Friday, April 24, 2009

Holy Macro!

Yes, I have quite a few obsessions in my life… and macro photography is one of them! And the funny part is, I don’t even own a real macro lens!

So I have found a few work-arounds that work just fine!!

My macro crew:


lenses ~ Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 (not pictured – too cool to show up for the crew pic)
macro gear ~
Raynox conversion lens, Macro reverse ring 52mm-67mm
other ~ Phottix remote for Canon 40D, mini tripod, yummy strawberries
also not shown ~ home depot ghetto lighting, light tent, & of course my assistant Mic

Ok, now that the gear is out of way, on to the fun part! The comparisons!
(Larger images + exif data from this post can be found on my flickr page)

Shot with Canon 18-55mm & Raynox Conversion lens:


As you can see, very yummy close… but we can get better!


Unfortunately as I was getting into my conversion lens shots, my camera gave me the evil error 99… and now must visit the Canon ER… So, my good friend Jason has kindly allowed me to use one of my favorite images of his to use as a perfect example, in fact it was this very image that inspired me to buy the conversion lens! In fact, you must check out his website too... he is an amazing inspiring photographer, one of my personal favorites :)

Shot with Canon 70-200mm, reverse ring, Canon 50mm reversed:


As you can see in this method… very close, very cool… a little vignette but it just makes it look artsy :) It does take some practice with this method though to get the focus just right, a lot of moving closer, farther from the object… but once you get it, WOW!


Obviously, not strawberries, but a daisy! I had to use some of my older shots due to camera errors, but these are great examples of the kind of shots you can get with this set-up. Also, depending on what kind of DOF you want, you need to play with the aperture. Now you ask “when you reverse a lens? how the heck do you change the aperture on the reversed lens?!?” Well, there’s a neat little trick! Put the 50mm (or whatever prime lens your using reversed) and put your aperture as high as it will go, or whatever you want actually (I used f/11 on these). Now see the little button next to the lens release on the front of your camera? That button actually allows you to see a preview of what your image will look like at the aperture you have set! It’s the DOF preview button… learned something new! So, hold down that button down while removing the lens, and voila! Aperture saved! Just take a look inside the lens, you can see it ;)

I also wanted to give credit to the site that got me started with this method, DPS… gotta love em’! If you love digital photography, they are a must visit!

Shot with Canon 17-85mm, reverse ring, 50mm:

reverse2 reverse reverse3

Just as using the 70-200mm you can get scary close, however using a shorter lens allows for much more vignette. Hard to pass these off as an artsy effect… Unless you do some major cropping. I would definitely recommend using a telephoto for the reverse ring method… But this is still fun!

Well, that’s about it for my macro fun for today! Unfortunately I couldn’t ramble on longer due to camera issues, but maybe someday soon I’ll have some more comparisons to share! Also, I’d love to hear from anyone if they have any macro tips/techniques or photos to share!!


  1. Wow! I love the shots with the reverse ring! Very nice!

  2. Nicely written up - glad you could use that image and thanks for the shout out!

  3. hey, this is fantastic!! and i'm all about the ghetto home depot lighting - looks awesome :-D

  4. I'm not sure how to actually attach the lens... how do you do it?

  5. When you use the reverse ring method... attach the telephoto like normal, then attach the reverse ring, then flip over your prime lens and screw onto the ring. If you check out the DPS link and scroll down a bit, they have a photo of the set-up put together... might help :)

  6. Awesome! Thanks for sharing these. I'm new to the Canon family and find this very useful.