Lens minimum focusing distance and macro photography

How to take a close-up ENGAGAMENT PHOTOGRAPHY NYC  of an object? The answer is obvious: get closer to him. But everyone who has tried to shoot small objects with a conventional (for example, whale) lens knows that the camera simply cannot focus at close distances.

Any lens has such a characteristic – the minimum focusing distance. Closer than this distance, the lens will not be able to focus, this is a design limitation. When focusing at short distances, simple lenses can noticeably reduce image quality. The minimum focusing distance of conventional lenses is rarely enough even for shooting at a scale of 1:5. By the way, the maximum shooting scale of the lens is always indicated in its characteristics on the manufacturer’s website.

Many cameras and smartphones have a macro mode, but it does not always allow you to shoot with the proper scale (at least 1:5). This automatic scene program will only help focus on the subject closest to the lens, but will not zoom in or reduce the minimum focusing distance of the available lens.

Shooting at 1:1 scale requires special equipment. You can use macro bellows, macro rings, or even a normal reading magnifier to shorten the focusing distance. But there are specialized solutions on the market – macro lenses. Their main feature is the ability to focus and obtain high-quality images at short distances. The standard zoom ratio is 1:1, and this is the ratio that all modern Nikon macro lenses provide. For example, Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S achieves this shooting scale at 29 cm from the plane of the matrix. Comparable to a portrait lens of the same focal length, the NIKKOR AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED. Its minimum focusing distance is already 1 meter, on it the shooting scale is about 1: 7.5!

An important point: the focusing distance is measured not from the front lens of the lens, but from the focal plane, from the camera matrix. To know where to count the focusing distance from, there is a Ꝋ sign on the camera, it is located on the top edge of the camera. But sometimes you can come across the concept of “minimum focusing distance”. In this case, we are talking about the distance from the front lens to the subject. This value is relevant when shooting wildlife.

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