Macro Photography with a Reverse Mounted Lensby darnok
Macro photography reveals a new world that is normally unseen and can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Macro lenses may be expensive, but there do exist more budget friendly alternatives. This tutorial is about using a reverse mounted lens to take macro photographs.
You will need:
An SLR camera. This technique will not work with point and shoot cameras.
A lens to reverse mount, it need not be from the same manufacturer as your camera because the lens will be mounted by its filter threads and not the mount as is normally done. A good candidate here is the 50mm f/1.8 due to its low cost. The lens ideally needs to have a manual aperture ring, old manual focus lenses work well here regardless of make. Lenses without an aperture ring such as Nikon G-series and Canon EF lenses can still be used if you keep the lever on the lens' mount that controls the aperture open by hand, though this is far from ideal.
A reversing ring which has a mount for your camera on the one side and filter thread on the other. The revsersing ring that I bought has 52mm filter thread which exactly matches the threads of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. If your lens and reversing ring threads don't match you will need to use a step-up or step-down ring. Search for Nikon
reversing rings on eBay.
Reverse mounting the lens:
First mount the reversing ring on the camera as you would a normal lens.
Attach the lens (via the filter thread) to the reversing ring.
You lose the ability to focus when reverse mounting a lens. A plane a fixed distance away from the lens will be in focus and you will need to move either the subject or the camera to place the subject in this plane. The depth of field is extremely shallow even when the lens is stopped down so you may find it challenging at first to get the subject in focus.
Some uncropped examples done using this technique:
I hope that someone finds this introduction into the world of budget macro photography helpful.
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