Reduced Budget Macro Photography: Is this possible to create great macro photography picture on a budget?  Yes it is, and it is relatively simple.  Let’s look at this first picture.  This is close-up picture of a Zinnia.  These flowers measure no more than 2 inches in diameter.  This picture was with a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens on a crop factor at a magnification ratio of 1:1.  Such a lens sell for just over 400$.


How about Budget Macro Photography now?

Let’s take a look at the second picture.  This is a smaller part of the same flower taken with the same DSLR and the kit lens.  The magnification ratio is greater than 4:1.  How is this possible?

The kit lens on my Canon 500D, aka Canon T1i is a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Autofocus Lens.   The lens does not reach 1:1 like the Canon EF-S 60mm Macro.  How can I reach 4:1 then?

All you need is a 58mm Reversal Ring.  You can buy a reversal ring on eBay for less than 2$. First screw the Reversal ring on the front of the lens.  Remove any filter before doing so.  Then un-mount the lens from the body of the camera.  Flip the lens and mount it on the camera backward, leaving the back of the lens exposed.

Challenges associated Budget Macro Photography:

  • Manual focus only.  Is this a problem? When magnification is greater than 1:1, moving the camera is easier than trying to focus the lens;
  • Aperture control.  Unless your lens has manual, on the lens, aperture control, there is only one way to manually control the aperture.  Mount the lens as usual, set the desired aperture, press the depth of field preview and while holding it, turn the power off.  The aperture will stay at the set aperture for your next picture;
  • Use your zoom ring to adjust magnification ratio.  50mm is about 1:1, 25mm 2:1 and so on.  On a crop factor, 18mm is equal to 4,4:1 ((50/18)*1,6).

2$ is all what you need to start shooting greater than life-size picture.  Beware, moving subjects might be hard to follow.  Flowers are easier than bees!

[bctt tweet=”Take #Macro #Photography at 4:1 Magnification ratio with your kit lens.”]

For other options, take the time to read this great article on Wikipedia.  There is much to learn also on High Magnification Macro on a Budget

When will you order your reversal ring?  Do you have some shot to show us?  Use the comment option to share your findings with us.