macro photography accessories


There are three main categories of macro photography accessories, all of which have a range from simple to complex, inexpensive to pricey.  

The first and most obvious involves optics and usually means lenses. Surprisingly though, there are ways to have fun with macro photography without adding any specialized macro lenses to your list of equipment.

macro photography optics and lenses

Macro lenses are the most obvious of the macro photography accessories

There are hundreds of options available if you want to go the route of a dedicated macro lens and I've covered that elsewhere on this site.  

You have your choice of matching your camera brand with the same original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or save money with a third party lens maker like Tamron, Sigma or Tokina.

A set of extension tubes are a great option to add to your arsenal of accessories.

Very affordable and versatile for getting different degrees of magnification. I use extension tubes for my close-up photograph more than any other gadget, including macro lenses.

Here is a resource for you if you want more information on using extension tubes as a primary accessory to get up and close to your subject:  CambridgeColour/Maco Extension Tubes  

Another way to avoid buying a new macro lens is what some photographers would label as gimmicky and that's the use of lens reversal rings.  It's a ring that allow you to mount your lens up-side-down to your camera.  This was popular in the days of film photography before digital photography took over.

macro photography flash lighting

Nikon dual speedlight macro lighting accessory

Lighting accessories for close-up photography often include one or two strobes or flash units.  

I personally am more of a natural lighting geek and often only use reflectors and light shades to modify my macro lighting.

This type of powerful and close-up lighting gives you the ability to stop down your lens and achieve a deep depth of field as much as possible. Don't let my personal bias get in the way of you using these popular dual lighting systems. 

The biggest challenge with taking close-up pictures is with sharpness.  Blurry pictures are caused my motion blur and insufficient focus.  Electronic flash provides an extremely short duration for exposure and illuminates motion blur in all but the most unusal situations.

Having the flash so very close to your subject takes full advantage of the flashes brightness output and gives you a larger range of things in focus.

good light modifiers for macro photography

Diffusers for good close-up lighting

Diffusion, bounce lighting and light blocking are all methods of modifying the lighting that macro photographers should be equipped to handle.

You can achieve all three of these lighting techniques with the use of light boxes, designed specifically for shooting inside close-ups.

Here are some reviews and opinions of customers who bought macro photography light boxes on Amazon.

macro photography support

Mini tripod for holding the flash in macro photography lighting set-up

The camera, the lights and sometimes even the subject need to be supported.  

Usually in the case of the subject that support is provided by the ground, a table or other stationary object.

Limostudio, Fotodiox, and Alzo sell table and light kits that are well-suited for indoor studio type of macro photos shoots.  Of course the more common support is provided for the camera in the form of a good macro tripod. More on types of tripods.

macro photography background

This could be something as simple as a piece of colored cloth used to block out a distracting background.  I rarely do this out in the field with my nature macro photography but pretty much always use a background when shooting studio type of macro work.

Because depth of field is so limited, the background you choose won't be in sharp focus. Color choice and brightness is very important.  Texture of your background is likely not going to be a big factor in the final resulting macro photo.

other macro photography accessories

The best camera for macro photography should have the ability to use a few good accessories. Some of the digital point and shoot cameras are very limited on what accessories you can use.

It is very helpful to examine your images for sharpness under magnification on your camera's LCD screen during a shoot.  Many modern digital cameras have a feature that lets you magnify an area of your LCD screen to check your focus.

I bought a handheld magnifier that I use quite a bit when I am shooting outside and the LCD screen is difficult to see in the bright light.  I have a Hoodman Loupe.

Reviews on the Hoodman Loupe Magnifier by Amazon customers

Shutter Cords.  One of the biggest mistakes in shooting macro photos when using a tripod is pushing the shutter button with your finger. That causes at least some camera movement and your image quality suffers.  Either use the self-timer feature on your camera or get yourself a shutter cord or a wireless remote to trigger the shutter.

I also find the Hooodman Right-angle viewer quite handy for precise focusing.  It has a dioptor for adjusting to your specific eyesight and a 2.5x magnifier to help you check and adjust the focus in the central part of your composition.

Macro Gadget: HoodMan Right-angle viewer for macro photography

This macro photography accessory comes with different size adapters to fit the different sized of optical viewfinders on DSLR cameras.

If you are looking for a few more unique macro photography accessories..... read on my friend.

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I was reading my copy of Outdoor Photographer and came across another interesting electronic accessory and thought you might want to know about it.  It's called the CamRanger.  It should be very appealing to macro and wildlife photographers.

Here is a video showing you why you might find it appealing.  Watch it now-it's only 3 minutes:

Here are the thoughts and opinions of buyers of the CamRanger: CamRanger Wireless Camera Controller

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