I have a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 105mm macro lens along with 2 external flashes (SBR200). I use all of this to do 1:1 macro photography. I would like to do some even more magnified photography, 2:1 or 3:1 or higher. What is the best way to go about this? Using extension tubes or reversal rings? Which is the better option with the above lens? What magnification can i achieve?

Im hoping I can keep my f-stop high to deal with depth of field issues since Im using external flashes

I also have a 18-200 mm nikon lens. will using a reversal ring with this lens give me closer pictures than the above lens? I guess i prefer using the 105mm macro since the quality of image would be better.

I appreciate the advice :)

  • To get to 2:1 with a 105mm macro lens that is at 1:1, you will need another 105mm of extension. This may create too much stress on the lens mount (that's a long lever arm hanging off of it) and you would instead find that working with a bellows (such as the PB6) to be a better approach.
    – user13451
    Oct 27, 2015 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


To achieve higher magnification you can use extension tubes, reversing rings and lens couplers.

Extension tubes are the easiest to work with because they have electrical contacts, which connect your lens to your camera. This way you can still retain connectivity and functionality like aperture control. You can have a look at this question: How can I calculate what the effect of an extension tube will be? which explains how to calculate the magnification when using extension tubes. You can also you Macro Bellows which are favoured for there increased precision.

Reversing Rings can also be a very good and cheap alternative. However because they are effectively a 'dumb' adapter you won't be able to use aperture control on your modern lenses. Typically people tend to use old manual focus primes for this as they have a built in aperture ring. The laws of focal length are also inversed when you use this technique e.g. the wider the lens focal length (18mm) the greater the possible magnification.

Lens Coupling rings aren't used as frequently but they can still achieve some fantastic results. Ideally you will want a telephoto and wide angle lens. The primary lens (attached to the camera) is the telephoto zoom at it's highest focal length and the secondary lens is the wide angle set on its widest focal length.

If your really into your Macro photography it might be worth investing in a specialist lens such as Canons MP-E. Or equivalent lens for your camera manufacturer.

It's personal preference what technique you use. However extension tubes in conjunction with your 105mm Macro lens would make for a very powerful setup!


Yes, extension tubes or reversed lens. The greater the magnification, the higher the actual f/stop number goes. Things get harder at such magnifications.

Use the 105 macro lens, forget the 18-200 for this.

Or for "larger than macro lens", this is becoming very popular too (on the long macro lens):


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