How to photograph wedding rings without a macro lens

Of course I always love to use a macro lens for the most detailed of ring photos but it doesn't mean you can't create artistic jewelry shots without one.


What is the con to shooting jewelry shots without a macro?

  • You lose the ability to get super tight shots because most lenses that are not macro do not let you get physically close to the subject.  To help with this "con" I use a 35mm 1.4 by Sigma when I don't have a macro available.  This lens allows you to get extremely close.
  • Your photograph will not have as much detail because it is not magnified to show all the reflections in the facets of a diamond.

    What is the pro to shooting jewelry shots without a macro?

    • Convenience & cost - The 35mm 1.4 by Sigma cost me approximately $700 and can be used for portraits, indoors, and by these standards - jewelry.

    I want to make it a point that though you can get a beautiful shot, you will not get the same result that a macro will create.  

    But beauty without a macro lens is still possible!

    You can get a little fancy & it only takes a few things around you.


    For this tutorial you will need:

    • a table
    • lights such as Christmas tree
    • a pillow that has beading
    • a tripod
    • a lens that allows you shoot at a low f-stop 


    How to photography jewelry without a macro lens

    Sometimes you can swap tight macro shots with fun, creative light & lines.

    As mentioned above, the shots in this tutorial were taken with a 35mm 1.4 lens.

    I like this lens because it does let you get much more close to the subject (ring) than say an 85mm 1.4.

    To distract someone from noticing that it doesn't provide the most detail I used leading lines, light & bokeh to make it flashy & exciting.

    During the editing process I cropped the photo a bit to make it appear closer to the lens than it actually was.

    How to photograph wedding rings without a macro lens


    As you can see, all things are possible & creativity is possible without expensive lenses.

    Just find beautiful items around your house and get practicing.

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