Macro Magnifications & Working Distances

Useful information about minimum focus distance use of various Nikon Z-mount macro options.

Magnification: how big the subject will appear in the frame. A 1:1 macro means that a 36mm subject will fill the 36mm wide frame (FX). A 1:2 macro means that the 36mm subject will half fill the frame (18mm recorded). 

Working Distance: the distance from the front of the lens to the subject. This is not the minimum focus distance, but rather the space between the front of your lens and your subject at maximum magnification. Why is that important? (1) with live subjects, too close spooks them; and (2) too close and it's difficult to light your subject properly (consider macro ring lights).

I'm only going to cover Z-mount lenses in this chart that range from ~1:1 to 1:3 magnification, as beyond that second magnification you're not really in what I'd call a macro capture. 

24-120mm f/4 S:

  • 1:2.4 maximum magnification
  • 6.3" (0.16m) minimum working distance at 120mm

50mm f/2.8 Macro:

  • 1:1 maximum magnification
  • 2" (50mm) minimum working distance

70-200mm f/2.8 S + TC 1.4x:

  • 1:3.4 maximum magnification
  • 28" (71.1cm) minimum working distance

105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor:

  • 1:1 maximum magnification
  • 5.5" (133mm) minimum working distance

100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S:

  • 1:2.5 maximum magnification
  • 27" (.7m) minimum working distance

Update: corrected two specification errors.

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