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Reverse Lens Macro - Sprinkles!

8:26 PM

I've always loved a good macro shot. I love seeing things close up and in a way that you don't normally see them. And it may sound weird, but I also really love seeing close ups of bugs and spiders too! I'm really not brave enough to get that close to a spider for a picture, but I still love seeing those up-close pictures of huge eyes or multiple eyes and all those hairy details on them that you can't normally just see. But like most good lenses, a good macro lens seemed to be out of my price range. But with a little research, I discovered the reverse lens macro technique which I was able to do with what I already had. I didn't need to buy anything extra. So the other day I experimented with sprinkles (cuz like I said- I can't get that close to a spider!).

And look how close you can get! So awesome right?! Anyone with a camera and a removable lens can try it.

Basically all you have to do is remove your lens and hold it back up to your camera the opposite way. It took a little fiddling and playing around with my camera and lens to figure out how to get the pictures I wanted, so I put together just a few tips for whoever wants to try it out! Keep in mind, I don't consider myself a professional, these are just a few tips that I found worked for me. It's so easy--you've got to just try it out! :)

Tip #1

Use a kit lens. I experimented with all my lenses and my kit lens actually ended up being my favorite. First of all, I don't have a reverse ring (which actually aren't too expensive and you can get one for about $10), but it lets you mount the lens on the camera backwards so you don't have to hold it in place. So anyway, without one I felt safer using my kit lens (in case I got clumsy). It is a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and very light weight which also makes it easier to hold up. Also, the ability to shoot at 18mm wide was a plus which I'll talk about later.

Tip #2

Before removing your lens, set your camera settings as you normally would for the amount of light you need. You can still change the shutter speed after removing your lens but you won't be able to change the aperture. Unless your lens has an aperture ring that you can manually adjust, make sure your aperture is as wide as possible (the smallest number) before removing it so that it doesn't affect your LCD screen.

Tip #3

If you have an LCD screen, use it! Focusing is tricky using the reverse lens macro technique. Once your lens is off your camera you lose all control of auto and manual focusing so you have to physically move the camera to and away from the subject until it's in focus. It's a whole lot easier looking at the live LCD screen to focus than trying to keep your eye in the viewfinder while finding your focus- especially since you have to get pretty close to the subject.

Tip #4

I found that the wider the lens, the more magnification I could get. So when using my 18-55mm lens, if I set the lens to 18mm I could get the sprinkles the most magnified. If I didn't want to be that close, I could just move it out to 55mm. And being able to switch so easily in distance was another plus for having my kit zoom lens.

And that's it! Just play around with the focus a little and try to keep a steady hand since using a tripod isn't possible with this technique. It's probably not the most ideal method for macro shots, but considering how inexpensive it is compared to other options and I'm not a pro, it was pretty fun experimenting with it!


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