Sunday, 25 August 2013

Reverse lens macro photography with X-Pro 1

Macro photography is one of the area that I had never really explored. Good macro lenses or close-up filters are not cheap so I decided to try a well known "reverse lens" method just to see if macro photography is for me. All you need is an adapter to mount your lens in reverse, using the filter thread in front rather than actual lens mount at the back.You can easy calculate the diopter power of the reversed lens by dividing 1000 by the focal length. For example, a 35 mm lens gives a 1000/35 = +28.5 diopter.
Inside a 100 years old Omega watch 
That's how I setup my new macro rig.
I have several lenses with ΓΈ 52mm filter thread therefore my choice was 52mm -> FX adapter, $8 from eBay.

That's how Fujinon 35/1.4 looks mounted in reverse.


Test shot, Fujinon 35mm in normal macro mode


Test shot with Fujinon 35mm reversed



What a difference. But I didn't like the extremely shallow DOF at f/1.4 You can't change Fujinon's  aperture value in reverse mode, it stays at 1.4 (aperture-by-wire)  There is a workaround, as posted in the comments sections :"yes you can change the aperture -> just put the depth of field control on the fn button, then choose your prefered aperture (on the fuji lens) then you can take of the lens and reverse it. by this method the aperture stays and wont go back". Use at your own risk :)

Then I mounted Nikkor 28/2.8 AI-s



That's how Nikkor 28mm looks mounted in reverse


Stopped it down to f/16 and I got some really good results.
The 25¢ coin


The Omega pocket watch

And another one

Tiny field flower


Nikkor 28/2.8 works well but only at a very close range.

Next I tested Nikkor 50/2 AI-s, hand-hold for "outdoor" setup






Conclusion:
I like "reverse lens" method, it is cheap and it works. Lenses with aperture ring is my preference. Ultra sharp Nikkor 28/2.8 (36x diopter) works well for "jewellery" type of shooting, static objects at a very close range, you need tripod and a good light. Nikkor 50/2  (20x diopter) gives more flexibility and seems a better choice for "bugs and flowers" photography.

What's bad?
Obviously focus ring doesn't work. You have to focus with your hands (tripod) moving camera back and forth. And, as I mentioned in my previous review , Fuji's focus peaking implementation (half pressed shutter release button cancels FP) makes it almost unusable for hand-hold macro photography. I got more misses than hits.

I am planning to experiment more once my DIY flash diffuser is ready:)

Thanks,
vkphoto

7 comments:

  1. Remember: with the original fuji lenses you have not the possibility to close diaphragm. With legacy lenses this important features can be obtained.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are correct. That's why I am using old AI-s Nikkors with the aperture ring:)

      Delete
  2. yes you can change the aperture -> just put the depth of field control on the fn button, then choose your prefered aperture (on the fuji lens) then you can take of the lens and reverse it. by this method the aperture stays and wont go back...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent tip, I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  3. Hi ! Have you a link to adapter lens ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The company called ROXSEN

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/52mm-Macro-Reverse-Adapter-Ring-for-Fujifilm-X-Pro1-FX-X-Pro-XPro1-camera-/180901206854?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:CA:3160

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much !!

      Delete