How to use a Wide Angle Lens with Macro Nikon

Mastering the Art of Macro Photography with a Wide-Angle Lens on Your Nikon Camera

Photo by Caio : 

Macro photography allows us to explore the miniature world that often goes unnoticed by the naked eye. While dedicated macro lenses are the preferred choice for close-up photography, there’s a creative twist you can add to your macro shots by using a wide-angle lens on your Nikon camera. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to using a wide-angle lens for macro photography, helping you unlock a whole new realm of creativity.

Understanding the Concept:

Macro photography typically involves capturing tiny subjects with extreme detail and magnification. Wide-angle lenses, on the other hand, are known for their ability to capture expansive scenes. But what happens when you marry these two seemingly contrasting concepts? You create unique, immersive macro images that showcase not only the subject but also its surroundings.

How to use a Wide Angle Lens with Macro Nikon

Choosing the Right Equipment:

  1. Wide-Angle Lens: The first step is selecting the right wide-angle lens for your Nikon camera. A prime or zoom lens with a focal length between 14mm and 35mm is ideal. Nikon’s AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED and AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED are great options.
  2. Extension Tubes: To achieve the required magnification for macro photography, you’ll need extension tubes. These tubes fit between your camera body and the lens, allowing you to focus on subjects at very close distances. Nikon offers its own set of extension tubes, but there are third-party options too.

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Setting Up Your Nikon Camera:

  1. Mount the Wide-Angle Lens: Begin by attaching your selected wide-angle lens to your Nikon camera body.
  2. Attach Extension Tubes: Connect the extension tubes between your camera body and the lens. This will enable you to focus on subjects at extremely close distances.
  3. Select Aperture Priority Mode (A or Av): To have control over your depth of field, choose aperture priority mode. Wide apertures (e.g., f/2.8) will give you a shallow depth of field, while smaller apertures (e.g., f/16) will provide more depth in your shots.
  4. Set a Low ISO: Keep your ISO low (e.g., 100-400) to maintain image quality and minimize noise.
  5. Use a Tripod: Due to the close proximity of your subject, even slight camera movements can result in blurry images. A sturdy tripod is essential for sharp macro shots.

Shooting Techniques:

  1. Focus Manually: Achieving precise focus is crucial in macro photography. Use manual focus to get the subject tack-sharp.
  2. Experiment with Angles: Wide-angle lenses allow you to get very close to your subject while capturing its environment. Experiment with different angles to create unique compositions.
  3. Watch Your Depth of Field: Be mindful of your chosen aperture setting. A wide-angle lens at a small aperture (e.g., f/16) will give you a broader depth of field, allowing more of your scene to be in focus.
  4. Use Natural Light: Whenever possible, rely on natural light for macro photography. Soft, diffused lighting often works best.
  5. Be Patient: Macro photography requires patience. Small subjects can be elusive and require time to compose and focus on correctly.


After capturing your wide-angle macro shots, bring them into post-processing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. You can enhance colors, adjust contrast, and fine-tune sharpness to make your images truly pop.

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Wide Angle Macro Photography

Photo by Dimitri Kuliuk: 


Using a wide-angle lens for macro photography on your Nikon camera opens up a world of creative possibilities. It allows you to capture not only the minute details of your subject but also the context and environment in which it exists. By following the steps outlined in this guide and experimenting with different techniques, you’ll be well on your way to producing stunning wide-angle macro images that stand out from the crowd. Happy shooting!


Exploring Creative Ideas:

Now that you have the technical aspects down, let’s delve into some creative ideas to make the most of your wide-angle macro photography with a Nikon camera:

  1. Perspective Play: Experiment with perspective by placing your wide-angle macro lens right on the ground and shooting upward towards your subject. This can create dramatic and captivating compositions, making small subjects seem larger than life.
  2. Foreground Bokeh: Wide-angle lenses are known for their ability to produce unique bokeh in the foreground. Position a small subject close to the lens, ensuring it’s in focus, while the background becomes a beautifully blurred canvas of colors and shapes.
  3. Contextual Storytelling: With a wide-angle macro lens, you can capture not only the subject but also its surroundings. This can be particularly useful for storytelling in your images. Showcasing the environment in which your subject thrives adds depth and narrative to your photographs.
  4. Distorted Realism: Wide-angle lenses inherently introduce distortion, which can be creatively used in macro photography. Distorted proportions and perspectives can yield artistic and abstract results. Embrace this distortion as a stylistic choice to create visually compelling images.
  5. Frame Within a Frame: Utilize the wide-angle field of view to frame your subject within a natural or architectural element. This technique not only adds interest to your composition but also draws the viewer’s eye towards the main subject.
  6. Environmental Portraits: Capture the essence of your subject by incorporating elements of its environment into the frame. For example, photograph a flower with its stem, leaves, and a glimpse of the garden it resides in. This provides context and tells a more comprehensive story.

How to use a wide angle lens with macro Nikon without

Practical Tips:

  1. Bracketing: Wide-angle macro shots may have varying levels of depth of field due to the lens’s characteristics. Use bracketing techniques by taking multiple shots at different apertures to ensure you capture the perfect focus point and depth.
  2. Use a Remote Shutter Release: To minimize any camera shake, consider using a remote shutter release or the camera’s self-timer function when taking the shot. This helps maintain sharpness, especially in long exposure situations.
  3. Practice Patience: Macro photography, particularly with wide-angle lenses, can be challenging. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail it on your first try. Practice and experimentation will lead to improved results over time.



Combining the versatility of a wide-angle lens with the intricate details of macro photography on your Nikon camera can yield exceptional and artistic results. Remember that it’s not just about technical expertise but also about unleashing your creativity. Embrace the challenge, explore different angles, and play with perspective to create captivating wide-angle macro images that stand as unique pieces of art. With practice and patience, you’ll master this fascinating blend of photography styles and expand your creative horizons. Happy shooting!

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