Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Will Rock Your Socks...

Today, I happened onto an interview that MCP Actions posted on Facebook. In it, one of the photogs being interviewed mentioned that you can take a 50mm lens, turn it around backwards, and use it as a macro lens.


My little fingers flew to Google as fast as possible, and lo and behold, it's true. There are several different methods/techniques to this madness, and while on the phone with Sprint tech support for several HOURS during Lizzy's nap, I tried a few.


Method One:
1- Take your 50mm lens, and switch the side to manual focus.
2- Also set the dial to your camera to M.
3- Now, you know how you'd normally attach the 50mm lens to your camera? Yeah, flip it around so that the portion of the lens that's normally facing in to your camera is facing out. I know, it's weird. You'll have to hold the lens in place as you shoot.
4- Turn on the camera, and adjust your settings. You'll probably want to adjust your shutter speed to 1/125 or such depending on the light.
5- Now you'll move your entire body backwards and/or forwards as needed (all while still holding the lens backwards up to your camera body) to make the object that you're trying to capture come into focus.
6- Take a photo, and adjust settings as necessary.

Note: In my experience, this method tended to produce slightly more blurry/ethereal photos and also tended to produce photos that were much lighter, probably due to the ambient light coming in around the sensor. For example:


The other method that I tried seemed easier to produce sharper images with, but had a few pitfalls of it's own, which I'll discuss in a bit.

Method Two:
1- Take a lens other than your 50mm lens (i.e. your kit lens) and attach it to your camera as normal (but do switch over to manual focus if you're not already there).
2- Take your 50mm lens, turn it backwards as in the first method, but this time hold that backwards lens up to your kit lens rather than to the camera body itself.
3- Proceed as above.

Note: This method resulted in sharper images, but usually a vignette as well. Play around with the focal length of your kit lens and the focus ring of your 50mm lens to discover how to minimize the vignette.



Personally, I think I preferred the second method for the sharper image and also because I feel like it might protect my camera's sensor a bit more. Plus, if the vignette really bothers you, it's pretty easy to crop to reduce the effect:



What do you think? Have you seen this before, or did it rock your socks as much as it rocked mine?


  1. I tried this once with little success. Maybe I need more practice.

  2. mind = blown

    thanks for blogging about this!

  3. Those strawberry pictures are GORGEROUS. I would frame those.

  4. socks totally rocked off right now. Can't wait to try this. AMAZING!!!

  5. My socks = rocked.

    That's seriously amazing!! Reason #3948 that I need those lens.

  6. What? That's CRAZY. Definitely never heard that, but I'm going to try it now!

  7. Holy cow. HOLY COW!! I'm trying this immediately.

  8. What's the type of 50mm lense you use? f1.4? f1.8?

  9. HOLY CRAP. I am trying this as soon as I get home!

  10. Huh.

    You are kinda speaking a different language. One I want to learn.

    But, great photos.

  11. This is amazing! I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  12. SO cool! I can't wait to try it.


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