The basic set-up required for close-up photography apart from the obvious camera body is a lens with macro capabilities. These macro-capable lenses can come in the form of a (short/long) tele-photo lens with a close-up "filter", a standard zoom lens with macro mode settings or a specialized Micro Nikkor macro lens.
Nikon F3HP Mirror Lock-up (MLU) capability
A BODY WITH MLU
For high magnification macro photography, the type of camera bodies used can make a very big difference in the sharpness of the image. The reason for this difference is the vibrations caused by the internal reflex mirror as it lifts out of the way when the shutter release is triggered. This is commonly known as mirror-slap vibration.
It becomes a real issue when you combine high magnifications with slow shutter speeds, which is invariably the case in high magnification macro photography. There are a series of Nikon SLR bodies, like the F2, F3, F4 & F5 bodies, that have mirror lock-up (MLU) function, physically locking the mirror away to avoid this problem.
The Nikon digital SLR D1, D1X, D1H & D100 bodies, overcome this problem with the “Mirror Anti-Shock” command menu setting which lifts the mirror a few fractions of a second in advance before tripping the shutter curtains.
For all other Nikon bodies without MLU, it is best to use the self-timer function as the reflex mirror is normally lifted slightly more in advance (some longer than others) prior to the activation of the shutter curtains.
For users of digital compacts with macro capabilities, like the Coolpix, you simply turn-on the camera’s macro function to allow the camera to focus at very close distances. Other accessories described later are mainly used in conjunction with SLR or DSLR camera bodies but Coolpix users might still find these sections relevant, especially the tripod and cable release section.
In the following sections, the various types of lenses and accessories that can be utilized for close-up and macro photography will be introduced and briefly discussed.
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