Lens stacking for Macro Photography (Canon)

Discussion in 'Canon Accessories' started by Katie T, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Katie T

    Katie T TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I'm wondering if anybody could help - I'm trying to find a way to attach my Canon 100mm 2.8 USM lens to my Canon 18-55mm (the one that came with the camera) to bolster my Macro set-up.

    I'm working on a Canon EOS 600D with the 100mm 2.8l on its own, with a Hahnel Modus 360RT Flashgun. I'm particularly interested in photographing the Iris, and believe stacking lenses could help with my lack of sharpness and depth - these are my two sticking points at present.

    I'm reading that maybe stacking lenses could increase my magnification and improve my sharpness - and I'm wondering if it is possible to attach my (reversed) 18-55mm lens to my 100mm? And if it is possible, how do I do it? Coupling rings? Step Up rings? Reverse rings?

    Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated. Or, if I'm barking up the wrong tree and there is another/better way to improve my set-up, I'd be very grateful to hear it.

    I'm new to the world of Photography, so please, feel free to state the obvious!

    Thank you in advance,

    Katie


     
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  2. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Never tried lens stacking. I use extension tubes but then you would be v close to the eye.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Fotodiox sells the needed lens reversing rings for a fairly good price. This is one of the things that you must actually test out to get a certain idea about how it works. it is tricky to go based upon filter size and thinking that you will not have full image coverage because oftentimes the front objective is substantially smaller than the filter size might lead you to believe..

    There are quite a few potential ways to form a good " relay ". I think you might want to do additional research before committing much money to this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Katie, what you are looking for is called a lens reversing ring and you need to get one that has the filter sizes needed. For the short lens which will be reversed in front of your long lens, you actually would be perfectly fine using an old relatively inexpensive manual focus lens which has an on-lens aperture ring, such as an old 24 or 28 mm manual focus lens from Canon,Minolta, Nikon,Pentax, or some other Legacy brand.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Control of lens f stops is somewhat difficult on many newer brands in their autofocus lenses. On virtually all Legacy 35 mm lenses, each lens has a mechanical aperture control ring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Regarding your quote lack of depth, I assume you mean the extremely shallow depth of depth-of-field which exists in macro range photography. To get more depth of field there is a relatively new technique called focus stacking in which multiple frames each made at a slightly different points of focus are combined by the computer and software into one image which has much deeper depth of field than is otherwise possible. Not too long ago a TPF member here posted some extraordinarily good insect macros, which were made with 100-shot Focus stacks.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    WARNING WARNING WILL ROBINSON WARNING!!!



    Wave fun with it, but keep in mind that you are cantilevering the lenses off of a bayonet mount not designed to hold a great deal of weight.
    When you mount on a small lens, no biggie.
    When you mount a 100mm + sized lens, typically speaking the lenses have either a base for a tripod or are made of lightweight material. The plastic threading on both the lenses though will attach as Derrel states, cannot hold a great deal of weight.

    This can crack (I have personally seen this happen) and damage or possibly destroy the lens if not supported in the middle. (In the instance I witnessed it actually bent the lens).
    If the stacking ring comes with a tripod mount, use it. If there is an extension that can lever out from the base of the camera to support the forward lens, USE IT!

    What you want to do has been done many millions of times and produces some spitacular results, but be warned, that especially a heavy lens of any kind can cause some real headaches and very expensive ones at that.
     
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  9. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

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  10. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    Katie (the OP) was talking about coupling two lenses to gain higher magnification, (using the reversed lens as a highly corrected close up diopter) not focus stacking. She may well find focus stacking helps with the very limited DOF she'll end up with.

    If you get a coupling ring with the right threads for your lenses, this should connect them suitably (It has two male threads). For several of my lens combinations I end up using a stepping ring as well since I don't have a wide enough array of coupling rings. Step up rings will screw on the thread at the front of a lens & convert it to a thread of a larger size while step down rings go the other way.

    I find the technique easiest to use with the reversed lens wide open - I don't think this is the default position on EF lenses, but there are ways around it.

    Reversing rings are different being designed to connect a lens backwards directly on the camera body (or on extension tubes)

    I don't thick coupling lenses is going to improve 'sharpness', but it will increase the magnification significantly. It's a slightly unpredictable technique as some lens combinations give severe vignetting and about the only way to know for sure is to try it. For an quick test just holding the second lens reversed in front of your camera should give you an idea. With the zoom set to 55mm your combination will give roughly twice life size on the sensor. Zooming to 18mm will give around 5x magnification which is extremely hard to manage. I suspect using the lenses the other way round (100mm reversed on the zoom) will prove easier as this will give lower magnifications around 0.2x to 0.5x. An old legacy 35 or 50mm prime in front of the zoom should give magnifcations around lifesize so might be a better solution. The mount of the reversed lens does not have to fit your camera - I've even used astronomy eyepieces!

    Macro technique is rather demanding, often wanting plenty of light or a sturdy support & long exposures. Getting the right bit in focus is something I still frequently fail with. Taking multiple shots each with the focus in a slightly different place & combining them (focus stacking as above) can work wonders in beating the laws of physics when it comes to depth of field.
     
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  11. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    As others have suggested, extension tubes or a lens reversing ring are the what to go. This was shot hand holding a 50 f 1.8 backwards. Not real sharp but effective and if I had a reversing ring it would be much better. It is part of the W on a ballcap for the (World Series Champion) Washington Nationals.

    image.jpeg
     

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