How to mount an inverted macro lens for macro photography

If you have a digital reflex camera and you like the macro photographyIf the lenses on the market today are not suitable for your pockets, I bring you a solution to get started in this world for little or no money: macrophotography with a inverted targetits corresponding adapter for the camera and a protector forward to the target.

Mounted target

You can see an example of a photograph taken with this homemade macro lens (without flash):


These are the materials we need:

- Our digital reflex camera

- A 50mm focal length lens or similar (see annotation at the end of the article). In this case we used the one included in the camera kit, a Canon 18-55mm IS I.

- The rear lens cap.

- The lid of the camera body.

- Two photographic filters (or a filter and a filter ring): one must necessarily be UV, which will protect the lens from the outside and does not modific the light), and the other one does not matter, because we will use only the focus ring.

- Some kind of very strong glue, such as cyanoacrylate glue or similar high-strength glue.

- Tools for cutting and filing the plastic of the body and lens caps (a Dremel-type multi-function power tool with cutting attachments, for polishing, etc.) is recommended due to the high hardness of the plastics, and some other common tools, such as a cutter.


Step 1: Prepare the filters.

We remembered that we needed to two filtersOne UV and the other one, it doesn't matter what type it is. The UV one we keep without doing anything to it, and the other one we have to remove the glass. It is simple, but it depends on the construction of each brand of filter. With the help of something sharp (a cutter, for example) we have to remove a small metal strip that prevents the glass from separating from the threaded ring, and then carefully remove the glass. We can keep it in case the other one gets scratched or broken, so we can replace it.

Filter with glass and without


Step 2: Drill holes in the lids.

The cover of the camera body will be used as a adapter so we will 'shoot through it', so it has to be drilled or cut. With the help of the multifunctional power tool or its manual substitutes, we have to cut or drill through the circle that is already marked on the lid. Then we polish the area and remove the remains. It should look like this:

Body cover cut offBody cover cut off 2


The rear lens cap has to be cut about 2-3mm from the top, approximately along the red line in the picture:

Cutting the lens cap

This cover will be used, together with the UV filter for protect the contacts and the lens glass. To make the filter fit in the cap, we have to reduce a little the diameter of the cap, to do this we file 1mm wide around the edge of the cap, until the threaded part of the filter fits, on the outside, in the cap. Like this:

Detail of the area to be filed


Step 3: Gluing the filters to the caps

It's time to put it all together with cyanoacrylate glue or some kind of very strong glue or putty. resistant and strong. It is important to fixed in the sense of the filters, so as not to glue them upside down, or it will not work. The filter ring (without glass) must be glued to the camera body cover on the outside of the ring, in such a way that the filter thread is in the air, without gluing it. This way we will be able to screw it on the lens.

Lids with glued filters

The UV filter, with glass, and the lens cap that we have cut and filed the edge, we have to join them in the following way: The filter goes in the normal direction in which we would put it, the threaded part has to fit in the cap. When we have checked that it fits, we glue it to make sure that it does not come off.


Step 4 (and last): Mount it to the lens and camera.

We take the lens we are going to use and remove the front and rear caps. On the in front we have to thread the piece of the filter without glass and the body cover (we have glued it before) and we mount the lens in the camera. Now we only need to protect the contacts and the glass on the outside from dust and scratches. Just go to we thread or we fit (as if we were putting a normal cap) the other piece that we have mounted (the lens cap with the UV filter glued) to the lens, and that's it. Let's start taking macro photos.

This is the resulting objective:
Objective front view

Objective rear view

Note about the recommended lenses to use the inverted lens technique (you can also follow these simple steps if you are a bit lost in photography):

I recommend using a lens whose focal distance is around 50mm. If we use a focal length of 18mm (inverted), for example, when inverted we will get a very high magnification, and we will need a lot of practice to focus and very good light or an external flash, so it is not recommended for beginners. With longer focal lengths, such as 55mm (inverted) we will obtain a less pronounced magnification, and more light will enter, therefore it will be easier focus and you will get better results because you will be working with lower ISO values.

To win depth of field we have to closing the diaphragm (we will subtract light, but we will get more focused area), but the lenses are automatic so we can't do it manually. To do this, we have to apply this trick: We mount the lens normally on the camera, set it to manual (M) and set f/8, f/11 or whatever we want. Press the depth of field preview (look in the manual if you don't know where it is), and without letting go Remove the lens. We check that the diaphragm is more closed, looking through it, and we put the adapter back on, and start taking pictures.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at the forum.

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