$3 Macro

Professional Product Macro Photography, Noosa Heads

You see, when you’re a photographer, there is sometimes a photo you are chasing. It get’s under your skin, and you simply have to move towards getting that photo. For me, I NEED a macro shot of an insect to prove to myself that I am a macro photographer. I need to capture and tell the story of the detail in a compound eye!

Macro photography is a great example of how a photograph can offer a new and unique perspective. It is a specialised art, that requires specialised equipment. So that’s the main reason why I haven’t done a lot of macro photography. A good macro lens can set you back $1000, and it’s not something I’m going to use a lot either. It’s not easy maintaining a stock of equipment for photography, compromises are always being made. Anyway, things change and new information comes to light. So a youtube video introduced me to the concept of mounting a lens backwards on your camera to get macro functionality out of pretty much any of your lenses.

The set up looked really strange, but then I realised I could buy a basic adaptor for only $3 to give this a try. This could save me a lot of money after all ! Fast forward 2 weeks and I am dusting off a couple of old manual Rikenon lenses to give this technique a go.

Being a Sunshine Coast photographer gives me lots of macro opportunities

So now I have this $3 macro set up, I need something to photograph. Living on the coast in such a warm environment means we have a lot of insects! But today, I don’t know where they are. They must sense that I am hunting them, and are staying away. So I look around the house and see what very small objects I can find.

It doesn’t take long to discover that with this set up the magnification is pretty crazy and I can’t fit much more than a thumbnail in the frame. And then there is depth of field and focusing. The old lens I’m using doesn’t seem to adjust focus with the focus ring. The only way I can change focus is by moving the subject closer or further away from the lens. There is hardly any depth of field, even at f16, so composition is critical.

So for $3, I’ve definitely had some macro fun. But more of a creative tool than a work tool I think. The focus and depth of field are just too difficult to work with in a professional context. Anyway, it was a great hack to play with….. now, where to find that insect!