One of the simplest approaches to macro photography is the close-up lens, a lens that fastens to the front of a regular camera lens. A close-up lens allows one to get closer to a subject, closer than the camera could otherwise focus at. The subject then appears larger.
Below is an example using two close-up lenses: a Canon 500D and a Cinevate 'Cyclops', both now discontinued. They screw on like a filter (72mm thread diameter in this case) and are most effective at the 'long' end of a zoom range, at 70mm rather than 24mm in the following example:
Stronger close-up lenses are available from Raynox. These clip on to the camera lens rather than screw on and they work with filter diameters 52-67mm. They work best with longer camera lenses. Here I used an 85mm prime, currently my longest Nikon Z lens. The 'DCR' units are meant to be used with camera lenses 75mm or longer. while the 'MSN's are meant to be used with camera lenses longer than 100mm and 135mm respectively.
The last two Raynox lenses are quite strong, for 'micro' rather than 'macro' photography, and they take the photographer into realms where focus stacking is appropriate because of small depths of field.
Very Long lenses
I said that my 85mm Nikkor Z was currently my longest lens, but I do also have a 300mm 'Photo Sniper' lens modelled after a Russian WWII military lens (the camera and lens were mounted on a rifle stock). Here it is, complete with Makinon No.1 2X teleconverter and Fotodiox PRO M42-Nikon Z mount adaptor:
The camera above is a Nikon Z6 and in this photo, the Cinevate Cyclops close-up lens is attached to the front end.
Taken without the close-up lens, that is, with just the 600mm lens setup, here is a full-frame photo from the minimum focus distance, 8 feet (top photo):
The lower full-frame photo above was taken with the Cinevate Cyclops added, from a greatly reduced minimum focus distance, 4 inches. Impressive, yes, but not everyone has a 600mm lens to use. Instead, why not try your lens with a Raynox DCR-250 for example, currently priced at $90 on Amazon.ca.
Doug McMillin, 19 May 2021
PS. All of the above-mentioned close-up lenses also work well with "Super-Zoom" cameras, although there may be some image quality issues due to their relatively small sensors. On the whole, my experiences with superzooms and telemacro has been entirely positive, all the way up to the 3000mm-equivalent Nikon P1000.