My instructor lectured us about macro photography and she showed how to take macro photographs by using normal lens by reversing with out fixing it to the camera, but when I unfix the lens it shows nothing. I have a Nikon D5200 and I used nikkor 18-55mm lens. Luckily I used Canon 5D and I could take some amazing photos using the same lens?! What's wrong with Nikon D5200 and how can I overcome it?!

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    Which mode was selected with the Nikon's mode dial? Jul 14 '17 at 7:37
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    Does it take a picture on manual mode? Does the Live View work? is it a dark screen or a white screen? (My D3300 does work without any lens attached)
    – Rafael
    Jul 14 '17 at 12:24
  • Just dark screen
    – pooza
    Jul 14 '17 at 14:04
  • You need to provide more details. What do you mean by "it shows nothing"? This isn't possible. The viewfinder would still be showing you light from the front of the camera, with or without a lens.
    – Myridium
    Aug 6 '17 at 21:30

The problem is, once the normal lens is detached, the lens no longer able to exchanges electronic and mechanical instructions with the camera body. You can work this way, but now the burden to make lens adjustments, such as aperture settings, falls on your shoulders. The good news is, you can purchase advanced tubes and spacer rings that will maintain camera body to lens communications. With these advanced rings, “macro” work becomes a breeze. These spacers called rings and tubes have been used successfully for many years. However, the demonstration of hand-holding a detached lens and making pictures should be viewed as a curiosity. This is not a viable way to operate. The detached lens allows light to leak into the camera. This light will intermingle with the imaging rays from the lens and degrade the results. Additionally, hand-holding makes it difficult to compose and focus, plus it is unlikely that the lens will be square with the body.

As to lens reversal: It is unnecessary to reverse the lens to do “macro” photography. We sometimes reverse the lens as this act may slightly improve acuity. This is because the “normal” camera lens is optimized to image objects at different distances from the camera and project their image on flat film or digital chip. The rear of the lens is optimized to work on a flat surface. Most “macro” work is done on flat objects like stamps or coins. A reversed lens often preforms better for these tasks. The rings and tubes mentioned earlier accept a reversing ring mount. We use these accessories to make “macro” images. However, best you keep in mind that spacers, tubes and reversing rings are poor substitutes for a “macro” lens, as this lens is optimized to do close up work

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    On the other hand, reversing rings and extension tubes are some of the least expensive photo accessories you can buy, while even a cheap macro lens will set you back a few hundred bucks.
    – Caleb
    Jul 14 '17 at 15:39
  • @ Caleb -- How many ways -- Tubes rings, bellows attachments, and the less expensive supplemental close-up lens (close-up filter). Its a matter of cost vs. quality. Jul 14 '17 at 15:43

There is nothing wrong with the camera. Since lens is not attached, camera doesn't detect it and you can not shoot. solution : buy a reverse ring (Rs.200 cheaper one) for 18-55mm for your mount.

  • But why did the Canon do it with the same lens?
    – user152435
    Jul 14 '17 at 8:51
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    i am not sure about canon. I own nikon d5200 and have faced same scenario.
    – Rafal
    Jul 14 '17 at 8:59
  • @user152435 Different camera, different set of rule programmed in?
    – Michael C
    Jul 14 '17 at 18:03

Make sure you are working on Manual mode. That should work.

Most DSLR cameras will not work on any mode but that one without an electronic lens attached.

Another trick is to use another lens over your kit lens. You will get more magnification. :o) Use the longer focal length, not the wider one.

  • Of course I used manual mode but still it didn't work!
    – pooza
    Jul 14 '17 at 12:20

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