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Reverse Mounting Your Prime Lenses for Affordable Macro Photography

Since purchasing my 50mm prime lens a few years back, I’ve felt like a salesman for it ever since–always telling people how sharp, compact and versatile the little bugger is. Well I have one more reason to recommend it. If you mount this lens in reverse on your camera, i.e. flip it around backwards, you get an affordable and fun way to experiment with macro photography. At a little over $9, I found an off-brand 52mm reverse adapter perfect for my 50mm 1.8 and 1.4 lenses. I took it out for a spin at the National Botanical Gardens. Here are my thoughts and experiences with this fun lens accessory.

Right off the bat, let me say that if you want to get serious about macro (close-up) photography this isn’t the best solution. There are good reasons that lenses are engineered specifically with that type of photography in mind. The downside is of coarse, those specialized lenses come with a price. At only $9 I highly recommend this as a starting point or way of experimenting with macro photography. A surprising secondary benefit I didn’t expect when first using this adapter were the insights it gives you into the relationships of depth of field and aperture. So lets begin.

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Chas Elliott
Chas Elliott

is a freelance photographer in the Northern Virginia and DC area. See more of his work at www.chaselliott.com.

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