Evoking and enhancing macro mode in your camera

Close-up lenses

Lähilinssi on objektiivin eteen kiinnitettävä suurentava linssi, jolla saadaan lisäsuurennusta lähikuvauksessa. Lähilinssin vahvuudet ilmoitetaan dioptreinä. Lähilinssin hankinnassa on tärkeää panostaa linssin laatuun.

These accessories are mainly for digital cameras with no detacable lenses. They're usually sold in a four-pack with +10, +5, +2 ja +1 magnification, the first one being the most powerful. Below there's an example of how the +10 close-up lens affects (HP Photosmart 945, optical zoom at 3,5x):

There's a lot of blur in the borders when the optical zoom is used.

The working distance depends a lot on the camera and the zoom level, but generally it's many centimeters.

Extension tube

Loittorengas on valokuva- tai elokuvakameran osa, joka asetetaan objektiivin ja kameran väliin. Loittorengas muuttaa objektiivin tarkennusaluetta siten, että objektiivi pystyy tarkentamaan lähemmäs kuin ilman loittorengasta, mutta ei pysty ollenkaan tarkentamaan kauas, eli siitä on hyötyä niin sanotussa lähikuvauksessa, jossa kuvataan lähietäisyydeltä pieniä kohteita kuten hyönteisiä.

These are a powerful and quite a cheap method to start with macro photography. One extension tube set (being only a straight metal tube with detachable parts to your liking) costs about $10 on eBay.

Below there's a photo of a book taken with the normal kit lens, and the second one is taken with the extension tube set (Canon EOS 350D and Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, focal length 55mm):

Because the extension tubes go in between the camera and the lens, the electrical signaling is blocked and thus all the adjustments must be made manually. The camera is able to decide the best shutter time when the "AV" mode is used, but the focusing must be done by the user. The aperture can be selected before detaching the lens by pressing the * button while twisting the lens off.

There are some extension tubes (a bit more expensive) sold on eBay that have the electrical contacts, so that the lens can be used normally.

The working distance is some centrimeters:

Reverse mounting ring / reverse adapter

A reverse mounting ring does what it says: it's used to mount the lens backwards. The magnification is immense even with the kit lens, and the method is as cheap as the cost of the ring, available on eBay (a few $). The photos below are taken with Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, the first with 18mm and the other one with 55mm focal length.:

With this set the working distance is some centimeters with the longest focal length, but I believe when you have a lens with even longer focal lengths, the working distance goes further.

With all the methods described here the sharp area is paper narrow so moving the camera even a millimeter brings the object out of focus. By setting the aperture smaller the sharp area grows, but also the shutter time grows with it, which may bring motion blur to the image.

More about the close-up photography:
Lähikuvaus - Wikipedia