eXtreme reverse lens macro with a Quantaray 28mm F/2.8 FD Mount Lens! -> Pics

sirsloopsirsloop TMPRegistered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
edited December 23, 2006 in Technique
bear with me this is a book, but should be an interesting read for macro enthusiasts....

I'm not sure how many of you are aware of reverse lens macro photography. I think there are a lot of people that think their 70-300 "macro" lens is "macro", or that they needed to spend thousands on a 65mm and twin light setup to get CRAZY close to an object.

I won't get really deep into it, but by using a wide angle lens stopped down, and mounted on the body backwards you can achieve INSANE levels of zoom with amazing results. As anyone that has tried out macro photography knows, a flash is pretty much neccessary unless you make the sacrifice and live with paper thin DOF.

I first started toying around with this by hand holding my old 17-85mm IS lens on to the body, and took a photo of a mosquitos head. After I sold that lens I played with my 50mm f/1.8mk1, then my 35mm f/2 lens.

84592241-L-1.jpg

The problem now was I was holding the lend on the body, which made it super had to control the camera and get things in focus. It was like I needed a third hand. I found an aluminum reverse macro ring adapter for a 52mm threaded lens on ebay for $11 shipped - SCORE! Now I didnt have to hold my 50mm or 35mm lens on.

Next problem, the aperture! These days aperture is all computer controlled and is adjusted on the fly with I think electromagnetic servos. No good for reverse macro, because all that does not work. Solution: Use an old school wide angle lens with manual aperture control and 52mm threads. Enter ebay shopping and a Quantaray 28mm F/2.8 FD mount lens FOR $15 bucks. This thing is NICE... AND ITS 15 BUCKS!! Really you are are looking for any manual aperture lens with 52mm threads... this fit the bill and would result in CRAZY macros.

So why bother with this thing? If you use a modern lens, you have to set the aperture on the camera, then take the lens off the camera with the apertiure closed. I dont know how many of you have tried to manual focus through a f/22 aperture. IT AINT HAPPEN'iN. I look through the lens at f/2.8 and get the sweet spot in the center of where i'm shooting. Using my pinkey finger I push the aperture shut while simultaneously pressing the shutter on the camera. Voila! I suddently went from 5-10% keeper rate to I'd say 80-90% keeper rate. Besides... I don't forsee many people sticking the unprotected rear element of a $200-$1500 lens two inches from a possibly damaging object. If you break it, buy another... its 15 freakin bucks.

So now on to the good stuff... the shots!

My current macro rig consists of my Rebel XTi, 580ex, Jacobs black box, 7" Delta Flip bracket, and the 28mm f/2.8 FD lens. I can still mount my 50mm or 35mm lens on there giving me less zoom, but I have to put the lens on the camera to set the aperture. I will probably get a FD mount 50mm lens in the near future.

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Some sample shots. First up something real familiar... a penny. You fill the entire frame with about 1/3 of the penny!!

original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6190s.JPG
IMG_6190.JPG

You get about 3/8" out of the full frame here...

original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6196s.JPG
IMG_6196.JPG


I also took a few shots to show you why the manual aperture lens is important.

A duracell coppertop AA battery.

f/2.8
original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6194s.JPG
IMG_6194.JPG

f/22
original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6195s.JPG
IMG_6195.JPG

Buttons on my Motorola V710 cellphone

f/2.8
original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6193s.JPG
IMG_6193.JPG

f/22
original http://www.jdhaesloop.com/reverse/IMG_6192s.JPG
IMG_6192.JPG

Notice the file names... I took these all in a row, first time success on all of them. The flash controls exposure... so there is no fussing around getting it right with manual controls. Just set the damn thing M, ISO 100, 1/200th and you are ready to rock.

Anyways, I just got the lens today so I haven't had any real amounts of time behind it. I'm sure soon enough i'll be posting up some insane crazy photos of some other critter (if I can find any left...here in November).

Costs:
Lens: ~20 shipped
Reverse adapter: 11 shipped
Flash Bracket: 40 shipped
Off-camera cord: 50 bucks

I also posted up a few jumping spider shots I took with my 35mm f/2... set I think on f/11. Those are here: http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/gallery/2038231/1/104593205
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Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,602 moderator
    edited November 14, 2006
    Wow!

    I love the dialog and story as well as the images. What a saga!

    It just makes me want to see more.mwink.gif

    Good job,

    ziggy53
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited November 14, 2006
    great post thumb.gif
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • ForeheadForehead Just for grins! Registered Users Posts: 679 Major grins
    edited November 14, 2006
    Thanks for your innovative work, there!

    Your images are impressive--especially those compound eyes!
    Steve-o
  • mmrodenmmroden Major grins Registered Users Posts: 472 Major grins
    edited November 15, 2006
    Nice! Now I'm tempted...
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,177 Major grins
    edited November 15, 2006
    The other day I met a friend who is interested in macro photography.
    This is a good way of doing so without spending much money ...
    The photos are very impressive.
    Good work and idea.
    All the best. thumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 15, 2006
    playin around with SWMBO...

    IMG_6217.JPG

    My IKEA expresso deak lamp light bulb element (about the size of a flash light bulb)
    IMG_6233.JPG

    Skin on my knee (I cropped out a non-hairy part for you folks! HA!)
    IMG_6207.JPG
  • NordicNordic Major grins Registered Users Posts: 237 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    This is definitly one of the coolest thins I ever saw. Frankenstein's camera, Laughing.gif!!!

    It is crazy, but your results speak for themselves. Awesome!

    I'm mostly interessted in your flash setup. Would you say this is a viable alternative to a dedicated macro flash?
    What is thes black box thing?

    Thanks!
  • richWrichW Retired SmugMug QA Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 941 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    Nordic wrote:
    What is thes black box thing?
    I think this is it: http://www.aljacobs.com/THE%20BLACK%20BOX.htm
  • StanStan Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,077 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    sirsloop wrote:
    playin around with SWMBO...



    My IKEA expresso deak lamp light bulb element (about the size of a flash light bulb)
    IMG_6233.JPG

    Thanks I am now blind, having tried this with the same lamp rolleyes1.gifrofl I cannot get as close a crop with my 50mm reversed

    Good project

    Stan
  • ivarivar I'd be happy with a cookie Registered Users Posts: 8,395 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    Wow, this is very interesting and very cool, I'm going to have to try this at some point thumb.gif
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    Stan wrote:
    Thanks I am now blind, having tried this with the same lamp rolleyes1.gifrofl I cannot get as close a crop with my 50mm reversed

    Good project

    Stan

    HAHAH!!! Yeah it took me once to figure this one out. This photo would be impossible without focusing with the aperture at f/22. Its so damn bright its like looking at a light bulb through a magnifying glass! HAHAH! Close the aperture BEFORE looking at the crazy bright object. This is so bright that you'll want to use ISO 100, and 1/4000th, no flash.

    As for the other question... only the flash bracket and off shoe cord are dedicated to macro. The 580ex is a very versatile flash, and I use it with a lightsphere to shoot some events indoors. The link to the black box was correct... its my flash battery. I decided instead of playing the AA game, I would just invest $210 in a MONSTER battery and cable and be done with it. Looks and works more professional than AA's. Just simply wear it on your belt or on a shoulder strap... instantly have 800-1000 flash shots.
  • SenecaSeneca Majorette Grinner Registered Users Posts: 1,661 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2006
    OH MY GOSH...That bug-thingy's eyes were chilling! GREAT JOB!

    I have sent you a PM please go view.thumb.gif
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited November 17, 2006
    Bookmark!!!!
    VERY cool!thumb.gif

    You have definatly peaked mine and (I'm sure) many others interest in this world of reverse lens macro.

    Thanks for taking the time to post!
  • 01af01af Big grins Registered Users Posts: 41 Big grins
    edited November 20, 2006
    We've come a long way ...
    "What a saga!"?
    "... innovative work ..."?
    "Good ... idea"?
    "... definitely one of the coolest things I ever saw"; "... crazy, but ..."?
    "... interesting and very cool"?

    We've come a long way ... downhill from where amateur photography used to be 15 years ago. Back then virtually every SLR photographer (with the possible exception of the freshest newbies) knew what extension tubes, bellow units, and reverse rings were for. Today's amateurs---grown up with all-automatic cameras and aperture-ring-free AF-D APO EX AD L DC ASPH XR IF VR Di-II IS HSM LD USM G SSM DX ED lenses---believe this ancient technique was a saga, innovative, crazy, and very very cool. The inevitable consequence of progress, I guess.

    Incredible.

    -- Olaf


    P.S. 'sirsloop,' you mustn't set your reversed 28 mm lens to the minimum focusing distance. Leave it set to infinity; then you'll get the same magnification at a longer working distance. Setting a reversed wide-angle lens to the minimum focusing distance (or to the distance between subject and film plane if that happens to be longer than the lens' minimum focusing distance) makes sense only with wide-angle lenses that have Floating Elements (Canon), Floating Focusing (Minolta), Close-Range Correction (Nikon), or whatever the respective manufacturer chose to call it. The cheap Quantaray lens does not have Floating Elements so set it to infinity.
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 20, 2006
    good to know...

    I guess when you are not old enough to know any different... you cant really knock us new guys. Im 25yrs old... only been shooting with a dslr for about a year (50,000+ photos and counting tho!) - live and learn thumb.gif

    Honestly, I never got into photography growing up cause I didn't want to dump money into film/prints. Without innovations like modern digital camera's I and a lot of people would not be posting here today.
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,950 moderator
    edited November 20, 2006
    01af wrote:
    "What a saga!"?
    "... innovative work ..."?
    "Good ... idea"?
    "... definitely one of the coolest things I ever saw"; "... crazy, but ..."?
    "... interesting and very cool"?

    We've come a long way ... downhill from where amateur photography used to be 15 years ago. Back then virtually every SLR photographer (with the possible exception of the freshest newbies) knew what extension tubes, bellow units, and reverse rings were for.
    Welcome to dgrin! wave.gif

    You're right, great photos can only be interesting if they're taken by salty old guys who had to focus manually under a black wool blanket, after walking to the shoot, uphill, both ways, in a blizzard (that's a joke, by the way).

    The tip you offered at the bottom would have been good enough, in fact, I hope you would share more great technical insight like that with all of us on a regular basis. However, amateur, newb, pro, young, old... whatever - sloop's photos are fantastic and your comment comes off as quite condescending.

    thanks,
    -another dumb kid
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited November 20, 2006
    01af wrote:
    Incredible.
    That's OK.
    Your social security is about to run out.
    Better take a picture of that last check.
  • 01af01af Big grins Registered Users Posts: 41 Big grins
    edited November 21, 2006
    DoctorIt wrote:
    You're right, great photos can only be interesting if they're taken by salty old guys who had to focus manually under a black wool blanket, after walking to the shoot, uphill, both ways, in a blizzard (that's a joke, by the way).
    A joke, fine ... but my point was not who's making the interesting photos. Neither was my point about having to learn the tricks of the trade one after the other. My point was about learning something you didn't know before and then calling it 'innovative' (as someone did here).

    sirsloop wrote:
    Honestly, I never got into photography growing up cause I didn't want to dump money into film/prints. Without innovations like modern digital cameras I and a lot of people would not be posting here today.
    You're absolutely right. I, for example, started photography almost 30 years ago ... and the cost of film, processing, and prints always kept me from doing it right. Especially back when I was a kid, a roll of film was a precious asset to me so I hardly dared to use it up. But you simply cannot use a camera properly when the cost of each single shutter activation is always lurking somewhere in the back of your mind.

    In my opinion, getting rid of the cost of film and processing is the most important single impact of the transition from analog to digital on amateur photography (on pro's work, it's getting rid of the delay between firing the shutter and seeing the result). There are so many pointless discussions on the 'net on how digital is, or is not, better than analog, on how many pixels you'd need to outresolve film, on dynamic ranges and grain vs. noise ... but no-one seems to be aware of the aspects that are really important.

    On the other hand, to get the most out of digital photography you need a powerful computer, post-processing software, and plenty of mass storage. The cost and the idiosyncrasies of setting up und running a PC still keep many from shooting digital.

    Once in a photo store I saw an old granny handing her point-and-shoot to the clerk: 'A print of each shot, and a fresh film, please.' With a perfectly straight face, the clerk took the camera, pulled the memory card, copied the image files onto the store's computer, erased the card, put it back into the camera, and handed it to the customer. 'The prints will be ready the day after tomorrow.'

    -- Olaf
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 21, 2006
    Like you said a lot of new generation never grew up with old school cameras and are not familiar with certian tehniques. I've posted about reverse lenses a number of times now, and in ever single thread there is someone who posts and says "WOW, that really cool! I'll have to try that out." Every time I see that I know that the thread was worth it. thumb.gif I'm not after internet forum fame or anything... just wanted to share my experiences with someone else who doesn't know about "it". I'm sure the first time you head of reversing lenses 30 years ago you thought to yourself "WOW, thats really cool!"

    At any rate... IT IS COOL no matter when or how you heard about it! :D
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited November 22, 2006
    sirsloop wrote:
    At any rate... IT IS COOL no matter when or how you heard about it! :D
    15524779-Ti.gif
  • mr peasmr peas Drag that shutter! Registered Users Posts: 1,369 Major grins
    edited November 22, 2006
    Theres also books on macro photography. Its always fun to read on different set-ups. Some people also use 70-300mm telephotos mated with a reverse 50mm on the end. it works well too. but ive been pondering about which lens to get for the set-up. but if he says a 28mm will work, ill try that ;)

    How about the use of bellows? Has anyone used bellows with a reverse lens set-up before? it would work much like an extension tube right?
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 22, 2006
    Its basicaly the same idea. It moves the lens farther away from the body and employs a rail system to hold the lens in line.
  • James CJames C Big grins Registered Users Posts: 26 Big grins
    edited November 25, 2006
    Wow! That was super cool! I messed around with my Nikon D70s and holding a 24mm f2.8-f22 lens in front of it. It worked well, but I had a very difficult time focusing. Does anyone have any advice for focusing and such? Any chance this can be made into a more detailed tutorial?

    Thanks!

    -James ne_nau.gif
  • James CJames C Big grins Registered Users Posts: 26 Big grins
    edited November 28, 2006
    Anyone? Does anyone have any focusing advice?

    -James
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited November 28, 2006
    you're gonna get pretty significant zoom with a reversed 24mm. The adapter ring makes focusing MUCH easier because you do not have to hold the lens on the body. The manual lens also makes it easier because you can focus wide open, and then flip the aperture shut right before hitting the shutter.

    As for advice when focusing, brace yourself and the camera as good as possible and just practice. You need to adjust your distance to the subject to focus. With a 24mm lens, its only going to be a few inches for working distance. Possibly 2-3"... and the DOF at f/22 will only be 1/8-1/4" deep. Wide open, the DOF will literally be paper thin. Maybe 1/64"
  • StormdancingStormdancing Clickin and Grinnin Registered Users Posts: 917 Major grins
    edited November 30, 2006
    113993551-L.jpg

    113993600-L.jpg

    OK I played with my FD 50mm 1.8 after getting my reversing ring. Not too many bugs when it's snowing outside, so a little sugar cookie became my victim.

    Thanks for sharing the fun
    Dana
    ** Feel free to edit my photos if you see room for improvement.**
    Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if
    no birds sang there except those that sang best.
    ~Henry Van Dyke
  • Bayer-Z28Bayer-Z28 Hobby Photog Registered Users Posts: 392 Major grins
    edited December 1, 2006
    Paper thin DOF @ 2.8! You weren't kidding! rolleyes1.gif THe DOF difference is really notticeable on the cellphone shot and the battery shots. f2.8 and f22, big differance.

    I'll have to look this back up when I get my new camera. I can play around w/ the lense(s). Good stuff man!thumb.gif
    Auto enthusiast. I drive a 2000 Camaro Z28. LOADED w/ mods.

    Camera: Nikon D80, 18-55 f3.5 stocker & 18-200 Nikon VR.... with a small collection of filters..


    My Smugmug.. STILL Under construction.
    http://bayer-Z28.smugmug.com
  • firedancing4lifefiredancing4life drinks your milkshake Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited December 4, 2006
    sirsloop wrote:
    So why bother with this thing? If you use a modern lens, you have to set the aperture on the camera, then take the lens off the camera with the apertiure closed. I dont know how many of you have tried to manual focus through a f/22 aperture. IT AINT HAPPEN'iN. I look through the lens at f/2.8 and get the sweet spot in the center of where i'm shooting. Using my pinkey finger I push the aperture shut while simultaneously pressing the shutter on the camera. Voila! I suddently went from 5-10% keeper rate to I'd say 80-90% keeper rate. Besides... I don't forsee many people sticking the unprotected rear element of a $200-$1500 lens two inches from a possibly damaging object. If you break it, buy another... its 15 freakin bucks.

    Can you explain a little more how one sets up the 50mm 1.8...take it off..and turn it around? I got the adapter ring...and here's what I shot so far. I think I'm missing something....flash yes...but that's in the process. I'm also thinking about the FD mount since they go for so cheap on ebay.

    114677419-L-1.jpg

    114679272-L-1.jpg

    114680164-L-1.jpg
  • MrAndrew47MrAndrew47 Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    edited December 10, 2006
    First post after reading for a long time. Thanks so much for the tutorial! Brilliant! I went ahead and bought the 28mm manual lens from ebay with the reversing ring, and had a blast with my 430ex. I haven't gotten the off camera cable and the bracket, but that's next. This is so cheap to do, i reccomend everyone try it.


    318386605_eb63f6325e.jpg
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrandrew/318386605/


    318437155_29de64733a.jpg
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrandrew/318437155/


    318430162_9ffb8be0d1.jpg
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrandrew/318430162/


    All the shots are with my 430ex on camera, with the flash bounced off a stack of white papers to the side or back (or with the match, off the side of my fridge).

    Thanks,

    Andrew
  • sirsloopsirsloop TMP Registered Users Posts: 866 Major grins
    edited December 11, 2006
    Can you explain a little more how one sets up the 50mm 1.8...take it off..and turn it around? I got the adapter ring...and here's what I shot so far. I think I'm missing something....flash yes...but that's in the process. I'm also thinking about the FD mount since they go for so cheap on ebay.

    If you are using an EF lens, you are probalby shooting at f/1.8 still. In order to get the depth of field wider you really need to be shooting AT LEAST f/8 without flash, or right down to f/22 with flash. Before you remove the lens, are you setting the lens to the aperture value you want to shoot at, holding the DOF preview button while similtaneously removing the lens? If you look at my test shots, you will see what a large difference shooting with the aperture closed does for you!
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