A macro telephoto lens, also referred to as a telephoto macro lens, is a camera lens that can reproduce images at a 1:1 or better image-to-subject aspect ratio while shooting at a distance relatively farther than a normal macro lens. The lens is often used for taking photographs of small objects from a comfortable distance. It is also used in cases where the photographer's proximity to the object interferes with the lighting, and no other lighting solutions are available. Although a macro telephoto lens attempts to combine the high-detail capabilities of a typical macro lens with the zooming capabilities of a telephoto lens, it is rarely as effective as the others are in their specific uses.
Photographers use macro lenses when attempting to take extreme close-up shots, as the lens is capable of focusing at very short distances. The design of a macro lens allows for life-sized images or better. Macro photography has been used for taking pictures of certain details on objects, as well as for shooting details that wouldn't normally be seen without a magnifying glass. Individuals using macro lenses often have to position their cameras extremely close to their subjects to capture the images properly, as the lenses' depth of field is extremely shallow — the focus can dramatically shift if the photographer's distance from the object changes by a few millimeters.
This often leads to issues that arise from the photographer's proximity to his subject. Living organisms, for example, might scurry away when the photographer positions himself close enough to get it in focus. Another problem with using macro lenses arises with natural lighting — the photographer's own shadow might obscure the picture. In cases such as these, an individual can use a macro telephoto lens to compensate.
The defining feature of a macro telephoto lens is its length, which is comparable to a telephoto lens. The length of a telephoto lens magnifies objects from a narrow field of view, allowing photographers to zoom in on distant objects. Telephoto lenses often measure at about 100 mm (about 0.04 inches) and greater, although lenses that measure greater than 50 mm (roughly 0.02 inches) are technically considered telephoto. Although a telephoto lens can conceivably be used to take macro-like photos due to its magnification, it cannot focus on tiny objects as well as a macro lens. A macro telephoto lens is a macro lens that typically measures 100 to 200 mm (0.04 to 0.08 inches), effectively combining the focusing abilities of a normal macro lens with the magnification of a telephoto lens.