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Curious property of the Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Curious property of the Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5 Reply with quote

Having played about a 49mm reversing ring on a Flek, I decided to have a go with it on the Micro-Nikkor, so I picked up the appropriate step-down ring.

Lo and behold, what happens when the Micro-Nikkor is reversed? It gives almost exactly 1:1 reproduction!

It seems odd that a lens advertised as 1:2 and sold with an extension tube to give 1:1 should provide almost exactly that ratio if reversed.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Paul, the 1:1 reproduction ratio when the 55mm macro is reversed doesn't surprise me. Chances are, any 50mm (or so) lens, when reversed, will reveal a 1:1 ratio. Reversing a wide-angle lens will give you even better than 1:1, btw. I don't recall offhand the reproduction ration I get when I shoot with my 35mm f/2 Nikkor reversed, but it's better than 1:2.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, I tried the Canon 50/1.8EF and got the same - that lens it pretty useless due to lack of an aperture ring, of course.

Strange things happen when mounting a 2x teleconverter into the Nikkor assembly. Stick it on the end beyond the lens and the magnifying properties disappear. You end up with a focal range limited from a couple of feet to a few yards and an effect that is perhaps slightly wide angle. Stick the teleconverter between the camera and the lens and it doesn't seem to do all that much at all.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm guessing that, when a 2x is attached in normal fashion to the 55mm Nikkor, you've created an effective 110mm focal length lens, so that would explain why you're not seeing any magnification. As for when you mounted the 2x between the camera and the lens -- was there any difference in focusing distance between the camera and subject as compared to without it?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you use as base lens. I remember having vignetting at least with Mir-1 when reversed?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not using a base lens, I'm reversing directly on to the camera body.

I'll need to check again on the exact effect of putting the 2x between the lens and camera body and come back on that.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I can make out, the 55/3.5 is not retrofocus - indeed, given its behaviour on a bellows, the nodal points seem to be as plumb centre as possible. That it enlarges almost 1:1 in reversal is due to its long internal sun shade which adds to the extension when reversed.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread link below on the 3.5 versus the 2.8....the discussion is which is better....one fellow talks about the results of the 2.8 doing quite well reversed compared to various lenses....

As far as I'm concerned,each lens has it's own unique sweet spot where it is designed to excel and depending on which version of the 3.5,they are all quite capable lenses....in the end David H. Hartman as usual,has an in depth post about the various versions.


Here is another thread on reversing lenses,including using wide angle lenses....posted elsewhere here.


Chad Miller had this to say about reversing wides for macro work....

Extremely close shots are possible with this technique because of the relationship between the subjective and objective glass elements (telescope terms -- I hope they apply to photography) of the lens.

A "wide angle" lens is very good at taking a wide "funnel" of light on the receiving end and changing its angles of flow so that the rapidly converging vectors of light come out almost parallel on the output end.

Because light flow is symmetric, if we reverse the lens and accept light into the out end, we capture only a small area and blow it up to large dimensions in the wide funnel of the lens-in side.

The upshot of this is that wide angle lenses, when reversed, become very tight, very close macro lenses. In contrast, a really long zoom lens, which bends the light very little, would become a much weaker macro lens. You may want to experiment with your different sizes of lenses to see which is best for your situation.

When I last shot using a reversed 21mm lens -- a very wide lens -- reversed, the fartherest away I could focus was about an inch, for instance.