Picture of The MacroGyver - or home brew macro filter
Always wanted to take super close up photo's of bugs and small stuff? This is an quick, easy and cheap way to get some nice results for very little effort and money, and still keep all the camera settings like aperature.

You will need:

one slr lens to dismantle, mine was one that had a broken focusing mechanism, but you can get the same part needed from nearly any lens, get cheap one from a second hand sale/flea market for peanuts

blu-tac, to fix the macrogyver onto the front of your normal lens.

set of mini screwdrivers to dismantle the lens.

Step 1: Step 1

Picture of step 1
With your bits assembled, the first step is to dismantle the surplus lens. most of the time the screws are hidden under the rubber focusing ring, use a screwdriver to slip it off. there may or may not be other screws on the mount part of the lens depending on what lens you have.
garakawa5 years ago
I made this from the back element of a broken Nikkor 18-105. First picture is the first attempt, using lots of blu-tac on a cheap uv filter :P Second is the final one, I fixed the back element on the filter using a piece of styrofoam, then hot-glued black EVA around it. The pictures look crisp, even on my kit lenses. The DoF is really narrow so lighting is a bit tricky.
is that a cropped image?
nurglets (author)  zengestarlette5 years ago
some are slightly cropped, most arent
I bought an extra lens cap at my photo shop (used, $3), drilled a 3/4 inch hole in the middle then glued the "buddy" lens to that. Makes for easy attachment and removal. I am using a 50mm macro lens and with the buddy I get in very close. Light is a problem so I am looking into an LED macro light ring. I hope to improve on the one in Instructables as I plan to pivot the LEDs to adjust for distance I like your bug photos. I also am a NecroMakroGrapher. Insects flee in terror when I search my garden.
Have a look at that, am in the process of making one myself for macro work.
nurglets (author)  inst_keith_short6 years ago
I find the same problem with lighting, a quick fix is using little adjustable clip on reading lights, the kind that you clip onto the back of a book and angle down towards the page so you can read in the dark without bothering anybody. a couple of these either side of the lens helps in low light, you can get some that he led's used in them are actually really bright. most of the time now i try to use as much natural light as possible and shoot next to a window with a tinfoil reflector
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zomie6 years ago
Howdy, I love the build. I am curious if you have DOF issues? Have you tried to just reverse the kit lens with an adapter ring? I am curious how they compare in terms of magnification.

I really enjoyed your instructable and wrote about it at:
nurglets (author)  zomie6 years ago
depth of field is tiny, but then thats common with a lot of macro methods and lenses anyway, If i need more dof I use combineZP to stack images. I've tried just reversing the kit lens, but prefer using my filter as the lens keeps all its aperture functions as its still attached normally to the camera.
FumaKilla6 years ago
I suppose the object are very still or get sedated... or perhaps not even a living one since taking several picture on different focusing area is really hard!.... I cannot tell the object to stay still can i? any way the result are stagering. the final wasp result is my fav.
nurglets (author)  FumaKilla6 years ago
i admit most of the insects aren't exactly, "alive" when i've shot them, also, i've heard sticking them in a fridge puts them to sleep, hmm.... i've stuck together a wierd flash bouncer out of half a 500ml coke bottle lined with tinfoil that sticks onto the top of the pop-up flash on my camera and bounces the light along it and down infront of the lens, this does help to use a small aperture with living subjects and getting a good depth of field, like in these shots with a live weevil
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Thank you. that exactly what i did using a DIY flash diffuser (made of hard fabric) and here is the result :). (now less insect are harmed during my macro photo session)
btw I took my name from my hobby of "necromakrography" Fuma : small insect Killa : well you should have known :D I might pay my price on the judgement day :(
FumaKilla6 years ago
I've tried my own home brew Macro lenses out of dead old analog camera lens. the problem is thin depth of field..... so mostly i like to shot a non living object or object that was a living one. I personally called this a " Stack Focusing NecroMakroGraphy"... LOL.. I don't even know if that word is exist.... Love your job.
jeff-o6 years ago
Well, the results sure are impressive! Nice work.
Kiteman6 years ago
That rig is ugly, but the results are outstanding!

Well done, that ibler!
tootally agree. wow that macro is INSANE!
nurglets (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
thx! doesnt look too ugly now without the tape, and will look better once i've fixed the lens into a filter mount.