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02-24-2010, 11:08 AM   #1
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reverse stack for macro?

Hello!

I saw this response in the for sale forums:

QuoteQuote:
I use mine as a macro lens, just reverse stack a 28mm or 50mm onto it and the insect world gets a whole lot closer, and scarier
I am looking for a good macro lens for the exact purpose of making bugs look big and scary. I've been searching for a 100mm macro, since this seems to be a popular/reasonable choice. (I am thinking the DA or the FA will suit me well on a second body).

However... maybe I am missing something. Would a reverse stack be better for my purposes?

And... how do I go about making a reverse stack? And how does a flash work with this?

Thank you!

02-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ifringe Quote
Hello!

I saw this response in the for sale forums:



I am looking for a good macro lens for the exact purpose of making bugs look big and scary. I've been searching for a 100mm macro, since this seems to be a popular/reasonable choice. (I am thinking the DA or the FA will suit me well on a second body).

However... maybe I am missing something. Would a reverse stack be better for my purposes?

And... how do I go about making a reverse stack? And how does a flash work with this?

Thank you!
I don't really know how it compares to actual macro lenses but... You can buy a dual male thread adapter that will allow you to stack the lenses front to front. You can also buy reversing adapters that will allow you to turn a single lens around.

02-24-2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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Reversing one lens onto another is a good way to get very close. You need a somewhat longish lens on the camera and a shorter focal length reversed onto it.
You use a ring that is designed for this. It has filter threads on both sides.
As bugs are fairly small as a rule, revering a lens can work much better than a macro which will be limited to 1:1 or slightly higher.
By reverse stacking, you can get 10:1 magnification or even higher.

Flash will be by trial and error mostly.
You will need to bring the flash in from the side since your lens will be so close to the subject that mounting the flash on a hot shoe will not illuminate the subject.
02-24-2010, 12:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Reversing one lens onto another is a good way to get very close. You need a somewhat longish lens on the camera and a shorter focal length reversed onto it.
You use a ring that is designed for this. It has filter threads on both sides.
As bugs are fairly small as a rule, revering a lens can work much better than a macro which will be limited to 1:1 or slightly higher.
By reverse stacking, you can get 10:1 magnification or even higher.

Flash will be by trial and error mostly.
You will need to bring the flash in from the side since your lens will be so close to the subject that mounting the flash on a hot shoe will not illuminate the subject.
Ah. OK. That makes sense. Trial and error is something I am familiar with.

So, for example, let's say that I have a DA 55-300mm lens, filter size 58 on the camera body. I also happen to have laying around an old A50mm, manual focus, filter size 49mm.

I would need a 58mm->49mm filter adapter, which would put the 50mm onto the 55-300mm, but reversed, of course, since I am going from filter-filter, right?

And that would bring the bug in nice and close.

How does focus/f-stop work for the stacked lens?

(So many questions!)
Thank you very much for the replies!
david

02-24-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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Quick way to see what sort of results you can expect is to simply hold one lens in front of the other. If the filter rings are about the same diameter, electricians tape makes a temporary setup.

If you have two old filters of the correct size to cannibalize, remove the glass and judiciously apply a little epoxy glue for a DIY adapter and have at it. This is a fine use for older M42 primes and other brand lenses you don't have a mount adapter for.

Everything else is trial 'n error using the histogram results. Sometimes we tend to make this photography stuff far more complicated than necessary.

H2
02-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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I've just used electrical tape to tape 2 identical lenses together, to try it.
I wasn't all that impressed with the results, so I chose mot to spend any more $ looking into it.
02-24-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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On stacked lenses:

- Use something to protect the rear of the reversed lens. A rear lens cap with the bottom cut out is the best.

- The aperture of the reversed lens should be wide open.

- The magnification of the reversed lens is 1/focal length in meter. For example, a 50mm lens has 1/0.05 = 20 diopters. In comparison, the Raynox 250 is 8 diopters and the Raynox 150 is 4.8 diopters.

- Great magnification sometimes is not a good thing. I tried a 24mm and gave up on the difficulty of focusing.

- Forget about focusing with the lens' focusing ring. Focus by moving the whole camera setup back and forth.

- A solid tripod is a must. A macro slider will make life much much more enjoyable.

- Depth of field is very limited. The taking lens needs to close down significantly (f/16, f/22) for decent DOF.

- A flash with an extention cord is a must.

It's fun but it also gets tiring pretty quick. I find a Raynox is much more enjoyable.
02-24-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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Great!

Thank you all for the wonderful and very informative information...I truly appreciate it. It sound like this is something that I ought to try, but not necessarily hold my breath about.

Then again, how do you know until you do try?

Thanks to all for the words of wisdom!

02-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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I have written up a bit of a series on different ways to get some macro shots on my blog, I have used reversed lenses, teleconverters, extension tubes, basically everything except a macro lens (because I can't afford 1 of those right now). If you would be interested in reading about it, start here - Jezza's Photography Stories: Macro Photography Techniques - Part 1 and read through the series.

Here is 1 i took with a reversed 28mm lens (Pentax M 28mm f2.8, cost around $60AU for lens, $15AU for reverse adapter) and a 2x Teleconverter (full manual K mount, very old, cost $15AU)



good luck!
02-24-2010, 06:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ifringe Quote
Ah. OK. That makes sense. Trial and error is something I am familiar with.

So, for example, let's say that I have a DA 55-300mm lens, filter size 58 on the camera body. I also happen to have laying around an old A50mm, manual focus, filter size 49mm.

I would need a 58mm->49mm filter adapter, which would put the 50mm onto the 55-300mm, but reversed, of course, since I am going from filter-filter, right?

And that would bring the bug in nice and close.

How does focus/f-stop work for the stacked lens?

(So many questions!)
Thank you very much for the replies!
david
The downside is that the combination has a single focus distance - the mount to film/sensor distance. I don't know about your bugs, but its way too close for those we get here.
02-24-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The downside is that the combination has a single focus distance - the mount to film/sensor distance. I don't know about your bugs, but its way too close for those we get here.
This evening I manually held up my old (but still wonderful) 50mm1/.7 to my kit 18-55 and peeped through. The magnification looks pretty nice, all tolled, and I did notice that focusing was via my feet. Then again, perhaps learning to focus with my feet is not really all that bad

For the amazing amount of $5.99USD/shipped (and it was that much because I failed to notice the 10% discount code available), I picked up a 49mm/49mm adapter via mail order*. Once it gets here, I'll be able to give this a much more thorough test.

The bugs here are pretty unfriendly... we're in the desert, so many of the creepy crawlies like as not will sting you. But then again, I guess that will make really cool close up scary pictures

I hope.

* After ordering, and congratulating myself on my purchase, it dawned on me that the kit lens is 52mm, while the adapter is 49/49 and the old 50mm is 49mm. OOPS. Luckily, I just happen to have a 52->49mm step down ring from an earlier goof, so that ought to be fine for this. A little vignetting is the least of my worries at this point.

david
02-24-2010, 08:28 PM   #12
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I have done a bit of experimenting with reverse stacking,
I use a Pentax A 100mm 2.8 with a reversed 50mm 1.7 on it. You need a male/ male adapter called a macro coupler too connect the lenses and they come in various sizes, I have a 49mm/49mm and a 49mm/52mm purchased from ebay for a few of bucks,

Keep the reversed lens wide open and control the aperture from the body mounted lens, I have it set at f16/f22 and control the flash manually for correct exposure, 1/6-1/4 output

I am also able to attach the Pentax AF160c ringflash too it, I found mounting it between the 2 lenses better as it doesn't take away some of your working distance if mounted to the front, you only have a couple of inches of working distance as it is.
I also have a homebrew adapter where I can mount the flash directly onto the front of the reversed lens, (made out of a rear lens cap with the top cut out) I also use this to protect the rear element

I found using a tripod too restrictive when shooting bugs so most of my shots are hand held, sometimes I use a monopod,

You can also try reversing a 28mm directly onto the camera, adapters are available for this as well (Kmount-49mm/52mm)
I have tried it but its difficult due too the dark viewfinder, as the lens is stopped down too such a tiny aperture, I am in the process of making a small lever that will attach too the stop down lever on the lens and will allow me to hold the aperture open when focusing and I can then release it prior to taking the shot. I hope I explained that properly (its a work in progress)

I find it a lot of fun, a lot of hit and miss and trial and error, but thats what I like about it, If it was easy everyone would be doing it

Heres a few shots of my setup


This is another combination I use, 77mmltd/43mmltd with my old pentax af080c ringflash


And a couple of shots I have taken





Good luck with it Dave

Last edited by Clarky; 02-24-2010 at 08:40 PM. Reason: add pic
02-24-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the detailed instructions, and the AMAZING photos.

Looks like I need to be looking for a ring flash. Well, I had thought about that, but just needed a fine excuse!

Thanks so much!
02-24-2010, 08:54 PM   #14
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I thought I would add that a ring flash is not essential,

I have also used this setup with a homebrew flash bracket with flexible head, A lot cheaper option with a pentax AF200T flash which has manual output controls from 1/8 to full flash.

The flexible pipe I picked up from the hardware, its 3/4 water pipe used on CNC milling machines for spraying water onto the metal and keeping it cool.
02-24-2010, 09:15 PM   #15
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Take a look at this guys efforts with reverse stacking and be truely amazed, something to aspire too

Flickr: Thomas Shahan's Photostream
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