Friday, March 28, 2008

Reversing a Lens for Super Closeups

E Pluribus Unum Pentax ME-Super
I've always been a fan of macrophotography . . . getting real close to show pattern and texture. I have a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens which does a wonderful job. I've taken my share of floral macro images but I've always been intrigued by images that get super close. Most commonly, you see this with images with insects. There are several ways to achieve this. One way is through the use of extenders. These are nothing more than barrels that fit between your lens and the camera, extending the focal plane of the lens further away from the camera allowing the lens to focus at closer distances than the minimal focal distance specification of the lens. They are typically sold in kits which can be combined.

However, another way is taking a lens and mounting it backward! An adapter is needed to convert the end of the lens to something that will attach to the camera. Well I stumbled upon such an adapter from Haoda while looking for an adapter for a Zeiss Planar 50mm lens to mount on a Canon EOS camera. They have a reverse lens adapter that converts the kit lens (18-55mm or any lens with a 55mm thread) commonly sold with Canon digital Rebel cameras. The adapter is only $15 so since I had this kit lens lying around doing nothing, it seemed like something fun to try. It's interesting in that the 18-55mm lens, being a zoom, has a macro range on the lens, so you king of get two zoom ranges to work with. It takes a little getting used to and if you can shoot handheld, it's a little more flexible and somewhat quicker to compose and shoot. On a tripod, obviously, you can shoot at lower shutter speeds but the set up is a little more tedious due to how the lens focuses in a reverse configuration. The shots shown here are not necessarily works of art but examples of what can be achieved. More are located on my Flickr site.

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