Reversal Ring Macro
4 Aug 2008
I imagine that many photographers have a wish list of some sort. A list possibly consisting of new cameras, old cameras, lenses, or any of the myriad gadgets available to extend the creative capabilities of gear. One item that has always been on my list is a macro lens. The world of close up photography has always interested me. Macro lenses allow you to focus much closer than a regular lens to obtain otherworldly and magnificently detailed photos.
Even though I don't yet have one of these specialty lenses I have recently been able to experiment with macro photography by using a lens reversing ring on my film and digital Nikon SLRs (you can also find these rings for other camera brands). Reversing the lens increases its magnification, essentially making it a macro lens. A lens reversing ring does just what the name implies, it allows you to mount the lens on the camera opposite of how you normally would. One side of the ring mounts to the camera body and the other side is threaded to accommodate the threads on the front side of the lens.
Nikon's reversing ring, the BR-2A accommodates the front side of lenses with widths of 52mm. This is perfect for my 50mm 1.4, my favorite lens (although my 50 1.8 is pictured).
Mounting your lens in reverse means that the rear lens is now exposed to the world. But fear not, Nikon makes an adapter that fits onto the lens mount, the BR3, to keep the rear lens protected. The BR3 also has a threaded side which accepts 52mm filters or attachments. You might use a UV filter here to further protect the rear lens.
The BR-2A and BR3 fit together to essentially form an extension tube. I mount this set up to my camera then mount the whole thing to Nikon bellows unit for further macro possibilities.
Much information exists online regarding techniques for reversal ring macro.