Macro lenses can be pretty costly, and if you don’t want to spend that much money, extension tubes can be a much cheaper alternative. Extension tubes will go between the camera and lens and make the lens focus closer, allowing you to essentially convert a standard lens into a macro lens.
Extension tubes add a small amount of inconvenience and the quality may not be quite as good as using a good macro lens, but they can be a great option if you’re looking to get started with macro photography without breaking the bank.
A diopter is another option for getting started in macro photography without purchasing a true macro lens. The diopter is a close up filter that screws on to the end of the lens and acts like a magnifying glass.
Just like extension tubes, the quality may not be quite as good as a dedicated macro lens, but the diopter is more than capable of serving as a good starting point.
A third hand is any type of device that can be used to hold objects in place for your macro photos. This won’t be relevant for all of your macro photos, but there may be times when you need an extra hand to hold a plant or some other object right where you want it. This could be something that you rig up with a little bit of creativity.
Flash and Diffuser
Natural light is preferred to a flash, but you may not have a lot of flexibility with some of your macro shots.
Photographing insects or small animals will require a fast shutter speed and you may need to use a small aperture (larger f-stop number) in order to get the right depth of field, so a flash may be necessary. When you do use a flash, a diffuser is recommended because it will soften the light a bit.
2. Choose Your Subject
What will you be photographing? Photographing living things may take more effort because simply finding the insect or animal can be a challenge, and then you’ll have to work without scaring them away.
On the other hand, objects like flowers or other things that you can place wherever you want will be easier to start with.