Reversed SLR lens on Digital

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Syndac, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Syndac

    Syndac TPF Noob!

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    I can't quite work it out in my head. I plan on buying a 24-28mm lens to mount reversed for close up macro and the prices for used film lenses seem a lot cheaper than digital. I can't seem to work out the logic as to what effect the crop factor would have (if any) when mounting lenses reversed.

    If anyone is experienced in this area, please let me know. Thanks.
     
  2. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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  3. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Reversed lenses for macro work are best primes. Zooms loose a lot when reversed. One of the sharpest lenses when reversed is the old 50mm f/2.0 from the 1960's up through the mid '70's. Even though it is a slower lens, it was considered to be just about the sharpest Nikkor 50's ever produced and when reversed it was stellar. On ePay they can be had in good shape typicaly for $25-40. A reversal ring will set you back another $25 or so.
     
  4. Syndac

    Syndac TPF Noob!

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    From what I've read a 24mm will give a much greater magnification when reversed than a 50mm, a difference of about 2.6:1 to 1:2 which is 5 times greater.

    My main question is... how would a lens designed for a film camera work reversed on a digital camera?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The lens doesn't know film from digital...so it would work quite well. Even when the lens isn't reversed...it still works on the digital camera if the mount is compatible. You could pick up any just about any Nikkor lens made in the last 30 or 40 years and it would work on your camera.
     
  6. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do believe the 50 is sharper, and with bellows or extension rings you can arrive at about any working magnification you want. The biggest difference would be the 24 would give you a greater working distance to your subject. And with the correct filter ring adapter, any lens ever made with a filter ring would work reversed. It's just that the 50mm f/2.0 is legendary on bellows or rings reversed. A good sample without any scratches on either front or rear elements simply is hard to beat for macro image quality. But, as Mike said, anything would work.
     
  7. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mike is correct, any Nikkor since 1977 will mount. Your camera will not meter a non-CPU lens. But with histo's that's not an issue. Any Nikon F mount SLR lens since 1959 has the same bayonet, but the early lenses has a "prong" outside the barrel to sync with the meter. These lenses could be easily modified with a new aperture ring, or have the ring modified. Years ago I modified a 55mm f/1.2 with nothing more than a jewelers screw driver to remove the prong, and a small file to make the AI tab on the ring. So with a little work, any Nikkor or "F" mount lens since 1959 will mount and function. (On some cameras there may be a interference with some rare specialty lenses and the cameras prism. The 28mm P.C. shift lens is one that comes to mind.)
     
  8. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    I *think* I understand what you are getting at. To keep it simple, when you reverse a lens on a digital camera you loose the electronic communication between the lens and the body. You must then set your camera to full manual control and make the adjustments on your camera. Is that what you were looking for?
     
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ahh..... Sorry, I missed that point in your question. You will need a bayonet -to- filter thread adapter to mount the lens in reverse.

    Something like this:

    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986314
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Mounted like this:
    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986315
    [​IMG]



    Another adapter permits you to control the aperture with a cable release, you don't really need this, it just makes it easier to work with:

    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986316
    [​IMG]
    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986317
    [​IMG]



    For maximum magnification, mount this on a bellows, but the bellows are optional and only add to the maximum magnification that can be had:
    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986318
    [​IMG]



    With the bellows and minimum magnification a quarter looks like this full frame/un-cropped with the 50mm lens reversed:
    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986319
    [​IMG]



    And at Max. magnification, again un-cropped:
    http://www.pbase.com/jstuedle/image/89986340
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    I don't see anything.
     
  11. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I just edited and repaired my links. I also added a hot link above each image to help get to the host site if anyone has problems seeing the pix. Hope this helps.
    John
     

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