Most of our macro shots are taken using one of two lens - either the Canon 180mm f/2.8 macro or the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro. Longer macro lens are available increasing the working distance between the subject and the photographer and can be useful for larger more flighty subjects. An extension tube (or tubes) can be use to help get even closer to subjects, but with some insects, this increases the risk of them flying before the shot can be taken. To get the best results an aperture of f/8 or f/11 is ideal, allowing for a greater depth of field, but also putting the background out of focus.
Wherever possible a tripod is used, with the lens mounted on the tripod rather than the camera. This helps with balance and reduces and movement. Most of my macro-work in 2020 was done at home due to the Covid restrictions, which meant that I had time to compose images and not rush anything. I still found that I was getting some movement between the camera and the lens, especially when using an extension tube. The best way to a void this was to use either a remote release or put the shutter on to the 2 or 10 second timer. I also decided to look at a way to mount both the camera and lens on the tripod or macro-rail. This was achieved using the set up below which consists of a 200mm arc swiss rail with a QR plate mounted on a ball and socket head. The rail was also fitted with two arc swiss quick release plates that could be moved along the rail independently, so that I could set the mount to accommodate any extension tubes used. The rail could be slid along the mount for approximate focusing, before fine focusing with the camera.