Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reversing a 50mm lens for Macro work

I have a special fondness for the abstract and sometimes subtle tones created by macro photographs. Good macro lens can be expensive and if you have a good quality 50mm lens then by purchasing a reversing ring the lens can be used for macro photography by connecting the lens on backwards.

A reversing ring connects to the front of the lens were the filter normally goes and the other end of the ring has the appropriate adapter connection for the specific camera model.

In the photo below I like how the collection of petals creates an effect of waves crashing on a shore. I reduced the contrast to keep the image soft and flowing.

A reversed 50mm lens provides greater than 1:1 magnification but also requires you to be very close to the subject about ½ an inch. These types of macros are best suited to a studio type setup where you have better control of the environment than in the field.

This is a photo of Queens Anne Lace, a common weed, that I had placed in front of some red flowers to complement the green in the stalks.

It is very difficult because the very narrow DOF to either move the camera on a tripod or the subject for focus and I recommend that a focusing rail be used, which provides a dial to finely tune the focus distance.

These are the flower heads that were used for the background in the Queens Anne Lace image above.

A reversed lens does not provide any coupling information to camera and therefore you must manually adjust the f-stop ring for depth of Field and use the ev scale to adjust for proper exposure. The use of the histogram also helps to fine tune the tonal range.

These are the same flowers as above but are a slight variant and they both produce colourful dense flower head late summer and into fall.

The self-timer is also recommended to reduce any camera shake.

This is a tiny rose bud about an inch high just opening up.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer’s Adage

The second, third and fourth time you photograph something will produce more refined composition than the first time. These may or not be better photographs. You will never know, however, unless you make the second, third and fourth photographs. (Lens Work Issue #50 - anonymous)


Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this post, nice to see some examples and advice before I try this out~

Angie - 35mm said...

your blog is too fine. Thanks for sharing this.



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