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Thread: reverse macro adaptor help

  1. #1

    reverse macro adaptor help

    I have just recieved a reverse macro adaptor for my a200.
    A friend said that I connect it to the body of the camera and then turn my kit lens around and plug it in.
    Well it all fits but doesnt do anything. I cant see anything through the view finder (yes the lens cap is off) and when I press the shutter it tells me it is locked as there is no lens attached.

    Can someone tell me what Im doing please, because I have no idea
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  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'm no expert with Sony gear, but I'm assuming that they will work roughly similarly as Nikon gear does.

    With the lens reversed, the diaphragm(usually called aperture) is closed all the way down, that is to f/22 or something really small like that.
    Thsi makes for an immensely dark image as it is(but when mounted the correct way on the camera, the camera itself holds the aperture fully open).
    So, you have to figure out where the aperture prong is and use your finger to flip it open, so that you can see through the viewfinder.
    The aperture prong will be spring loaded and flicking it from one extreme stop and allowing it to settle back to it's natural resting spot, you will see the aperture blades inside the lens open and close.

    Also remember, the lens now works in reverse, so the image in the viewfinder is going to be in most respects just a blur, and you have to get REALLY close to your subject to see a focused image.

    because there is no electrical/electronic connection from the camera to the lens, you also have to either guess exposure with a few test shots or know how exposure works. set the camera to Manual mode(full manual, not semi manual modes such as aperture or shutter priority.

    I'm assuming you're using a normal modern lens with no aperture ring.
    Usually the best lenses for this type of photography are the old fully manual lenses with aperture rings, where you control the aperture manually via the lens(and not the body).
    With kit lenses that generally don't have aperture rings, you can still do what you want too, but it's very hard as you can't set the aperture without either holding it open by hand or using something to keep it in the open position)sticky tape or whatever else.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi Danielle. If you put the lens straight back onto the camera with the reverse adapter then you will never get anything in focus. They are designed to have a st of extension tubes or a set of bellows between the lens and the camera. After that, your subject should be about as far in "front" of the back of the lens as the sensor is behind it normally. AND, no matter what, your subjects will always have to be pretty close to the back of the reversed lens. It is a system that can give pretty large magnifications but with fairly exacting conditions for focus.

    As to the Q of it being "locked". I can only suspect that you need to put your camera into manual mode for a start. If the problem persists, then I would be wondering about the compatibility of that reverse adapter for your camera.
    Am.
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    OMG
    That sounds really difficult! Im new to all of this and only starting to get the hang of everything. hmmm, Im thinking I will sell or throw out the adaptor I just bought (it only cost $9 on ebay) My friend explained it like you just turn the lens around and hey presto it works....

    thanks for the replies, i might try it in manual and see what happens.
    uugghh, back to the drawing board.....

  5. #5
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    NO, don't give up, Danielle. It's not that hard. You're right that it might sound difficult but hang on.... There's got to be something here about reversing adapters.... I'll have a squiz for a tutorial.
    Am.

  6. #6
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    OK, even if you just do a search on "reversing rings" you get a lot of threads. Here's just one
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...eversing+rings

  7. #7
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Hi Danielle. If you put the lens straight back onto the camera with the reverse adapter then you will never get anything in focus. They are designed to have a st of extension tubes or a set of bellows between the lens and the camera. ...
    Not exactly Am.

    You can get a sharp image even with just a simple adapter + lens mounted, but the subject may have to be something like only a cm or so from the rear lens element(which is now the front element!).

    The OP's problem is the automatic aperture which is closed down fully, and needs to be opened up(hence why so dark, and her comment "the lens cap is off")

    Danielle!
    Another 'easier' experiment is to mount the lens via the adapter and shine a very bright.. really really bright light source at the subject.

    eg. set up the an object on a table, pen, pin, piggybank, pork pie!!.. whatever you have at hand. And for get the aperture thingy for now. Get a very bright light and keep it close by. Something like a 20w halogen desk lamp may be enough(for now).. whatever the light source, it has to be extremely bright, especially if you want to capture an image as well.
    Camera is best off on a tripod, but hand held is Ok for now too. try to get as close as you dare with the reversed lens setup now, and move the subject around, mainly in a fore aft movement to try to get some aspect of the subject in the viewfinder.
    What you're doing is uber magnifying the subject using the lens in the reversed position, so even a 1/2mm movement will appear to be more like a mile or so, to the reversed lens camera setup. the subject will come in an out of focus with minimal movement and DOF is going to be extremely thin(hence why in the end, having the lens stopped down to min aperture may not be such a bad thing after all.

    Usually, what your trying to do is done with a lens like an old manual 50mm f/1.8, and for a few good reasons. Primarily they have aperture rings that allow you to open close the aperture easily(no having to guess at an aperture value, except for minimum). Secondly and importantly too, they have big bright apertures and bigger apertures mean more light. More light through the lens, when set to a wide open value. This way you can see more than just a black image.. and what you're seeing is just that a darkened version of whatever you point the lens at. You usually would need to still stop down a little bit, and that's where having the manually operated aperture is vital.

    This is an image I captured handheld with my old D70s many moons ago:

    This was using an old 50mm F1/8 (E series.. ie. super cheap lens!), just hand held against the camera(I don't have a reversal adapter) and the handheld camera too.
    What these dots are, are the actual pixels of an old CRT screen, only a few millimeters away from the lens.

    Your biggest issue is going to be 'working distance' you just need to get right up against it!.

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    thanks for the tips guys... Im not sure about the reversing thingy now - I dont wanna ruin my lens. Maybe i'll wait until i understand more things.
    And getting that close to objects?? Oh god, i dont think i can get that close to bugs LOL

  9. #9
    Howdy - just joined the site but. . .
    I have been reversing for quite a while now - too cheap to buy a dedicated macro!
    Try just a basic 50mm lens for starters & B4 you remove it from the camera choose your aperture - start low @ ~ f4 (will give very shallow DoF, very soft , ethereal look) and depress the picture preview to allow the diaphragm to change to the desired apture. now keeping the Preview depressed unlock & remove the lens (yes - you feel like you need more fingers/hands!). your aperture is then set.
    Attache your adapter to the front of your lens and then turn it to the camera body and connect as usual.
    yes, you will be very close to your subject - practice on newsprint and move yourself to get the focal point set - you will need to adjust the ISO & exposure to get it all right.
    its a matter of lots of practice - I brace my elbows on something and most times hold my breath as well!! lol. . .
    good luck - don' give up its great fun!!

  10. #10
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annems1 View Post
    ...... and depress the picture preview to allow the diaphragm to change to the desired apture. now keeping the Preview depressed unlock & remove the lens (yes - you feel like you need more fingers/hands!). your aperture is then set.
    Attache your adapter to the front of your lens and then turn it to the camera body and connect as usual......
    I'm not sure what camera system you're describing here, but this method won't work on a Nikon system at the least. Not sure about how other camera systems work their apertures, but usually if you want to do lens reversal macro/closeups it's best to use a full old style manual lens with aperture control ring.

    In general, a lens is usually set to the smallest aperture size(ie. fully closed down) when not connected to the camera(properly) and it's only when connected to the camera that it is then held wide open by the camera itself.
    It's only for the moment of exposure that the aperture is then stopped down(by the camera) to whatever value is set for the aperture.

    I find it strange that if you use the DOF preview button(which is what I believe you've described) and remove the lens that the lens will maintain that aperture value.
    This would imply that the lens has some way of maintaining a particular aperture value under it's own power or something like that.

    For a lens to allow the user the ability to set an aperture value, the lens usually has to be of the older design that uses a diaphragm/aperture control ring.

    I'm curious as to what camera make you're using.

  11. #11
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    As has been said above, you screw the adaptor into the filter thread on your lens and then reverse mount it to your camera.

    You will need a lens with an 'A' aperture setting.

    You will have no focal length at all, maybe 1 or 2 cm, and you will need lots of light.

    It takes a fair bit of mucking about but the results can be quite rewarding.

    This is a shot, taken with a manual 50mm reverse mounted, and some el cheapo fleabay macro tubes.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Kev

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  12. #12
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post
    .....

    You will have no focal length at all, maybe 1 or 2 cm, and you will need lots of light.

    .....
    Almost true Kevin.
    If you reverse say a 24mm lens, the working distance is not quite as small .. but magnification is still quite high.
    Think of it as inversely proportional(or something like that). The shorter the focal length of the lens, the greater the working distance.
    I think once you get to a certain focal length(and beyond) the point of focus is actually inside the lens and you won't achieve focus without using a relay lens(where a lens is mounted to the camera the correct way and the reversed lens is mounted to the front of this relay lens).

    ps. nice example you posted too!

  13. #13
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    @ arthurking
    ps. nice example you posted too!
    Ta mate.

    The EXIF only shows 1/25 @ ISO100. I think I used something like f16 or maybe even f22, and bright sunlight.

    It really is all about experimentation.

    Kevin

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