useful because you have to get so close to the subject that photographing it can be impractical Telephotos, don't focus all that close, but the magnification is much greater, so the close-up effect may be perfect for you, and you can work at a reasonably comfortable distance from the subject..

Many people find a 'normal' to slightly telephoto lens that can close focus at least a bit, to be ideal for close-up photography. It gives good magnification and allows you to work at a comfortable distance from the subject. Try just focusing slose with your kit lens and see how things work out for you. also, try manual focus, I've found auto focus to be a bit unreliable for close up work..

If you still can't focus close enough, then for about $30 or so, you can buy add on lenses that allow your kit lens to close focus. I would try this first. Yes the image quality will suffer a bit, but not that much and it will give you an idea of how close-up photography works.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..

And my non Photo blog:

Comment #5

Kiri wrote:.

Thanks for the replies.I have an olympus e520..

Lucy, your 510 has a a macro mode??I can't find one on my 520, but since the 510 and 520 are verysimilar, I would think it has it. Where is yours located?.

Any macro setting on a dslr has to do with exposure not close focusing. So, the macro setting Lucy is referring to won't help you in your quest..

You need either a close up lens attachment, extension tubes, or macro lens in that order for quality. Bellows and reversal rings work too, but might be a little complicated for you..

The point in macro is the ability to focus closer. To do that the lens must move farther away from the sensor than it normally can. Extension tube are metal or plastic tubes that hold the lens further out. A macro lens is like any other lens but it can move the rear elements farther away from the sensor. That's why they focus slower. They have a longer range of movement.

As others have said, you might try your kit lens to see how close you can get, then crop. If you wish to get closer, try a 2 element closeup filter. If you want better, jump on up and buy a macro lens.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #6


A +2, +3, +4 will do nicely on a 40/150 ZD zoomI use a +2, and may get a +4 also..

ALL With:E510, 40/150 @ 92, ISO 400, NF=OFF, F/11, +2 CUL.

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Macro lens ($$$) do have sharper results..but, these are perfectly acceptable in sharpness too. expect for large prints above 11x14.

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What I shoot with - in Profile.Arbib..

Comment #7

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