How to Get the Most out of Apple's Macro Mode | Tips, Lenses, Etc.

Using the Macro Mode on your iPhone? There are a few notes you should know to optimize the best capturing experience, including using our Moment Macro Lens.

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With the advent of the iPhone 13, Apple added a remarkable yet underrated feature to the Pro line of its phones: Macro Mode. The possibility of capturing close-up images of unique textures or subjects with your smartphone is finally here.

However, Apple had to add additional modifications for this feature to function correctly. In previous models, the ultra-wide lens could not concentrate, as it was a fixed lens, thus forcing the addition of new hardware for the ultra-wide lens in iPhone 13 and 14 Pro and Pro Max to focus accurately.

These upgrades became a total game changer for mobile creators. Until now, capturing a close-up image with the iPhone's Native camera was excruciatingly difficult. In contrast, Samsung Galaxy phones could function with Macro the year prior due to their minim focus distance at an optical level.

All this today — it's crucial to note that the native Apple or Galaxy phones do not provide an actual macros lens; conceive mine blowing magnification, you need a dedicated add-on lens like our Moment 10x Macro Lens. The ultrawide lens built into the iPhones for everyday close-ups will do just fine.

Moment Lenses + iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 Models

The changes to the hardware and software of the iPhone 13 and 14 Pro and Pro Max will affect how Moment lenses work with these lineups. Customers are required to change some settings in order for our lenses to work flawlessly. While simple to alter, these settings hide under layers of menus.

It would be best to read a fantastic article by 9to5 Mac on how to enable the macro toggle on the iPhone 13 pro camera. Reader's digest below.

  • Running iOS 15.2 on iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max, open the Settings app

  • Swipe down and choose Camera

  • Swipe to the bottom, tap the toggle next to Macro Control
    • Now you'll see a flower icon (right in the Camera app) you can quickly toggle off/on after Macro mode kicks in (bring the camera close to something to get it to show up)

  • In Settings > Camera you can also now tap Preserve Settings

  • Tap the toggle next to Macro Control
    • With this on, your Macro on or off preference will be preserved as the default when opening the Camera app

Why do you need to change these settings?

The iPhone camera system will detect if you are getting close to something and if it determines that you are closer to that subject than the minimum focus distance of the primary camera lens, it will automatically switch to the macro lens for the phone to be able to focus. Using a Moment Lens will cover the other two built-in lenses and somewhat interfere with the iPhone's capability to tell how far subjects are. It will automatically think that you are getting close to something and trying to switch to the macro lens, not the behavior we want. Enabling the macro toggle button allows you to manually switch it on or off. Then if you are using Moment Lenses, you can turn the macro mode off, and when you're not using them, you can leave it on.

Tips for great Macro Photos and Video

  • Use a lot of light - just like other forms of photography and filmmaking, light is essential with macro shots. Because we are in the realm of the tiny, there are several ways to make that light shine right. You will probably be leaning over the thing you are taking a picture of, so make sure you are not blocking the light. Sometimes this is very hard, and this is where a small pocket LED light can come in handy. You can position this light between you and your subject and have it brighten your shot. You can also play with the angles of light, creating different angles of shadows. This makes textures pop.

  • The Macro Lens Hood is your friend - you might already know that our macro lens has a very shallow depth of field. The lens hood will help you position your subject to get perfect focus. The focus is clear and sharp at the edge of the lens hood, so if you press it against your subject, get the guide right. There is somewhat of a wiggle room of a few millimeters where you can adjust focus to dial it perfectly.

  • Take the hood off sometimes - if you need more room to finagle your way closer to a subject, you can take the lens hood off. This is quickly done just by popping it off.

  • Use focus peaking - in most more professional camera apps, like the Moment Pro Camera App; you can enable focus peaking, which is an excellent guide to getting focus clear and sharp. It is a visualization of where the focus plane is. This will help you dial in focus just right.

  • A steady hand or a tripod - because focusing can be challenging, you want to keep your phone steady. Small tripods like these can help keep everything in place and free up your hands to use a light or position your subject.

  • Share your work - we all love macro photos, so please share them with us using the tags #shotonmoment and #momentmacro.