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Close-up Photography

This photograph of a Knobthorn (Senegalia nigrescens) flower was shot on the Nikkor AF-S 80 - 400mm lens and 300mm.

Knobthorn (Senegalia nigrescens) (Acacia nigrescens). Detail of flower and thorns. Satao Elerai Conservancy. Near Amboseli National Park. Kenya.

We often advise about and supply photographic equipment, and one of the more common queries is, “I want to photograph flowers and so what macro (micro) lens do I need?” Well, you may not actually need one. If you have a telephoto zoom, the chances are that it can easily be used to photograph flowers and other small objects very effectively, and sometimes, even better than a dedicated macro lens. Those long focal length lenses make for wonderful Bokeh and extremely shallow depth of field which results in excellent subject separation.

Look, it’s not going to replace a dedicated macro lens – when you need to go to 1:1 magnification it’s what you need – but you can do some great close-up photography with a long telephoto zoom. Rack it out to it’s maximum setting – 300, 400 or  even 500 if you have it, set the focus to its closest and go and play…

This photograph of a Knobthorn (Senegalia nigrescens) flower was shot on the Nikkor AF-S 80 - 400mm lens and 300mm.

This photograph of a knobthorn (Senegalia nigrescens) flower was shot on the Nikkor AF-S 80 – 400mm lens and 300mm.

Photo details” Nikon D7100 and Nikkor AF-S 80 – 400mm lens. ISO 200, 1/250 at f10.

Roger de la Harpe

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