If you’re interested in capturing extreme close-ups of flowers, insects or other minute objects, you just cannot compare the capabilities of a standard 18-55mm Kit Lens to those of a Macro Lens. Macro Lenses are able to focus on subjects just centimeters from the lens and can achieve up to 1:1 magnification. That means the image on the sensor is the same size as the object itself. The ability to capture tack-sharp close-ups of tiny subjects is what sets Macro Lenses apart.
The extremely shallow depth of field creates the signature look of Macro photography that isn’t achievable with any other lens. You get a pinpoint focus on a subject, set amongst a beautifully blurred foreground and background.
The brighter maximum aperture of a Macro Lens is responsible for the background blur. This makes it useful not only for photographing objects up close, but also from far away.
One of the factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a Macro Lens is working distance. Working distance is the distanced measured from the tip of your lens to the subject. So, the working distance for a 100mm lens is double that of a 50mm lens. If you’re planning on using your Macro Lens to discover the artistic beauty of bugs or other wild subjects, it’s best to go for a longer working distance to avoid scaring your critter away, or worse yet, getting stung.
For more advice on using Macro Lenses, check out our Shooting Tips section.