An online book of Common Sense Photography, by Rhett Stuart

How to Pick the Best 35mm Macro Photography Lens


Picking the best lens depends on what type of macro photographs you want to take! Macro lenses range from 50mm to 200mm and are used in very different settings. A 100mm macro is a good macro starter lens because it can be handheld easily and has a good working distance when it is needed. However, a higher priced 200mm macro lens gives double the working distance and gets photos of insects that would dart off with a 100mm macro lens barreling in on them! A 200mm macro requires a tripod usually, due to lens shake, but using a tripod is easier because of the extra working distance.

But what if you want to just take macro photographs in a table top setting of coins and stamps? The 200mm macro lens would require you to have it high over the table. A 50mm macro lens would be much more practical!

Canon and Nikon both have great websites to get the details of each lens. Also, retailers like Adorama and B & H Photo have the same details as the manufacturer websites but also often have reviews from owners on the performance of the lens, and what they liked and disliked. That way you can get a “group” consensus on how each lens does, depending on the number of reviews.

Macro Photography is referred to as "micro photography" by Nikon. Macro photography and Micro Photography usually mean the same thing although sometimes Micro Photography refers to photography using a microscope.

All of the lenses and attachments discussed here are professional quality and can get great image results. So the rest is up to you!