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Thread: Question about reversing lenses

  1. #1
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Question about reversing lenses

    As a watch enthusiast, I sometime wish for more than 1:1 magnification for those detail shots of movement parts. I used to get by with the Nikon D50 and a micro-Nikkor 60mm but nowadays I'm using a Sigma SD9 which does have a lower sensor resolution - i.e. smaller sensor and bigger pixels than the D50. Anyhow, I read yesterday that a regular (not close-up) camera lens can, with suitable adapters, be attached backwards onto the front my Sigma 50mm macro lens.

    It so happens that I have two lenses left over from the "good" old days (early 80's):

    A Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar
    A PMC 28mm f/2.8 Super-Paragon

    The question is: which one do we think is better for the purpose of obtaining more than 1:1 magnification?

    [Edit: by "better" I mean greater magnification but without excessive vignetting, or insane exposure times, etc. etc.]

    best regards,

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 10th March 2012 at 12:02 AM. Reason: getting old . . .

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Question about reversing lenses

    I have tried this years ago with a 35mm film camera and remember that you can really get close. Using a lens reversed on the camera body and using a lens reversed in front of another lens were two ways to use reversed lenses.

    Here are some links which might provide you the information you can use. Happy shooting.

    http://www.digital-photography-schoo...ro-photography
    http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam.../Reversal.html
    http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=40
    http://stephenelliot.com/2007/05/15/...aphy-tutorial/

  3. #3
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Question about reversing lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    I sometime wish for more than 1:1 magnification for those detail shots of movement parts. I used to get by with the Nikon D50 and a micro-Nikkor 60mm but nowadays I'm using a Sigma SD9 which does have a lower sensor resolution - i.e. smaller sensor and bigger pixels than the D50. Anyhow, I read yesterday that a regular (not close-up) camera lens can, with suitable adapters, be attached backwards onto the front my Sigma 50mm macro lens.

    It so happens that I have two lenses left over from the "good" old days (early 80's):

    A Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar
    A PMC 28mm f/2.8 Super-Paragon

    The question is: which one do we think is better for the purpose of obtaining more than 1:1 magnification?

    [Edit: by "better" I mean greater magnification but without excessive vignetting, or insane exposure times, etc. etc.]

    best regards,

    Ted


    It is in the maths of it.

    By reverse mounting one lens onto another – the magnification is the ratio of the focal lengths.

    If you reverse a 28mm lens on your 50mm lens, you would get about 2:1.

    Two lenses of the same focal length would give 1:1.

    So that takes into consideration the maths of two lenses “Normal” lenses - but your 50mm lens is macro lens, but I think you get into vignette area if you use that MACRO lens focused at macro distances – but I am not sure, because I have never done it.

    I have only ever reversed one (wide) lens onto a (longer) lens – typically a 50mm reversed onto a 135mm lens, giving me a bit better than 2.5:1

    I would suggest you use the 28mm lens, that is if it is too difficult or too expensive to make adapters for both.

    WW

  4. #4
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Question about reversing lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I would suggest you use the 28mm lens, that is if it is too difficult or too expensive to make adapters for both.
    WW
    Thanks Bill. I've found a source of adapter rings so I'll get one for the 28mm.

    As to vignetting, that is of less concern for my watch-part shots which are taken for informative/illustrative purposes rather than as works of art so to speak.

    Anyway, for a buck or two - it's worth a shot (groan).

    best regards,

    Ted

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