How to Photograph Up Close – II: Cameras, Lens’ and TripodsPosted: June 4, 2009
Before I get into the post I wanted to let you know that I have various links for you to go to if you want more technical information on what I’m talking about. So here we go….
Welcome to the 2nd post to our, “How to Photograph Up Close” series. I would like to share with you the various tools that you will need to start your macro mode. I personally use Canon products and the reason I am even telling you this is that you will be investing money on your equipment and I feel that your camera and lens’ should be the same brand (they work excellent together). I have been frustrated with off brand equipment… try to keep the same brands at least for your lens and flash purchases. So research the various cameras and choose the one YOU like. My suggestion is to research Canon, Nikon, and then Olympus, they are wonderful cameras for macro photography. Below is an excellent start. The camera should be a D-SLR (which means Digital Single Lens Reflex).
This Rebel is an excellent starter camera:
Some of the various views from B & H:
Check out this article on “D-SLRs Buy Now” it’s a great article on why you will be happy with your investment. The reason, I believe, that a 35mm D-SLR is a better camera to use for Macro Photography is: 1. I don’t like point and shoot cameras because you can NOT interchange lens’. 2. Medium and Large format cameras are bulky + pricy.
Once you have your camera, play with it…the more you know your equipment the better you will photograph. Don’t worry if your photos turn out bad, it’s o.k…that is how you learn. If you’re confused with the manual you received with your camera, check out Amazon.com, they usually have used books you can purchase at a discount. I found this book for the Rebel camera above. I personally use a Canon 5D and LOVE it!
I recommend B & H to purchase your equipment…they stand by their products! Just check out various camera shops in your area to feel and touch the equipment… if you want to purchase at the time, go for it, but I bet you that the costs will be more expensive than B & H. I have learned to be patient…it’s hard when you want your products NOW but trust me…you can buy more goodies if you shop logically 🙂
Now you have your camera…let’s check out some lens’. Go for the MACRO lens’ (please click this link and go to equipment it’s important). If you took the time to read the link I gave you… you will understand why a macro lens is the best for what we want to achieve. Also, the link gives you information on the various focal lengths you can purchase (we will discuss focal lengths in more detail in another post).
My favorite lens is the Canon 100mm macro lens:
Yes, I bought this lens at B & H 🙂
Ok, now the tripod…In order to have your subject sharp and photograph looking professional, you really need to set your camera on a tripod. I’m going to take you away from B & H and send you to another company I like, “Really Right Stuff”. They really do have some really cool “stuff”, lol! We will be visiting them next week with more goodies to check out but for now let’s just look at the tripod system. Now, before you say, “This is way too expensive for me!” Remember, I am giving you info on quality equipment. Read up on it and if you can’t afford it, that’s ok…. I found you a starter tripod below 🙂 I do have to say that my husband always tells me that if you buy crappy stuff you will get crappy stuff and he is correct. I have never been unhappy with my equipment until I went cheap. So learn from me before you waste your hard earned $ and read Thom Hogan’s article about wasting money with regards to photography equipment. Ok, now read up a bit about tripods but don’t get discouraged about the price, remember I found a starter tripod for you at B & H.
What I like about my tripod is that it’s sturdy, I can adjust the legs to go flat to the ground (which I have used outdoors), and I can adjust the neck to a horizontal position, when needed. I have the ball head, which is excellent for Macro Photography. I plan to talk about this in more detail on my third post…I would also like to show you some other fun gadgets for macro photographing on the next post. So for now, research and ask me questions on your camera, lens’ and tripods, okay 🙂
Of course, I need to put up a macro shot…
I used my Canon 5D, 100mm macro lens, my tripod, and some other goodies (we will talk about next week) to make this photograph. With that said….see you next week or sooner.