Macro Photography on a Budget: Weekend Photography

Macro Photography is great and very engaging. Once you got a good photo you’ll probably go for more. One of the greatest setbacks in macro photography is the cost in getting a macro lens.

I love macro photography. This is the first thing in photography I learned and enjoyed. I spent so many times to learn techniques on how to make my skills elevate. In addition, I looked for inspirations in the internet. However, there are some issues that I found discouraging about macro photography. First, you need a macro lens which is some kind of costly as what I have said earlier. Second, you also need a good light source that is not that harsh. You need a soft light. There are so much more.

I will discuss here what could be the alternatives for a macro lens.


Taken using Canon 400D and Tamron 18-200mm with extension tubes
macro lens is a lens designed for the purpose of capturing close-ups to unravel the mystery of the tiny world. The good thing is that there are enough alternatives that can do the job done with pretty much same results. The following are some of the alternatives:

Extension tubes. 

These are hollow tubes that are placed between your camera and lens. The principle behind this is simple. By putting a distance between the camera sensor and the lens, magnification is achieved. Of course, the higher the distance, the higher the magnification. But because there is something between the sensor and your lens, the electronic communication between them will not work thus, auto focus is not possible. However, there are extension tubes that has this electronics just make sure they are compatible with your camera. Extension tubes usually cost some ten dollars.  There is an alternative to this alternative. You may use other tubes like Pringles can (just be sure you clean it first). Remember that the important thing is to make distance between the sensor and the lens.

Reversing the lens. 

This is done by simply reversing your lens. This means mounting your lens backwards. You need a reversing ring for this one. The principle behind this is that the lens, like telescope, has two ends with opposite function. Your kit lens is a wide angle lens so the other end of it facing the camera has the opposite function. Just like tubes, you cannot use autofocus by reversing your lens. You should remember that by reversing your lens means there is a danger that it might get dust. So, you should cover it while it is not in use during the shoot.


Just like extension tubes, the principle is by putting a distance between the sensor and the lens. The result might be the same with tubes. You can adjust the distance between the lens and the sensor easily with this.

Macro converter/filter.

This like just your lens filter with some difference. It is placed in front of the lens. This serves as a magnifying glass to increase the magnification of your subject. Additionally, you can choose from different degrees of magnification depending on your preferences by getting the macro filter with the degree of your choice. The disadvantage of using a macro filter/converter is that you cannot get the clearest image that you can get using extension tubes.

Do-it-Yourself Objective Lens.

Yes, that is right, you can make your own macro lens alternative. Aside from a chip’s can that you can use as extension tubes, you can also use some parts of an old microscope. You can get the objective lens and attached it to a camera body cap. Put a hole that will fit the objective lens in it and use glue or epoxy to bond them together.

These are some alternatives for Macro Photography. I hope this blog is useful to you. Feel free to comment or send me thru email your suggestions and/or questions. I would love to give you tips for any kind of photography you choose. 

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