Here ya go, Todd.
That flower shows close up. The macro zoom shows up a closeup part of the flower. Macro will allow you to get up close and personal. I just used my macro setting yesterday to photograph a carb. Note the dirt particles on it. .
Yes the flower is the standard icon for macro mode. It should work ok. For sure, a special macro lens might make for better shots but unless you're into fancy photography, macro mode with a regular lens should be just fine. The special lens will allow for less edge distortion (curvature), etc.
All lens have a minimum focusing distance. If the image of the subject is still to small at the minimum focusing distance, you need a macro lens. It allows you to focus on very tiny objects and still fill the frame.
Nikon makes great lenses and with 24 MP you can often digitally zoom in to make the image larger and still get good details. I would experiment with the camera and see how close you can get. If you are unhappy with the results you can put the macro lens on your Christmas wish list
The flower setting isn't the best but it does optimize the light sensor for being in close. You're still limited by the lenses minimum focus distance. For taking good photos of flowers up close, electronics, anything where you'd want to be within a foot of the subject and the subject is small you really need some sort of dedicated macro lens. That way you can get close enough to fill the frame with your subject.
I have the D3000 and I have mounted and looked through the 2.5 converter and it seems to be nice and clear, just haven't taken any photos and really looked at it. Remember my cataracts :facepalm_zpsdj194qh Have my other eye getting done early March :wavetowel2: Finally had a chance to look through the scope on the pellet rifle. That's a nice scope. No, haven't killed anything yet but now that it's warmer out may get a bunny or two soon. Lots of tracks out there.
For your camera use the "flower" macro mode. Invest in a tripod to keep the camera steady during your close up shots. Stick with the stock 18-55mm lens and pick up a 52mm UV or clear filter to protect it, and see if it meets your needs.
If you absolutely MUST get closer to your subject than the stock Nikon D3200 setup allows, consider purchasing another camera for that specific purpose, as it may actually save you a lot of money. For example, I use an older Fujifilm S2950 (minimum focus distance is 0.8 inch) for my close up shots, and I got it for less than the price of a lens.
The other thing to consider with a lens is it's magnification. There are very few situations where I'd want to be inches away from what I'm shooting. One this is lighting becomes an issue as you're blocking your own light, scaring off your subject or in some cases not physically being able to get real close like a flower bed you can't step into.
A digital single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film.
Wikipedia has a good description of the design of DSLR at:
I was a photography major in college, graduated in 1992. Then I worked at Kodak for 17 years, 1995 to 2012. I was right there during the entire film to digital transition, a fascinating time to be in the industry! Especially at Kodak..Kodak invented the digital camera in the 70's, and its own creation brought the company to its knees 30 years later.
I have that NIKON 3200 but sometimes I get to looking at flickr and the photos that get submitted in the local rag here. and I think how come those pics just jump out at you. and some of the ones I take are kinda boring. now that spring is coming I want to snap some pics of the sun rising over my old high school. which will mean that I have to camp out waiting for just the right shot. last early summer I was riding my trusty steed through the hood and watched the sun come up over the high school. everthing was just right the colors and the clouds made it look like the sky was on fire. I thought you know that would be a great pic to take. I just have the 2 stock lens that came with it. I don't know maybe I need a better lens you know like a wide angle one. I just started playing around with it a little more now that the garage is done. only used it then to take pics of the progress of garage and some other little things around here.