Reverse ring macro photography – why this method?
Macro photography is fascinating, it is something that any photographer at least tried. From taking close up pictures with flowers, shells, water drops etc… to even looking in the eye of a fly.
For this level of macro the required equipment is not affordable for most of us, we are talking about thousands of dollars for lens and flash gear. But with reverse ring macro photography is cheap and amazing. So, what do we need for that?
A digital camera
It is a must to be DSLR or mirrorless because you’ll need to be able to disconnect the lens for reversing.
The reverse ring
This is really great staff, very helpful and very cheap. It costs about 3-5$ on eBay, so everybody can afford one. The reverse ring has to be attached directly to the camera and the lens will be connected to the ring.
Very important is that when you buy the ring to buy it for the lens diameter. If for example you have 52mm lens, you should buy a 52mm reverse ring. In the picture below you can see the reverted lens connected through reverse ring to camera.
Observe how the aperture metallic blade is blocked with some paper in open position, left side down of the lens. You’ll need lot of light and that’s how you’ll get it in a easy way.
Tripod, remote control and lighting
Depending on what you are shooting you’ll need different staff. Let’s say you are indoor and you want to take pictures with some part of a coin, or some jewel, or anything that is not alive – that will not move.
In this case for sure you will move (hand shake) and for this you will need a tripod and remote controller. For lighting a lamp will do, I bought one with 12$ but there is a huge range of options out there. So, cheap again… A remote controller should not cost more than 10$.
If you’re shooting outdoor, insects for example, than you’ll not use a tripod and remote controller. This is a difficult one if the happy bug doesn’t want to stay still… For better lighting you can use a flashgun with diffuse.
… and this is why you’re reading this and, good news, it is for free:
- Camera must be set on manual mode. Because you reverse the lens there will be no other contact with the camera than the plastic reverse ring.
- That means that they will not be able to communicate, so you will have to take care about focus. Depending on lens type, by using a manual focus ring or by moving the camera forward or backward until you get the subject in target.
- You’ll also need to take care about aperture. Near the lens metallic contacts you will see a little bracket which is the controller for aperture. When is normal connected camera is controlling it, but now that it is reverted you will have to do it manually. Just open it to maximum and stack it with something to stay like that. If not, your photos will be very dark.
Few samples of my work
Water drops inside a small flower
Metallic chain from some jewelery
Small parts of a jewel
Some regular sea salt
…and piece of a coin
I hope this was useful and please leave a comment if you need more help or have suggestions. I am eager to learn more and any extra information will help us all.