DIY Reversal Lens Macro Rig




Introduction: DIY Reversal Lens Macro Rig

About: I'm a photographer and a father. I've been married almost 10 years and have a 8 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. I like to put stuff where it doesn't belong to create even better stuff. I work for an am…

Reversal rings are one of the most fun toys for any photographer. This will work on any SLR camera(as long as it can shoot with a t-mount). Auto focus will not work with this. My main goal is to use almost everything a normal photographer has laying around. Almost everyone has a busted lens, a t-mount and filters that aren't being used why not put them to an amazing use!

Step 1: Materials

I am keeping this materials list simple.
1 tube of Mighty Putty"
Skylight or UV Filter (My target is 58mm which is a common Canon size)
(You can use a busted filter if you take the glass out but you will run into dust problems)
subjects (bugs, flowers, food, etc)
Lens that matches the filter size
(I recommend an older lens because the rear element will be exposed)
Canned air for cleaning area and all parts

Step 2: Center of Being

Center the filter with the male threads up on the T-mount. I HIGHLY recommend using a filter with glass just because of the exposure of your sensor to dust. If you do not have a dust removal system then you WILL have to clean your sensor often.

Step 3: Knead!

Break off this big of a piece of mighty putty and knead it till the color is as shown and the green is completely gone.

Step 4: Billy Would Be Proud!

Roll your putty into a nice strip about 1/4" thick.

Wrap it around the filter/t-mount and break off the excess.

Press it around both of them to get it nice and tight.

Make sure there isn't any on the bottom part that connects to the camera because that will be flush on the mount. You also need to leave a little room for your lens to thread on. If your lens is broken like mine you can just put the lens on and permanently affix it.

Step 5: Hurry Up and Wait!

The putty needs to set for 45 minutes (I waited 10 but was careful)

so watch this

Step 6: Practical Application

Our finished lens is great fun! I live in Michigan so I have to buy decent subjects. I chose a ripe Starfruit. With this lens the wider the angle the greater the magnification. My test shots were shot at 28mm which is the greatest possible magnification with this lens. The depth of field is extremely shallow with this. I used an automatic lens so I could not change the aperture. If you use a manual lens you would have full aperture functionality. This lens doesn't require a ton of light. My shots were done hand held with a studio light. In normal sunlight outdoors these are very effective.

Be the First to Share


    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest



    8 years ago on Introduction

    ... hei.. why couldn't i think ... I've 3,4 uv filters.. why couldn't i use them like this.. lolz... thanks man.. that was an excellent idea.


    13 years ago on Step 6

    It is possible to manually set the aperture with an automatic lens.  Set the aperture that you want with the lens on the camera normally, then press and hold the depth of field preview on your camera (usually on the front by the lens).  Pushing the button will put your aperture where you have it set.  While holding the button, remove your lens, and it will stay at that aperture.


    Reply 13 years ago on Step 6

    oh snap I will have to try that out now


    13 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds like a good idea. And to think, I was going to buy a reversal ring of ebay! Do you think that if I put it on my 500mm lens, I could have an ultrawide angle lens???


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think it would work quite like that but I can't test it as I do not have a 500mm but if you do post us up some results. From what I've seen the longer the focal length the less magnification.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    It sounds like it would work...once I get my Nikon D70 on the 21st, and get a macro reverse ring, I will definatly add something....maybe an instructional on a 100 dollar ultrawide or something.....