Reverse Lens Macro Images: A Newbie’s Information

The put up Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

reverse lens macro photography: a guide

If you wish to seize stunning close-up photographs however don’t wish to spend tons of (or hundreds) on a macro lens, you then’ve come to the suitable place.

As a result of on this article, I’m going to clarify every part it’s worthwhile to find out about reverse lens macro photography. It’s a easy method that permits you to flip a typical lens right into a macro lens so you’ll be able to seize pictures like this:

droplet of water on a flower

Actually, in case you already personal a 50mm prime lens or a typical package lens (within the 18-55mm focal size vary), then the reverse lens macro method is the least costly technique to seize magnified photographs.

So let’s dive proper in, beginning with absolutely the fundamentals:

What’s reverse lens macro images?

Reverse lens macro images is a technique of capturing extremely magnified photographs utilizing an interchangeable lens digital camera, a lens, and an inexpensive adapter. You flip your lens round so the rear component factors outward, then use an adapter to connect the reversed lens to your digital camera physique or to a different lens.

In different phrases: You are taking your lens. You flip it round. And also you’ll be capable to shoot with macro magnifications.

In case you’ve by no means seen the reverse lens macro method, it could appear a bit unusual – in any case, why does reversing a typical lens allow you to shoot at excessive magnifications?

But it surely actually does work, and the diagram beneath reveals why. In regular use, a 50mm lens focuses mild from distant to create a a lot smaller picture, one that matches onto movie or a digital sensor (which is commonly round 35mm huge). Reverse the lens and the alternative happens: the 50mm lens magnifies what it sees, giving close to life-size replica:

adapter for lens reversal

Methods to do reverse lens images

There are two methods you need to use the reverse lens macro method:

1. Single lens reverse macro

This technique includes mounting one lens to the entrance of your digital camera. First, buy a reversing ring (also called a reverse ring), like this one:

how does a lens work when reverse mounted?

You should purchase these adapters for reasonable on Amazon or eBay. One facet screws into the tip of your lens like a filter, whereas the opposite attaches to your lens mount. Right here’s a reversing ring in motion:

reversed lens attached to a Canon 40D

Notice that the reverse macro method works greatest in case you use a lens with a guide aperture ring. That means, you’ll be able to cease down to extend the zone of sharpness (which may be very useful as a result of depth of field decreases as you get nearer to your topic).

Sadly, in case your reversed lens doesn’t have a guide aperture ring, you received’t be capable to make any f-stop changes and also you’ll be pressured to work at your lens’s most aperture. However whereas this may be inconvenient, don’t let it cease you – you need to use a reversed lens at its widest aperture to take some stunning pictures. You simply should get artistic!

2. Twin lens reverse macro

This reverse lens macro method is much less in style however will get the job completed. As an alternative of reverse-mounting one lens to your digital camera, you mount one lens usually, then reverse mount a second lens on the entrance of the primary, like this:

twin lens reverse macro in action
I’ve hooked up a reversed 50mm lens to my 85mm prime lens. On this set-up, the 85mm lens is known as the major lens and the reversed lens is known as the secondary lens.

The precise mechanics are practically similar to the only lens method mentioned above; merely buy a coupling ring (proven beneath). Then use it to mount the second lens to the primary.

macro coupler ring for twin lens photography

Now, when utilizing the dual lens reverse macro method, the reversed lens acts like a strong close-up filter, besides that it’s a lot stronger than any filter I’ve encountered. Actually, the dual lens method affords two main advantages over the only lens method:

  1. It affords insanely shut magnifications. Relying on the focal lengths you utilize, you’ll be able to obtain as much as 3x life-size replica. (That’s thrice as shut as {most professional} macro lenses!)
  2. It will increase your depth of subject flexibility. You possibly can depart the reversed lens open at its widest aperture, whereas stopping down the first lens to extend depth of subject (even in case you don’t have a guide aperture ring).

Notice that you are able to do this method with basically any major lens, although the longer the focal size, the extra magnification you’ll obtain. What’s most vital is that the filter thread sizes on the 2 lenses match – that means, you should purchase a coupling ring that can simply be a part of them collectively.

(In case your lenses have totally different filter threads, you do have the choice of buying a step-up ring along with your coupling ring, however this may be inconvenient.)

Caring for the reversed lens

The reverse macro method does depart the rear component of your reversed lens open to the weather, no matter which technique you utilize. So it’s best to all the time work fastidiously with the lens to keep away from scratching the uncovered component.

lens with extension tube

When you have an extension tube, you’ll be able to connect it to the again (now entrance) of the reversed lens, as I did within the photograph above. This helps defend the rear component and in addition acts as a lens hood.

Additionally, due to the dangers to the lens, I’d advocate utilizing a comparatively low cost piece of glass, like a 50mm f/1.8.

Picture sharpness

The reversed lens method will get you so near your topic that it’s nearly inconceivable to handhold the digital camera. For the sharpest outcomes, use a tripod to maintain the digital camera regular and use a cable launch to fireplace the shutter.

I discover it greatest to make use of a reverse lens macro setup indoors, particularly for delicate topics like flowers. In case you attempt it exterior, the slightest breeze can transfer the flower and spoil the photograph.

In fact, you’ll be able to all the time embrace a blurry outcome and create some fascinating summary photographs – but when your aim is to create magnified-yet-sharp pictures, you’ll must observe this recommendation carefully.

If attainable, cease down your major lens to at the least f/4. That means, you’ll get elevated depth of subject, and in case you’re utilizing the dual lens method, it’ll provide help to keep away from the softening that will occur when the primary lens is at its widest aperture setting.

Methods to mild reverse lens images

close-up of some bubbles

So long as you don’t thoughts utilizing a tripod and lengthy shutter speeds to acquire the required publicity, pure mild will work simply superb.

Nonetheless, flash can also be an choice. And also you don’t want a specialised macro flash – I exploit a Canon Speedlite with a small softbox (although you’ll most likely wish to ensure you’re utilizing an off-camera flash to keep away from shadows solid by the lens).

A flash and a softbox have been all I wanted to take the photograph featured above. Right here’s a diagram of the setup:

flash setup for reverse macro photography

Generally, I’d advocate you begin with pure mild, until you’re comparatively acquainted with synthetic lighting. That means, you’ll be able to experiment with totally different lighting qualities and instructions and also you don’t have to fret about advanced lighting strategies.

What lens do you have to use for reverse macro taking pictures?

kit lens with 18-55mm focal length

I’ve used a 50mm prime lens on the pictures featured all through this text. And a nifty fifty is an effective way to get began with reverse lens macro images.

However don’t overlook which you can do that out with nearly any lens (although I do advocate utilizing a less expensive choice, simply in case your lens will get broken). Equipment lenses just like the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II (pictured above) work nice.

Reverse lens macro images: conclusion

Now that you just’ve completed this text, it’s best to be capable to confidently create a macro images setup (and with out spending a lot of cash on a devoted macro lens).

Reverse lens macro images is a lot of enjoyable, so order your reverse ring and get taking pictures!

Now over to you:

Do you like the only lens reverse macro method or the dual lens reverse macro method? Do you’ve gotten any ideas for improved macro images? Share your ideas within the feedback beneath!

The put up Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

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