How to Make a Cheap and Easy Macro Lens




Introduction: How to Make a Cheap and Easy Macro Lens

Today I'm going to show you a cheap and easy way to take make a lens for "macro" photography.

As this is a "cheap and easy" way to do it, there are some drawbacks;
There will be no autofocus, and the DoF (Depth of field) is very very shallow.

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Step 1: What You Need.

Canon 35-80mm lens and a craft knife blade.

I am using a lens from a Canon 1000f, I picked this up for about £10 (camera included)
and this lens is ideal as there is no need to unscrew anything.

And any scalple, x-acto knife, craft knife blade will do.

Step 2: Removing Faceplate and Focus Ring

Take the craft blade and slide it under the information ring on the front of the lens.
Some gentle prying around the rim will get that off.

Then grab a hold of the lens and turn the focus ring anti-clockwise and it should detatch.

The great thing about this is that you can leave the information ring at home, and the focus ring easily screws on and off so you can keep it with you and use it for normal shots and macro when you're out and about!

Step 3: Final Step

That's it you're ready to go!

You will need to have about 3cm between the lens and subject to get a clear picture, anymore either way will cause your image to be barely recognizable.

The photos here are
1. As close as I could zoom and get focus at with standard 80mm.
2. Macro'd at 35mm
3+4. Macro'd at 80mm

Final notes:
 As this is a zoom lens, using it at 30mm will produce a nicely enlarged image, and using it 80 will greatly enlarge it again, though be warned, you compensate DoF for size ( the more you zoom the narrower the depth of field will become)

That's everything, thanks for reading my first instructable, feel free to leave comments!

Also if you know of any other lenses with this detatchable focus ring, let me know and I'll add it in!

Happy shooting :)

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    4 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    No... just, no.

    Go on amazon and search for a macro reversing coupling or adapter or something like that.

    It is about $7 and screws into your filter threads on one side and your camera body on the other, allowing you to reverse the lens easily... and it can be taken off to allow you to use the lens normally. AND it will work much better than this.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    really? I'll give that a little dabble. and pray that I dont shatter anything :|


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Tried the removing the elements, just took a toffee hammer to front and the back, loose you dont get as close in with my way, and focus isnt improved that much.

    also I cant use it as a normal lens now, d'oh.

    also, shooting at about f/16+ with a flash results in a greatly increased DOF


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Rumor has it that if you remove the front and rear lenses from the focusing group of the 35-80mm, leaving the middle lens, and reinstall it, it produces a superb macro lens, with decent DOF and still able to focus. I tried it myself, but shattered the middle lens while extracting the rear lens.