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By Jim Heid | Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shooting macros with your phone: The Practicing Photographer

Using the Easy-Macro lens band

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Cell phone cameras are compact and convenient, and they deliver better image quality than ever.

But what phone cameras aren’t is versatile. For example, their tiny, fixed-focal-length lenses usually can’t focus very close. Several companies have come out with close-up attachments that let you shoot macro photos with a phone. But most have two disadvantages. They can be on the pricey side—$60 and up is a lot to pay for a tiny lens that you may not use all that often. And they tend to be designed for a specific model of phone. If you switch brands or upgrade—or if your family mixes and matches models and brands—you’re out of luck.

In this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, Ben Long offers a solution. It’s a little contraption called Easy-Macro, and it’s basically a rubber band with a macro lens embedded in it.

Strap the band around your phone, center the macro lens over your phone’s lens, and you’re ready to shoot macros and close-ups. And because rubber bands are nothing if not flexible, the Easy-Macro lens works with a lot of different phones.

Macro shot from a consumer phone Is a lens in a rubber band going to give you the kind of image quality that Ben demonstrates in Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up? Of course not. But the Easy-Macro also costs about 1 percent of what a top-quality DSLR macro lens costs. And you know what they say: the best macro lens is the one you have with you.

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