Shoot marvellous macros on a budget
Reveal intricate leaf patterns with a standard lens and a reversing ring
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.