High magnification macro photography on Dreamstime
Macro photography is why I have started my photography seriously two years ago. World of insects, bugs, spiders. To be able to see such a small details of a small jumping spider, or a ladybug, butterfly, dragonfly or just a house fly, was very interresting to me, so I have decided to give myself a try with macro photography.
For a while I was amazed with 1:1 standard macro magnification which you can get with every standard macro lens. But still there are some subjects that are just to small even for 1:1 magnification, or they posses such a details that are not possible to see with just a 1:1 magnification without a significant cropping of image. Which then leads to very small image that can often be refused here. So if you don't want to spend a lot of money buying an expensive macro extension tubes with contacts, and expensive high-quality teleconverters, you can try reverse lens macro.
I have buyed a very cheap 28mm M42 old manual lens, and a reverse ring adapter and very cheap extension tubes without contacts(because you don't need them since you will use your lens in reversed way). For all this I have spend about 70$. You must know one thing. The wider the lens are, more magnification you will get by reversing them. So lens with 24mm, 28mm and 35mm are highly recommended for reverse macro photography. If you combine them with cheap macro tubes, you will achieve even more magnification.
Reverse lens tecnique have some drawbacks, like no focus ability, you will need to focus by moving your camera up forward or backwards to achieve focus. You will need to control your aperture manualy with your finger. Working distance from lens to your subject is pretty small, and depth of field is also very very small. But magnification that you will get is superb.
It will be very hard to achieve sharp image. Sometimes I get 1 or 2 sharp images out of 50-60 shots. So you will need a lot more patience then before, but as I have already said...images that you will get, will be great. So is it worth it? Offcourse. As you can see, all my images in this post are taken with this high magnification setup of 28mm reversed and with extension tubes.
You will also need a good source of light. For now I use my on camera flash with my home made flash diffuser, because I still don't have external flash, which I really recommend, and will buy soon. With external flash you will have even more lightning control then with on camera flash. With well illuminated subjects from your flash, you will be able to use ISO 100 or 200 to achieve best quality of your images, and you will have your shutter speed at 1/200s all the time. This will assure that your images will not be rejected because of high noise by using high ISO settings.
I really wanted to start with high magnification macro photography and try to present some of this remarkable details of insects, bugs, spiders etc. through my images here on Dreamstime. My favorite macro subjects are jumping spiders, so in future I will try to show you how beautiful little creatures they really are.
To get good quality and high magnification image, you DO NOT NEED expensive equpiment. You just need more patience and you will need to shoot more images than usual, just to be shure you will have that at least one sharp image that you need.
Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave some comments, specialy if you also use similiar setup to achieve high magnification.
Photo credits: Mario Čehulić.