of all, these creatures will not pose for you, so forget the tripod.
You need to use the camera hand held and you need to be very quick.
A bee will not sit still for more than a second or two, that is
all the time you have to focus and take the picture. If you after
hours and hours of work get more than two or three pictures from
one roll of film, you are lucky.
obtain a good image sharpness and permit good lighting in the extreme
close-up range you need to use a reversal ring to mount the lens
with the front lens pointing to the camera - the shorter focal length
the greater magnification. A number of extension rings to be mounted
between the lens and the camera are also needed for even greater
If you don´t have any extension
rings, it is possible to use a coupling ring to mount to lenses
together front to front. The lens with the longer focal length should
always be at the camera end, and is also the one used to set the
the lens in reverse position a good lens hood is a must to eliminate
ghost images, reflections and flare caused by stray light from outside
the picture area. As you can see from the picture above I used a
rear lens cover with a small hole drilled at the center. An other
thing with the lens in reverse position at the end of a number of
extension rings and the aperture down to 16 or so, it will get very
dark in the viewfinder - you really need a sunny day, but of course
that is also when the little bugs are the most active.
if you have this sunny day it will be far from light needed for
any pictures, you need an additional light source. I am talking
one big flash, not two or three small ones that will cause strange
little shadows and reflections pointing in different directions.
is howe you calculate flash to object distance:
number of film used
f-number × (magnification factor + 1) × 2