Following up from my previous question I would like some advice on getting closer results.

Below I have posted an unedited photo of a dead fly I found. What equipment do I need to get his face filling the shot? Currently I am using a 50mm macro lens and a set of extension tubes I am using all three to get this image.

I know I could crop it but my aim is to shoot smaller subjects so I'm trying to avoid that.

Lastly like most I am on a tight budget (I have looked a bellows, would they get me much closer?)

close up of house fly

  • A microscope with camera mount? – Michael C Oct 16 '13 at 22:15
  • 1
    Try reverse lens mounting ring. See reverse lens questions & answers. – Esa Paulasto Oct 17 '13 at 4:46

Well, the most extreme macro lens in production is, as far as I know, the Canon MP-E 65mm. It offers up to 5x magnification and is not an easy beast to master. At 5x magnification, it would still have to be a pretty darn big fly if its face were to fill a 24x36mm full-frame sensor, or even the 16x24-ish one on a crop camera.

In other words - kit that fulfills your wish would have to be well and truly exotic, and you would have to overcome all kinds of problems with lighting the subject, nailing the focus, getting sufficient depth of field, and diffraction. I do suggest that you go for cropping instead, it is one thing that today's multimegapixel cameras are very good at.


In addition to Esa Paulasto's suggestion, you can use a combination of telephoto and reversed wide-angle lens to do macro. I found that a 28mm reversed and added to a 200mm lens gave me 5.2x magnification (I photographed a ruler with this arrangement and computed the magnification). But as Staale S says, you will need bright lighting since you need to stop down (make your aperture smaller) to get decent depth of field.

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