I'm curious to what are some good cameras for entomological photography. I am not a experienced photographer but I am interested it for a new hobby.

Thank you,


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  • If you can afford it,I would recommend a DSLR by a major camera maker (Nikon, Canon, etc.) with a macro lens, preferably a 105 mm or greater to allow more distance between the lens and the insect. Personally, I use a Nikon D90 with 60mm macro lens.  I chose the 60mm macro lens because I also use it to digitize 35mm slides. Many compact digital cameras made by Sony, Panasonic (Lumix), Nikon or Canon allow you to take photos within a centimeter or two in macro mode and cost much less than a DSLR with a macro lens.  But most live insects may not allow the photographer to get that close. I also use a Panasonic (Lumix) DMC-ZS7 as a backup to my Nikon and for closeups of stationary insects, fungi, flowers, etc.


    Ron Billings

  • Katie:

    Insect photogtaphy is a fascinating hobby. I have been doing it for years and have found that there are several aspects of

    photography that may suit you best; such as field photography: (do you want to spend most of your time outdoors looking for live insects?) or do you collest them and photograph them mounted?

    I prefer ultra macro-photographs and do most of my shootihg through a disecting microscope.  Eanh situation may a different camera using a different lens.   Start by using whatever you can get your hands on without spendind any money, and read the artinles on macro/close-up photigraphy. and finally keep in touch with others haning the same interest.


  • A number of people who blog about insects are also photographers.  Alex Wild is a favorite among many and he often writes about his techniques, including more entry level tips (on thrifty Thursdays) in his Scientific American blog, Compound Eye.  His Myrmecos blog includes a blog roll (down right column) of additional blogs to explore, including those relating to photography.  As Rick indicates, nothing quite beats being out there, practicing, and developing an eye for composition.  In his choice of his best photos from 2011, Alex includes one taken with a relatively inexpensive camera.  Good luck and have fun! 

  • Hi Katie,

    I suggest any good 35 mm digital camera with interchangeable lenses (Canon, Nikon, Minolta, etc).  But where you want to spend your money is on a good macro lens.  I suggest a 100 mm macro (as opposed to a 55  or 50 mm macro) lens. The 100 will allow you to maximize your image ("zoon in") while still staying a good distance away from your subject.  The smaller macros are good but you have to get pretty close to your subject and run the risk of scaring it away.  The other option is to use a telephoto (perhaps with a doubling ring) from quite a distance away. This latter method works well for dragon flies and larger critters that see you coming before you see them. You probably are also going to want/need a macro flash set up, and there are a number of ways to accomplish this depending on what you want to do.   Unfortunately all of this costs money and lots of it.  I suggest you find a friend with the right equipment and borrow it for a day or two and see what fits your fancy.  In the mean time you might want to check out the following sites for some ideas and techniques

    and if you need a book...go to Amazon and search on macrophotography.  I have a few and really don't feel one is better than another.  Once you learn a few techniques, the rest is practice.


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