reversing a lens for cheap macro

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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Niko Vita
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reversing a lens for cheap macro
8 months ago

I will appreciate some advice from the pros here regarding cheap macro options. I do not want to buy an expensive macro lens (not yet at least) because I am just an amateur (have other things to do for living) but still enjoy photography very much. Macro is one of the fascinating aspects which lets you see things that you just can't see otherwise. I've read a few tutorials, among them this one

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-extension-tubes-closeup.htm

which I found really nice. I understand that there are intriguing possibilities here, at a low price. Probably I will get a set of extension rings and experiment (I do not want to put a close-up lens, because a good one is not so cheap, and a bad one doesn't make sense). However, I am thrilled by the possibility to reverse one of my lenses and get a huge magnification. I am thinking about using two lenses, a 55-300mm mounted to the camera (Nikon D5200) and a prime 35 f/1.8 lens attached to it via a reverse ring. I understand that if I reverse just a single lens and attach it to the body all electrical contacts will be lost and I will have to do everything manually. So I don't want to do this. However, if I use two lenses, the one attached to the body in the usual way (the 55-300 in my case) will be perfectly connected. The one that is reversed on the top of it (the 35mm one) will be disconnected, of course, but will this matter? Isn't it true that the camera will be able to do the autofocus and all meterings with the 55-300 one? I can live with a manual focus, which I understand is the way to go in macro anyway, but aperture, speed and ISO controls are a bit too much for me to get right in short time. Isn't this face-to-face configuration of two lenses very much like putting a close-up lens filter in front of a lens when all controls are kept intact?

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