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  1. #1

    Default How To Shoot Macro

    Hi Graham and other members, its going to be a lovely day today and my Nikon Micro lens is being delivered (Nikon 105mm f2.8 D series). I've also bought a Nikon SC-28 lead so I can have my Nikon SB600 flash off camera. So to shoot macro (flora) what do I do next PLEASE, e.g. how far do you hold flash from subject, what apertures etc.

  2. #2


    Hi Tillerkid

    On my to get Sigma lens focusing on 1:1 ( true macro) I have to be around 6 inch's from the subject, this can sometimes be almost impossible to achieve , using a focusing rail does help on occasion, this means a tripod though. As for aperture when you get really close the D.O.F gets really blurred. so you need a high number something like F18, if your using flash try F22 or even F32.

    I would try a few flowers the move on to bugs. Hope this helps... Graham

  3. #3


    Thanks Graham, firstly what is a focusing rail and do you try to clamp flowers if its breezy, what about the flash, I would like to try and black out the background. One more thing I hope you and Wave did not mind m giving my views to TIM about his polarizing problems, I felt guilty as I recommended the Hoya from Amazon.

  4. #4


    Hi. A focusing rail goes between your tripod and a camera, this link will show it. I use it quite a lot for really close macro shots.

    To get a black background on a photo is easy, set your camera to manual go to f22 with a shutter speed of around 200/ 250, then find a flower that's not got a lot of background something like a Tulip, and take your first shot, everything will be black, then set your flash to manual at full put it over the flower and take your next shot. If it's too bright drop the flash strength a bit, and if it's too dark lower the shutter speed.

    I noticed you put a post on Tims thread and thought you made a really good point, and doubt if Wave will be offended... Graham

    I don't take a lot of flower macros, if I did I would consider some sort of clamping system, at the moment I try to wait on the wind easing off.

  5. #5


    ..just my pennies almost always necessary to use a tripod for true macro work as the DOF is so small (often millimetres) when using fully open f stop for a blurred background. The other technique when not using a tripod is to sway slightly back and forward holding the camera steady so that you are moving the subject into focus and not having to re-focus. Always manual focus, turn IS off, remote trigger and use delay but I do not use mirror lock up although some recommend it. Also try a ring flash since when you are only inches away any side flash is often redundant. Looking forward to see the results it sounds like a nice lens you will be using. Regards Paul

  6. #6


    ..or as they say...there is more than one way to skin a cat....regards

  7. #7


    Thanks Graham & Paul, took my first macro today and posted it in competition. Just done it normal and then edited it, very happy with lens bought it second hand from 123 Photographs on Amazon for 370. The seller also has an excellent website for used equipment.

  8. #8


    Forgot to tell you Graham, I've ordered 3 books by that author you mentioned.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    I do mostly flower photography; not always true macro, but generally at least close in. I have the Nikon 40mm macro lens, so have to get very close to the subject to achieve 1:1. I tend to use f/8 or f/9, might go to f/14 occasionally. That does limit depth of field, but I try to use that creatively. I also usually work hand-held as I have mobility problems and often shoot at the garden centre - where the flowers are raised. They're happy for me to take photos, but it might be pushing it a bit to be getting in everyone's way with a tripod. If I want extra lighting, I use one of those LED ring-lights. I would love to have the 105mm macro lens and a proper ring-flash, but they're way beyond my limited budget. I am happy with what I'm achieving with my limited equipment though.

  10. #10


    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try my luck at the local allotments. Lots of the gardeners there grow flowers, currently I'm just messing around in our garden. If you did buy a ring flash what would you go for, fortunately my budget is quite good.
    Best Wishes


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