When buying macro lenses, you need to be careful. There are many lenses out there they are marked macro, however, for the best close imaged and personal photos that are at least 1/3 life size or larger you have to be sure that you do in fact have a macro lens. Using a macro lens is is harder than using a telephoto zoom, you will need to pay more attention on focus, lighting, the movement of the subject, camera stability, and the depth of field. Focus is most essential when using a macro lens. Many times the autofocus system does not work properly with many subjects, so it is best to focus manually.
determinethe part of the subject that you wish to focus on and use it as your main point. You may wish first to set the camera to the correct magnification level you desire and then move the whole camera, tripod and all closer to or farther away from the item that you are photographing. If using a tripod, you may find it useful to use a focusing rail.
This will give you better control when moving the camera. Camera stability can be a very difficult thing to accomplish especially if your subject is a wasp or other insect that moves around a lot. If the subject is not moving around you can always use a tripod for the best effect, however, if the subject is moving the best way is be hand held. This way you can follow the subject and get in focus shots. Lighting plays a major part when it comes to macro lens. It is not always possible to get natural lighting on your subject, especially when we are talking about insects that enjoy nibbling on the underside of leaves and even your own camera may cast a shadow on your subject.
Flash may be used; however,sometimes a bright flash may overpower the subject. The best thing to do in this case is to purchase ring flashes. They you to put the flash in the proper position, giving you enough light without overpowering. You can also use a softbox and cover the flash.
This will help lessen the flash but allow you to have more light on the subject. You may wish to buy in a flash that can be controlled if you normally take photos where you need extra light, but not bright flash. This way you can turn the flash down or up as needed. Sometimes, subjects are going to move.
If you are shooting very active insects or plants on a windy day, leave behind the tripod. You will never be able to get good shots with a stable camera, just go handheld. Depth of field can be the biggest problem to overcome when using a macro lens. It may be very hard to get every point of your subject in focus. The best way to overcome this problem is to make the film plane parallel to the subject.
Be sure that you can see all of the insect including that both end points are in focus, head and tail.
Steve runs http://www.digicamsdirect.com which stocks all your cameras and camcorder needs.