Breaking into macro

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by roadkill, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    I am interested in breaking into macro but I am completely ignorant when it comes to lens and lighting selection. I know it depends on the results I want to achieve but I wonder if some of those who have experience could suggest a lens that would be generally good to start with as well as lighting. Can I just use my SB600 for this type of shooting?
     
  2. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    To start off, why not consider either tubes or the Canon 500D close up lens?

    These will enable you to take macro shots whilst determining the focal length of lens that most suits your subjects/way of working, before you commit to a macro lens.
     
  3. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    you should look into the sigma 150mm macro or the sigma 105mm macro.. Both are great lenses. (Unless you want to up it and grab the nikon 105VR... excellent lens)

    My current setup is the Nikon 105VR with the SB-600 onboard. I ported out a lotion bottle and use that as a diffuser. Works very well in my opinion. www.flickr.com/tamar787

    most DIY flash things work just as well as the expensive ones. Personally, i think ring-lights give very flat lighting on macro work
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  5. chris

    chris TPF Noob!

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    That is precisely what ring lights are meant to do. If you do have a ring light and want to get a bit of modelling than you can blank off parts of the light with black tape.

    The suggestion of using a lotion bottle is good, you can buy diffusers but often a home made version is just as good, and cheap.

    You could use your flash off camera with an extension lead and side light your subject but you start to have problems holding everything in place if you don't use a tripod or an assistant. If you do use the flash off camera then take some small reflectors to bounce some light back to fill in some of the shadows unless you particularly want very directional lighting.

    The longer macro lenses (100 mm or more) allow greater working distance from the subject and can give you the room to be a bit more creative with the lighting.
     
  6. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll rent the 105 VR and see how it suits me. Icassell, that link didn't seem to work but I'll try again later. If anyone else has any ideas I would love to read them. Thanks again.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Me personally I never use a flash with macro shots, I'd rather improvise some steady light concoction and go from there, but as has ben noted on a few occations I do a diffrent style of macro. I can't say I can be of any real help for you.
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I fixed the link -- try it again :)
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Nikon D80 takes older Nikon lenses right?

    how about looking into older Nikkors??? AF is not all that important in macro photography. Focusing is achieved by increasing or decreasing subject to camera distance (hence macro focusing rails on tripods).


    As for flash, you'll need one definitely. DIY projects on the internet or older manual ring flashes from ebay for under $100 (well under).
     

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