(This photo would have been much more crisp had I used that macro attachment that you’re looking at)

Let’s face it. Good mouthwatering food photography is generally shot close-up with DSLRs and usually with a macro lens that’s worth more than the body of the camera itself. Sure, some people can take great macro shots with point and shoots, but you have to admit that the majority of successful food bloggers with stunning portfolios use the DLSR set up. But I’m going to tell you how to take those stunning macro shots for under $50 (assuming that you have a DSLR, that is).

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on a Canon Rebel XT and boy was I excited. Imagine my disappointment when I wasn’t able to get the detailed close ups that I wanted in my shots. I didn’t want to spend another $400+ on a macro lens and so I was stuck. That is, until an old friend suggested that I buy a threaded lens.

Threaded lenses are additional lenses that allow for greater magnification for macro shots. In the past with SLRs, you could actually reverse your standard lens, attach it to the camera body with a reversal ring, and shoot macro. Today, they don’t make reversal rings with DSLRs, but they do make these threaded lens. When you buy them, they usually come with a wide angle lens that attaches itself onto the macro lens.

So compare these two photos.

The first is taken with the standard lens, a 18-55mm. It was the closest shot I could take of the quarter without it getting blury. The second is taken with the macro lens that comes with the 0.43x wide angle lens. See the clear difference?

That, my friend, is all you need, although the wide angle lens does make for great shots outside food photography. For example…

(A standard lens would never have given me this wide of a range!)

This is what the whole thing looks like- the wide angle and macro lens in all. You can get it on Amazon (click on the picture) for under $50. I got mine at a corner camera shop in NYC. It’s a Digital Concepts 0.43x professional wide angle lens with macro high definition, but there are tons of other companies that make these lenses too. Just make sure that the filter size is correct and that it’s specified for your camera brand. The filter size is located on the back of your lens cap and on the lens itself. The number will range anywhere from 50 to 80mm depending on what lens you have.

Now, of course, a real macro lens will ultimately take better pictures. But, hey, if don’t want to spend the money, this alternative does offer quite decent macro shots! Here are some other macro shots that I’ve taken with the attachment.

(You didn’t think that this would be a food free post now, did you?)

I’m an amateur photographer so if I’ve gotten anything incorrect (or if you have anything to add), please let me know!