Transforming an Ordinary Lens into a Super-Macro Lens 🙂
How do you get an image like this … using standard macro equipment? The simple answer is, you can’t. A standard macro lens would only be able to get ¼ this close … which brings us to the topic of this blog entry: Reverse-Macro Photography.
Reverse-macro photography is the act of taking a standard prime (or zoom) lens, and reversing it, connecting the filter threads of the front element to the camera (via an adapter) and leaving the rear element protruding outward toward the subject. The goal in doing this is to achieve extreme magnification, inversely-proportional to the width (focal length) of the lens. That is, the wider the lens is, properly-oriented, the closer it focuses, when reversed. In other words:
- A 50 mm lens generally reverses to 1.1x magnification;
- A 28 mm lens generally reverses to 2.1x magnification;
- A 20 mm lens generally reverses to 3.4x magnification, etc.
Keep in mind that a standard macro lens only allows for between 0.5x magnification (half-size or 1:2) up to 1x (lifesize or 1:1) magnification.
Reversing wide lenses allows you to get to a magnification level not possible with standard macro lenses. My direct experience reversing standard primes to achieve macro objectives centers around Nikon equipment, so that will be the perspective of this essay. However, the principles will apply across platforms, to any system, provided the brand you have has the associated supportive connecting pieces. With that said, let’s jump right in and discuss the simple rings/adapters required to convert Nikkor AI-S MF lenses into “super-macro” tools:
** UNDER CONSTRUCTION **