KEY SKILL More ways to get close
If you don’t want to buy a macro lens as you won’t be using one regularly, there are affordable alternatives
Magnifying filters usually come in sets of +1, +2 and +4 diopter filters, which can be combined for increased effect. They screw onto the front of a lens. The magnifying effect is greater with a telephoto zoom, so it’s best to use them on a lens with a focal length over 100mm – 200mm is ideal.
Reverse your lens
You can also buy reversing rings for around £15/$20, which enable you to mount the lens backwards. This allows for exceptionally close macro photography, and the wider the lens the closer you can get. You do, however, lose autofocus, exposure metering (in most cases) and in-camera aperture control, so a lens with a mechanical aperture ring is essential. It is also worth bearing in mind that the background will be completely distorted (see page 52 for more).