What's in this session?

  • What is macro videography?
  • 1. The difference in magnification
  • 2. The difference in minimum focus
  • 2 things you can do with a macro lens
  • 1. Increase the magnification
  • 2. Focus closer on your subject
  • The 3 best macro videography tips
  • 1. Shoot with a shallow depth
  • 2. Use a lot of light
  • 3. Stabilize your camera

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Macro filmmaking is a great way to infuse new creativity and life into your videos. It takes things that are generally small and makes them feel big and in this video, I’m gonna share with you my best tips for macro videography that I’ve picked up since buying my first macro lens this year. Well, hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from Storytape.com, a cinematic stock footage site that gives you access to unlimited video downloads for one low monthly cost. We publish video production tips and tricks on this channel, so make sure you hit the subscribe button below to get the next video and if you like this video, make sure you hit the like button as well. You might be wondering, what is macro filmmaking? What is a macro lens? And so before we start into my best tips and tricks, things you need to know pertaining to macro video, let’s first get a solid understanding for what it even means. Here’s the deal. A macro lens is different from a regular camera lens in two important ways. Firstly, the magnification. The magnification of a macro lens generally has a one to one ratio. What this means is that the image you record with your macro lens can be projected onto your sensor up to the exact same size that it is in real life. So if you were shooting a video clip of a quarter, which is about an inch in diameter, with a macro lens, it would show up as an inch in diameter in your video. Now you might be thinking, “Brady, what’s so special about a one to one ratio? “Are not all lenses this way?” And while that may seem logical, a typical video or photo lens does not shoot with a one to one magnification ratio. And that means that a typical lens could not replicate a subject on video as it’s actual size. A typical lens makes what we see in real life actually look smaller than it really is and even if you moved your camera lens as close to your subject as you possibly could get it, it would look big, but then you wouldn’t be able to focus on your subject cause you’d probably be too close to it. And that leads to the second key distinction of macro lenses. Macro lenses generally have a shorter minimum focus distance than your typical lens. What this means is that you can get very close to your subject and still be able to properly focus on them. Now fair enough, this might sound like a lot of technical babble and complicated camera jargon, so allow me to simplify it. Here are the two things that a macro lens does. Firstly, it increases the magnification to make your subjects look bigger. And secondly, it allows you to focus closer to your subject to make it look bigger. And at the end of the day, this is what a macro lens does. It allows you to shoot smaller, more detailed subjects and make them look huge. And by the way, now that you understand how macro lenses work, let me share some of my best tips for using them. Number one, macro lenses have outrageously shallow depths of field. For instance, I shoot with the Rokinon 100 mil T3.1 cinema lens and even when the lens is stopped down, the plane of the image that is in focus in razor thin. So what do you do? Well, this leads to my second tip on using macro lenses. They require a ton of light. You’re gonna need to stop down your lens to get a workable focus plane. And when you do that, you’re gonna be letting less light into your camera’s sensor. So you’re gonna need to compensate for that in some way. You’ll probably need more lighting than you normally do with other lenses. Finally, the third tip I wanna share with you, when it comes to shooting macro videos is to consider your stabilization efforts. Due to the nature of macro lenses enlarging your subjects, they are very sensitive to movement and any shake in your tripod or stabilization tool of choice will be exacerbated by a macro lens. So make sure you’ve got a steady foundation when shooting macro. And by now, I hope you have a basic understanding of how macro lenses and macro videography works and how to best shoot with that style. At the end of the day, a macro lens will allow you to capture a shot unlike any other lens, which is pretty cool. That’s not all though, because here’s the deal. If you liked the look of the clips we used as examples in this video, you need to know that these clips can be downloaded instantly by you along with thousands of others and used royalty-free in any of your creative projects. It’s all part of a platform we’ve built for you called Storytape. Storytape.com It’s a stock footage site that gives you unlimited access to thousands of cinematic video clips shot in 4k ProRes. We add more than a thousand new clips every single month with graded and ungraded versions and like I said, there’s no download limit, there’s no cap. Not only that, but all of our clips are shot in what we call scenes so now you get to be the director, pull from dozens of different clips from the same identical scene to craft the perfect narrative for your story with clips that all look alike, from the same scene. And because there’s no download limit, like I said, you can always grab the exact number of clips you need to create that perfect video. So go to Storytape.com and check out all that we have to offer, where finally you can license unlimited video downloads on a single subscription, including every single video that you saw in this tutorial. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in another video.



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