Lens minimum working distance | Photo Tip

I received this question earlier this week:

Why are my close up shots out of focus?

A question like this is vague, when delving into the technical side of things. I assumed this person wanted to take Macro shots (you know those killer detail shots of a bee’s legs covered in pollen 🙂 ), but they were not getting the results they wanted.

Here is a little tip: Every lens has a minimum working distance (aka minimum focus distance). This means the lens you are using will not perform the way you want it to, if you put it closer to the subject than the minimum working (focus) distance.

Take the AF-S Nikon 24-70 2.8 for instance. The Minimum Focus Distance is 1.2ft. This means that if you are photographing a water bottle, you cannot bring the lens closer than 1.2ft of the water bottle. If you do, you will not get the image in focus.
Nikon 24-70 Lens

If you want to take close up shots that show amazing detail, you will need a Close Up Lens. Sometimes they are called Macro Lenses, but Nikon calls them Micro lenses. For instance, the AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 has a minimum focus distance of .6 feet. You can get really close and due to the nature of the lens, capture amazing detail.
Nikon AF-S 60mm Micro

Have a great weekend!

Comments 1

  1. It might also be helpful to mention that on most SLR lenses with a marked focus ring, the minimum working distance is often close to the shortest marked distance on the focus ring. While not perfect, it can give the photographer a quick clue as to whether a planned shot will work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *