4 Simple Steps to a DIY 50mm Reverse Macro Ring

If you are like me you bought your nifty fifty and fell in love with it.  Then you bought a 35mm, your new darling,  and now it sits neglected in you camera bag. This tutorial is meant to show you how to take that dusty 50mm lens and turn it into a macro lens.  Essentially, you are making a new adapter ring to mount your 50mm lens the wrong way on your camera. We will need some tools so let’s jump right into the list of materials.

You will need:

– A body cap for your camera

– An old filter that screws onto you 50mm lens

– Safety Goggles

Dremel with drill & sanding bits

– A hammer

– A screwdriver

– Quick drying glue with sealant

Make sure you have all of your tools and let’s get started!

Step 1: Breaking the glass out of your filter

You will want to take the filter and put it between the folds of an old towel or rag.  Put on your goggles, safety first, and grab your hammer and beat on the glass until it breaks.  Be careful not to cut yourself when removing the tiny shards.

Step 2: Removing the plastic from the body cap.

Get out your Dremel  and drill a hole in the middle of the cap.  Continue removing the plastic around the cap until the bulk of it is gone. Be careful not to damage the threads of the cap or you won’t be able to mount it on your camera.  Next switch to your sanding bit and sand until you have a relatively smooth surface.

Step 3: Gluing it all together

Now that we have out two pieces prepared, it is time to glue them together.  Take the body cap and set it down so the side that would normally face out when on the camera in facing up.  Apply the glue/sealant.  Then take your filter and attach it to the body cap upside down, meaning the wring should be upside down and the threads should be facing out. Center it and et the glue dry.

Step 4: Attaching the ring to the lens

Using the filter side of your new ring, attach to the lens’ front side that normally faces out. Then you take the body cap side and attach it to the camera. That’s it! TADA!

You will probably want to shoot with the camera on a tripod.  Shoot in manual and set your aperture, on the lens, to about f5.6 – f8.  Then you will want to adjust your shutter speed until you get the right amount of light. To focus, move your camera until the focus is right. You can always open up your lens, to around f1.8 to focus and then reset before taking the photo. Feel free to contact me with any questions! You can see the photos taken with this lens on my Flickr page.


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