Every photographer must own a Macro Lens, period. Macro photography opens a new window to the world. I was lucky enough to see amazing things through my Macro lens over the years. I've seen the wonders of a world that is hidden from our eyes. many hours watching an Bees carrying pollen on their body, a fly eating a cube of sugar and many more. However, it's not only about insects. You see wonders of nature like unique snowflakes the pattern that is created by film soap. It's an awesome experience. You feel excited you search for Macro Lens and the price is.... well very high. They worth it, however, don't get discouraged just yet because there are alternative ways to get you closer to the fascinating world of Macro Photography. Let's explore together our options starting from the most expensive to the least expensive option.
Dedicated Lens: The Expensive Way
The expensive way and the best I would add. I own the 105mm Nikon and it cost me over €800. This lens has 1:1 reproduction ratio on macro. This lens also is long enought to work as telephoto len and is my favorite lens for portrait photography. So 800 euros gives you A) a telephoto lens B)Macro lens C)Portrait Lens. Great deal if you have the money.
ThiWhatThis is the standar lens that Nikon sells but there are pricier lens and cheaper. I am not with the familiar Canon one and there are also thirdy party lens you can find for cheap.It covers both the macro range and the telephoto range. It's a prime lens of course. It's a very sharp lens and instantly when taking a photo of anything turns it into a great photo. So if you want a lens for portraits also you can invest in one. 105mm is a good focal length. There are cheaper nikon alternatives the 60 mm macro and more expensive 200mm. I would advice against the 60 mm because having a distance from your subject is essential in macro photography.
Extension Tubes to the rescue
Extension tubes is a much cheaper alternative. What it does is to mount that on camera and then the lens on that. It creates a space between the lens and the camera so you can focus closer. There are two types of extension tubes. The cheaper ones don't have electrical contacts. Prefer them only if you own older lens where you can choose aperture manually. The second option is to go extension tubes that have electrical contact and you will be able to adjust your aperture.
The third option is the cheapest one. Take your regular lens and umount them from the camera. Reverse the lens and hold it near your camera. Now your ordinary lens are capable for macro shots. Reversing the lens gave you the macro ability but took away the ability to control the aperture from your camera. To do that check the lever on the front. You can open and close the aperture blades. Because it's too dangerous to actually take photos like this in regular basis (you may damage the sensor, you may drop the lens) you need a Reverse Ring. Reverse ring attaches to mounts in front of the camera and the you screw the lens on this adaptor. Every Reverse Ring has a particular diameter to fit your lens so take that into account when you buy one. The cost of something like this is € 5. This is the cheapest way possible and you can take the photo you like and give a fresh breath to your portfolio or Instagram account.
You can do macro also with your phone. The simplest way is to buy external lens. There is a range of brands that offer lens. to the cost based on the quality of the lens but is a good alternative even for someone like me who already owns a dedicated lens.
You can try and put a small drop of water on your phone lens. This way you will get enough magnification and the best of all it's totaly free.
Macro photography it's an intriguing subject and you see things that is impossible to see any other way. Macro photography for the reasons we said in the begining is difficult. The depth of field is minimum and you need a lot of light. You also take the photo with your body. Chasing a dragonfly trying not to scare it away and taking a clear shot is difficult with a flash gun and a macro lens. It becomes even harder with the cheaper alternatives. However the cheap alternatives will be an entry to a fascinating world and will make it sure that you will need to invest in the near future.