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Thread: Adventures in Lens Stacking

  1. #9
    MICKEY's Avatar
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    very nice pics

  2. #10
    Kyle's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mickey.

    Decided to try stacking the 50mm on the end of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS that comes as the kit lens with the Canon Rebel series. This is definitely more budget friendly but still gives some pretty impressive results.

    To break down the cost:
    Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS = $112
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II = $109
    58mm - 52mm reversing ring = $7
    Cheap set of extension tubes = $12
    ______________________________________
    Total: $240

    So, for $240 you get two fantastic lenses, one of them pretty legendary and the other a very nice entry zoom lens; you get a reversing ring to stack the two for macro photography; and you get extension tubes to pump your magnification up even higher. That is a WHOLE lot of bang for your buck if you ask me. But enough rambling, here are a couple quick and dirty examples.

    50mm stacked at the end of a 18mm-55mm:

    I think the vignette-ish artifact is because I set the zoom wrong, but don't take my word for that. The next one doesn't show anything of the sort. Like I said, these shots were quick and dirty, lol.

    50mm stacked at the end of a 18mm-55mm with 35mm of tubes:


    As you can see, not too shabby for $240.

    EDIT: I don't feel like doing the math to get the magnification level right now, but it looks like >1x to me. This is a fantastic site to use to calculate magnification in macro photography.

  3. #11
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Maginfication is roughly the ratio of the two lenses focal lengths. A reversed 50mm on a 100mm lens is roughly 2:1 (2x). 25mm on the 100mm is 4:1. 50mm on a 200mm lens would also be 4:1.

    Reverse rings for close-up work are as old as interchangeable lenses themselves. I have a circa mid 1960's adapter for my Minolta film cameras. The current wrinkle is to mount them on the front of your lens using the filter threads.

    You can always pick up manual focus fixed length lenses for relatively cheap. Orphan mounts like Canon FD, Minolta MD, Konica a few others have a lower resale value (unless it is a "cult" lens) since the adapters for them to be used on current DSLRs requires an optical element for infinity focus. This degrades image quality. In some cases you can get glassless adapters but then the lenses can only be used as a close-focus/macro. With the advent of mirrorless interchange-able lens camera bodies (4/3 and micro 4/3) these mounts have found new life and prices are going up accordingly. You might try buying problem lenses (sticky, oily aperture blades, etc.). As long as the optics are fine (no fungus, clouded lenses) or the filter ring damaged these should be perfectly usable.

    A caution or two with using the reverse rings. Many of the modern lenses are using plastic for the mounts and lens bodies. The additional weight on the end of the lens might damage the plastic mount or helicoid of the lens. Manual focus lenses pre-early 80s are use metal entirely for the bodies. The rear-elements of your lens (optics, mechanical or electrical linkages) will also be exposed and vulnerable to damage. You might consider buying a cheap 3rd party end cap and cutting out the center.

    There are always close-up lenses. These are relatively in-expensive. They attach to the front of you lens like any screw-on filter. While they do degrade image quality you can still get stunning images with them. Multiple element close-up lenses with much better image quality exists but they are rare and expensive.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 03-31-2012 at 07:09 AM.
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  4. #12
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Wow Great shots.

    I have a reversing ring I bought years ago and was going to try that technique and never have. I may have to see if it will fit my lens. I just use a nice set of extension tubes.

    My new camera and extension tubes:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=130041
    Last edited by elgecko; 03-31-2012 at 07:30 AM. Reason: added link


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  5. #13
    Natalie's Avatar
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    Does using extension tubes without another reversed lens actually increase the amount of detail a lens can resolve within a given area? Or does it just blow up the image on the sensor but not actually make it so you can see any more detail than you could without the extension tubes?

    I would like to try shooting at higher magnification, but until I can afford the MP-E 65mm I'm going to have to make due with my 100mm lens. I was thinking instead of getting the 50mm and reversing it (simply because the "nifty fifty" tends to have a lot of chromatic aberration on the edges), couldn't I use much longer extension tubes and get good results? That is, if I somehow managed to get 100mm of extension tubes on my 100mm macro lens, would I get 2:1 magnification without degradation in optical quality (aside from the slight defects in the macro lens's glass itself)?

  6. #14
    MICKEY's Avatar
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    there are a ton of old great nikon f lens around cheap high quality lens in every size

  7. #15
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Mickey has spoken of bellows before. Like extension tubes they'll give many lenses close-up/macro capabilities. Unlike extension tubes you can adjust the length of extension without having to disconnect anything. You cheap ones new for around $40-60 US. A set with electronics for aperture and focusing control will run you around $600 US. You find a used set. Prices vary wildly depending on the condition of the bellows and make an model. Buy a model that has a lens mount that you can find glassless adapters for you DSLR. If you have a Nikon or Pentax DSLR existing bayonet mounts can be used without an adapter.

    Here is a Minolta Auto-bellows III on my Pentax DSLR using a glassless Minolta MD to Pentax PK adapter. This bellows goes for around $150 used because it has many unique features. The useful is being able to reverse a lens without using an adapter - well actually I had to use a 49mm to 55mm step up ring due to changes in filter ring size but these are cheap and easily found.

    AB-III with Minolta 28mm f/2.8 lens mounted

    With lens in reverse position

    Bellows with a Spiratone Macrotar 35mm f/3.5 lens. I picked this up for about $20 US. It is threaded with a T-mount thread so it can be used in a T2-mount adapter for just about any lens mount

    25mm Ultima f/3.5 enlarging lens. Again I paid ~$20 for this. Enlarging and macro lenses are flat-field so you don't get as much corner or edge curvature distortion that you'll get with regular lenses. Many enlarging lenses use the Leica 39mm thread so I used a generic Minolta MD to M42 (Pentax screwmount) with a M42-M39 adapter. $12 for the adapters. I've since picked up a genuine Minolta to Leica adapter for $12 but I'm not using it here


    Here are some magnification tests at full extension. Target is a 1mm grid. Sensor size on the Pentax K10D is listed as 23.5 15.7mm:

    35mm 23.5 / ~4.3mm = ~4.5x


    28mm (reversed) 23.5mm / ~4mm = ~5.9x


    25mm 23.5 / ~2.5mm = ~9.4x (slightly out of focus)


    I could always add add extension tubes for even more magnification However I'm looking into eyepiece projection using telescope eyepieces - the method used for astrophotography. The advantage of this along with getting magnification >4x you can get much more working distance between the subject and lens.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 03-31-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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  8. #16
    MICKEY's Avatar
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    nice

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