What shutter speed is best for getting
a good macro shot of a bug?
Naturally there is no perfect answer to that question so
before writing this page I did a "Google" to see what others
had to say about macro shutter speed. For the most part the
answers were written by people that I assume are most likely
professional photographers that have never been outside
shooting a bug. Don't waste your time reading over highly
publicized articles that say nothing. Search for sites that
specialize in bugs. Keep in mind this site is based on my
experience learning how to do this so everything stated
works and there are examples to illustrate it. For the
most part what I read on general macro photography did not apply or
work on bugs that move from plant to plant.
The goal here is to provide consistency not getting good
shots by pure luck.
I did in my search come across all kinds of macro flash
setups but no explanation as to why they were needed.
Hopefully that section will explain why so many people use them.
Here are some shots and the settings used - they were lucky
shots with the settings used.
Handheld at 1/160th at f/10 ISO 400
1/125th at f/9 ISO 400
Blow up of above
shot showing the detail on the eyes - decent for handheld
without a flash
As stated above these
were lucky shots without question. But it is to
demonstrate that it can be done. I would not suggest that you
use 1/125th of a second with 1:1 magnification and expect to
get clear shots. Can it be done yes, I have done it,
consistently no. To get real consistency you need to add
The shot above was done with
flash and below is a close up of the detail.
Continue to Flash Options