The Best Macro Lenses

Bee sitting on a flower macro

An essential piece of gear for your close-up detail shots is a macro lens! No matter if you want to capture detailed shots of nature, products, humans, or your pet, in this guide we have compiled the best macro lenses for you.

By definition, Macro means that your subject is the same size or smaller than your camera sensor, and fills the frame (if your camera sensor is one inch wide, your subject is 1 inch or smaller). A commonly used metric for macro is “magnification”. This simply explains the ratio between your subject size and your sensor size (like 1:1 = “life-size” or 2:1 = “double the size of life”).

Of course, you can easily get close to your subject with many lenses until it fills your frame, but the issue is focusing. And this is where macro lenses come in. Macro lenses can focus on subjects that are very close to your sensor.

Getting up close can give your subjects interesting and new perspectives. The sweet spot for macro lenses is around 100mm or longer, this way you don’t get so close that you block your own light or disturb your subject.

We also have a great interview with Cokau Lab about Filming Insects in Macro for you to check out.

If you’d like to dive deeper into the world of lens optics, there is a great course called “The Secrets of Optics“, available on MZed!