Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cheap Macro Option

If any of you have your own DSLR cameras and would like to try you hand a macro photography but can't afford the cost of a good macro lens, here is a cheap alternative.

Buy a reversing ring for which ever lens you have with the best low light performance (lowest f/stop number). A reversing ring will only cost a few of quid, mine cost £3.19 from e-bay including postage, and will allow you to mount your lens on your camera backward. Sounds strange? Well I have to say it looks a bit strange but the results are amazing.
Why the lens with the lowest f/stop number? Well, you can use any lens but light is important in macro photography so the more light available the better results.
I bought a 52mm reversing ring for my Nikon D300 which allows me to mount my 50mm f/1.4D lens backwards. The images below show the before and after. The first shot is the closest I can focus with the lens mounted correctly while the second has the lens reversed.
Now for such a cheap option there has to be a drawback, right? Right, there is, you have to focus manually and set the exposure manually without any light metering assistance from the camera. Focussing often means adjusting the distance between the camera and the subject too, rather than using the focussing ring but that may vary from lens to lens. Still, for £3 it's a great little device.

You can achieve even better results if you purchase a coupling ring which allows you to reverse mount a lens on the front of another normally mounted  lens.  Getting a coupling ring the right size to fit two lenses though can be difficult unless you have two lenses with the same diameter

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