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Macro Lens Suggestion for Nail Art


I’m looking for some help for my specific setup because I’m lost!


I create nail art videos so I need a lens for my R50 that will get very close but will give me enough working room.  I ideally need a minimum of 30cm working distance but preferably more!

I need a lens that will allow me to get as close as the examples (and maybe even closer as I like to do close ups of the brush coming out of the bottle…don’t ask…it’s a nail thing 🤣).

I currently have a 16mm 2.8 which is great and the autofocus is nippy which is really important when I’m constantly moving and it’s near impossible to keep your hand in one place for that long,  BUT it means I have to work around the camera as it needs to be so close to my hand.  Makes it much harder to paint intricate art and so takes much longer than I want.

I also have a Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens which I do like but I’m having some autofocusing issues with it.  I like that I get the flexibility with it being zoom, as it means I can use it for more than just the actual painting (I do product unboxings, final look full hand reveals, etc,)

The examples below are an iPhone and the second is a Sony 90mm macro g master (but on a full sensor camera).  The second I know she mounts high up which is how I’d ideally have mine so that I have such free movement, but because mine is cropped I’m really confused about what I need.




This is a screen grab from a recent video I made using the Sigma.  It’s just not as sharp as I’d like it to be which is probably because I’m having to lean more on manual focus? I think the image has been compressed massively when uploading as it’s much clearer on my phone!  But you can get an idea!


Any recommendations for a lens to fit my needs would be greatly appreciated!




I think you need a mirror to move the camera out of your way.  My son was filming cooking videos and wanted camera angles looking straight down at pots and pans.  But positioning the camera and rising steam was an issue.  I suggested that he place mirrors over the pots and pans, and aim the camera at the mirrors.  Do you get the idea? 

I’m not so sure how well that would work with focusing on such a small object as a finger nail.  It might.  Perhaps a macro lens or telephoto lens with a longer focal length.  Record in crop mode, if at all possible.  A teleconverter could have a negative impact on MFD.  My son was filming with a 70-200mm and a 7D2.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


No experience with nails but if you're looking for a lens with buttery background blur and a tight focal distance so you could get right into your brush and bottle I'd recommend the RF100mm Macro 2.8.  It's not a zoom so may not be practical but it's a fantastic tight in macro and at 100mm you should be able to mount it far enough away that you could easily work under it.

It's not cheap so you might want to rent it once to double check the working distances for what you need but I think you'd be pleasantly surprised with the stellar focus and creamy look.

I've attached some guitar pics I took that demonstrate getting tight in as well as a good distance away.  These pics are unedited JPG right out of an R7 and the color is remarkable so you can be confident the nail colors you shoot would pop nicely.

100 mm Macro 1st 0990.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1021.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1015.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1040.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1099.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1185.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1307.jpg

100 mm Macro 1st 1009.jpg

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