Thursday, June 1, 2017

Camera Hack: Reverse Lens Macro

Fujifilm X-E1 & Jupiter 8M Lens
Two days ago I published How I Accidentally Made Cheap Macro Lenses For My Fujifilm X Camera. Essentially, I used two adapters to create an extension tube, which converted my non-macro vintage Russian lenses into macro lenses. This allowed me to more easily photograph smaller objects and capture fine details that might otherwise go unnoticed. It's a good way to make an extraordinary image from an ordinary subject.

That's all fine and good, but what if I wanted to really go macro? What if I wanted to capture very tiny objects? What if I wanted to focus super close? Are there any easy and inexpensive ways to do that?

Absolutely! It's so much easier than you might think, and it might not cost you anything. Let me explain.

You'll need two lenses. In my case I used a Jupiter 8M, which I attached to my camera, and a Helios 44-2. The second lens (the one not attached to the camera) is better if it's not telephoto. You can play around with different focal lengths if you'd like. Don't get too hung up on what lenses you are using, it doesn't matter as much as it might seem.

Macro Camera Hack
You'll shoot through the second lens backwards. This sounds really strange, but, trust me, it works! Simply reverse the non-attached lens, place it in front of the attached lens, and you can shoot really close-in macro. It's super easy and you probably already have everything you need to get started.

The second lens needs to be set to a wide open f-stop or else the aperture will cause some vignetting. I don't know how much it matters, but I pre-focused the lens to it's closest focus distance (it just seemed logical to do so, feel free to try different things).

You can buy an adapter that allows you to use the filter threads to attach one lens backwards onto another lens. This is probably the best method. But it works just fine holding one lens right in front of the other. That's what I did, and I had no issues. If something is easier and cheaper, why not go that route?

You don't actually need two lenses to shoot macro through a reversed lens. You can buy a lens mount specifically for this, which allow you to attach a lens backwards directly onto your camera. This is actually better because you are photographing through less glass, but it's not a big deal to shoot through two lenses. Either method works.

Below are five photographs that I captured over the last couple of days using the reverse lens technique with two lenses.
Water Drops On A Nectarine - South Weber, Utah
Flower Macro - South Weber, Utah
Budding Red Leaf - South Weber, Utah
Broccoli Macro - South Weber, Utah
Monochrome Leaf Macro - South Weber, Utah

No comments:

Post a Comment