Experimenting with reverse-lens macro



Today I received the second-hand Tokina manual focus 28mm F2.8 prime lens.

This photo was taken with the prime lens reversed, and mounted on a stack of Kenko extension tubes. The image has not been cropped, and only corrected for exposure. I was thrilled about the image quality from a £30 lens!

At first I was a little worried that the November wind had blown away the last of my subjects, but I managed to find this little guy in the back yard. Don’t worry, he’s alive and well, and now back in the wild!



8 thoughts on “Experimenting with reverse-lens macro

  1. Gotta love giant lady beetles! Are you able to adjust the Tokina’s aperture? I can’t with my Canon EF 24mm prime — it doesn’t have a manual aperture ring, but wide angle lenses magnify quite a bit, in a reverse mounted configuration.


    1. I can indeed, I deliberately bought an old manual focus lens with an aperture ring, because when I tried it with my kit lens, I had to hold the aperture lever. Could probably benefit from an external flash and a diffuser for outdoor shooting. The magnification is quite amazing, and the depth of field is so shallow, I had trouble finding the beetle a lot of the times!


  2. That’s cool that your lens has a manual aperture ring. I try to keep my aperture between f/ 25-32. Not always possible (when shooting creatures), unless I can improvise an eviromental monopod, in which case, many things are possible.

    Did you notice how shiny lady beetles are when you zoom in? Strangely, spiders are pretty shiny as well — their hairs have a tendency to reflect light!


    1. Ah my aperture ring only goes to F/16. Since I don’t have a strobe, anything from F/5.6 onwards gets pretty dark even with the pop up flash.

      Indeed, they are well shiny! Macro photography is helping to reshape my world view!


  3. What ISO do you shoot at? I set mine at 1600 — need all the depth I can get. I wish my camera went up to 3600 ISO.

    The macro scale is surly a different world, especially at high magnification.


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