How To Achieve 350% Magnification For Macro Photography

There are several techniques to gain more magnification shooting macro photography, and some of them are quite cheap and effective at the same time. I share the use of extension tubes on top of a dedicated macro lens, attached to a Micro Four Thirds body, and in this combination I have measured that I can achieve about 350% magnification. Of course I brought this combo out to a park and managed to shoot some really cool insects and spiders which I am sharing here in this blog entry. For full discussion on how I measure magnification and prove that I got 350% on my setup, please do go and watch the video I have published here (click). This is one example where it was easier to just demonstrate a process through video, than having to write down word buy word in an article format. 

On Micro Four Thirds, we already get double equivalent magnification to begin with, due to the 2x crop factor. A subject measuring full width on a 35mm format sensor, can be magnified twice on a Micro Four Thirds sensor at 17.5mm width. While this correlation is subject to debate, the final "equivalent" output is really 2x larger, there is no hesitation about this result. Using my E-M5 Mark III with 7Artisans 60mm macro lens allows me 200% magnification, and adding on extension tubes allows me to go much closer, and I measured (in video) about 350% magnification, which is no slouch. I find myself not needing this much magnification most of the time. But there are really tiny creatures that can benefit from such large magnification, and most of the images taken and shown here in this blog is almost at full 350%,

The 7Artisans lens was about RM500, and the extension tubes RM100, making this combination really cheap (RM600/USD150). For so little, you get so much! I acknowledge that if macro photography is what you do a lot, and you earn a living from shooting macro then maybe a high magnification macro lens with autofocus like the OM System 90mm PRO makes more sense. But I do think that lens is on the higher side of pricing, which I could not afford, or justify buying without the ability to recover the cost through my paid jobs. If you are doing macro shooting for fun just like me, you don't mind working a bit harder (manual focus, manual exposure) and just work with really cheap options. I think the combo works well, and I am quite happy with the results!

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