Macro Photography with a long lens

Fiddle head fern

There is something special about a close up view of a fiddlehead fern or other small element of nature. As we approach spring, practice looking at natural young growth elements around the yard or a nearby park.

Most everyone has a long lens of some sort, and while we normally associate them with sports, or looking at subjects far away they are also great for isolating the subject. A simple set of Extension Tubes can turn your current lens into a macro set up.

This images was made with  a Nikon 300mm, opened to it’s full aperture f/4.5. This older lens originally was used on my film camera but fits my digital outfit and even my Sony mirrorless with an adapter. You can buy it use for $159 on KEH, the online used camera outlet. It originally sold for $800. Other bargains are also available that will fit your particular brand.

Features to look for …

  • Telephoto – 200mm or longer,
  • a faster lens – f/4.5 – f/2.8,
  • tripod mount if possible for balance,
  • Extra Low Dispersion glass elements – only better lenses have it.

The 200 – 400mm lenses reduce the distractions around the edges as the focal length is more narrow than say the Nikon 105mm.

Adamsaco Lily

The faster lens helps DIFFUSE THE BACKGROUND as you get closer to the subject. To get closer than the minimum focus distance use a set of Extension Tubes ( $30-$124 from B&H Photo, Hunts Photo or Amazon). My set of Kenko Tubes have been with me for over 40 years. A set is usually sold in 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm. They can be used in combination together of separately on all of your lenses. They turn any of your lenses into a macro lens. The only restriction is that the total of extension must not exceed the focal length of your lens.

The Tripod Collar is usually located in the middle of the longer lens and often rotates to  moving from a horizontal to vertical framing without changing position. Look for this feature to cut down unwanted vibration.

The extra Low Dispersion Glass is a sign of quality.

If you need hep in deciding on lenses, give us a shout @ bobgry@aol.com. Be pleased to offer ideas. Like, follow or share.

 

 

 

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