Friday, July 24, 2009

Canon Macro Lenses: What Are They?

A true macro lens is one that can create life-size image – 1:1 magnification or greater. Canon macro lenses come in a wide variety with focal lengths from 50mm to 180mm. Most of these lenses will take you up to life-size magnification. However, one lens starts at life-size, rising to five time’s life-size magnification.Macro lenses are not just used for macro photography. For the most part, this is what they were designed for, but most focus to infinity as well.
This makes Canon macro lenses exceptionally versatile lenses that can be used for a variety of reasons besides just photographing fine detail.The essential difference between a macro lens and an ordinary lens is that the optical elements of a macro lens can move over a greater range. This allows them to bring subjects at a closer distance into sharp focus.
This would be a great advantage for taking photos of stamps or coins as the details of the items would be more defined. If you compare two equivalent focal length lenses, for example, the EF100mm f2 USM and the EF100mm f2.8 Macro USM, you will see that the close focusing distance of each is very different.
The macro lens can focus sharply on a subject just 31cm away from the lens, while the non-macro lens can only focus on a subject if it is 90cm away or further. Being able to focus closer, the macro lens magnifies an image more. In this case, a subject 31cm away will be recorded as life-size. Compare this with the non-macro 100 mm lens. A subject at its closest focusing distance will only be recorded as 0.14x the actual size. In other words, if the subject is 10cm long in real life, when recorded on film or on the digital sensor, it will only be 1.4cm long.
Canon macro lenses allow you to move in really close to your subject for a dramatic effect in the photograph. These types of lenses can be a great asset for any photographer. The dramatic effect that it creates enables you to add variety to your photos.

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