Equipment For Reverse Lens Extreme Macro Photography

I've had lots of questions about the stuff I use to do these macro shots so here is a piccie taken with my son's cam ;). More information -



I've been through various setups in the last few months, starting out with the flash on a bracket using PTTL, then moving onto the flash mounted on top, lastly moving to the flash parallel to the lens, as per my current version. This is the best of the 3. I don't know how durable it really is though because the hama hotshoe swivel forward unit is unbelievably flimsy and already has wobble on it. I tend to put rubber bands round the flash and tubes when I'm outside using it just to keep it all sturdyish.


Advantages: the home-made diffuser throws excellent light onto the subject, and being so close to it requires only 1/64 power with ISO 100 (my lowest). 1/64 means very little battery use and instant recharge, so I can machinegun at 5FPS which gives me a vital part of a second before the beasts fly away. The angles to the subject are >90 degrees so the light has nice soft diffused edges.


Something that maybe of interest to Pentax types like myself, the 360FGZ flash has an inbuilt timeout of approx. 1 minute so unless you use it with PTTL, it's a waste of time. The 540FGZ makes this configurable, so I could switch it off.


I'm still looking for some sort of clamp thing to put onto the extension tubes so that I can have a small pencil torch mounted on there, if anyone knows of one I'd love to know. Thanks!


Update: have started using a GoPro roll bar clamp added onto the tubes. This both stabalises my flash and gives me an arm to add a torch on. Seriously useful!


Update2: the L bracket. Various people have asked: it is plastic and not that strong but it's the only thing I found at the time. You can get it here. I built a brace round the lens and flash in the end from GoPro bits which stabilises it and lets me mount a torch.


TIP: I don't personally use it, but I should imagine that this cheap Chinese flash ball head unit would also work, as long as you're prepared to connect the flash using a PC Sync connector

  • Huub Hofsté 3y

    That's a beautiful compact setup, that L bracket looks great. Just read it's not compatible with Canon, bummer !
  • Richard lewis 3y

    Thanks for the info
  • Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel 3y

    Huub Hofsté Yes, but bear in mind that the L bracket just acts as a holding bracket, it doesn't pass electronic information. The flash trigger is passed through that PC sync cord that connects flash camera. If your Canon (or any other brand) has a PC sync port, and you have a flash with PC sync port, then you can use any old bracket to hold it at a right angle like this (ie the cheap chinese flash ball head unit). Although that will mean you can't use PTTL/TTL; I only use manual.
  • Huub Hofsté 3y

    Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel Thx for the elaboration, will keep that in mind !
  • Andy & Helen Holt 3y

    Thanks! Very interesting.
  • manufou 3y

    This is very cool and clever! Thanks for sharing
  • asish mohanty 3y

    Thanks for sharing this. Great learning
  • Derwin Lau 3y

    Would it not be hard to focus if the subject is hooded like this?

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • j.c.park 3y

    wow always intrigued by the technical aspect leading to great results.
    I just dont know how to get there myself.

    Great Macro/Insect photos!
  • Daniel Junqueira Raposo 3y

    Very nice one, really great tip !
    Thank you for follow me BTW :)
  • Jason Balester 3y

    Incredible ingenuity.
  • Plume44 3y

    very interesting. thanks
  • dfmanito 3y

    Impressive. Thank you for sharing your hard fought wisdom.
  • Brian O'Mahony 2y

    Very clever idea...quite ingenious!
  • Puretide1983 2y

    Thank you I am verry inspired .
  • Adán Chávez Rubio 2y

    Gracias por la información, tus fatografías son fabulosas.
  • Appelsiinipuu 1y

    Thank you for sharing. This is why Flickr is a learning experience.
  • Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel 1y

    Appelsiinipuu Even more good learning info on my new site, start at =)
  • Pavel Sporish 10mo

    That cheap Chinese flash ball head unit is awful.
    It doesn't hold my flash (SB800) on the camera (D300) firmly.
    Even if I tighten the screw to the end, it drops the flash.
    Seems it doesn't have enough strength to hold it in an angle.
    Looking for another solution. Hama Universal Flash Adapter looks better. Need to try it out.
  • Ryhen Carr 4mo

    amazings pics! congratulations
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Taken on October 9, 2011
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