Well it was quite a time since I posted the How to make a powerful and cheap macro , a post showing how my friend Pepe created a simple and cheap macro.
I was thinking about the possibility to change this process. Actually reversing the lens has two inconvenients:
1. We cannot control the aperture (f-stop) using the camera controls and
2. we cannot control the focus mechanism.
The way I found to make it (this is not my discovering, I’m sure someone else has already noticed this) is a little more intrusive with the lens. You actually have to dedicate a lens for this only purpose, so please don’t do it with expensive ones. I bought this one as a junk lens for 1000 yen, that is around 6 euros. The interesting part is that you can control the aperture directly with camera controls, which is a really convenient thing, believe me!
Buy a normal and inexpensive wide angle lens. For example using this Nikkor 18-55mm. The wider the lens is, the closer you can shot.
Take out the plastic ring. It’s just sticked over the lens
There are four screws. These screws are used to fix the focus lens in the front. This first lens is used mainly for focus purposes. Because we are not able to focus this piece of crystal is useless. What we need is the other one, under this first lens. So let’s take it out and leave it in a secure place to use it in a future project :)
This is the lens I was talking before. Just remove it and leave your final creation with a big whole inside. The funny thing is that people not always realize that you just removed the front part. I remember that one guy told me “Hey you’ve lost the front part of your lens!!” ^^;
Don’t worry about the auto focus. Anyway you are going to use it manually. The way to focus with this lens is moving the camera near or far from the object. This kind of macros has a really tiny deep of field so the only way to avoid this, in case you want to make the image as much sharp as you can, is to use a small aperture with an f-stop of 20 or more.
After shotting some 10yen coin I noticed a strange reflection in the picture. After spending some time figuring out where the hell that reflection came from (you can see it in the left side of the picture), finally I realized that it was due a plastic membrane around the second lens inside the lens-body. It’s a membrane maybe used to avoid reflections that could come back from the plastic components against the focus lens (the one we took out before). In this case we don’t need that membrane so just after taking it away the reflection was gone (see the right one).
The membrane I was talking before, is located around the second lens as indicated by the red color in the picture.
This is an example of what you can achieve with this macro. It’s huge and you need a good light source to work with it at f-stops of 20 or above.