Using a Macro Lens for Product Photography

In product photography, capturing photos of small items with microscopic details requires special equipment and a macro lens for high-quality results. This type of camera lens is for photographing even the most minute details of micro products or products with micro components. These include items like microchips, circuitry components, earrings, jewellery, and any smaller product in general. In this post, join PhotoRobot to look closer at macro lens product photography, and to discover some of PhotoRobot’s solutions for improving your photography of small objects.

Macro lens product photography: taking professional product photos of micro products

Macro lens product photography allows you to capture photos of extremely small objects in sharp focus, detail-rich quality, and peerless resolution. This is especially true for products with details and features so small they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. 

Macro lens photos zoom facets diamond ring

Maybe it’s something like a microchip. Or it’s a multi-faceted diamond ring. In both cases, and with other types of small or intricate products, a macro lens helps photographers capture and convey the finest details that make products unique. 

If it’s a small or complex product, truly any approach to product photography can benefit from a macro lens. Use macro lenses for creating still, multi-angle, or 360-degree imagery. For even better results, support your macro lens photography with devices like PhotoRobot’s motorized turntables and multi-camera configurators

The difference between standard, wide-angle, and macro lenses

Example photos standard vs wide-angle vs macro lens

While standard and wide-angle lenses do have their place in product photography, if you’re shooting extremely small or complex products, you need a macro lens. A macro lens is basically a magnifying glass for cameras. They are optimized for shooting microscopic subjects and capable of capturing extreme close-ups. With a 1:1 magnification ratio and a minimum focal distance of 12’’, the sensor of a macro lens produces larger-than-life imagery of the target. 

On the other hand, standard camera lenses are more often for lifestyle product photography and shooting larger products that don’t require extreme close-ups. Standard lenses limit the depth of zoom your images can reach, losing more and more focus the closer you try to get to the object. For some products, this isn’t a problem. For those with extremely small features, however, your best bet is going with a macro lens.

Wide-angle lenses are often best for landscape as well as lifestyle photography. If you’re capturing product photos of a car on the road, or a tennis player using your racket, then you might use a wide-angle lens. These provide a wider field of view without having to distance the camera further from the subject. They’re terrible at capturing fine details, however, producing low-resolution and blurry imagery at deeper depths of zoom.

What types of products benefit most from macro lens photography?

Photos of wiring, microchip circuitry, and diamond ring

Any product that has extremely small or intricate design features calls for macro lens photography. These are often technical products, electrical goods, industrial or automotive parts, and products like designer jewellery. 

Imagery for products like these, especially in photography for eCommerce, need to provide consumers with a complete view of the product. This includes extreme close-ups for aspects like connections, wiring, machinery components, or any elements essential or unique to the product. 

Highlighting these features not only ensures you are adequately informing consumers about your product, but also that your product experience leaves nothing to the imagination. 

How to accomplish 360-degree product photography with a macro lens

Capturing fine details wristwatch

Producing 360 degree product photography with a macro lens oftentimes requires special automated equipment for better precision and savings in time and effort. Products need to be on a steady surface with a smooth rotation so that cameras can capture all 360 degrees of the product. Products also need to be perfectly centered in each photo, while cameras need to capture all bottom and top-view angles. 

Motorized turntables and multiple camera configurators are particularly useful for this, working well in combination with macro lens photography. PhotoRobot’s Centerless_Table, for example, ensures cameras remain on the absolute center of rotation throughout the entire photoshoot. It also provides machine-level accuracy and precision, and allows operators to automate repeatable tasks for higher volume photoshooting of similar types of products.

Want to get even more out of your macro lens photography?

At PhotoRobot, we know that product photographers have a wide range of needs, from the camera equipment to the post-production. This is especially true when shooting smaller and micro size products, where precision and accuracy is key. If you want to learn more about macro lens photography with PhotoRobot, or discover our solutions for product photography and image hosting, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.