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Insect and Plant Macro Photography Question


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I use a Canon SL3 (with Canon Macro EFS 35mm lens) for nature stock photography including insects (always moving) and plants (blowing in the wind). I have trouble getting it to focus enough for my photos to be accepted. I have tried different aperture settings to focus more of the picture but I wonder if a lot of it has to do with the camera itself being cheaper? How much does the camera play a role versus the lens? I always have to edit out a lot of noise and take like 100 photos of each thing in the hopes I get one that is focused enough. Would I have better luck with a different camera? For what I do setting up a tripod etc. isn't really feasible because I like to go out into nature and find things in the wild that are always moving around.

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John,

First off, I would suggest you go out earlier when the wind is usually much calmer.  Secondly, I would suggest you use flash when shooting macro and by flash I mean a separate flash unit not your pop-up on camera flash.  Third suggestion,  Use f/16, no higher (i.e. f/22 or f/32).  Number four, always focus on the eye of the insect.

The lens is by far more important than the camera body but the lower end bodies may create more noise than a pro or prosumer body.  You might also find that using a longer macro lens (i.e. 90mm or 100mm) will allow you to get a close up image without disturbing your subject. The use of a longer lens (I use a 400mm lens) might also allow you to set up that tripod without disturbing your subject.

While any camera can be used for macro, I find that Olympus cameras are best suited for macro and or wildlife images.  If you're interested, I'll be more than happy to list the reason I believe this to be true.

Hope these few suggestion help.

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I'll let someone else be more helpful, possibly other experienced ideas, but shooting Macro and like you say, moving things, with the wind, your depth of field is pretty limited. Just a matter of physics, you can't have both easily.

Flash? You don't mention you f/stop, you would have to try for (probably) f/8 or f/11, which means, slower shutter speeds, which means... blur. so flash, really big bright flash! Or at the least something good for you would be like a, Canon 580EX Flash which won't break you. You can move up the ISO but then always a risk of adding noise.

I had a similar question about a long shutter, panning, to get extreme motion blur. One of the guys said, "if you take 100 photos, and get the one you want, what's wrong with that." Being I started in the days of film, I still have mental issues, with bursts and taking 100 photos to get the one I want. 😉 It takes some time to adjust to digital and the fact that I can throw away anything that's not what I want.

Anyway, nothing wrong with taking 100 or 500 or more photos to get that one that's just right. If it's that difficult, maybe that's a good sign that there won't be many others like yours?

I'm not saying, shoot 1,000 random photos and see what you have. I don't use the H mode myself because then I have too many to go through and edit. But with a good ETTL flash your camera should get some kind of a burst, and you don't have to have the latest expensive equipment. The external battery pack isn't overly expensive either and something you should consider which saves all the little battery problems and wasting time changing them, out in the field.

I got more than one this day, but you get the idea. I probably took 100 photos to get a few "good" ones.

12treevetteweb.jpg

 

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