Reverse Lens Macro Photography

Reverse Lens Macro is the really cheap way to get started with actual Macro Photography

This will be quick. You will discover how to take an actual macro shot with your kit lens (or any lens for that matter). It will work with any digital SLR camera, but I will be using a Canon Rebel T3i. Note that with a T3i you can use Live View in your LCD panel.

Make sure you read the whole article or watch the video all the way through to find out how you can greatly improve the quality of your reverse lens shots.T3i - kit lens - macro setting

The picture on the right was taken with my Canon T3i and the Kit Lens. The camera was set on the Macro setting on the mode dial (the setting is the one that looks like a tulip flower). This is not a true macro photo, even though it was taken on the right setting. The Kit Lens just is not capable of taking a true macro.

Macro image with kit lens reversedI disconnected the lens and turned it around, holding it tightly against the lens opening and took this next shot. You can see a major difference in how much of the frame is filled with the flower. Now, this is a macro photograph.

So this can be done with any lens you have in your camera bag. The most common lens for reverse macro photography is the 50mm f1.8, but the kit lens works almost as well.

The down side is that you can’t adjust the aperture, which means there is very little depth of field (the picture will have an area in focus, but just a few millimeters in front or behind that focus area is blurry.

But, Fear not! Just watch the video and pay attention to the second half to find out how you can increase the depth of field.

I also recommend that you get a Reversal Ring for you camera. They are very cheap and they will allow you much more control and accuracy, since you don’t have to hold the lens and camera together and keep them steady at the same time.

Watch the video. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

FYI, I learned this from Ben Long at Lynda.com. In fact, I have learned so much over the years, that I highly recommend Lynda. I recommend Lynda to YOU. Try it at no cost – Get 7 days of free unlimited access to lynda.com.

Of course, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below, and let me know if there is anything you would like me to talk about on the blog.

Cheers!

  • Zee Riz

    It’s really nice technique, I always follow your tips and technique to learn more perfection.

  • Zee Riz

    Regularly I am reader of your emails/ blogs and learned lot of ideas and tips. Today, just would like to know your experience, which camera is better priority wise;

    1. Sony SLT A-57
    2. Canon EOS1100D
    3. Nikon D3200
    4. Nikon D3100
    5. Canon EOS 650D

    Could you please help out with your numbering which one is first, second and third according to your view.

    • wrasku

      Thanks for your question Zee Riz. All of the cameras you mention here are highly rated by their owners. My experience is limited to the Canon line, so I would rate the 650D and 1100D at the top of the list just because I have not used Nikon or Sony digital SLRs in my photography.

      Wishing you the best with your photography experiences,
      Wayne

  • Pingback: Macro Photography Tips - Using a Canon RebelWayneRasku()

  • Nice video. I’ve heard of reversing the lens for macro, but I never knew about the aperture control button on the side of the camera. Thanks!

    • wrasku

      You’re welcome Daniel. That is a handy little piece of knowledge for those of us on a tight budget.

  • This was so helpful! I really appreciate you taking the time to share this video and your tips. Bless you!