Macro with a D3100

H4X1MA

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The Questions:
So I enjoy the world of macro (would like to do bugs)... but it seems that the D3100 has a max sync speed of 1/200, even the D7100 only goes to 1/250. While reading up on macro photography I found that you should be hitting speeds of 1/250 minimum in order to get super sharp images. That being said, am I doomed to be in the realm of mediocre macro shots because I am not spending at least $1100 on a new body? or is my study of the net flawed with the 1/250 math?

Proceed with incoherent rambling:
Currently I am using tubes, so I may be stuck within the "it's ok" realm anyway. I've tried a ring light, but it didn't really seem to help much. Yesterday I ordered the SB-400, with a TTL cord, so I could adjust my lighting It came in today... B&H shipping apparently rules. However, after getting it, and noticing I still couldn't go beyond 1/200 I face-palmed hard enough to cause brain damage. I am glad I didn't spend the $500 on the twin flash setup to find this out, and investing in my first flash is a plus.

Why is it that "modding" a camera seems like just as much of a headache as modding a car >.<
 

SCraig

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The D7100 is capable of high-speed synch which, in theory, will allow it to synch with flashes capable of HSS up to the maximum shutter speed of the camera. In reality the highest I've been able to use reliably with my D7000 and an SB-700 is about 1/2000 second.

You can always use constant lights such as floods for additional light.
 

480sparky

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If the speedlight is the primary light source, I think you'll find it's 'faster' than the shutter. Even at full power, it's 1/300 sec.
 

cgipson1

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As Sparky mentions.. it is the duration of the Flash that determines the exposure speed when using flash, not the shutter speed. All Shutter speed will allow you do to is allow more or less ambient light in the background. Most flash exposures are well above 1/1000 of a second.

Unfortunately, the SB-400 is a joke for the money... it really lacks power, and IR Off Camera capability. You would be much better off with a used SB-600 or 700.. or even a cheap Yongnuo, since that will force you to learn manual flash technique. It is designed to be an upgrade to the pop-up flash.. and not much of one at that.

The advantages the R1 units you mentioned have, are that they are fully IR capable, individually adjustable, and actually do very well for macro! You will need a macro bracket to be able to aim that SB-400 at the subject, unless you put the body on a tripod (which can be very restrictive when chasing bugs)
 
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H4X1MA

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As Sparky mentions.. it is the duration of the Flash that determines the exposure speed when using flash, not the shutter speed. All Shutter speed will allow you do to is allow more or less ambient light in the background. Most flash exposures are well above 1/1000 of a second.

Unfortunately, the SB-400 is a joke for the money... it really lacks power, and IR Off Camera capability. You would be much better off with a used SB-600 or 700.. or even a cheap Yongnuo, since that will force you to learn manual flash technique. It is designed to be an upgrade to the pop-up flash.. and not much of one at that.

The advantages the R1 units you mentioned have, are that they are fully IR capable, individually adjustable, and actually do very well for macro! You will need a macro bracket to be able to aim that SB-400 at the subject, unless you put the body on a tripod (which can be very restrictive when chasing bugs)

cg, the camera is limited to adjust the shutter to only 1/200, so I can't get 1/1000 out of anything. Or is there some funky math that I don't know about here?

I actually did order a bracket, with the intentions that you mentioned, but it came busted in the box so it's going back. Do you have a bracket that you recommend?
 

480sparky

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cg, the camera is limited to adjust the shutter to only 1/200, so I can't get 1/1000 out of anything. Or is there some funky math that I don't know about here?
...........


It's called flash duration. The SB-400 has a duration of 1/300-sec at maximum power. Dial the power down, and the duration gets shorter.
 
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H4X1MA

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This duration still has no helpful effect on trying to get my shutter to go faster than 1/200 for marco :(
 

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As Sparky mentions.. it is the duration of the Flash that determines the exposure speed when using flash, not the shutter speed. All Shutter speed will allow you do to is allow more or less ambient light in the background. Most flash exposures are well above 1/1000 of a second.

Unfortunately, the SB-400 is a joke for the money... it really lacks power, and IR Off Camera capability. You would be much better off with a used SB-600 or 700.. or even a cheap Yongnuo, since that will force you to learn manual flash technique. It is designed to be an upgrade to the pop-up flash.. and not much of one at that.

The advantages the R1 units you mentioned have, are that they are fully IR capable, individually adjustable, and actually do very well for macro! You will need a macro bracket to be able to aim that SB-400 at the subject, unless you put the body on a tripod (which can be very restrictive when chasing bugs)

cg, the camera is limited to adjust the shutter to only 1/200, so I can't get 1/1000 out of anything. Or is there some funky math that I don't know about here?

I actually did order a bracket, with the intentions that you mentioned, but it came busted in the box so it's going back. Do you have a bracket that you recommend?

This is what I use.. it is a good one! Kirk FB-8 Macro Flash Flip Bracket with 1/4"-20 Screw FB-8
 

480sparky

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This duration still has no helpful effect on trying to get my shutter to go faster than 1/200 for marco :(

Why does it need to?
 
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H4X1MA

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As Sparky mentions.. it is the duration of the Flash that determines the exposure speed when using flash, not the shutter speed. All Shutter speed will allow you do to is allow more or less ambient light in the background. Most flash exposures are well above 1/1000 of a second.

Unfortunately, the SB-400 is a joke for the money... it really lacks power, and IR Off Camera capability. You would be much better off with a used SB-600 or 700.. or even a cheap Yongnuo, since that will force you to learn manual flash technique. It is designed to be an upgrade to the pop-up flash.. and not much of one at that.

The advantages the R1 units you mentioned have, are that they are fully IR capable, individually adjustable, and actually do very well for macro! You will need a macro bracket to be able to aim that SB-400 at the subject, unless you put the body on a tripod (which can be very restrictive when chasing bugs)

cg, the camera is limited to adjust the shutter to only 1/200, so I can't get 1/1000 out of anything. Or is there some funky math that I don't know about here?

I actually did order a bracket, with the intentions that you mentioned, but it came busted in the box so it's going back. Do you have a bracket that you recommend?

This is what I use.. it is a good one! Kirk FB-8 Macro Flash Flip Bracket with 1/4"-20 Screw FB-8

Thanks! I'll try that one, doesn't look like it could possible have any broken parts unless UPS was hit my a meteor on the way here.

This duration still has no helpful effect on trying to get my shutter to go faster than 1/200 for marco :(

Why does it need to?

I read that in order to have crisp macro's consistently that you should be shooting at 1/250 and higher. In my wish to shoot bugs, who have a tendency to go about their life instead of model for me, 1/200 on something that small moving would end up with blur.
 

cgipson1

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cg, the camera is limited to adjust the shutter to only 1/200, so I can't get 1/1000 out of anything. Or is there some funky math that I don't know about here?

I actually did order a bracket, with the intentions that you mentioned, but it came busted in the box so it's going back. Do you have a bracket that you recommend?

This is what I use.. it is a good one! Kirk FB-8 Macro Flash Flip Bracket with 1/4"-20 Screw FB-8

Thanks! I'll try that one, doesn't look like it could possible have any broken parts unless UPS was hit my a meteor on the way here.

This duration still has no helpful effect on trying to get my shutter to go faster than 1/200 for marco :(

Why does it need to?

I read that in order to have crisp macro's consistently that you should be shooting at 1/250 and higher. In my wish to shoot bugs, who have a tendency to go about their life instead of model for me, 1/200 on something that small moving would end up with blur.
Dude... have you seen any of my macro stuff? Is it sharp enough for you? I shoot 99% handheld... only use a tripod for focus stacking.

I guarantee you it was all (if shot with flash) shot at 1/60 to 1/250... no higher. The flash is so strong, and fast.. it overrides everything else. And it is WAY faster than 1/200! The duration of the flash... BOOM... that is what lights the subject, and makes the exposure happen. NOT the shutter speed. Now when not using flash... using AMBIENT light, yes.. you need fast shutter speeds! BUT NOT WITH FLASH! Really!

$!_DSC3251_close-crop.jpg
 

Gavjenks

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An SB-800 flash at 1/128th power lasts 1/42,000th of a second. In order to get any motion blur whatsoever at that speed (even a single pixel at 100% crop), your subject would have to be moving fast enough to move through your entire frame 10 times per second. Something akin to a bug flying at full speed in front of a camera at full 1:1 macro.

in such situations, motion blur is the least of your problems. More like "Oh hey, I stand a 0.000001% chance of even getting the bug in frame at that speed, much less focused"
 

cptkid

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Where on earth did you get the idea that macro needs to be shot at over 1/200 to be sharp?

That's complete nonsense.
 
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H4X1MA

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Dude... have you seen any of my macro stuff? Is it sharp enough for you? I shoot 99% handheld... only use a tripod for focus stacking.

I guarantee you it was all (if shot with flash) shot at 1/60 to 1/250... no higher. The flash is so strong, and fast.. it overrides everything else. And it is WAY faster than 1/200! The duration of the flash... BOOM... that is what lights the subject, and makes the exposure happen. NOT the shutter speed. Now when not using flash... using AMBIENT light, yes.. you need fast shutter speeds! BUT NOT WITH FLASH! Really!

View attachment 48176

That seems very sharp; I guess I am just missing something here. Trying to find the article I read with the 1/250 but am having no luck.

Was that taken with a Macro lens, or it that the work of a tube? I am COMPLETELY guessing that extension tubes may not have as much forgiveness, and maybe that's why I saw 1/250.
 

cgipson1

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Dude... have you seen any of my macro stuff? Is it sharp enough for you? I shoot 99% handheld... only use a tripod for focus stacking.

I guarantee you it was all (if shot with flash) shot at 1/60 to 1/250... no higher. The flash is so strong, and fast.. it overrides everything else. And it is WAY faster than 1/200! The duration of the flash... BOOM... that is what lights the subject, and makes the exposure happen. NOT the shutter speed. Now when not using flash... using AMBIENT light, yes.. you need fast shutter speeds! BUT NOT WITH FLASH! Really!

That seems very sharp; I guess I am just missing something here. Trying to find the article I read with the 1/250 but am having no luck.

Was that taken with a Macro lens, or it that the work of a tube? I am COMPLETELY guessing that extension tubes may not have as much forgiveness, and maybe that's why I saw 1/250.

It was taken with a Nikon 105mm Macro lens, and if I remember correctly.. probably a 25mm tube also and then cropped a bit. I did use flash...diffused. Tubes won't really affect the sharpness, or anything... and definitely don't need special shutter speeds. Tubes do decrease the DOF significantly, but that is a function of the increased magnification they provide.

The only time shutter speed would be a factor would be in ambient light shooting... with flash, shutter speed actually contributes little to sharpness.
 

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