Saturday, December 20, 2014

Macro means macro....well, almost.

Yea, it's been a while since my last post. I apologize to all of you for taking as long as I have between posts, but I was busy with my orthodontic residency and seeing that I just graduated, I figured I'd get back to posting.

I just wanted to take a moment to explain something that I see as a common error when teaching clinical photography.

If you've ever visited this blog before, you know that I offer a lot of advice and answer many questions about which camera system to buy. Though I repeatedly discuss the idea of buying a macro lens such as 85 or 105mm (Nikkor) or 100mm (Canon), it seems that even that simple advice can be misunderstood.

Examples of Nikkor 105mm (left) and 85mm (right) macro lenses. These lenses are specially designed to allow in-focus images from extremely close distances

A macro lens such as the 85mm Nikkor, is a fixed lens, allowing the user to get focus at incredibly close distances to the subject. It is NOT the same as a lens such as a 18-105mm zoom lens. Sure, the latter lens has 105mm included within it's range, but it is not designed to allow you to get an image in focus from less than a few feet.

All too often, students or friends will tell me about their friend or family member who is a photographer who told them to buy a certain setup, or they got a great deal at a big box store that included a free zoom lens that they hope to use in the office.

This is the Nikkor 18-105mm lens.  It is a normal zoom lens, not designed for macro photography. If you buy it and try it for dentistry, you may get great portraits, but your intraoral images will be out of focus.

Just remember, if you're not using a macro lens (Nikkor calls them "micro") it is the wrong lens for dentistry.  The free lens that comes with the camera can look tempting, but it simply won't give you what you need.

As always, feel free to email me at Glenn@KriegerContinuum.com with any questions.

Best Wishes,