Once you have good optics and a camera, you quickly run into the next major issue, which is how to light a subject for macrophotography.


The big virtue here is that you can do things with flash to eliminate vibration problems. One trick is to use a second curtain trigger, shoot in a room with very low ambient, and allow a long enough exposure time to allow vibrations to damp out. This is perhaps the best way to avoid vibrations caused by a camera shutter opening.

Continuous Illumination

The usual complaint about flash is that you don't have modelling light, which can be very important when photographing minerals with significant surfaces causing specular relections. The best answer to this is really using a diffuser.

An LED light source that is cheap and highly recommended is the Jansjo lamp from IKEA. I'll say more once I get my hands on one. One concern with LED lights is their weird spectral output (typically a bimodal spectrum with little green output).

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Mineralogy Info /