I recently got myself a Nikon 60mm f/2.8G AF-S Micro-Nikkor lens. Without vibration reduction, it will probably need lots of light when hand-holding the camera. Anyone willing to give an overview of lighting options suitable for outdoor macro photography?

3 Answers 3


Normally you will get away with a small handheld reflector to counter act the shadow you are likely to cast on the subject. Alternatively do you have a flashgun? If so you could build something like this for it: Muzzbounce


I used to do a lot of outdor macro, and after testing multiple flash settings (including annular one) my suggestion is a cobra flash on a cable (or if you use a brand which allows it, a wireless flash).

Just handle the flash in your hand nearly parallal to the lens.

This is light, easy to handle, you can change the light direction (to improve shadowing) and even lighting more or less of the background (by changing the distance between the flash and the subject).

However, with some practice you will be able to get nice pictures without the flash, as shown here (60mm 2.8 contax on an Olympus camera; most of the images are taken without flash, the others with the flash in the hand)

  • Thanks for link to the photos. There's some great close-up up shots! I would absolutely not use flash if the natural lighting was sufficient - it definitely gives the best results. Unfortunately, the light isn't always sufficient, so it would be good to have some equipment to make up for it. Apr 18, 2012 at 10:26

Ring Flash is very nice lighting accessory for macro photography, it evenly lights your subject in a beautiful way. The problem is that ring flashes tend to be expensive. Try this search in B & H and filter from the left menus Type to be Flash and Compatible With To be Nikon.

The other option is to get a ring led although it's not good as the flash.

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