Digital SLR Photography - - The Beginner ’s Guide -

Macro lenses come in a num­ber of fo­cal lengths and it's im­por­tant to un­der­stand how this can af­fect your pho­tog­ra­phy. Shorter fo­cal lengths like 50mm or 60mm are usu­ally the most af­ford­able and are good gen­eral- pur­pose macro lenses. Their work­ing dis­tance – in other words the dis­tance be­tween the lens and your sub­ject – is shorter than with macros of longer fo­cal lengths, mean­ing it's more likely to ob­scure light from the scene and, when shoot­ing minia­ture wildlife, you run more of a risk of scar­ing them off.

Longer fo­cal lengths, like 90mm and 105mm, have larger work­ing dis­tances so re­duce the risk of these prob­lems. They are larger, but still han­dle nicely and gen­er­ally tend to be a lit­tle more ex­pen­sive. There are also macro lenses boast­ing 150mm, 180mm and 200mm fo­cal lengths, which of­fer the ul­ti­mate in close- up op­tics for na­ture pho­tog­ra­phers, but these are much heav­ier and far more ex­pen­sive.

You may also come across some odd­i­ties too: Canon of­fers the MP- E 65mm f/ 2.8 – a man­ual fo­cus lens that of­fers mag­ni­fi­ca­tions from one to five times life- size, as well as the re­cently- in­tro­duced EF 35mm f/ 2.8 macro, boast­ing an LED ring­light around its front rim.

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