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Getting in to Macro Photography

Micro Nikkor - Macro Lens 55mm f3/5 - 21 Jan 08Macro photography is something that I've always wanted to try. And, I found out that there are 5 different ways to do macro photography:

1) Get a dedicated macro lens. (Definitely the best option, but probably most expensive.)
2) Get a tele-converter or extension tubes that will work with existing lenses. (Works with varying degrees of success, depending on cameras and lenses used.)
3) Use close-up filters. (Possible, but not really the best.)
4) Maximise the use of existing lens and just use "macro shooting mode". (Unless existing lens has good semi-macro possibilities, it's not the most ideal solution.)
5) Use a reversing ring to reverse existing lens. (Can work well, but will depend on the type of lens. And can be cumbersome for newbies.)

Well, after looking at the various options, I decided to go for option #1. But, since I didn't want to spend too much money on this, I had a look around at various cheaper options. And, I found that one of the best things about the D40x is its ability to work with older, non-AId lenses.

So, I decided to get myself an old Micro Nikkor lens from eBay (Nikon 55mm f3.5), based on some recommendations from more experienced photographers and D40/x users. No, it doesn't autofocus on the D40x, but apparently, it's one good little old lens. And, I was told that I don't really need autofocus with macro work anyway. And, besides, it's a good, cheap option. I mean, there are other Nikon lenses that will work well with the D40x, but they're way out of my budget. So, it's the 55mm 3.5 for me.

So yeah, not only am I going to have to learn macro photography techniques - I will have to learn the very basic art of manual focusing. Scary.

Anyway, I did some test shots, and here are some results...

Project 365 - Day 21 - 21 Jan 08 : MACRO DAY 1

First Macro Shots - 21 Jan 08 : KEYS

First Macro Shots - 21 Jan 08

Manual focusing will definitely take some time to get used to. I'm not really happy with these shots, but I don't mind sharing so I can show you that yes, I am all for just giving it a go.

Will share more findings and lessons as they come. If you're in to macro photography and would like to share some tips or feedback, would love to read all about your thoughts and ideas.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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