Thursday, January 8, 2009

How I shoot MACRO? (updated on 8th Jan 2009)

I am trying to share how I shoot macro and this may not be the best setting or skill but just hope it can help whoever want to start MACRO photography to have a some idea what/how to start .....

1. Manual Focus
- due to the swallow DOF so it is not easy to get the AF work correctly what you going to focus especially at >1 life times
- so I will fix my magnification, then move myself backward & frontward to get object focus instead of turning the focus ring (do not do this) ... (i used to do this and this make you even tough to get object focus)

2. aperture number use
- refer to how is Aperture affect MACRO Here
- so minimum F number I use will be
- I provide the recommended aperture range and F number I use :D
<1:1 F4 - F11 ---> F8
1:1 F8 - F16 ---> F11
2:1 F8 - F13 ---> F10
3:1 F8 - F13 ---> F9
4:1 F5.6 - F11 ---> F8
5:1 F5.6 - F8 ---> F7.1
- you may ask
i. why I reduce the aperture/F number and this eventually reduce my DOF
- yes, it will reduce DOF but i have to maintain the sharpness which impact by Diffraction (higher F number use will make picture softer)
ii. why my pictures DOF look great and ~same with 1-4 :1 even smaller aperture/F number use ....
- I focus stack my pictures so DOF in my picture is result of multiple shooting with stacking. what is focus stack ? please refer here

3. shutter speed
- for start I will prefer to have minimum 1/125 or above
- what I use --> 1/200 :D

4. ISO
- for start, this is the only place you can get correct exposure if F8 & 1/125 still get under exposure picture
recommended ISO 100-400 only
- what I use --> ISO100

5. Flash, Yes or No???
- this is very subjective question where it depend bug that you shoot, IQ you need, environment that you shoot ......
- normally while shoot Natural Light (NL) without flash, I will use Aperture priority mode.... F8 then will adjust ISO to get correct aperture
- what I use --> flash (ettl)
- while use flash, the flash have to be diffuse.

6. Diffuse
- this is most important portion (for me)
- if you din't get diffuse correct, object details will be loss even you got it focus
- what I use ---> styrofoam paper sheet

As last, I would like thanks all people that refer this post and hope I can help you to make fun to start MACRO ........


JJ said...

Very useful tips. Thx Sifoo for sharing.

liewwk said...

JJ.. happy u like this .. this is like basic to in MACRO

Unknown said...

I am very new to macro photography. I did manage to get a couple of good bee shots with a Nikon D3000 and standard lens. What camera / lenses do you use?

George Lan 陈赒詺 said...

Dear Liew,
Thanks for sharing but i still have some technical question to ask.
i used 100mm f2.8 IS and with extension tube 21+31mm what is the magnification i get. 1;1 0r 1;2 or 1;3. thanks

liewwk said...

Jeff .. I use Canon MP-E65, SIGMA and 100 Macro canon

George, you can get the magnification
by refer

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