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Macro Photography Ratios

20.04.2023

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.

Our Wild Photography Workshops and Holidays

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Wildlife in Scotland
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Raptors in Snow
Bears and Raptors in Autumn
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OM SYSTEM training
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East African Wildlife
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Lightroom training
Birds and Wildlife of Eastern Spain
Goshawk and Black Grouse in Finland

Available Dates and Places on our bird and wildlife photography holidays

Finland Black Grouse, Goshawk and Eagles in Snow 2-7th April 2024 .3 places left


Scotland Birds, Wildlife & Scenery May 26-30th 2024. Places available


Spain Birds of Plains and Mountains May 28-2nd June 2024. 3 Places available


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


Finland Autumn Bears and Eagles Sep 24-29th 20204. Only 4 places.


Uganda African Birds and Wildlife 28th October - 6th November 2024. 2 places


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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