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Close-up Photography with the Light L16

Though the Light L16 has no “macro” mode, it can capture macro photos quite well for a computational camera. There are just a few tricks you’ll want to know before you attempt your first macro photo shoot.

Don’t get too close
While the Light L16 can capture subjects as close as 10cm, we recommend taking a couple steps back and zooming in from there. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s the best way to make sure you capture the highest quality photo. When you’re too close to an object, you can sometimes block certain lenses or make it harder to capture the full level of detail. If this happens, the L16 will only process the modules that are in focus.

For example, if you shoot your subject from just 10cm away, the 70mm lenses would not be in focus, and the final photo would only comprise of the images from the five base 28mm modules, creating an image with lower resolution than 52 megapixels. This is why it’s important to know your minimum focal distance.

Know your minimum focal distance
MInimum focal distance is the closest length between you and your subject that a lens can focus. The L16’s three types of lenses (28mm, 70mm, and 150mm) all have different minimum focal distances. Here are the recommended minimum focal distances you’ll need to use, depending on what focal length you shoot at:

28 - 69mm: Make sure the camera is 40cm away from your subject.
70 - 150mm: Make sure the camera is 100cm away from your subject.

Technically, the minimum focal distance for our 28mm lenses is only 10cm, so you can still capture a photo in focus at 10cm. Remember, though, that the L16 needs the five 70mm modules to be in focus as well in order to capture full resolution. The same can be said for shooting an image at a distance of 40cm between 70-150mm. Again, if you choose to be that close and shoot in that range, only half of the modules will be able to achieve focus.

How should I set up my macro shots for maximum quality?
Stand about three feet away from your subject and zoom into the L16’s 70mm focal length. This ensures the 150mm modules will be in focus, so you’ll have a crystal clear 52-megapixel photo to work with. Then you can crop the photo later if you want a tighter frame around your subject.

Photo credits: Lily, Juan Cruz; butterfly, Brooks Peterson.

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