Macro Lens Close Encounters

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Rentals, Video Equipment Review | 0 comments

Macro Lens, what is it?

A Macro Lens is a unique lens that allows photography or video that is really close to your subject. The official standard for a macro lens is a lens that can project a subject at a 1:1 ratio onto the camera’s sensor at the minimum focal distance. So what does that mean in real terms? A 1:1 ratio means the lens is displaying the subject as “life size”. So if you have a chess piece that is 2.16” tall, the lens will project that figure at 2.16” onto the sensor. Since the subject is 2.16” tall and it is  projected onto the sensor at 2.16” it has a ratio of 1”:1”. The other key to understanding macro is the minimum focal distance. The minimum focal distance (or MFD) is the shortest distance at which a lens can focus on a subject. The MFD is measured from the sensor and can be found in various ways depending on which lens you are using.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM Macro Lens

The Canon 100mm Macro Lens is a f/2.8 L-series lens that features autofocus and image stabilization. It features a minimum focal distance of 11.8”. The 100mm focal length allows for short telephoto photography and videography. The autofocus and optical image stabilization also allow this lens to be used effectively handheld. While the f/2.8 is good for low light, the combination of it with the image stabilization allows for high quality low light video. This lens also has a lot of versatility due to its long focal range. It can be used effectively for both macro photography or longer range portraits.

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM Lens

The Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro Lens is a prime, macro lens that allows for long distance and macro photography. This telephoto lens features a minimum focal distance of 1.6’, image stabilization, and USM Autofocus. Equipped with a tripod mount, this lens can be effectively used both handheld or mounted. The long length of 180mm as well as the short minimum focal distance of 1.6’ allow for a lot of versatility on portrait photography. 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS Zoom Lens

The Canon 24-70 f/4L IS Zoom Lens is a zoom lens for the L-series of Canon lenses. This zoom lens is unique in its versatility. With a combination of auto focus, image stabilization and macro in telephoto mode, it is an excellent choice for hand held macro needs. Sporting an initial MFD of 1.25’, once moved into macro mode, the lens’s MFD becomes 7.87” allowing for a much closer image.

Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 EF Probe Lens

The Venus Optics Laowa 24mm EF Probe Lens is a unique lens that can be used for some incredible photography. The long lens barrel is 1.3’ long with the first 7.8” being waterproof. The lens is only f/14 but has an LED ring light around the tip of the barrel which allows the subject to be lit right in front of the lens. The lens features a minimum focal distance of 1.5”. This lens also features a 2:1 magnification at the minimum focal distance so it actually doubles the size of the subject when projected onto the sensor as opposed to other macro lenses with a 1:1 ratio. The wide focal length of 24mm allows for a greater depth of field and the waterproof portion of the barrel allows for the photography of subjects underwater. The LED can be powered using an external battery that is included in our kit.

Zeiss CP.2 50mm Makro T2.1 Cinema Prime Lens

The Zeiss 50mm CP.2 Makro Lens is an interchangeable mount cinema lens. This lens can be equipped with either a PL or EF mount and its high quality, cinema level glass has a crisp and sharp look on the final image. The MFD of 10” allows for extremely close proximity to the subject and T2.1 aperture makes this lens versatile for low light videography. The combination of the cinema quality glass, PL or EF mounts, and low minimum focal distance, makes this lens an excellent choice for cinema quality macro video. 

Leitz Cine MacroLux +1 Diopter

The Leitz Cine MacroLux +1 Diopter is a unique macro solution. A diopter is an additional glass element that mounts to the end of a lens. The diopter then reduces the minimum focal distance to allow closer photogrophy or videography. It is also possible to stack multiple MacroLux +1 diopters to allow you to move the minimum focal distance closer to the camera.. You can see our Leitz Cine MacroLux +1 diopter in use starting at 3:16 in this video. The MacroLux +1 Diopter can be mounted on any lens with a 95mm front diameter and can still support a clip on mattebox. The versatility of this diopter allows for a wide range of set ups including cinema quality macro video.

If you would like to rent any of these lenses, or learn more about the function of them, please call and speak to one of our rental coordinators at 312-465-2366.

To create an account or place an order online, visit or click the Magnanimous Rentals logo at the top of the page.


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