Macro? Close-up?

I joined this group because I need the "pressure" to improve my picture-taking eye.

I took these pictures, not so much as "art" as "technical research" to get an idea of what my camera will do in the line of macro/close-up photography. I really should take pictures of a good scale but... this is what I did....
First - although I took it last is this full frame picture of a U.S. Dime on my rug. It has not been cropped but it has been re-sized to "8 inch width" as have all the rest of the pictures in this post. So obviously, this is neither macro nor close-up. It was taken with a 300mm lens focusing as close as possible without any close-up lenses. Note: the lens has engraved on it the following: "1.5m/4.9ft MACRO" but as we see it is NOT a true macro lens, not even close.

At 72 pixels per inch the image would be 53.78 inches wide; this would allow me to crop to just around the dime and re-size to 8 inches. While that would appear to be macro, it does not meet the definition of life size or larger on the film or sensor (which is 23.6mm wide while the dime is 17.89mm in diameter.

Now that we have seen my target here's what I did. I took my first picture with the 300mm lens at closest focus with +4, +2 and +1 close-up lenses all attached. I know Kodak says only use one or two stacked close-ups. I set the camera to manual focus and racked in and out using the center column on the tripod. The following image is full frame (or 23.6mm) and I measure the part of the dime in the image to actually be 8.49mm or about 2.8:1 magnification so this is really macro acheived with close-up lenses.

Then I took off the +1 and tried again. I got a little more of E Pluribus Unum this time which I measured as 10.4mm giving a 2.6:1 ratio or still bigger than life size on the sensor and therefore macro.

Finally I took one with only the +4 and got still more of the coin on the sensor; I measured what I got at15.3mm giving 1.5:1 macro.

I should write this down somewhere in my technical stuff as well as do the work for the other combinations of close-up lenses. I have a +10 lens from my film days but my Sony APS-C lenses have so little room between glass and filter thread that I can't screw it in. LOL

Post updated 3-17-2012 to show the exaggerated claim to be a macro lens.

Post updated 4-4-2012: Last night I reread the instructions for both my lenses and they both say maximum magnification is 1/4.  Well now I know I don't have to put the long zoom on the camera for close-ups or macro.
70+, M
3 Responses Mar 13, 2012

I'm thrilled if I manage to get the picture clear enough to tell who or what it is lol. This is great to see though. Hope you post more.

I'll show you mine if you show us yours

lol..........ok but if I bore you to death with pics of my grand babies don't say you weren't warned cause they tend to be most of my picture subject now a days :-))

Is there gonna be a quiz ???? ...... lol

Heavens NO QUIZ! Although if you want to quiz me I'll be glad to try to answer.

Wow tommy, I'm impressed. I'm glad when I take a pic of a person and ALL of their head is in the shot....This is wayy tricky!! I LOVE the one where the back of the dime is really magnified and perfectly centered... But I also like the ones with the pinky-purply tinge..... Good stuff!

I hope you noticed how off center the dime was in the first image. The dime in the second image is from the same scot, I just cropped away everything that was not dime - something that is available in even the most basic photo processing software. Your camera and the physical world place limits on how your picture can look; with cropping you can "improve" the picture. The pinky-purply was unintentional, an artifact of my trying to do some other "improving."