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I am new to macro, and will be taking photos of insects under a stereo microscope for taxonomic reasons. I will be setting up the camera so that its lens points down into the eyepiece of a dissection microscope. I have been using my phone’s camera for this, but wanted to upgrade if possible.

I would like to double check my reducing set-up before buying everything. I already have the camera and lens. I have selected multiple rings because I couldn't find a single ring on Amazon that went straight from my camera to the 40.5mm female thread I would need to attach to my lens.


I have been reading this guide, which is why I bought the lens I did and thought I had to reverse it.

I have also been reading about using microscope objectives for macro photography:

Would I get just as much magnification using a microscope objective lens attached to my DSLR itself, or would I get more through my camera being adapted to a microscope? How do I go about figuring that out?

  • Can you be more specific about what you want the setup checked for? – mattdm Jun 6 at 16:11
  • That setup will work and should produce very good high magnification images when used without a microscope. Whether it will work on a microscope is another story. A quick internet search reveals that most people don't do it this way, they project directly onto the sensor without a lens. – Mattman944 Jun 6 at 16:35
  • Take a look at this: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/97879/… The final setup depends on the real life usage. – Rafael Jun 6 at 16:48
  • Hello! I will be taking photos of insects under a microscope for taxonomic reasons. I had the multiple rings because I couldn't find a ring on Amazon that went straight from my camera to the 40.5mm female thread I would need to attach to my lens – talker90 Jun 6 at 22:05
  • @Mattman944 The setup won't work because what's needed are step-up rings, not step-down rings. Everything is backwards because it's reversed. Otherwise, I agree. With the proper attachments, reversed lenses can be used for macro. – xiota Jun 7 at 4:51
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Consider using a microscope-camera adapter. You can search your favorite auction site for "microscope camera nikon adapter".

microscope adapter

I just wanted to double check my reducing set-up before I went ahead and bought everything... I will be setting up the camera so that its lens points down into the eyepiece of a dissection microscope...

The setup you describe will not work.

  • It should not be necessary to reverse the lens when using it to view through a microscope. That you were able to use your phone camera supports this.

  • If you wish to use the reversed lens without a microscope, you need a step-up ring. The up/down is with respect to how it is mounted on the lens, not the reversal adapter. A single 40.5-52 step-up ring is available. Search your favorite auction site.

Would I get just as much magnification using a microscope objective lens attached to my DSLR itself, or would I get more through... my camera being adapted to a microscope?

The objective is designed to be used with a microscope. To attach it to a camera without a microscope, you'd have to replace the microscope with something else to hold the objective an appropriate distance from the camera.

  • The article you mention (Using Microscope Objectives For Beginners) appears to replace the microscope with a tube or telephoto lens. The microscope would be better because you already have it, it's weight would prevent vibration, and it has a built-in light source. I'd expect about the same level of magnification either way.

  • Using the microscope objective with some sort of adapter might be reasonable if you need "extreme" magnification in the field. I have not used those adapters before, so do not know how well they would work. Although each adapter is not very expensive, the costs would add up with the trial and error that would likely be required.

Since you already have the El-Nikkor lens and microscope, you might as well order a reversal ring + step-up adapter as well as a microscope adapter to try both options to see what works best for you. The rings and adapters are all fairly inexpensive.

  • Hello! Thanks! I was following this guide and that's why I bought the lens I did and thought I had to reverse it. I guess it's pretty clear they aren't using a microscope in their guide... Would I get just as much magnification using a microscope objective lens attached to my DSLR itself, or would I get more through a set-up you posted a photo of that shows my camera being adapted to a microscope? How do I go about figuring that out? – talker90 Jun 7 at 0:04
  • Thank! Your answer is real clear now, I appreciate it. Here are the first and second sites I was looking at when I was asking about magnification by attaching a microscope objective directly to my camera – talker90 Jun 7 at 6:28

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