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I want to use a reversing ring to attach a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D (52mm filter) lens to a Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED (62mm filter) lens. I want to attach them in such a way that the 70-300 is mounted normally on the D80, then face-to-face attachment of the 70-300mm with the 50mm.

How do I attach a 50mm in reverse manner to a 70-300mm?

What filter thread do I need to attach to both of these, and what are the pros and cons of this type of attachment?

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    Have you looked to see what thread size your 50mm and 70-300mm take? We don't need to look that up for you, and there are variations of both lenses, so we couldn't be sure which pair of lenses you have – MikeW Feb 18 '13 at 7:17
  • filter size of nikon 50mm 1.8d is 52mm and that of nikon 70-300 ED is 62mm – Usman Kurd Feb 18 '13 at 7:27
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You attach both lenses by their filter threads.

So you need to find a reverse rings where one filter thread is for tele and another is for prime lens filter thread (so in your case 62 -> 52mm).

Just be careful not to buy one with bayonet on one side and filter thread on another, as that's quite different type on mounting than what you need. And be careful not to buy step-down rings as these are different types, allowing you to use smaller filters on larger lenses, that's not what you want.

Advantages:

  • Very high magnification. Way beyond 1:1 standard macro lenses can achieve. There's nearly no other way to achieve such a high magnifications with DSLR while still keeping acceptable image quality.
  • Low cost

Disadvantages

  • Very shallow depth of field (though that's rather a characteristic of such a high magnification than a disadvantage of this one setup)
  • Low speed of combined setup. You either need a lot of sunlight or artificial lighting
  • Focusing few malmost at the surface of a lens. Very difficult for shooting living animals
  • Risk of damaging the lens focusing mechanism if you'll try to use autofocus
  • Risk of damaging rear lens in your prime. If that's scratched you can equally well throw your lens to garbage. There's no way to fix scratches on rear lens and these scratches will impact the image quality.

Hints

  • Block your prime with aperture stopped down to f/2.
  • Move VERY slowly with this lens. Be careful where you shoot and how you shoot.
  • Best way to train is at home, with sunlight from window on a south.

Small sample of what I made using this technique:

damselfly

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