If you’d like to explore macro photography and you’re not willing to invest thousands of dollars in professional macro lenses, photographer Adam Kappa has quite an affordable solution. He shares the setup he uses for macro photography which all of us can use with minimum investment. It involves a kit lens, a cheap external flash, macro tubes and a DIY diffuser. So, with less than $100 of additional gear and some DIY magic, he achieves really great results. Take a look.
You will need
- DSLR with a kit lens (in Adam’s case, it’s Canon 600D and 18-55 mm kit lens)
- External flash (Yongnuo YN565EX)
- Extension tubes (Polaroid extension tubes)
- DIY flash diffuser (here are some ideas)
Assuming that you only have a camera with a kit lens, this external flash and the extension tubes will cost you under $100 together, which is a pretty good deal.
Adam zooms to 55mm, turns off the image stabilization and uses manual focus. The focus is set to infinity, and instead of focusing with the focusing ring, Adam prefers moving the camera back and forth to find the perfect focus.
As for the camera settings, Adam sets the shutter speed to 1/200, because that’s the sync speed of the flash. He sets the aperture to f/14 because with extension tubes the depth of field is too shallow if you use a wider aperture. ISO is 500 in order to avoid too much noise. Of course, depending on your camera, lens, lighting conditions and so on – feel free to experiment.
These are some of the images Adam took using this setup:
Considering that the gear is really basic and some of it is even DIY, I think these results are quite impressive. Not everyone wants or can invest in pricey macro lenses, but many of us would like to explore macro photography. Even if your niche is completely different, macro photography is fun to play with, and Adam’s setup is something most of us could try out even if we don’t have fancy gear.