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Camera Information

Good dental photographs require the appropriate armamentarium. Point and shoot cameras, no matter how good, cannot create the quality and lack of image distortion that a good 35mm SLR camera will. A reputable brand like Nikon or Canon will provide a suitable camera body for Dental (and general purpose) photography, without the need for purchasing a very high end model. An appropriate lens is necessary, as is the correct type of flash, optimised for macro photography. Below you will find a list of the required armamentarium:
  • Digital SLR Camera (I prefer Nikon or Canon)
  • A two-point flash source. There are few of these now on the market though historically, most options are for ring flashes. Nikon made good two-point flashes,… the classic being the SB-21B (or SB-21A). Presently they make the R1C1 two point system which provides greater distance of the light sources from the lens. Alternatively, any good ring flash will still take nice Dental photographs.
  • The lens on your camera MUST be a macro lens. The preference would be for a 100mm or a 105mm Macro lens. A 90mm lense may also suffice. A 135mm lens may be too much magnification and I would not recommend buying a 50mm Macro Lens if you can afford to purchase a 100mm. The 50mm may produce distortions close up and not allow the quality of image that you are seeking.
  • Photographic Mirrors (chromium, front surface reflecting) in shapes “Adult Occlusal” and “Buccal #1″
  • Plastic (clear) lip and cheek retractors – small and large sizes. (I like the "Universal Short" retractors)
  • Contrasters - used to create a black background for intra-oral images (I prefer the "Anterior Classic" contrasters)

A good resource for dental photography is

Dr Mandikos uses:
Nikon D300S camera body
Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 105mm (1:2.8) lens
Nikon R1C1 two-point flash system with SU-800 Commander unit
Universal "Short" Plastic retractors (
PhotoMed Anterior Contrasters "Classic" (
Mirror - Anterior Occlusal (
Mirror - Buccal (