Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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If I reverse mount a Canon 50mm F1.4 prime lens on Canon Rebel T3i/600d can I still use manual focus for macro?

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Yes. And damn this site for requiring at least 30 characters for an answer!! :-) –  Mike Aug 9 '12 at 13:38
    
Yes. But you wont have any control over the aperture. –  Matt Grum Aug 9 '12 at 13:55
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1 Answer 1

We have a great blog post here at our own photography stack exchange blog that explains the process very thoroughly: Take macro shots like this for less than the cost of a pizza

To answer your question, yes you can still manual focus, that is the only option as autofocus will not work when reverse mounted. Manual focus is a bit odd feeling, because the mount is so small and doesn't really give a solid "mount" feeling as a normal mount would.

You don't directly have control over aperture, but you do on a Canon body by using the depth of field preview button(Using tack on a Nikon lens). The blog post listed above has the details on how to achieve this specifically, but it is a very nice "hack" indeed.

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Caveat: some lenses (e.g. the Canon 85mm f/1.2) require camera power even for manual focus, as the focusing mechanism is moved electronically even when the focusing ring is being used (known as electronic manual focusing). I know the question was specifically about the 50mm f/1.4 but thought it worth mentioning for a more complete answer. –  Nick Miners Aug 13 '12 at 22:44
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Whatever you do, don't try to reverse mount the grapefruit size Canon 85mm f/1.2! I feel sorry for the poor guy who tries that! –  dpollitt Aug 13 '12 at 22:49
    
What, you mean you've never tried it? You haven't lived! (Disclosure: I haven't tried it...) –  Nick Miners Aug 14 '12 at 8:11
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