How to Shoot Macro With a 50mm f/1.8 Lens


I have been intrigued with macro photography for years, though I have never had enough mula to invest in the macro lens that I really want. So when I heard what I consider to be a weird tip about macro photography, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. And if it worked, then I could share the tip (as part of the DIYPhotography How I Took It Contest) with others in case they were a ‘Doubting Mustafa” just like me.

The tip sounds (and is) simple.

  1. Take the body of your camera and make sure no lens is attached.
  2. Grab your 50mm lens and hold it backwards against the area where the lens would normally attach to the camera.
  3. Take some photos.

Set up of 50mm lens on Backward for MacroLike I said, the tip itself is pretty simple. But there are some nuances when it comes to actually getting a shot. Your depth of field is EXTREMELY small – I’m talking millimeters. It’s hard to hold the camera and the unmounted lens steady enough to take a photo with such a narrow depth of field and have the item in focus that you are hoping for. I would recommend using a tripod or setting it on a surface. This technique probably wouldn’t work well with an insect because your focal length is roughly 5 inches (i.e., the bug would get startled and run away).

Here are a few samples of some photos I shot using this technique, along with the camera settings for each photo (NOTE: There is no f-stop listed because the camera doesn’t record an f-stop since the lens and camera can’t talk to each other when the lens isn’t actually connected to the camera).

090812 Candle Flame 50mm Macro

Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/80 | ISO 400 (slight crop to a 5×7)

090812 Candle Out 50mm Macro

Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/20 | ISO 400 (slight crop to a 5×7)

090812 Nephi 50mm Macro

Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/60 | ISO 400 (Converted to B&W with a slight crop to 5×7)

Although it isn’t as sharp as what I would probably get with the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens I want, it’s a great way to experiment with macro photography to see if you enjoy macro photography before purchasing the expensive lens.

Good luck, and if anyone shoots macro using this technique, I invite you to share a link to it on this post.

~signed, Carltonaut

4 thoughts on “How to Shoot Macro With a 50mm f/1.8 Lens

  1. This is beyond cool! Now I gotta try it as well. Thanks for the ‘nuances’ and ‘notes.’ They’re super helpful for wannabe’s like myself!

  2. This is awesome thanks a lot I have heard of this before never tried it and I have a 50mm f/1.8 lens and love macro shots but the lenses are so expensive. I love this pictures especially the last one good picture great book!!

  3. Pingback: Anonymous

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