Get Super Close

Digital cameras have macro capability built right in. But what if you want to get real close? Here’s how to get a bug’s-eye view of the world.

Since the early roots of photography, people have been fascinated with capturing the world up close. Super close. Bumps-on-a-frog close. Most digital cameras come with a Macro mode that allows you to get very close to your subject. Sometimes, this mode is simply called Close Up and is denoted by a flower icon on your camera. Depending on your camera, close can be defined as anything from 6 inches to 18 inches. But what if you want to see the very pores? This hack will help you get started.

There are a few ways to get these types of startling shots. The first way is to buy a macro lens that is designed specifically for this type of shooting. Unfortunately, these lenses are often quite pricey. A second option is to buy extension tubes for your DSLR. An extension tube is a light-tight tunnel that extends the distance from your lens to the camera body, thereby increasing magnification—the greater the distance, the more magnification.

But what if your digital camera isn’t an SLR or doesn’t take interchangeable lenses? The third, and most affordable, option is to buy a close-up lens that mounts on top of your current lens, the same way that filters attach. Some cameras have adapters for these auxiliary lenses. But if yours doesn’t, third-party manufacturers such as Raynox ( have devised clever ...

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