Reversal ring macro photography

By James|July 30, 2011Arch Viz|

This has got to be the best value accessory you can buy for your SLR. I hadn’t even heard of a ‘reversal ring’ until last week. It allows you to mount one of your existing lens the wrong way round and thus allowing it to be used for macro photography. I bought mine for £4.50 from eBay, it arrived this morning, so these are just the first few photos I took. They are all un-cropped and taken using the 18-55mm kit lens from my 300D, fitted to my 60D.

Millimeter graduations on a ruler.

Some skin.

The edge of a one pence coin.

This photo was taken with the lens at ’55mm’…

…and this one was at ’18mm’.

Focusing is pretty tricky because the depth of field is so very narrow, tiny movements make a huge difference. At maximum magnification (with the lens at 18mm) It’s difficult to even find the subject and get it in shot.

I’m sure technically the results aren’t as perfect as using a proper macro lens but for £4.50 I’m happy.

I think this video demonstrates how difficult it is to keep focus with a moving subject on a moving leaf. Try watching the video in HD to see all the detail.

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  1. please tell me what the name of the ring is? i have extact 18-55lens as you for my cannon rebel dslr

  2. I got mine from ebay, just search for macro reversal ring. Make sure it is for your make of camera and the filter diameter matches that of the lens you want to use it on. Hope that helps. Thanks.

  3. did you set the lens to autofocus?

  4. The autofocus doesn’t work with the lens reversed, because all the connectors are now pointing away from the camera body.

    I manually set the lens to its minimum focus distance, then physically move the whole camera to get focus: The depth of field is very narrow, so small movements change the focus a large amount.

  5. help please!!! i try this method, but everything seem to be blurred.
    how do you focus and how far the subject from you.


  6. It depends on what lens you are using, I’m using an 18-55mm (remember because it is reversed, when set to 18 it is now closer than 55)

    At ’18mm’ the subject is perhaps only 10mm from the front of the lens. I focus as I said in my reply above, on manual and move the whole camera slightly forwards and backwards.

    Hope this helps.

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