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Thread: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

  1. #1
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    Default Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Hi Fellow Members,

    This is my first post so would appreciate your guidence and encouragement.

    I have been taking photos as an amateur for many years but am new to macro photography. I am using Nikon D70 with 60mm macro len. I realized that the rule of thumb for shutter speed setting using 1 / (focal length X crop factor) does not apply in macro photography as the magnification varies while the focal length is fixed (60 mm in my case).

    Would appreciate if someone can advise what would be the new rule of thumb in setting the shutter speed for macro photography?


    Rgds

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhot View Post
    Hi Fellow Members,

    This is my first post so would appreciate your guidence and encouragement.

    I have been taking photos as an amateur for many years but am new to macro photography. I am using Nikon D70 with 60mm macro len. I realized that the rule of thumb for shutter speed setting using 1 / (focal length X crop factor) does not apply in macro photography as the magnification varies while the focal length is fixed (60 mm in my case).

    Would appreciate if someone can advise what would be the new rule of thumb in setting the shutter speed for macro photography?


    Rgds
    Personally, I shoot with an external flash on, so the minimum shutter speed for me is as low as the lowest shutter speed for the flash's setting. Incidentally, I keep it at about 1/60 to reduce my movement errors (if any) as well as freeze the insects as much as possible.

    If you have a tripod and have co-operative subjects, then you can go to as low a shutter speed as you like.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Hi Zac,

    Thanks for sharing. I do have external flash (SB800) but do not have specialized flash for macro. Not too sure how to use normal external flash on macro. Got the impression that direct flash would flatten the subject and for outdoor how to bounce the flash?

    If I do not use flash then is there a guideline on the shutter speed to use as I do not think I can use the rule of thumb of 1/focal length.

    Rgds

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    for me wise i use a built in flash as a commander and than a sb600 and sb800 with people holding it for me while i shoot
    so my shutter speed would be about 1/60
    D800 | D700|16mm f2.8D|35 f1.4G|50 f1.8G|60mm F2.8D|85mm f1.4G|16-35 f4G|70-200 f2.8 VR2| SB900

  5. #5
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhot View Post
    Hi Zac,

    Thanks for sharing. I do have external flash (SB800) but do not have specialized flash for macro. Not too sure how to use normal external flash on macro. Got the impression that direct flash would flatten the subject and for outdoor how to bounce the flash?

    If I do not use flash then is there a guideline on the shutter speed to use as I do not think I can use the rule of thumb of 1/focal length.

    Rgds
    You can look at my macro pictures in my flickr link. They are taken with a Nikon SB-800 set at -7 degree and with negative ev. Due to the close distance to the subject, such flash is actually quite ok, you can diffuse it more with DIY diffusers or omnibounce.

    If you do not use flash, then consider your movement problems. If handheld, then you may need a much higher shutter speed than 1/focal length. If you have a tripod, then you have more room to play with. Have seen some users try as low as 1/15 with longer macro lenses like the 180.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Actually in macro photography, the faster the speed, the better it is. (reduced motion blur)

    Flash is very important in macro, either it is full or fill flash, both give different result.

    btw, 60mm is good for still life. For insect, 90mm and longer is recommanded.

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    Default Re: Shutter Speed Guideline when shooting macro

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for sharing your setup and comments especially to Michael Lim for sharing his huge portfolio. I got the point now. Flash is essential be it single or multiple. Hence trying to capture macro with a fast enough speed using handheld is not a usual practice.

    Rgds

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