Reverse Macro Trick 18-55mm & 50mm F/1.8

VisualRebel picked up on one of my earlier posts found here about cheap ways to shoot Macro. I'm not sure if anyone really believed the quality you can get from flipping a lens backwards, but the proof is in the pudding. This video was shot by VisualRebel using a standard 18-55mm on a 550D / T2i, and handheld used the cheap $99 dollar 50mm F/1.8 in reverse. This awesome little video does a good job in showing the quality of Macro with equipment you probably already have. Now take this setup outdoors with more light, and get in on those creepy crawlies like National Geographic.

Here's a tip folks, if you want to use the exact same setup as VisualRebel, the filter on the 18-55mm is 58mm and the 50mm filter is 52mm. You can buy this special adapter for less than $4.00 dollars + Free shipping to 'mate' the two together (one in reverse) so you don't have to do any handholding. Save yourself the headache. For less than $4.00 + Free shipping, you can get this adapter to hold the lens for you.

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I'm not sure what's the best combination of lenses to do this reverse trick, it's more trial and error. Apparently this video shows superb quality and definitely sounds like the cheapest (and lightest) combination for reverse macro. You can find other Rings here to match different size lenses against other size lenses by clicking here.

If you've already got two lenses to do reverse Macro, then the adapter is cheap. If you're looking to simply work with 1 lens, especially the 18-55mm, remember to check out my review on the cheap Macro Bellow found here:

10 thoughts on “Reverse Macro Trick 18-55mm & 50mm F/1.8

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Prateek Choraria - This trick has been done for many many years. There should be no problem with doing this. You should go to Flickr and type in 'Reverse Macro' to see some other examples.

  2. Prateek Choraria

    Hello, I am using Canon 550D with 18-55mm Lens for Reverse Macro Photos...
    I hv a doubt about lense performance....
    If I'm using lens like this, and I am taking out my lens to reverse it while camera is on, Isn't it harmful for ma camera nd lens as well?
    plz reply

  3. Victor

    So clearly without realizing and through my own excitement, I purchased the 'step down' filter ring. Everything makes sense now. Thanks for the assistance though, this is by far one of my favorite blogs.

  4. admin

    Post author

    Do you have a link to the exact filter ring you purchased? It should not be a step down ring, it needs to be a specific reverse rig. There should be threads on either side of that filter ring to connect one lens to the next. If you don't have dual threads, that could be the wrong ring. Those are called 'step down' filter rings.

  5. Victor

    I have to 50 1.8 and I set it up by first attaching the 18-55 to the t2i, then I place the ring on the 18-55 then proceed to attach the 50 1.8 with the front of the lens facing the 18-55. I haven't even been able to attach the ring to the 50 by itself.

  6. admin

    Post author

    Which 50mm lens do you have? You need to put the 50mm 1.8 in reverse (backwards) against the 18-55mm lens.

  7. Victor

    So, I must be clueless, but I just received the 52mm to 58mm ring and I was able to attach it to the 18-55mm lens, however, I can't seem to get the 50mm on the other side of it. Any ideas??

  8. I tried it a few months back and wow. I was using the canon 50mm f/1.8 and my 18-135mm. I think I overdid it, I was in so close it was amazing ! Don't think I still have the pictures, but definitely something to explore.

  9. Bruck

    I actually tried this after you talked about it but didn't have another lens so I just flipped the kit lens over the sensor (without another lens in between) and got very good results. Went pulled out all the way to 18mm you can get VERY close up.

  10. Many thanks for posting the video. I put no real thought into it at all. Just read it on your site and had to try it out straight away. The magnification and pic quality is brilliant, and like you said if you had some good lighting and a steady shot you could get some great results.


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