No Macro Lens? Here Are 3 Ways to Get Macro Shots Without One for Under $20

Macro lenses might be spendy but these alternatives are definitely not.

We all know the limits of our lenses, but that doesn't mean we still don't try to push them way beyond their capabilities. Personally, I try to turn all of mine into macro lenses—I get close to my subject, focus, move a little closer, try to focus, and move closer still, but eventually, all I've got is some useless blurry mess. Unless you've got a dedicated macro lens, I assume you've done this too, and I bet you've considered buying one until you saw the price tag.

Well, if you're on a tight budget but still want to capture some macro shots, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has shared three alternatives that will do a pretty decent job under $20. Check out his video down below:

Here are the inexpensive macro alternatives Pike mentions in the video

  • Reverse macro adapter ($10)
  • Close up filters ($10-$15)
  • Macro extension tubes ($15)

Now, there are definitely some pros and cons to these different items. Reverse macro adapters aren't bulky, they're easy to use, and they definitely allow you to get macro shots, but they make your image considerably darker. Close up filters allow you to choose just how "macro" you want your shot to be, but result in a lower-quality image. Extension tubes, which may be the most popular option, are modular and give you the best image quality, but are bulky and take a while to set up.

So, you may sacrifice image quality and brightness, as well as overall ergonomics by opting out of using a macro lens, but these alternatives will certainly allow you to get those macro shots at a price that you can afford. It's up to you to decide if the positives outweigh the negatives.      

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