News and Writing from WildPhotographer Nick Wilcox-Brown

Macro Photography Ratios


How magnification ratios work in Macro photography

I was going to write some notes on macro ratios, but I saw this text and it describes things beautifully:

"Macro photography enables us to capture the details of nature that elude the naked eye. In photography, the term ‘macro’ refers to images taken at a 1:1 ratio of the subject’s size, versus the camera’s sensor size. The OM-1 sensor is 17mm wide

If the ratio is 1:1, the size of the subject shown is equal to the size of the sensor, and can be considered 1x magnification. Anything up to 1:1 is known as close-up photography, and pushing past 1:1 brings us into the world of ultra macro photography. At 1:2 the subject becomes half of the sensor size, while at 1:5 the subject size is only ⅕ of the sensor size.”

Normally I would credit the text, but the author had written the ratios the wrong way around and made a couple of other factual errorsthat I needed to correct.

Dandelion detail captured at 1.4x life size with lens + extension tube, a 1.4:1 ratio.

Here at WildPhotographer, we are running our first Macro Photography workshop in June to help regular users to understand and use the macro capabilities of their cameras. No special lenses are needed, but if you have the 30, 60 or 90mm macro lenses, we can show you how to do even more with them!

Bee Fly at life size with 300mm lens + 2x extender, a 0.96:1 ratio.

See the Training page for details and the inital date (more to follow).

Nick is an OM System Ambassador and trainer for Adobe in the UK. He offers dedicated Photography, Lightroom and Photoshop Training. Call or message if you wish to know more.

Available Dates and Places on our holidays

Spanish Birds of Plains and Mountains Jan 10-14th 2024. 1 Place Only

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Scotland Birds, Wildlife & Scenery August 26-30th 2024. Available

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Uganda African Birds and Wildlife 28th October - 6th November 2024. 3 places left

Finland, Raptors in Snow Feb 26-3rd March 2025. Available

All our day training and bespoke camera / post-production workshops are available as normal.

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