I've read a lot of the threads in this forum regarding the type of macro photography setups and equipment people use and I know they all have something in common: They are expensive.
I am a father of three, working a blue-collar job just trying to make ends meet and I just don't have any extra income to buy a fancy camera and macro lenses and flashes, etc...
But I still had the strong desire to catalog and identify all my spider discoveries. So I decided to use the tool that I already had: my iPhone. (Not even a new iPhone, the standard iPhone 4.)
So I purchased a magnetic macro lens for $10 off the internet and began learning how to take good pictures with my setup. Turns out a lot of the lessons had to do with proper lighting. Lighting is key.
I even bought an iphone tripod and created a light box using cardboard and some lights from home depot. All on sale for less than 20 bucks, of course.
So i'm a bugger on a budget but let me tell you something, I've gotten a lot of young people to buy the lens and use the iphone they have anyway and begin getting interested in bugs! I show people some of my photos and they say, "You took that with an iPhone?' and I reply, 'Yes, and you can too.'
Maybe true photographers will scoff at me. Maybe I don't belong in 'the club'. But I love spiders and if I can teach others about the wonders of the world beneath our feet, I feel like I've accomplished something.
Lie I said, the main issues are getting proper lighting and a very shallow depth of field, but I make up for it in cost and portability.