I'd like to try my micro 4/3, 25mm f1.4 Leica lens in the reverse direction for macro photographs. When it's off the body the aperture appears to be wide open. Ideally I'd like to stop it down to say f5.6 for optical performance and depth of field reasons, but of course the electrical contacts will not be connected when it is reversed. Is there any way to control the lens aperture to do this?


3 Answers 3


What a great idea, and it works for me, but not quite as described.

I'm using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark 2 which does have a DOF button. The lens is a Leica / Panasonic Summilux 25mm f1.4. Here's how it works for me.

  • I put the camera on aperture priority so that I can dial up the aperture I want.
  • I press and release the DOF button and the aperture of course changes to the one I set
  • I then take the lens off the camera without switching the camera off, and the lens remains stopped down. The DOF preview doesn't have to be pressed whilst I do this.

If I switch the camera off even with the DOF pressed, the aperture reverts to fully open. I know taking the lens off with the camera on is said to increase the risk of dust getting on the sensor, but it's not something I'd do often so I don't think it would be a problem.

The aperture reverts to fully open when I put the lens back on.

I've tried it on all my Olympus lenses and the procedure works for them all.

Many thanks for putting me on the right track!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I've updated my answer to match yours. I wondered, since power-on/dismount is also how it works on Canon, but someone else on an MFT board said powered off, so I went with that. My Panny GX7 has no DoF preview button, so I couldn't try it at home. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Dec 21, 2016 at 17:35

Not 100% sure of this (it's a trick that works for Canons, and I'm seeing a few reports around the interwebz this works with Olympus mft bodies that have a DoF preview button), but if you set the aperture on the lens and hold down the DoF preview button when you unmount the lens, the lens should hold the aperture setting when you reverse mount it. Obviously, you have to remount and go through this all over again any time you want to adjust the aperture setting.

You could also adapt an old manual lens (e.g., an Olympus OM lens) that has an aperture ring, or try to see if you can find a reverse mount rig that includes a cable for camera-to-lens contact communication.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I've also heard this, but instead using the dof preview button while detaching the lens, not turning off the camera. Not sure if it would make a difference though... \$\endgroup\$
    – Ryan
    Dec 20, 2016 at 20:39
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ According to this blog post (and I assume the cameras described don't have a DoF preview button), a similar method is to start a long exposure at the desired aperture, and while the camera is exposing, remove the lens. This apparently leaves the lens at the set exposure. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Dec 20, 2016 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you turn a camera off most of them will return everything to the "default position" before shutting down. With Canon lenses you need to leave the camera ON while removing the lens with the DoF Preview button held down. If you turn the Canon EOS camera off while holding down the DoF button the aperture will return to wide open before the camera shuts off. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Dec 21, 2016 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ For more, please see: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/54338/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Dec 21, 2016 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know exactly what it's called, but there are reverse adapting systems that allow communication between the body and the lens. Try searching 'reverse adapter with automatic system'. I've posted a picture of one here \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:23

For Canon you can use adapter ring that will arrange the communication between body and the lens.

On the other hand, if you are using primitive ring to attach the lens you have no way to control focal plane. You can buy cheap and good SLR from old times. Such lenses have manual apperture ring. Wikipedia image


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