I recently purchased a reverse macro mount (62mm) for my 30mm 1.4 sigma. I ordered it online because the price was so cheap I wouldn't be too upset if it didn't work. Anyhow, this morning I screwed it onto the front of the lens and then connected the front into the body of the camera, reversing it. The F-stop is now reporting as F00 and the view is blurry and grainy, and cannot be altered by adjusting the focus ring on manual focus. The thing didn't come with a manual, and I've got no idea. Any help is appreciated.

I'm shooting with the Canon 7D, by the way, if that makes any difference.

  • Try setting a smaller aperture like f/11-16 when the lens is attached to the body and while removing, press and hold the 'DOF Preview' button. This will keep the aperture set to the one you selected. Thus you can reduce the very thin DOF issue by a little. Jun 14 '11 at 11:47

The aperture can't be set by the camera - it doesn't think anything is connected to the camera. So that's why you're getting F00 I believe.

As far as the focus goes, you definitely lose infinity focus and you'll need to be EXTREMELY close to your subject. Try putting the lens within a few inches of your subject and it should start to come into focus.

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    Thanks for your help, it appears to have worked! the only thing is that I have an incredibly narrow range where the subject can be in focus.
    – user5587
    Jun 13 '11 at 16:31
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    @User5587 - For extension tubes and reverse mounting lenses, this is the case unfortunately. You can buy a dedicated macro lens that focuses the whole range, but the price is obviously more. (If this worked for you, don't forget you can click the check mark to accept the answer).
    – rfusca
    Jun 13 '11 at 16:34

At close focus distances depth of field is very very shallow and requires a small aperture (and lots of light or a long exposure).

As stated in the comments thread of ElendilTheTall's answer there's no aperture lever on Canon lenses and as the electrical contacts are broken by mounting the lens backward the only way to stop down is to use the depth of field preview button to close the aperture, and then with the button held down remove the lens. The aperture should remain stopped down.


You lose aperture control when you reverse the lens because the aperture mechanics are no longer connected to the camera - they're at the other end now! If your lens doesn't have a manual aperture ring (most modern ones don't), you can either hold the aperture lever in place to keep it open, or get a marble-sized ball of poster tack and use that to keep the lever in place.

As for focus, the only way to do it is to move the whole camera back and forth. Be aware that lenses with different focal lengths will focus at different distances - the wider, the closer. Another tip is that the farther the lens is from the sensor, the greater the magnification. Manual extension tubes do the job and are dirt cheap.

  • sorry, but could you tell me what the aperture lever is? i don't think i have a manual aperture ring (unless it is the same as the focus ring..above it there's a window indicating the aperture), and there's nothing i can see moving that i could hold in place. thanks!
    – user5587
    Jun 13 '11 at 17:19
  • @user5587 - What lens are you using? The aperture lever is a little spring loaded tab sticking out of the back (the front when its reverse mounted) of the lens. If you slide it forward and backward along its groove, you can see the hole in the lens (the aperture) opening and closing.
    – rfusca
    Jun 13 '11 at 17:30
  • @ElendilTheTall - the poster tack is a good idea!
    – rfusca
    Jun 13 '11 at 17:31
  • Yeah, bit of a hack but it works, and it means you can use a tripod which is a big help with reversed lenses. Jun 13 '11 at 17:53
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    @all There's no aperture lever on Canon EF lenses, as the OP stated he's using a 7D I imagine he's using the EF version of the 30 f/1.4
    – Matt Grum
    Jun 13 '11 at 18:11

I also looked for a cheap macro hobby solution. I fact I already had a 50 mm Pentacon f1.8 Auto lens from my old manual Practica LTL-3 camera and original set of Pentacon extension tubes. So I just bought a cheap 49 mm screw-mount to K-bayonet reduction for my Pentax K-x.

Ok, It works, but is has all these disadvantages as mentioned (probably the same as the reverse mount): you have to go very close (depends on the extension tube used - in the set you have 3 different lenghts), very shallow depth of field and also the extension tube decreases the number of light going to the camera sensor.

I also have to manually push the F-stop button on the lens. This lens is called auto because there is also a small pin, which is used to activate the aperture by the camera before taking photo, however in this case it cannot be used and you have to activate it manually.

There are in my opinion two important things: first, has the reversely mounted lens manual aperture control? Second, do you use reverse mount on other lens ((I saw someone who had a telephoto lens reversely mounted on the standard lens) or directly on the camera?

In fact, if I use the shortest extension tube and take photo of some flowers when no wind moves them and I have a plenty of sunlight, I can achieve relatively good photos (as the lens is pretty sharp and has almost no aberation etc.) using the Pentax focus assist function - just press the shutter release and then move forward and back and camera takes the photo when the focus is detected to be OK. But needs a plenty of patience.I also have Tamron 70-300 with "macro" and it is much easier to operate. In future I plan to buy something like Tamron 90 mm macro. :-)

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