Some notes on the subject by Nikon5700ite
[Macro is when the subject size equals the image on the negative/sensor area]
Coming in close to things around us is a popular and easy thing to do in these days of the digital camera when you know how to achieve it and how to overcome the inherent problems involved.
When you look at write-ups about cameras you find references to "Macro to 10cm" or "Macro to 4cm" and one new camera in 2004 says "Macro to 1cm in wide-angle" ...... and there lies the crunch.
Really it is what you can take in picture width that is important since for instance I can take a smaller area with a telephoto lens and it's narrowing viewing angle than with a wide-angle much closer.
So I will refer to subject size filling the negative/sensor area in preference. Although as intimated above it can be useful to keep back from the subject with a telephoto lens to let light in on the subject or not to scare it.