Are you struggling to get sharp macro photos even though you’re using a tripod? While every shot is different, there are some specific camera settings for macro photography that every photographer should use.
The depth of field is very tight in extreme close-up shooting, so it’s best to use a narrow aperture.
It’s often better to focus manually on exactly the point in the frame that you want to be in sharpest focus, so you don’t have to align one of the AF points and then swivel the camera afterwards.
Mirror bounce can also be a big problem in macro shooting, as you need the camera to remain absolutely still during the exposure.
Try using a flashgun to give more effective illumination, which will increase fine detail and contrast. A ringflash is better still, as this gives a nice, even lighting effect for close-ups, without any unwanted shadows.
1 Shooting mode
Use Aperture Priority or Manual shooting mode with a narrow aperture of around f/16. Very narrow apertures of around f/32 are likely to degrade sharpness, due to diffraction.
2 Manual focus
Switch to manual focus, then focus on the most critical point in the frame. If your camera has a magnified Live View option, use this for maximum focusing precision.
3 Exposure Delay
Most Nikon DSLRs have an Exposure Delay mode, which delays the shutter from opening for a second or more after the mirror flips up, giving the camera a chance to settle.
4 Mirror up
Most Canon DSLRs have Mirror Lock-up on the shooting menu or as a custom function. Use this in conjunction with a two-second self-timer delay, or with a remote controller.