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04/23/2006 01:53:00 PM · #1
Post your comments, questions, and reviews for...

'Reversing Lenses for Macro Photography'
by phil

View this tutorial here.

Message edited by author 2010-10-31 20:41:09.
04/23/2006 02:07:25 PM · #2
Nice tut, Dude.
04/23/2006 02:16:31 PM · #3
Thanks Phil! This is very useful, as I had no idea what folks where talking about when "reversing" their lenses. I may have to get some of those ring thingies.
04/23/2006 02:20:09 PM · #4
After seeing the fly picture, I read this tutorial and really learned something. I had never thought about doing such a technique, but when I tried it, it actually worked out quite nicely. Thank you.
04/23/2006 03:54:21 PM · #5
nice ... yeah it works good for stuff you can take your time with or get within an inch or so...but out in the field, it's not even practical to reverse mount anything...at least not a 50 1.8 on my 105 2.8 macro -- I get like a half-inch working distance.
04/23/2006 11:24:11 PM · #6
Seems simple. I may have to try it when I pick up a 50mm.
04/26/2006 12:34:38 PM · #7
Thanks guys. I didn't even realize there was a forum post for this. Guess when you submit a tutorial they make a post for you? Hope somebody finds it helpful. :)


04/29/2006 09:21:37 AM · #8
Thanks for the tutorial! I always wondered how to do this; your tut was very clear and simple to follow. I'm looking forward to trying this!
05/04/2006 10:48:57 AM · #9
You're most welcome.
05/04/2006 10:57:25 AM · #10
"If your lens doesn't have an aperture dial you'll have to wedge the slide open"

I thought non-manual lenses were always wide open until the moment the shutter is pressed, then it stops down. That's why it isn't dark when looking thru the viewfinder.

I've never need to wedge any paper into the lens. Perhaps this is only for certain companies?
05/04/2006 11:09:53 AM · #11
Originally posted by hopper:

"If your lens doesn't have an aperture dial you'll have to wedge the slide open"

I thought non-manual lenses were always wide open until the moment the shutter is pressed, then it stops down. That's why it isn't dark when looking thru the viewfinder.

I've never need to wedge any paper into the lens. Perhaps this is only for certain companies?


When an AF lens is mounted the camera may set it to wide open. However, when 2 lenses are reverse mounted you have to manually open the aperture on the lens that isn't physically attached to the camera.
05/04/2006 11:20:55 AM · #12
I tried it over the weekend and it's not as easy as it looks. OK I do not have coupler and was holding one lens in front of the other with my one hand, while keeping the aperture open with my other!

First question: where do you start focusing? My prime lens on the camera is a macro, so I could go from infinity to 2 inches! (It seems infinity works best?)

Second question: I could not fill the frame with the image. I'm guessing it's because my zoom lens is a DX lens?

Thanks for the tut though - would not have known where to start!
05/04/2006 11:33:36 AM · #13
so if i just pick up my 50mm 1.8 and look thru it (not attached to the camera), you're saying I'll see a closed aperature, f22?

Originally posted by dudephil:

When an AF lens is mounted the camera may set it to wide open. However, when 2 lenses are reverse mounted you have to manually open the aperture on the lens that isn't physically attached to the camera.
05/04/2006 11:38:41 AM · #14
Hello wsteyn.

Looks like you might've started off in a bad spot. This setup is difficult enough by having all the pieces in place that it will definitely hinder you if you are trying to hold two lenses together with one hand and wedge the aperture open with another. I'd at least try the notepad paper trick and connect the two lenses with some electrical tape.

Depending on your subject, filling the frame may not be achieved. My fly image was actually cropped to fill the frame but the dandelion stamen filled it nicely. Set the focus on both lenses to infinity and go from there. You won't use the dial to achieve focus but will actually move the camera, subject, or zoom to reach the desired focus area.

Message edited by author 2006-05-06 00:50:08.
05/04/2006 11:40:59 AM · #15
Thanks Phil! I've got an idea for DPC cinema, so I have to get it right this week.
05/04/2006 11:49:37 AM · #16
Originally posted by hopper:

so if i just pick up my 50mm 1.8 and look thru it (not attached to the camera), you're saying I'll see a closed aperature, f22?

Originally posted by dudephil:

When an AF lens is mounted the camera may set it to wide open. However, when 2 lenses are reverse mounted you have to manually open the aperture on the lens that isn't physically attached to the camera.


Hi hopper. Here is a quick shot of my 50mm lens off camera. As you can see, the aperture is closed.

329788.jpg
05/04/2006 11:52:30 AM · #17
very interesting - here's a shot of my 85mm 1.8 ... aperature's open. must be different from company to company

251039.jpg

Message edited by author 2006-05-04 11:52:46.
05/04/2006 11:55:05 AM · #18
I've been waiting and hoping for someone to do a tutorial like this!!! Thank you thank you thank you!
05/04/2006 12:01:17 PM · #19
It must be different from company to company. I wonder, does the KM 50 f/1.7 feature manual aperture control?

I would guess that manual aperture control lenses would have this feature.

All the lenses I just tested (Canon kit, 80-200, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8) all have visibly open apertures when removed.

I don't like exposing my rear elements to dust, so I only looked closely at my 50mm lens, but I noticed that there is no physical adjustor for aperture. There is only electronic control via contacts.

It could be that this issue happens with lenses that have manual aperture control or that the camera controls via a physical slider of some sort.

In fact, they only really show up when taking pictures or when using the aperture preview button.

While some start with both lenses at infinity, I like to set my one lens back of infinity a bit. It gives me a bit more freedom when moving my subject so I can fine tune the focus in both directions. The DOF really is VERY small here. Any extra breathing room for fine tuning is appreciated.

If a lens is macro or not is immaterial in this case because the addition of a reversed lens already overrides this and forces the focal length down quite a bit. The working distance is governed by the focal characteristics of the off-camera lens, not the lens on the camera. Focus at infinity is usually preferred, not close distances, so this means that you don't really need a macro lens in either case.

Getting the focus right can be difficult.

If you want more information on this, I also have a couple of threads which contain some great information contributed by individuals (along with my own fly picture :) as well as links for the math of some of the stuff.

Bear_music contributed to one of my threads that started off in the wrong direction, but if you can handle jumping over the crap that is my learning curve, you might get some fun info by using the forum search for eschelar, macro...

Message edited by author 2006-05-04 12:03:32.
05/04/2006 02:12:26 PM · #20
I may be wrong here eschelar but I'd guess it's a camera function difference between brands. Before mounting, all of my lenses apertures are closed for the KM Maxxum 7D. I'd venture to say that the KM uses a physical slider to open the aperture after mounting while your Canon uses electronics to close it down after mounting.

None of my lenses have a manual control and all have a slide that opens the aperture.
05/04/2006 02:20:59 PM · #21
Yeah, makes sense...

I wonder if KM chose to do that partially as a way to showcase their penchant for circular aperture blades that they are always mentioning.

I thought I had read somewhere that the KM Alpha mount is one of the older mounts, so it almost makes sense that they feature this mode of control to keep full compatibility.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I doubt they had lens reversing in mind when they made them like that though...
05/04/2006 02:34:15 PM · #22
I think you probably hit the nail on the head with your 3rd sentence - the compatibilty issue. Looks like Sony is going to keep the Alpha mount for future DLSRs as well.

Message edited by author 2007-08-23 10:17:33.
12/19/2006 09:31:02 PM · #23
will a 70-200mm 2.8 VR and a 28mm 2.8 ais lens be a good combo? Never used this technique before. Will be fun to try.
12/19/2006 09:52:10 PM · #24
Here's my attempt at this with a Sigma 70-300 and Nikon 50 1.8.
Macro

It's interesting how you can see the texture of the ink on the dollar bill, and the spider legs look pretty creepy...

Message edited by author 2006-12-19 21:53:08.
12/19/2006 10:03:11 PM · #25
Back in the cave man days I used a Canon TX, and with Canon mount lenses, the aperture stays at minimum until it's mounted on the camera. I use Nikon now, and they stay where you leave the aperture, with the exception of some of the new "cpu" lenses, that no aperture ring.
One rubber band looped over the lever, and another around the lens holding the first one may be a safer solution than the paper trick, as the rubber bands will not scratch things, or get lost inside the lens by accident.
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