Shooting Macros with the Nikkor 18-55mm Lens

First published on: Monday, 28 July 2008

Arne Resak shares an ingenious method of utilising the humble Nikon D50 kit lens for macro shots.

The method is to reverse the lens on to the camera’s lens mount. This is a well-known technique that’s documented in photography books; in Nikon’s case, the use of a Macro Adapter Ring such as the BR-2A (for lenses with 52mm thread size) or BR-5 (for lenses with 62mm front attachment size) allows the lens in question to be fitted to the lens mount without any fuss.

What Arne has done here is to show us how, without incurring additional expenses, we can reverse the Nikkor 18-55mm directly to the camera. Without the BR-2A though, you’d have to hold the front of the lens carefully against the lens mount.


Macro shots, by Arne Resak, by reversing a Nikkor 18-55mm lens onto a Nikon D50

  1. View the larger images and read more about the technique. Arne also compares the reproduction ratio with this setup vs an image with the Sigma 70-300mm Macro lens.

  2. Because you lose metering functionality with this setup, Arne put the D50 into Manual mode, set the shutter speed to 1/500 sec and had the on-board flash at 1/16 power

  3. The Nikkor 18-55’s aperture closes to a minimum when not mounted on the camera and this will cause difficulty with manual focusing since so little light can get to the viewfinder through the lens. For this reason, you’d need to manually slide the aperture lever to open up the aperture. The aperture lever should be similar to the one on the Sigma 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6 — see a picture of it here.

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