Settings in macro photography are not very complicated and are based on simple principles, such as depth of field. The rest of the work is determined by the photographer’s taste, experience, and art. For example, I am a fan of using a wide aperture and a blurred background, and I mostly use manual adjustment, but another photographer’s taste may be different.
In this article, I will share my experience with camera settings for macro flower photography.
What is the best aperture for macro flower photography?
There is no specific rule; it all depends on your taste. Apertures of f/11 to f/22 work best for capturing details in flowers and the background, but they will put you at a disadvantage when providing enough light. If the environment has enough light, there will be no problem, and you will have a background with precise details.
But if there is not enough light in the environment, you will have to lower the shutter speed. One of the disadvantages of low shutter speed is the possibility of camera shake and blurring of the image, so you will have to use a tripod.
If you use apertures from f/2 to f/5.6, you will lose background detail, and it will be blurry. But in return, you will get the advantage of shooting in low light and any conditions. It looks like it’s worth it!
In these apertures, high shutter speed can be used, and the use of a tripod is not necessary except in meager light. So it enables you to take macro photography of flowers in nature with only one camera. ( Visit Fine Art Floral Photography article to watch more flower photos. )
What is the best shutter speed for flowers?
The best shutter speed is 1/125 and faster speeds. At these speeds, the possibility of blurring due to vibration is reduced. But in low light, you have to work at lower rates; if you can hold the camera firmly in your hand, you can get good results with a speed of 1/60. Working at a speed of 1/30 is complex and not consistently successful, and speeds lower than without using a tripod are unsuccessful.
Which mode should we use in the camera?
I use the manual mode of the camera; it has several advantages. Firstly, I can freely change the settings in different situations. Secondly, I can gain experience and discover new settings.
If you are in a hurry, you can use the macro photography mode in the camera so that you don’t waste your time manually adjusting the camera.
I do not recommend using the flash in manual camera mode as it may produce unexpected results. It is better to put the camera in macro mode if you want to use flash due to low light.
“Focus” in the macro setting
It is better to use automatic focus to have sharp and precise photos. But if you use an Extension Tube and a standard lens instead of a macro lens, you may have to use manual focus because the Extension Tube has problems with automatic focus with some lenses.
This problem happened to me with the Olympus camera, but the situation may be different in Canon and Nikon cameras.
What is a good focal length range for a macro lens for flower photography?
It does not matter! You will be forced to get closer to the flower with a short focal length, but the result will be the same in both cases. I took all my macro shots with a 35mm lens.
ISo issue in camera setting for macro flower photography
ISO can save you from the problem of low light. But don’t use ISO more than 800; higher values usually cause color noise.
The difference with the Camera setting for close-up photography
I must say that there is no significant difference between the setting of close-up and macro flower photography, and the only difference is that a longer focal length is used in close-up photography.