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Macro, Micro And Close Up Photography: What’s The Difference?

At some point, all photographers who are serious about taking photographs will ask the question “what is macro, micro and close up photography? Do they differ, and if so, in what way?” In this post, we’ll delve into the meaning behind each term, and offer more information on the types of Olympus lenses that offer spectacular results for those interested in the very small, and usually very quiet, kind of subject.

What Is The Difference Between Close Up, Micro and Macro Photography?

First of all, the term ‘macro’ means big, whereas ‘micro’ means small. However, the two terms are actually very often interchanged in photography; since the subject you’re shooting is usually small, but you want to make it fill the frame (look big), you’re left with a ‘macro’ view of a ‘micro’ subject (which is pretty magical when you think about it). This is why some lenses by different brands - such as Canon, Nikon and Olympus - that have the same, or similar specifications, are named differently.

‘Close up’ photography, on the other hand, is simply the act of shooting your subject from a closer range with your camera so that it fills much of the frame. It doesn’t specifically have to be shot with a micro or macro lens, though these allow you to capture details that are even more powerful than the human eye.

What’s interesting is that not all lenses that have ‘macro’ in their product name are considered to be true macro lenses, since only those that have the capability of achieving at least 1:1 magnification are correctly named. Further, a true macro photograph is only considered as such when it’s been photographed with a dedicated macro lens that has the capability of achieving 1:1 magnification. Of course, there is an array of Olympus lenses that you can use to achieve 1:1 magnification, but what’s special about a dedicated macro lens is that they’re so sophisticated that they give photographers the opportunity to capture their subjects in incredible, mind-blowing detail. Put simply, a regular telephoto lens just won’t be able to focus as well as a macro at such close distances, which is why they’re comparatively more expensive. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our beginner’s guide to different camera lenses here.

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SRS has over extensive experience supplying high quality photography gear to those interested in photography worldwide. Whether it’s a new lens from Olympus, protective bag or DSLR camera, look no further than SRS for excellent customer service, leading brand equipment and great value. We ever offer free UK delivery on all orders over £100! Get in touch with our experts for more information on 01923 226602, or email

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