Soratama | 宙玉

Aerial ball shooting technique : 宙に浮かぶ玉の中の光景を撮影できる宙玉(そらたま)。撮影のためにはどんな機材が必要になるのか? 撮影のコツや作例などを紹介。


How to set Close-up mode

Soratama is a photographing system which the sceneries get reflected in the clear ball in the center. In this photographing system, close-up mode is very important in order to enlarge the clear ball. Below are the ways to take photos in close-up mode.

-Use macro lens
-Use macro mode on your camera
-Fix on close-up lens on your camera lens (Not recommended for soratama72)
-Place a macro extension tube in between lens and the body

There are both advantages and disadvantages for each of the above. Please determine which way works best for you.


Must use the close-up mode in order to focus on clear ball in the near area

Using Macro Lenses

Macro lenses are for photographing with short photographing distance. It can be said that it is suitable for soratama however it depends on the focal distance. For example, when using 90mm macro lens, the length of the lens tube will get too long to keep the clear ball in a good size. Standard or wide-angle lenses are recommended when taking soratama photos.
→Preferable lenses

Use macro mode on your camera

There are digital cameras with “macro mode” or “super macro mode.” If the photographing distance is short enough, these modes can be applied. However, there are cases when you cannot get close enough even with the macro mode, and the inner part of the lens tube gets reflected. In this case, please trim the outer part afterwards or fix on a close-up lens.


The tulip mark represents the macro mode in this camera. The photographing distance depends on the camera

オリンパス TG-3 Toughには顕微鏡モードがついており、クローズアップレンズ不要で宙玉を取り付けることが可能。

Microscope mode is available on Olympus TG-3 Tough, and close-up lenses are not needed

Fix on close-up lens on your camera lens

If you want to use the standard lens, fixing on a close-up lens is the most easiest way. Close-up lens is a convex lens which is attached in front of the camera lens with filter screws. With close-up lens, you can get close to the object.
However, it is not recommended for “soratama 72” which is made of metal because the photographing distance is far compared to the macro extension tube. Soratama extension tubes are also made of metal and its weight will impose a burden to the lens if the length of the soratama extension tube gets too long.
Close-up lenses are recommended when you are using lens which the photographing distance is short or when using the soratama device made of light material.


Close-up lens is a convex lens. It enables to enlarge the image by fixing in front of the camera lens.

Place a macro extension tube in between lens and the body

This is a simple way of close-up photography using normal lens. Place a convex lens in front of your camera lens. Depending on the lenses, there are cases where the bulb wouldn’t get big enough or inner part of the candy box gets reflected. In order to close-up clearly, we recommend using macro extension tube.

Close-up lenses are just for magnifying a little more.

→ What is a Macro Extension Tube?