Tips on reverse macro shooting please

SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grinsPosts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
edited February 5, 2008 in Holy Macro
Hey macro shooters!

I just bought a reverse ring adapter for my 50mm. and was wondering if you had any tips for my setup. I've already read through all of Brian's (and others) posts in this forum in attempts to educate myself so my first attempts aren't miserable. But I wanted to know if there were any other tips out there that ppl have picked up over the years..

My setup.
D50 (soon to be D200 that's in the mail:D)
50mm 1.8 (manual aperture) (52mm thread if it matters)
Bunch of pocket wizards, cables & optical slaves
Bunch of strobes
Light stands for the strobes

Then one question:
Is there any way to tell what the ratio is on my setup? I know I'll be getting macro glass sometime. But not for a while since the glass I have my eyes set on isn't cheap (at least to my pockets). So it would be nice to know if I'm really shooting macro or at least what the ratio is.

Thanks for the help and advise.

Cheers,
-Jon

Comments

  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,807Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    Assuming this is reversed directly onto the camera body ?
    The magnification should be between 1:1 and 2:1 I think but the easiest way to tell is to take a pic of the mm scale of a ruler then mag= sensor width mm/mm across pic.

    Do you have any way of setting the aperture on the lens ?

    You will have extremely thin DOF at these magnification levels and normally focusing is achieved by moving the whole camera.

    brian V.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    Assuming this is reversed directly onto the camera body ?
    The magnification should be between 1:1 and 2:1 I think but the easiest way to tell is to take a pic of the mm scale of a ruler then mag= sensor width mm/mm across pic.

    Do you have any way of setting the aperture on the lens ?

    You will have extremely thin DOF at these magnification levels and normally focusing is achieved by moving the whole camera.

    brian V.
    Hey Brian,

    I read your post about how to focus and it just needing practice. So I'm not too worried about that. I just need to get out there and shoot.

    Yes I can manually set the aperture "on the fly" (unintentional pun)
  • PeasapPeasap Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    Reverse macro Lens
    I made my own with an old body cap a uv filter and an old lens plus a dab of crazy glue.

    My tip is this:

    As you lose aperture control, the aperture is usually wide open and yo can't change it, however, mount the lens on your camera the correct way around, choose the aperture you need for your shot. Here's the tricky bit, without turning off the power hold the depth of field preview button AND at the same time release the lens from the body of the camera.

    Remount on your reverse ring and the aperture should be set to what you chose. This works for those lenses that are all electronic without manual aperture settings on the lens.
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Hey macro shooters!

    I just bought a reverse ring adapter for my 50mm. and was wondering if you had any tips for my setup. I've already read through all of Brian's (and others) posts in this forum in attempts to educate myself so my first attempts aren't miserable. But I wanted to know if there were any other tips out there that ppl have picked up over the years..

    My setup.
    D50 (soon to be D200 that's in the mail:D)
    50mm 1.8 (manual aperture) (52mm thread if it matters)
    Bunch of pocket wizards, cables & optical slaves
    Bunch of strobes
    Light stands for the strobes

    Then one question:
    Is there any way to tell what the ratio is on my setup? I know I'll be getting macro glass sometime. But not for a while since the glass I have my eyes set on isn't cheap (at least to my pockets). So it would be nice to know if I'm really shooting macro or at least what the ratio is.

    Thanks for the help and advise.

    Cheers,
    -Jon
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    I don't know how you're (manually) setting the aperture ... turning the ring?
    ... or how far you want to go (spend) with this setup etc ... but with Canon FD (manual) kit there's a couple of adaptors that can be put in the lens mount for aperture control for reverse mount scenarios.

    The simpler of these lets user just turn the ring, but the more complex one has a cable release port ... via which you can stop the lens down ... thus allowing you to focus wide open.

    Have no idea what these are called in the Nikon world ... 'Macro Auto Ring' in Canon ... and bought mine for about £12 couple of yrs ago off EB.

    Good luck.

    pp
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    The 50mm I have has a fully manual setting for aperture. I set it to f22 then mount it on my camera the "normal" way and the aperture is controlled by the body. When I have aperture set on anything besides f22. I get an "err" message and it won't let me shoot.

    So unless I'm misunderstanding how this works. I won't need to set aperture until I'm lining up for the shot. Even then in low light, I can open up the fstop to 1.8 then close it down once I have a good focus.

    Below is a shot of my glass. I just did a google screen grab so you could see what I'm talking about.
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    Sorry - have to pass on this (now) for 2 reasons - never used Nikon gear and I thought you were talking about reverse mounting a manual focus (no electronics) lens - from the 'AF' on the lens in the pic, I was mistaken.

    Looks like you're into the sort of procedure mentioned by peasap - I've only ever reverse mounted 'old steam driven' stuff :)

    pp
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2008
    Sorry - have to pass on this (now) for 2 reasons - never used Nikon gear and I thought you were talking about reverse mounting a manual focus (no electronics) lens - from the 'AF' on the lens in the pic, I was mistaken.

    Looks like you're into the sort of procedure mentioned by peasap - I've only ever reverse mounted 'old steam driven' stuff :)

    pp
    But this is essentially old steam driven stuff! It will be manual focus to get you in the ballpark for focal length. Then manual aperture. There is NOTHING automatic about this process. I'll be set on full manual for the entire thing.

    Thanks for taking time to comment though. If you have any other input for full manual setups. I'm eager to hear ear.gif

    I'll also add that this lens will be reverse mounted directly to the body via 52mm thread to Nikon F mount.
  • SkippySkippy Forensic Wannabe Posts: 12,075Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 28, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Hey macro shooters!

    I just bought a reverse ring adapter for my 50mm. and was wondering if you had any tips for my setup. I've already read through all of Brian's (and others) posts in this forum in attempts to educate myself so my first attempts aren't miserable. But I wanted to know if there were any other tips out there that ppl have picked up over the years..

    My setup.
    D50 (soon to be D200 that's in the mail:D)
    50mm 1.8 (manual aperture) (52mm thread if it matters)
    Bunch of pocket wizards, cables & optical slaves
    Bunch of strobes
    Light stands for the strobes

    Then one question:
    Is there any way to tell what the ratio is on my setup? I know I'll be getting macro glass sometime. But not for a while since the glass I have my eyes set on isn't cheap (at least to my pockets). So it would be nice to know if I'm really shooting macro or at least what the ratio is.

    Thanks for the help and advise.

    Cheers,
    -Jon

    Hi Jon, I attempted this way of doing of Macro,
    but had no success, I found it to be very awkward to handle.

    I see you've had a few replies, I hope you can figure it out.
    Good Luck thumb.gif .... Skippy :D
    .
    .
    Skippy (Australia) - Moderator of "HOLY MACRO" and "OTHER COOL SHOTS"

    ALBUM http://ozzieskip.smugmug.com/

    :skippy Everyone has the right to be stupid, but some people just abuse the privilege :dgrin
  • JetCrocodileJetCrocodile Major grins Posts: 134Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 28, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    So unless I'm misunderstanding how this works. I won't need to set aperture until I'm lining up for the shot. Even then in low light, I can open up the fstop to 1.8 then close it down once I have a good focus.
    Hi!
    Taking into account that working distance in such setting would be some 10cm changing aperture while focusing on some insect would be quite a hard task. Remember you will focusing simply by moving your camera slightly towards or backwards from the subjet, which can be mooving as well... mwink.gif.
    Usually I set some aperture and changing the shutter speed trying to get as many photos as possible before scared subject will run/fly away (or before i have to run away :D). If I am lucky I can change aperture while shooting the same insect but then I moove my camera away from it. Usually Aperture is set between 2 and 5.6.

    Good Luck!
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 28, 2008
    Thanks guys n gals for all your comments and help. thumb.gif

    I'll be sure to post some shots to let you know how it works out.
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    << But this is essentially old steam driven stuff! >>

    Sort of :)

    Procedure / approach is osds, but you’ve got one ‘o them new fangled valve / tube thingies inside your box, rather than a cats whisker :)

    (cos you seem to be able to (manually) adjust aperture without needing any external devices when lens is reverse mtd )

    Anyway, last Sun eve, after a bit of ferreting around I found some suitable bits of kit … in my case, EOS / FD converter, Reverse mount adaptor, F-stop ring (for lens mount), 55-52mm adaptor ring … + 50mm 1.4 FD lens.

    This lot gave me a reverse mounted 50mm with about 25mm of extension (eyeballed, not measured) which produced images of 18mm hfov (took pic of rule) >> 1.25mag on a 20D with 22.5mm sensor.

    Looked for a suitable target (now early hrs of Mon morn) and (re)*found the attached. – managed to get about 10-12 shots before it flew off … this is one of a couple I decided to keep – nothing spectacular, but will give you some idea of what to expect re ‘frame filling’ with such a rig - (pic uncropped.)

    As I couldn’t find the fancier device mentioned in previous post for inserting into the lens mount and the one I did use forces the lens into wide open state … and altering aperture ring doesn’t close it down – I had to trick the lot and eyeball the aperture (that osds again :) ) … prob somewhere between f8 … 11 judging by hole dia.

    So – all pics taken in stopped down state, ‘cos that was the only practical way at my disposal (assuming not wanting to shoot wide open) – so, very dim conditions, subject about 6in off floor, artificial light – not much fun, but fortunately I have a home-made 4 LED ring light (for subject illumination only) that normally clips onto the end of the MPE65 – so balanced this on the end of the setup – and just about gave just enough light to see by.
    Since turning the focussing ring is a waste of time, focus was achieved in the usual ‘macro manner’ ie moving in/ out …

    (Just trying to blame the kit for the rubbish pic – when we all know it’s the bod with the camera … :) )

    *Having taken about 140+ shots earlier in the evening with 100mm macro / MPE … I know which setup I’ll usually be using.

    Killing several birds with one crossbow bolt as this is a de-lurk pic and wanted to try the attach facility – assuming you don’t object – if so, I’ll remove same.

    Delay caused by ‘life’ getting in the way.

    pp
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    Thanks for the info pp,

    I'll admit I had to read it two times to digest it. I'm sure that's why you call yourself pp though. :D

    The adapter ring is scheduled for delivery today.

    I'm sure I'll have questions after my first salvo. I'll make sure to post pics no matter how crappy they are mwink.gif
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    << The adapter ring is scheduled for delivery today >>

    Sounds good.

    << had to read it two times to digest it >>
    Missus has the same problem - so you're not alone ... comes from writing the sorta stuff you'll find on my homepage - trying to keep stuff concise and minimise d/l times etc

    Best of luck, btw.

    pp
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    So the adapter showed up today. I thought it would be more substantial than what it is. But what do you expect for machined aluminum anyway ne_nau.gif

    So I do have a few questions. I was in my living room shooting away w/ an umbrella behind me to camera right.

    Setting were 1/250 f8. Ambient was pretty low since I just had the living room lights on and it's night.

    So when your rocking the camera to find the focal plane you want. It seems like there's a relatively large amount of play that the subject looks sharp. What's your methods for getting the target sharp? I tried moving back and forth until it look OOF then worked my way back the the middle of the two. I also tried to shoot when the subject just came into focus. Not sure which worked better..
    I know practice will make all the difference. Just wondering what you macro shooters do?ear.gif

    There was also a decent circular lens flare in allot of my shots. Is that due to the light orientation? I'm pretty comfortable w/ lighting and I made sure to keep the subjects angles out of the family of angles. It happened more times than not though.

    Any ideas?

    Example of the lens flare:
    249847018-M.jpg

    A few of my favorites:

    249845703-M.jpg

    249846055-M.jpg

    249847482-M.jpg

    Any other ideas or pointer besides practice practice?
    I can tell this is very addictive though. Macro glass has just been officially bumped on the list of absolute must have or I will die itemsmwink.gif

    Cheers,
    -Jon
  • xrisxris Assignment Grinner Posts: 546Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 1, 2008
    Expensive. But check this out: The EOS reverse mounting ring WITH complete control.
    http://www.novoflex.com/english/html/macro_accessories.htm

    thumb.gif
    X www.thepicturetaker.ca
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,807Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 2, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    So the adapter showed up today. I thought it would be more substantial than what it is. But what do you expect for machined aluminum anyway ne_nau.gif

    So I do have a few questions. I was in my living room shooting away w/ an umbrella behind me to camera right.

    Setting were 1/250 f8. Ambient was pretty low since I just had the living room lights on and it's night.

    So when your rocking the camera to find the focal plane you want. It seems like there's a relatively large amount of play that the subject looks sharp. What's your methods for getting the target sharp? I tried moving back and forth until it look OOF then worked my way back the the middle of the two. I also tried to shoot when the subject just came into focus. Not sure which worked better..
    I know practice will make all the difference. Just wondering what you macro shooters do?ear.gif

    There was also a decent circular lens flare in allot of my shots. Is that due to the light orientation? I'm pretty comfortable w/ lighting and I made sure to keep the subjects angles out of the family of angles. It happened more times than not though.

    Any ideas?




    Any other ideas or pointer besides practice practice?
    I can tell this is very addictive though. Macro glass has just been officially bumped on the list of absolute must have or I will die itemsmwink.gif

    Cheers,
    -Jon
    WRT to the lens flare might be worth making a little dark card ring to fit over the end of the lens to see if that reduces it- just thinking you might be getting the same problem as with wide angle lenses with a protruding front element.
    As far as focusing is concerned it depends a bit on the subject - I normally move back and forth until I'm certain the part of the subject I want in sharpest focus is in sharp focus. If I'm not certain then I will sometimes start shooting at the nearest point on the subject and take a a series of shots moving the camera in slightly each time (this of course leads onto focus stacking :) ). If the lens is reasonably stopped down then you can go just beyond the nearest focus point and take a shot

    You may find this focus exercise useful if you have not already seen it

    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=59406

    and http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=58028

    Brian V.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 2, 2008
    Thanks Brian.
    I read these but didn't remember the value they had until I actually shot w/ this setup.
    I'm going to post in your thread tomorrow!

    @xris:
    Thanks for the link. But I shoot Nikon :D
    And If I'm gonna drop any real dough on something. It's going to bea real macro glass.
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 2, 2008
    SYR - off to a good start, eh :)

    << And If I'm gonna drop any real dough on something. It's going to bea real macro glass >>

    Good idea, imo - certainly for non-static stuff.

    xris - yep, an interesting (but expensive) bit of kit - but no use/advantage in above setup as I was using an FD lens.

    Have seen these before and wnder how many they sell, as that price is higher than Sigma 105 / Tamron 90 macro lenses (in UK)... so imagine they're mainly of interest to ppl who want to use it the 'right way round' on an old set of bellows (with suitable adaptors) + EF lens?

    Limited market with the MPE65 now on the scene, I'd have thought?

    pp
  • xrisxris Assignment Grinner Posts: 546Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2008
    xris - yep, an interesting (but expensive) bit of kit - ... wnder how many they sell, as that price is higher than Sigma 105 / Tamron 90 macro lenses (in UK)... so imagine they're mainly of interest to ppl who want to use it the 'right way round' on an old set of bellows (with suitable adaptors) + EF lens?...pp
    I suppose the main advantage is that by reversing a standard curved-field lens you end up with a flat field lens, which is what one requires for macro if you want the entire frame in focus. (It's not unknown to see folks use enlarger lenses on their bellows for this reason.)

    I very seldom see an SLR macro lens that claims to be 'flat field' though I've often wondered. I did once note that the newer Canon EF-S macro claimed it was 'true flat field,' but I've been unable to confirm that. Didn't see it mentioned in the spec's last time I looked.
    thumb.gif
    X www.thepicturetaker.ca
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,451Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 5, 2008
    << I suppose the main advantage is that by reversing a standard curved-field lens you end up with a flat field lens, which is what one requires for macro if you want the entire frame in focus.>>

    I've not looked, but there's no doubt sites / info that compare results produced by typical 100mm macro lenses and reversed 50 setups.

    How these translate to visible differences in print would, of course also be interesting.

    The pros / cons of using something like the Novoflex adaptor however - for most ppl, staying around the 1:1 range are another matter, though.

    IQ: Rev 50 poss better, but jury's still out.
    Cost: 100mm macro v Novo + 50 prime - 3rd party 100 cheaper, main brands similar, poss cheaper, depending on speed of 50.
    Use(r) options:Rev setup -essentially fixed fov, 100mm 1:1 > infinity
    Convenience: Macro fewer 'danglies' etc
    Speed: Rev 50 faster


    <<(It's not unknown to see folks use enlarger lenses on their bellows for this reason.) >>

    Adding a bellows to the mix with whatever lens setup (rev std or enlarger, dedicated bellows-only macro or microscope objective etc) can produce truly stunning results* ... but isn't the sort of setup that most ppl would want to use for non-static situations.

    The cost would also be 'knocking on the door' of an mpe65 (for Canon shooters), if using a rev 50 with the Novo rig - but be nothing like as convenient to use - having used both (albeit bellows option in days of film), I know which I'd prefer :)

    pp


    * Imo worth checking out what Charlie produces with this (or similar) rigs
    http://www.photomacrography2.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2825
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