Shoot mar­vel­lous macros on a bud­get

Re­veal in­tri­cate leaf pat­terns with a stan­dard lens and a re­vers­ing ring

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

Spe­cial­ist macro lenses can be pricey, but there are ways to cap­ture close-up shots of ev­ery­day sub­jects with­out one. We shot a life-size re­pro­duc­tion of this leaf us­ing just our ex­ist­ing kit lens and an ex­tra ac­ces­sory. How?

All you have to do is turn the lens around, at­tach what’s called a re­vers­ing ring to your cam­era body, and screw your usual lens on back­wards. It sounds a bit bizarre, but when you re­verse a lens, its min­i­mum fo­cus­ing dis­tance sud­denly be­comes in­cred­i­bly close, and this gives you some high­mag­ni­fi­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The af­ford­able re­vers­ing ring screws onto the fil­ter thread of your lens, which means you’ll need a dif­fer­ent ring for each lens you want to use.

We found that a stan­dard lens such as a 50mm prime works best for this tech­nique, as it boasts a wider field of view and re­duces the risk of vi­gnetting. More im­por­tantly, it’ll give a greater mag­ni­fi­ca­tion than a re­versed tele­photo lens would.

After we screwed the lens onto our cam­era, we found it best to fo­cus and ex­pose man­u­ally as we moved around our sub­ject. The re­sults weren’t per­fect im­me­di­ately, but with some changes to our po­si­tion and cam­era set­tings, sharp scenes soon started to ap­pear in the viewfinder. You’ll be sur­prised by the re­sults you can achieve.

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