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04-13-2008, 03:30 PM   #1
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what lenses are suitable for use with a reverse ring?

I will buy a lens reverse ring.

It is not that I believe it to be the best macro solution, but it is inexpensive and it is something fun I have not tried yet, and if it works with any of my lenses it can fit even in the smallest camera bag as a back up when I left the extension rings at home (or the hopefully future dedicated macro lens), in case a find a nice macro motive a day I thought I would only take street photos, landscapes or whatever.
So I don't want to discuss reverse ring vs real macro lens vs... What I'm wondering is this:

What lenses have you tested with a reversing ring? What lenses worked good, and what did not work so well, and does this depend on the purpose?

Let me guess: zooms are less good, primes are better, fast lenses are better, aperture ring is good to have...

Is there some sort of good logical set of rules for what lenses that give good result with a reverse ring?

Is there any especial lens that performs very good in this way?

And here is a wild one: If we are talking about a A capable lens, of course there will be no A functions backward, but the contacts are there...can the camera and lens contacts be connected with a set of electrical wires to get A functionally even on a reversing ring?

04-13-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
I will buy a lens reverse ring.

It is not that I believe it to be the best macro solution, but it is inexpensive and it is something fun I have not tried yet, and if it works with any of my lenses it can fit even in the smallest camera bag as a back up when I left the extension rings at home (or the hopefully future dedicated macro lens), in case a find a nice macro motive a day I thought I would only take street photos, landscapes or whatever.
So I don't want to discuss reverse ring vs real macro lens vs... What I'm wondering is this:

What lenses have you tested with a reversing ring? What lenses worked good, and what did not work so well, and does this depend on the purpose?

Let me guess: zooms are less good, primes are better, fast lenses are better, aperture ring is good to have...

Is there some sort of good logical set of rules for what lenses that give good result with a reverse ring?

Is there any especial lens that performs very good in this way?

And here is a wild one: If we are talking about a A capable lens, of course there will be no A functions backward, but the contacts are there...can the camera and lens contacts be connected with a set of electrical wires to get A functionally even on a reversing ring?
Keep in mind that with the reversing ring, you have a fixed shooting distance for the lens - exactly the backset to the sensor/film. You get approximately 2:1 magnification with a 28 reversed. A 55 reversed gives you about 1:1.

One of the real problems with the reversing ring is getting light past the end of the lens onto the subject, whether natural or artificial light.

I used a Pentax M 28/3.5 combined with a 52mm reversing ring and 52-49 step down. This gave me 2.1X magnification. Quality was excellent. Focusing was difficult. The depth of field was negligeable, and the viewfinder was dark.

The combo made a friend of mine very, very happy. She had had a ring resized by a "jeweller" and could feel the file marks. The jeweller was not prepared to do anything about the problem, so she took him to small debts court, and asked me to take a picture of the badly filed spot on the ring. I did, and after firing up two studio lights got enough light on the ring to do a good job, got the ring a little over twice life size on film. She promptly went to the photo shop and had them make an 8 x 10 enlargement, which she took to court with her. So she has this enlargement, about 17 times life size on the print, and holds it up in the courtroom. She got her money back. It looked like the guy had taken a chain saw to the ring.
04-13-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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Your guesses are right. I've done too many, mostly with 50s only. But there is a thread shows that a wide angle gives you more magnification.

QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
And here is a wild one: If we are talking about a A capable lens, of course there will be no A functions backward, but the contacts are there...can the camera and lens contacts be connected with a set of electrical wires to get A functionally even on a reversing ring?
. Here is the demo picture:



Not my work, it's from Novoflex. But the idea is definitely doable.
04-13-2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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Nothing new below the sun! (not sure you have that saying in english)
I did not think someone actually manufactured that, that someone thought they could actually make profit of it, but I guess I was to naive. You don't happen to know where it is sold?

04-13-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The combo made a friend of mine very, very happy. She had had a ring resized by a "jeweller" and could feel the file marks. The jeweller was not prepared to do anything about the problem, so she took him to small debts court, and asked me to take a picture of the badly filed spot on the ring. I did, and after firing up two studio lights got enough light on the ring to do a good job, got the ring a little over twice life size on film. She promptly went to the photo shop and had them make an 8 x 10 enlargement, which she took to court with her. So she has this enlargement, about 17 times life size on the print, and holds it up in the courtroom. She got her money back. It looked like the guy had taken a chain saw to the ring.
Nice story there Albert . I don't even know why the guy would go to court after he saw that enlargement.

And like Albert said, the problem with high magnification is light source, since at the largest aperture, the DOF is almost nil.
04-13-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Keep in mind that with the reversing ring, you have a fixed shooting distance for the lens - exactly the backset to the sensor/film. You get approximately 2:1 magnification with a 28 reversed. A 55 reversed gives you about 1:1.

One of the real problems with the reversing ring is getting light past the end of the lens onto the subject, whether natural or artificial light.

I used a Pentax M 28/3.5 combined with a 52mm reversing ring and 52-49 step down. This gave me 2.1X magnification. Quality was excellent. Focusing was difficult. The depth of field was negligeable, and the viewfinder was dark.

The combo made a friend of mine very, very happy. She had had a ring resized by a "jeweller" and could feel the file marks. The jeweller was not prepared to do anything about the problem, so she took him to small debts court, and asked me to take a picture of the badly filed spot on the ring. I did, and after firing up two studio lights got enough light on the ring to do a good job, got the ring a little over twice life size on film. She promptly went to the photo shop and had them make an 8 x 10 enlargement, which she took to court with her. So she has this enlargement, about 17 times life size on the print, and holds it up in the courtroom. She got her money back. It looked like the guy had taken a chain saw to the ring.
Thanks for good advices Rockies.
Fixed distance may not matter so much. I think I move the camera as much as I change the focus already now with extension rings.
But the light may be a problem. Did not think about that, but as you point me in that direction, it makes perfectly sence that lots of light is lost (as light from a small surface is spread onto a larger surface). But is it worse than any other solution with the same magnification?
04-13-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Nothing new below the sun! (not sure you have that saying in english)
I did not think someone actually manufactured that, that someone thought they could actually make profit of it, but I guess I was to naive. You don't happen to know where it is sold?
It's from Novoflex:

NOVOFLEX

They have their prices in Euro, so they're in Europe. Anyway, that setup is for Canon only. The picture is just to show that your idea is very doable. If you are able to make several, I believe there will be people who are willing to buy the setup . That Novoflex one is 250 Euro :ugh:.
04-13-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I used a Pentax M 28/3.5 combined with a 52mm reversing ring and 52-49 step down. This gave me 2.1X magnification. Quality was excellent. Focusing was difficult. The depth of field was negligeable, and the viewfinder was dark.
That just about sums up the experience.

I use my Kalimar 28mm (darned Ricoh pin) reversed on the kit (gotta use it for something). This gives a magnification of 55/28 or about 2:1, which is very tricky to control. Definitely tripod weather and better to have a rack.

04-13-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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Try a FA 35mm

Hi Douglas, I used a FA 35mm f/2 the other day to take some pics of a lady bug I saw on my wall. I just reversed the lens on the mount with my hand and physically held it there and prayed that my hands were steady enough to get the shot. The magnification is pretty good with this lens as you can see with the photo below (uncropped).



These other shots were taken with the FA 35mm as well. It doubles as a great street lens!



04-14-2008, 12:32 AM   #10
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Really impressive pictures. The Scrimp picture is perfect. Both colours and lines create a very good balance and motion in the picture. Maybe you could crop the street picture a little bit to the left to get rid of those two faces that distract attention? It would make it even more dynamic, better balanced and get the eyes to move from the two gentlemen in the front into the street. But it may be that you kept them by purpose to get that conflict for the eye to hesitate over.

Thinking about the ladybug, you and rparmar suggest SLR wide angles, near normals on DSLR, so I can try my A 50/1.7 and (the not so good but better than its reputation, but sure very plastic) A 28/2.8 Cosina. What about a 100 mm lense or similar, like my A 100/2.8? Or, if I can find a large enough adapter (that may be hard), the A* 135/1.8. What would the result be with a short tele lens?

Is there a way to calculate the enlargement? I know how to do it for extension tubes, but this is different.
04-14-2008, 03:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Thinking about the ladybug, you and rparmar suggest SLR wide angles, near normals on DSLR, so I can try my A 50/1.7 and (the not so good but better than its reputation, but sure very plastic) A 28/2.8 Cosina. What about a 100 mm lense or similar, like my A 100/2.8? Or, if I can find a large enough adapter (that may be hard), the A* 135/1.8. What would the result be with a short tele lens?

Is there a way to calculate the enlargement? I know how to do it for extension tubes, but this is different.
For the scenario I wrote about, a reversed lens on a normal lens, the equation is as follows:
magnification = prime lens focal length / reversed lens focal length

So I get 2x with a 28mm on the kit. But you don't always want more magnification since it becomes steadily harder to keep things in focus and still. For this setup you need a macro coupling ring (double threaded male) which basically screws each filter mount together face to face.

The nice thing with this scenario is that metering operates as normal through the lens attached to the camera, though you may have serious vignetting and need to use manual mode to get exposure due to all the light fall-off through the second lens. Ignore the focus rings on the lenses as you will need to focus by moving the contraption relative to the subject. Focal distance becomes equal to the distance that would have existed between the reversed lens and the sensor plane.

The reversed lens needs to have an aperture dial, so you can set it manually. Also, its rear element will be unprotected so I wouldn't use anything you truly value. The lens I use cost me 20 bucks or something.

For the simple "reversed lens on body" scenario the wider the lens, the more the magnification, but I do not know the exact formula. I think it's about the same as above if you assume the first lens is 50mm. For that method you need to use stop-down metering.

For either setup light becomes a real issue and the built-in flash will be useless due to vignetting. A bracket with an off-axis flash would be the ideal way to go.
04-14-2008, 12:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Really impressive pictures. The Scrimp picture is perfect. Both colours and lines create a very good balance and motion in the picture. Maybe you could crop the street picture a little bit to the left to get rid of those two faces that distract attention? It would make it even more dynamic, better balanced and get the eyes to move from the two gentlemen in the front into the street. But it may be that you kept them by purpose to get that conflict for the eye to hesitate over.

Thinking about the ladybug, you and rparmar suggest SLR wide angles, near normals on DSLR, so I can try my A 50/1.7 and (the not so good but better than its reputation, but sure very plastic) A 28/2.8 Cosina. What about a 100 mm lense or similar, like my A 100/2.8? Or, if I can find a large enough adapter (that may be hard), the A* 135/1.8. What would the result be with a short tele lens?

Is there a way to calculate the enlargement? I know how to do it for extension tubes, but this is different.
Thanks, I try not to crop shots because it makes me want to improve my framing in the future. Rparmar gave some great advice on magnification, but I would suggest not reversing a very wide angle lens since the magnification gets to be very large and also harder to handhold. Additionally, it is difficult to get a lot of light on a subject when you are hovering over it, so slower shutter speeds are another limitation.
04-14-2008, 02:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nycxaro Quote
Thanks, I try not to crop shots because it makes me want to improve my framing in the future. Rparmar gave some great advice on magnification, but I would suggest not reversing a very wide angle lens since the magnification gets to be very large and also harder to handhold. Additionally, it is difficult to get a lot of light on a subject when you are hovering over it, so slower shutter speeds are another limitation.
Crank up the ISO. One good thing about WA lens is that you only need a relative slow shutter speed as well. With SR on and a 28mm lens, you can make do with 1/20 or even slower.
06-15-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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20mm or 21mm?

Hi,
I'm quite into macro and reversing WA lens is probably the best way to go. Do you agree?
With Sigma 180mm macro I can't get decent magification, I'm stuck with 1:1. Adding extension tubes is pointless at this focal length. But reversing is a dificult game.

I'm currently using setup with Kenko 25mm extension tube and reversed M20/4 for magnifications around 5:1. I tried adding AF 1.7 TC to the setup, but IQ deteriorated quite a lot.

Does anybody know answer to following questions?
1) What FL should I enter into K10d as for SR compensation when reversing 20mm lens on 25mm extension tube?
2) Does anybody have experience with reversed Da21? It has 7 aperture blades so it should render prettier bokeh than my 5-blade M20/4. Is missing aperture ring a big deal?
06-15-2009, 02:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Hi,
I'm quite into macro and reversing WA lens is probably the best way to go. Do you agree?
With Sigma 180mm macro I can't get decent magification, I'm stuck with 1:1. Adding extension tubes is pointless at this focal length. But reversing is a dificult game.

I'm currently using setup with Kenko 25mm extension tube and reversed M20/4 for magnifications around 5:1. I tried adding AF 1.7 TC to the setup, but IQ deteriorated quite a lot.

Does anybody know answer to following questions?
1) What FL should I enter into K10d as for SR compensation when reversing 20mm lens on 25mm extension tube?
2) Does anybody have experience with reversed Da21? It has 7 aperture blades so it should render prettier bokeh than my 5-blade M20/4. Is missing aperture ring a big deal?
Funny to see my ancient thread come to live!

1) -45? Seriously, I don't know, hope someone else can answer.
2) Yes, missing appertures ring means that you can only shoot at minima apperture...unless you take a piece of shewing gum and jam the apperture leveler at some other setting.
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