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reversing a lens for macro
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: reversing a lens for macro Reply with quote

i,ve seen the vodeo's of reversing a lens for macro by cutting the body cap and attaching a filter to it but is it necessary to remove the glass from the filter? would leaving the glass on effect the results?


PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience glass added to lens rear (front of reversed lens) has more effect on IQ.

Reverse adapters are inexpensive.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would remove it. Whenever it's possible to remove an intervening piece of glass from an optic, to me it's a good thing. I've had occasions to observe filters remarkably degrade images. Yes, on these instances, the filters were off-brand, but as a general rule, I avoid them whenever possible.

But why bother with this? Unless yours is a particularly obscure application, you should be able to find a reversing ring for your lens and camera combination. You might have to use a step-up or step-down ring to get the lens to mount to the reversing ring, but this sort of arrangement is much preferable to just about any other way of reversing an optic.

I have a 35mm lens that I've used reversed and, on a few occasions, didn't even bother with any sort of mount for the lens. I just held it in front of the camera. Worked fine, as long as the shutter speed was high enough.

Try doing a search on eBay for a reversing ring. Say, for example, your camera is a Nikon and you have a lens with a 52mm front filter thread. Just search for a 52mm reversing ring for Nikon.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't suppose you ever would but for any one else here a word of warning:

Please buy the correct reversing ring. Recently on another forum a user bought a NEX-52mm reversing ring and wondered why his Nikon lens wouldn't focus.[edit: it wasn't a 50mm] If you are getting a reversing ring buy it for the lens fitting. eg (like this guy) you are using a Nikkor lens on a NEX camera via an adaptor then get a 52mm/nikon adaptor.

[Edit: or just ignore this advice see post below. All lenses behave differently when reversed I have discovered since writing this. The only advice I will give is that extension tubes or a focusing helical will help.]


Last edited by philslizzy on Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:
I don't suppose you ever would but for any one else here a word of warning:

Please buy the correct reversing ring. Recently on another forum a user bought a NEX-52mm reversing ring and wondered why his Nikon lens wouldn't focus. If you are getting a reversing ring buy it for the lens fitting. eg (like this guy) you are using a Nikkor lens on a NEX camera via an adaptor then get a 52mm/nikon adaptor


What? Both adapters should work fine albeit at different magnifications due to extension difference imho. Maybe I'm wrong?


PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just take the lens you want to reverse, and hold it up to the camera. Aim at a subject and move the lens in and out. This will help you decide how much extension you'll need, if any. My experience, when holding a reversed lens up to an SLR was I had to set it practically against the lens mount. For a NEX, this may be different. I'm not so sure you'll be able to depend on just having greater (or less) magnification. I'm upstairs as I type this and my camera gear is all downstairs, else I'd give it a try. It should be easy enough to determine, though, from a few minutes of experimentation.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: reversing a lens for macro Reply with quote

thomasbest wrote:
i,ve seen the vodeo's of reversing a lens for macro by cutting the body cap and attaching a filter to it but is it necessary to remove the glass from the filter? would leaving the glass on effect the results?


I also like to simulate some setup prior to making a financial investment for solid adapters etc.

Your next step should be to reverse that prime on a zoom lens 50-200 by stacking it with a special stepping ring for $10-20 and should yield 1-4:1 with a little more working range.

The next fun thing would be a Raynox dcr-250 closeup filter that you can use on any lens for macro at about $55.

For about 30-100$ you can find a Nikon bellows PB-4/5 maybe with a BR-2 reverse ring attached. This will allow you to attach 52mm filtered threaded lenses in reverse. If you have already adapted nikon F mount to your camera then that adapter will work with this.

Have Fun!


PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:
I don't suppose you ever would but for any one else here a word of warning:

Please buy the correct reversing ring. Recently on another forum a user bought a NEX-52mm reversing ring and wondered why his Nikon lens wouldn't focus.[edit: it wasn't a 50mm] If you are getting a reversing ring buy it for the lens fitting. eg (like this guy) you are using a Nikkor lens on a NEX camera via an adaptor then get a 52mm/nikon adaptor.

[Edit: or just ignore this advice see post below. All lenses behave differently when reversed I have discovered since writing this. The only advice I will give is that extension tubes or a focusing helical will help.]


The magnification from a reversed lens can be difficult to predict, but AFAIK there are none of moderately normal focal lengths (at least 20-135mm) that won't focus if reversed directly on any camera body. adding extension will always give more magnification to the lens.

With block focusing lenses the focus control, on the lens will have NO effect on the focus instead the focus control will just move the mount further from the camera & leave the optic unchanged. Internal focusing lenses differ here...

There are some reversing set ups that have a portion that mounts on the lens mount joined to the body mount via a wire to enable aperture control on EF lenses for example. If your using old lenses with an aperture ring there's no real need for this.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would definitely remove it. Whenever it's possible to remove a broken oe cracked piece of glass from an optic, to me it's a good thing.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you not cause more damage than good if something goes wrong while removing it though?