52 Week Project | Details

Details was the theme for the 52 Week Project. I don’t own a macro lens, though I do have a plethora of 50mm lenses (one is autofocus, the rest are freelenses) and one of things that can be done with a 50mm lens is called reverse macro. This involves unmounting and reversing the lens on a camera to capture an image. Because the optics are reversed they magnify what they see.

In the realm of focal lengths 50mm seems to be the sweet spot – though it can be very challenging to focus with a paper thin depth of field at f1.8 and a minimum focusing distance that nearly puts you on top of your subject. (I’ve also used a 35mm, 28mm and 85mm as reverse macros – 85mm doesn’t work as a macro, just makes things look… wonky… while 35mm & 28mm require you do be dang near touching the object you are photographing!)

First up, the Nikon 50mm f1.8 D.

Below is the difference of using the 50mm reversed and mounted normally. First can you guess what the detail part is?

If you guessed a knee/elbow and a tail you win!

(Random fun fact: The Nikon 50mm f1.8 D used normally has a minimum focusing distance of 1.5 feet! So you have to be at least that far away from your subject to get the lens to focus!)


The Nikon 50mm was followed by the vintage Canon FL 50mm f1.8 freelens (this lens with a FL mount was produced from 1964 to 1971). Originally a regular old lens, my version has been converted into a freelens – which means the rear mount has been completely removed to allow the lens to be unmounted and freely tilted and shifted to focus and capture an image.


As a curiosity, I snagged my Sigma 135mm f1.8 and captured a few detail type shots (I haven’t tried reversing it yet haha!). Minimum focusing distance is 2.87 feet but being a telephoto lens 2.87 feet is crazy close. Pretty much good for details and tight shots!

(I think Bender looks like Gizmo the Gremlin in the first of this set…)


Earlier in the morning I had brought Bender out for a potty break (he tends to like to pee on the flowers) and he kicked up a ton of butterflies! After getting the detail images I needed with Bender, I strolled outside to capture some of the butterflies in the morning light. Turns out the butterflies are Painted Lady butterflies and they migrate north in the fall!


Next up visit Pet Love Photography, author of “Rescue Dogs: Portraits and Stories,” serving the Greater Cincinnati and San Francisco Bay Area to see the details she photographed!

4 thoughts on “52 Week Project | Details

  1. Love your selection of I’m ages shared this week!
    I actually looked into free lensing for this topic but I chickened out as I was worried about exposing the sensor. 🤓

  2. I like the results with the 135mm. The reverse macro idea is great and I love to experiment so I will try that. Love your examples and teaching blog this week!

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