Today my goal was to take some close-up (or macro on some) of some flowers. A few wild, a few domestic. My gear was: The Olympus OMD E-M5, 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor, Kit Flash that comes with the E-M5.
I was surprised that the kit flash did not cast a shadow from my Macro lens being extended to 1:2 in a few cases. A big plus. I did have it set to +1 EV though. My f/stops where f/22 and f/32, an f/stop range with macro you need to live in. Using a flash, I could be at use a lower ISO than without a flash.
I also shoot RAW and had the NR filter on LOW.
If you are serious about Macro Photography (1:3 to over 1:1), you will need to get at least 2 mandatory pieces of gear, other than a camera.
- A proper Macro lens (45mm or above), The Panasonic/Leica 45mm f/2.8 would be the BEST choice. Next, would be a Manual Focus 55mm Macro, such as the Nikon 55mm f/3.5, or a Canon FD 55mm f/3.5. Both are under $125.00 used or less. Plus the adapter.
- OR a set of closeup filters sold in 3 packs in strengths in: +1, +2, +4 that will fit on a lens of native lens of 20mm or longer, (the 25mm P/L or the 45mm f/1.8 are also good)
- low power flash that can be used a few feet away that is TTL’d through the Hot-Shoe. (it is more convenient than a full manual flash). The flash may need to on a flash bracket if the flash head casts a shadow from the lens. (A crescent shaped shadow on the bottom of the photo).
As I mentioned above, you will need to live in the f/22 or f/32 range if you want a few inches depth-of-focus (DOF) to insure an in focus flower of whatever. A trick to increase DOF is to move back a bit and crop the photo later. And using a flash, allows you use lower ISO speeds.
The above is a starting point, and you will have experiment with your final set up to find your Flash setting, among ISO and f/stops to get what you want.
Here are some from today with the Olympus OMD E-M5, Kit Flash, 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor
Click on the 1st photo to enter slide show, then click on each photo to change the photo.