What is the best lens to film upclose of insects on a dslr camera?

3 Answers

  • Frank
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The best lens would be a macro lens around 180mm.

    Macro lenses come in a variety of focal lengths ranging from about 40mm to 180mm.  They all will be able to reproduce 1:1 (i.e. life size) images.  Meaning that the subject being projected onto the film/sensor will be the exact size as it is in real life.  This is true for a 50mm macro or a 180mm macro.  So what's the difference then?  The difference is that as the focal length increases so will the working distance.  So with a a short macro like a 40mm or 50mm, you'll need to be approximately one foot away from your subject, but possibly around 3-4' with a 180mm macro lens.  Being further away means that you're less likely to spook the insects and have them fly away.  It also means that you're less likely to cast your shadow or that of your camera, tripod, flash, etc... onto the subject, too.

    A 100mm macro is quite popular because it can also be used a really nice portrait lens.  But you want the best for instects which is without question a long-focal-length macro lens of 180mm or longer if you can find it for your DSLR.  I don't believe that there's a macro lens that is longer than 180mm.

    Now, what about zoom lenses with macro.  Well, lenses like a 70-300 that states to have macro are not true macro lenses.  Meaning that they aren't 1:1, but instead usually around 1:4 or one-quarter life size.  If you want the best, a lens "with" macro is definitely not it!

    Another idea is that if 1:1 is so great, what about a lens that is 2:1, 3:1 or even 4:1 which project an image onto the sensor that 2x, 3x or 4x (respectively) larger than the subject is in real life?  Wouldn't that be better?  Well, it could be depending upon your subject and your needs.  You'll need to far too close to be able to photograph insects that are alive as they'd fly away.  Your depth of field will be about 1/16th of an inch meaning that you'll have to do a lot of focus stacking, which you're likely to be doing with a 1:1 macro lens anyway.  A super-macro lens with a reproduction greater than 1:1 is often used by photographers photographing extremely small items such as a snowflake where they want to show the crystalline structure.  If you want to show the details of ant's leg or a bee's eye, then a lens like this would be an excellent choice.

    Here's a link to B&H showing all of the macro lenses on the market:  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?ci=274&fct=f... 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    if your dslr has a removable lens then you need to experiment with extension tubes and macro photography.

    • letmepicyou
      Lv 5
      4 weeks agoReport

      This is true but only certain lenses work well with extension tubes.  For instance the 50 mm 1.8 or 1.4 make great lenses for use with macro extension tubes.  Most of your zoom lenses however you will find very lackluster performance.  They really work best with mid-range Primes 50 mm 80 mm etc.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • keerok
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A macro lens. Get at least one that can do 1:1 reproduction. The bigger that first number is, the larger your magnification. Also check the minimum focusing distance. Make sure it is close enough for what you intend to shoot it with.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.