4 Items You Need for Macro Flash Photography. Try These!

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Lots of photographers are shocked at how much really goes into macro flash photography. Macro photography in and of itself is already really complicated. We’ve featured tons of macro photography projects here on the site. They all end up needing to get very technical before being artistic. What’s more, macro flash photography has so many variables and things that can go wrong. But with the right setup, you’re guaranteed to not have problems. And lucky for you, we’ve tested everything you need.

Pro Tips for Macro Flash Photography

Here are some pro tips on doing macro flash photography:

  • Unless you plan on focus stacking, stop the lens down a lot. You’re then going to need to raise your ISO up and possibly get even more power and light. We recommend shooting with a macro lens outdoors or in a very well lit area. Then use a flash in addition to the ambient light. Otherwise, go for a much more powerful studio strobe.
  • Put the flash close or right on top of whatever you’re photographing. You need a flash instead of an LED. LEDs are way too weak when it comes to power output.
  • One of the key advantages in macro flash photography is, well, the flash. Flashes and strobes have something called flash duration. Flash duration acts almost like a second shutter speed and helps to prevent camera shake. LEDs don’t have that.
  • Modern image stabilization is very good. But it’s still not going to outdo what a solid tripod can do. You’re going to really, really need it at macro ranges. All your slightest movements are magnified tenfold.
  • True macro lenses shoot at a 1:1 ratio.

ExpoImaging Rogue Flashbender

In our review, we state:

The build quality is really amazing here. It bends and warps into various shapes and then can fold down pretty flat to be stored into a backpack or messenger bag. That’s a really awesome part of it.

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ProMaster SP528K Tripod

In our review, we state:

Out of the box, the ProMaster SP528K is really easy to use and set up. Perhaps the most complicated part is the tripod head. That’s because it has a lot of different functionalities. You can do things like dial in how much sensitivity the ball head has. It also can let you tilt, pivot, etc. I expect this level of control from higher-end products, but the entire package together is cheaper than most camera lenses. One nice touch is the tripod legs. They aren’t rounded for a twist–which has its advantages all its own. It lets you be much more careful about how you’re setting up the tripod to take a shot. I think that both cityscape and landscape photographers will really like the ProMaster SP528K because of just how much it lets a photographer do in an affordable package. It lacks the sexiness of more modern tripods, but it more than does the job.

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Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2

In our review, we state:

With just 75 watt-seconds of light output, the Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 is obviously nowhere near as powerful as traditional studio strobes. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to produce pleasing images with it though. As long as you understand how the size and intensity of light work in photography, you’ll be able to create some pleasing results using the Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 as a light source.

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Breakthrough Photography X4 Circular Polarizer

In our review, we state:

I have a love/hate relationship with polarizing filters. Their effect can be useful, however, they traditionally reduced exposure by a couple of stops. In addition to the obvious implications on exposure, this also hampers autofocus performance. I was thrilled to learn that new filters are made with a more transmissive polarizing film, and the Breakthrough Photography X4 Circular Polarizer lets through about a half a stop more light!

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.