Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
Sigma 150mm macro
The Sigma APO Macro 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM is my favourite macro lens. It gives me the ideal shooting distance with my full-frame camera, and it is not only much lighter than the similar and older Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro, but has the advantage that the AF motor is built into the lens. It has recently be updated to include built-in optical stablisation (OS), and costs £695/$1099.
Right angle finder
This periscope-like device fits on my SLR’s viewfinder, so that I can see the image from above as I compose the shot, which is very useful with low-level macro slots. Nikon makes two types, the DR-5 and DR-6, to fit circular and rectangular viewfinders respectively (around £225/$200 each).
Niall uses a Kirk L-shaped bracket on his D700. It provides a quick-release plate for his tripod head whether he’s shooting in landscape or portrait format. But when he’s using his 70-200mm lens, a special plate has to be attached to the tripod collar.
I have been refining the equipment for my field studio for six years, and now have a set up that can be put together relatively inexpensively using little more than a couple of tripods, some Manfrotto clamps, a couple of diffusers, a trigger and a pair of old manual-power flashguns.
I prefer to use sheets of envelope stiffener as a diffuser for my macro subjects (I use flyweight translucent ones from Challoner Marketing). They are not as dense as my large collapsible Calumet diffuser, and are much less expensive, and can be bought from stationery stores.
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Outdoor photography ideas you can use anywhere
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
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