Close-ups with­out the cost

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

Here’s how to get great shots with ei­ther a re­vers­ing ring or ex­ten­sion tubes

01 Work out the am­bi­ent ex­po­sure

Set Man­ual mode on your cam­era and se­lect a shut­ter speed of 1/200 sec or less (most flashes won’t work at speeds higher than this). Take a test shot to work out the cor­rect aper­ture and ISO for the am­bi­ent light – we set a shut­ter speed of 1/125 sec at f/2.8 and ISO400.

03 Shift for sharp­ness

You’ll need plenty of light, as well as room to move within a few inches of the sub­ject. With the lens reversed, only a set fo­cal dis­tance is avail­able, so you’ll need to move the cam­era or sub­ject to get it sharp. We don’t rec­om­mend us­ing a tri­pod if you can avoid it, as it will re­strict your move­ment.

05 Take the tube

With ex­ten­sion tubes, the longer the tube, the greater the level of mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. If the tube you’ve got doesn’t have con­tacts, you’ll need to use a D-type lens with aper­ture con­trol, set it to its widest set­ting. Light will be limited, so switch to man­ual fo­cus to avoid any fo­cus hunt.

02 Go wide

Set the aper­ture to its widest set­ting. Be­cause the lens is reversed, the ‘front’ el­e­ment is much smaller than usual, lim­it­ing the amount of light reach­ing the sen­sor; as such, even fram­ing can be tricky. The depth of field will also be ex­tremely shal­low, mak­ing it hard to get a sub­ject in fo­cus.

04 Slow things down

Once you’ve lo­cated the sub­ject, nar­row the aper­ture, so more of the sub­ject is sharp (this makes it eas­ier to fo­cus). If your ex­po­sure is too dark, lower the shut­ter speed, although this might re­quire a tri­pod. If you’re in­doors, you can add some light us­ing, say, a flash or an an­gle-poise lamp.

06 Hunt around

Although the per­for­mance of the lens will be bet­ter than with the re­ver­sal ring, you will still have to hunt to find your sub­ject. Keep one eye off the viewfinder and on the sub­ject, as your vi­sion will be limited. Rather than in­creas­ing the ISO, use a slower shut­ter speed and tri­pod, and shoot.

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