Macro photography is about taking photos of things very close up, allowing you to see details in the photo that your eyes might not be even able to see.
Minimum Focusing Distance
A macro lens is able to focus at very short distances from the subject and is characterized by a specific magnification ratio. The minimum focusing distance can be as small as 7-8 inches (20-22 inches for regular lenses). These numbers are lens-specific and not fixed, please check the specs of the lens if you’re interested in buying one.
Magnification ratio 1:1 means that the size of the subject in real life is the same as the size of its representation on the sensor (or film). A lens with a 1:2 magnification ratio can project an image on its sensor up to half the size of the subject and so on.
Getting so close to the food will allow you to show very fine details and, for pretty small subjects (a cookie, for example), it will allow you to actually fill the entire frame with the subject, since you can get very close to it. Also, macro lenses tend to be extremely sharp. For that reason they are often used in product photography as well. Macro lenses come in extremely advanced versions called ’Tilt Shift lenses’, used for very specific types of shots.
Macro lenses are definitely more expensive than standard lenses, but I believe they should be part of every food photographer’s camera bag.
This is the macro lens I normally use. I think it’s an excellent lens and its autofocus helps a lot in stressful restaurant situations when there’s very little time to nail the shot.
When I need a tilt shift lens, this is what I use. It’s a manual focus lens, so I tend to limit its use to studio shoots where I can carefully focus.
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Thank You and Happy Shooting!