Photography Tutorial: Lens Reversing Macro

Using a cheap ring, one can achieve amazing macro without the need for expensive macro lens, all you need is your camera and a lens reversing ring!

End result:
Lens Reversing Macro Final Image

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Practice tutorial

Step 1

Today, you'll be learning how to achieve amazing macro using a cost-effective and simple method. All you need are:
1) A camera with detachable lens
2) Lens reversing ring (can be bought for 3-4$ mine was for 185 INR)
3) talent,patience and luck ;)

Step 2

And while buying the ring, make sure you know the diameter of the lens. You'll find the required diameter at the bottom of your lens as show in the picture below, here Nikon's 18-55mm kit lens's diameter is 52mm.

Step 3

Once you have all the required things, we can start the process.
carefully remove the lens from the body(be aware of the location where you are doing it, make sure it is less prone to dust and it might enter into the camera)
attach the reversing ring. make sure its locked and tight so the lens wont fall when attached to it.

Step 4

Next, bring the lens in reverse position and start screwing it in the correct direction(in my case, it is anti-clock wise, make sure you check for your direction.)

Step 5

Once screwed, make sure its tight and don't be rough on it, make sure focus is set to AUTO so that it doesn't move further.(the motors lock any the movement of the focus ring.)

Step 6

Once done, you'll observer a lever/trigger on the front. that is the aperture lever/trigger. It varies from lens to lens and by the type of lens you have. If you switch on the camera and look through the viewfinder, it will be dark as the aperture is very narrow. To widen it, you have the move the lever/trigger sideways and hold it there(you could try pacing something to stop it from coming back). and now when you look through the view finder, you'll see something bright, but totally blurred.That is because now your camera can only focus very close to the object. try getting very close to something and you can see things coming into focus.

Step 7

Now, because the lens has lost its connection with the camera, you need to use your mind to set the

shutter speed and settings and only shooting in MANUAL mode works(because other modes work only when the lens is connected to the body in the right direction).
And because it has been reversed, all its functions are also reversed.
1) 18mm acts as 55mm
2) 55mm acts as 18mm

To get into the physics of it, look at the below attached image.

Step 8

Now taking the nikon lens cap as my subject, i am going the show the different magnifications you get.
First, lens attached in right direction lens @ 18mm.
Note: this is the closest one can get at 18mm in focus.

Step 9

The next one, lens in right direction, @55mm.The closest, in focus.

Step 10

Now comes the amazing stuff. Lens reversed, @55mm (as i said before it is equivalent to 18mm in right direction).

Step 11

The best part comes here, lens reversed @18mm (acts equivalent to 55mm in right direction). Take a look at the amount of detail.

Step 12

Another one. Note that only a very little part will be in focus.
Reminder: this is the same lens cap. the rough texture of the material used, you don't observe that clearly with naked eye :)

Step 13

Now that you've learnt how to use lens reversing technique, here are some things you need to take care while using this:
1) Check your surrounding while changing lens direction, any dust entering might damage your camera.
2) since it is reversed, there will be an equal magnification in the shake especially @18mm reversed. Use of tripod or faster shutter speed suggested.

Below attached are some of my works with this technique.

Step 14

Some more works.

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photopro says:

Worth to talk about photos those bring me here to talk something about. I always seek for stunning photography tutorial with the best equipment package, Its looking quite easy now. Thank you for sharing the idea with us as well.

(2 years and 10 days ago)

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