If you want to shoot macro photography, sure, you can buy dedicated macro lenses. But, there are two simpler and cheaper ways to go macro and use the lenses you already own. In this video, photographer Andres Moline will show you how to turn any lens into a macro lens on the budget.
Experienced photographers already know about these techniques, but this video can be very useful for newbies. Basically, you can turn any lens into a macro lens by reversing it so that the front element faces the sensor and the back element faces the subject. For this, you’ll need reverse mount rings.
Reverse mount rings
Reverse mount rings are mounted on the front element of your lens, just like you’d mount a filter. They come in different sizes and for different brands: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax etc. They’re pretty affordable and you can get them for $7-$8.When you put the reverse mount ring, you can simply mount the lens as you normally do. By doing this, you’ll get 1:1 magnification with a 50mm lens. If you want a bigger magnification, you need a wider lens: the wider the lens, the greater the magnification. But if you want to get even closer, you can introduce extension tubes.
Once your reverse mount ring is attached to the lens, you can mount it to the extension tube. There’s a wide variety of those on the market, and they are also pretty cheap, around $10. Unless you want the AF, then the price can be 30x higher, but I don’t think it’s worth it if you just wanna play and experiment.
When the lens is mounted, you can then mount the tube onto the camera. This brings the focal point closer to the subject, and you can get larger magnification. Keep in mind though that you’re using around two stops of light with this technique. To compensate for it, you can increase the flash for two stops.
I think that reverse rings and extension tubes are a great way to get you started, especially if you are still not sure if macro photography is “your thing.” Also, they can be a good way to try something new and explore a different genre even if you’re already established as a photographer. So, if you want to experiment with macro shots, I suggest you give these techniques a spin.