Using a cheap reversible ring
17 Jun 2015

Cheap and easy Macro Photography



Welcome to the first photography tutorial. Today we are going to learn how to take macro photos with a simple lens reversing ring! (Usually sold on eBay for less than 10 bucks) To understand better, lets get into the science of this technique.

physics of lens reversing

Here are the things you’ll be needing:

1) A camera with a detachable lens. (I’m using a Nikon D3100 here)

2)Any lens. (18-55mm preferable) 

3) Lens reversing ring.1st stepMake sure you buy the right reversing ring, to do that, you’ll need to know the diameter of your 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.lens diameter


Lets get started!

Now, carefully remove the lens from the body (be extremely cautious while doing this, and choose a dust-free location so that no dust enters and damages the sensor). After that attach the lens reversing ring just like you’d attach a lens. (Make sure its locked and tight so the lens wont fall when attached to it)2nd step

Next, attach the lens in the opposite direction (see image below) and star screwing it in the right direction. (In my case, it is anti-clock wise, make sure you check for your direction)3rd step

Be gentle while screwing it and make sure its tight. Also, set the focus to AUTO. (The auto-focus motors will lock any further movement)4th step

Now, in the front you’ll observe a trigger, that is the Aperture trigger. Because the lens is attached in reverse, the CPU connections are lost and the lens cannot communicate with the body. So you can only take photos in MANUAL mode and control the aperture. To do this, pull the level sideways to make the aperture wide. (You can place a piece of paper to keep it in maximum position)

If you look through the view finder of live view (live-view recommended), you’ll possible see a blurred out image, try moving very close to objects to get a sharp image. (Remember this takes a lot of patience and time to master)

And because the lens is reversed, 18mm acts as 55mm and 55mm acts as 18mm.

5th step

55mm right 55mm reversed

right 55mm

reversed 55mm

That’s it! You can now shoot macro images on your own. This technique is quite budget friendly and the results are really surprising. (C’mon, you can’t compare a ~$500 macro lens to this $5 technique)

Here are some of my works using this technique (Nikon D3100, 18-55mm kit lens)

11990764194_9a9e631259_o 13240211703_5cc3422e3a_o

Pretty cool right? Now go ahead and try it by yourself and post your photos and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section down below! 🙂