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06-25-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Reversed lens macros

Just a note to encourage those that haven't played with reversed lenses (yet).

It's REALLY easy to try this. The only special equipment you need are two opposed thumbs.

- Grab any 35~85mm lens
- Set focus to infinity
- Set aperture to max (or not, if you want a little DOF)
- Hold the reversed lens to the camera body by hand
- Get REALLY close to the subject - inches

But watch that exposed glass! At one time I was using reversed lenses to record small component failures so I reamed the center out of a rear lens cap to provide a protective hood. You're close enough that you can use your 'pinky finger' as a feeler gauge outside the field of view also.

I've found 35-85mm lenses offer the most useful range. A Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar f:2.8/45mm salvaged from a trashed Kodak RF and hot glued to a old Spotmatic body worked well in the field without risking anything expensive, although I preferred a Super Tak 55/1.8 for the greater FOV.

In the office, we made sort of a copy stand out of a U-shaped wire refrigerator rack and used a ream of type writer paper as a variable-focus rack to position the items with better precision and stability than a focus rail - just add or remove pages to raise or lower the target.

"Yeah, two more pages an' a carbon copy sheet ought 'a be perfect, Joe."

H2

06-25-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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I went a little higher tech for my uber-macro trials. SMC-P 28/3.5 reversed with a 49>52 step up ring on a 52mm reverse adaptor on the KX/ SF-1. Gave about 2.1X on film.
06-26-2009, 02:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Just a note to encourage those that haven't played with reversed lenses (yet).

It's REALLY easy to try this. The only special equipment you need are two opposed thumbs.

- Grab any 35~85mm lens
- Set focus to infinity
- Set aperture to max (or not, if you want a little DOF)
- Hold the reversed lens to the camera body by hand
- Get REALLY close to the subject - inches

But watch that exposed glass! At one time I was using reversed lenses to record small component failures so I reamed the center out of a rear lens cap to provide a protective hood. You're close enough that you can use your 'pinky finger' as a feeler gauge outside the field of view also.

I've found 35-85mm lenses offer the most useful range. A Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar f:2.8/45mm salvaged from a trashed Kodak RF and hot glued to a old Spotmatic body worked well in the field without risking anything expensive, although I preferred a Super Tak 55/1.8 for the greater FOV.

In the office, we made sort of a copy stand out of a U-shaped wire refrigerator rack and used a ream of type writer paper as a variable-focus rack to position the items with better precision and stability than a focus rail - just add or remove pages to raise or lower the target.

"Yeah, two more pages an' a carbon copy sheet ought 'a be perfect, Joe."

H2
Yes, reversing is the quick and easy way to good macros, I posted some 43mm Ltd reverser K10D shots a while ago here FA 43mm Ltd Reversed Photos

Tried the 77mm Ltd and didn't get the same results

David
06-26-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by David Quote
Yes, reversing is the quick and easy way to good macros, I posted some 43mm Ltd reverser K10D shots a while ago here FA 43mm Ltd Reversed Photos

Tried the 77mm Ltd and didn't get the same results

David
David, the wider the lens, the more magnification. 1:1 comes in around 55 mm reversed. 28mm is 2X. your 77 would come in at about 0.7X if my mental math is correct. 55/77 = 0.71X

06-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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so I suppose the trick is focusing with a third hand? lol
I must try this out soon.
thanks for the info OP
06-26-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Niki Quote
so I suppose the trick is focusing with a third hand? lol
I must try this out soon.
thanks for the info OP
Focusing is disabled. The back of the lens will be at the lens to film/sensor distance from the subject when the subject is in focus. The focusing ring moves the lens body back and forth. You can get more light on the subject at infinity focus.
06-26-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Focus by moving the entire camera back and forth. Once you get close enough to even BE in focus there won't be a quarter of an inch of movement -- or DOF either for that matter.

But that third hand could be useful to hold the spider you wanted to shoot anyway.

Remember -- this was just to get you hooked on lens reversal so you'd buy a reverse adapter which would stimulate the economy which would save Pentax so you could continue to stroke your LBA.

H2
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