Over the past couple of days, I saw several videos on YouTube claiming that you can turn every lens into a macro lens with one simple piece of metal. And since I’m naturally curious and don’t believe everything I see or hear without a pinch of salt, I had to try that out my self.

The adapter arrived today.

I bought it on Amazon for just 15 Euros*! There are cheaper ones available, but I have a habit of never getting the cheapest thing.

(The adapter that does magic.)

The adapter itself is tiny. It threads on to the filter end of the lens with one side and has a standard EF bayonet on the other side. But since I got a 58mm adapter, I first needed to use some good old step-up rings to get it to fit on my old 49mm threaded Pentax lens.

(My 28mm 1:2.8 Pentax lens attached to the adaptor. Note the lens now faces rearwards.)

What I had found out from the videos, and which is optically true, is that a wide-angle lens produces a higher magnification when mounted rearwards. That is because it has to project a way larger field of view on to that same sensor/ 35mm film as a telelens that only covers a small field of view.

(The Euro sign on a 10 Euro note.)

Naturally, I had to confirm what I already knew about optics with my own eyes. To make this test easier, I chose to try it with my 18-55mm kit lens at 18 and 55mm. And since I didn’t want to photograph money all night long, I chose my lens hood as a subject.

(My setup for the test. I used my Aputure M9 for lighting.)

Because it was quite dark, and because macro photography, as all kinds of photography, requires light that can get blocked by the lens when you get extremely close to your subject, I set up my Aputure M9 LED light and the lens hood on my desk.

(@ 55mm, 1:5.6)

First I tried my luck at 55mm. As you can see it’s already getting closer, but you can still see quite a lot of the lens hood. And because I haven’t quite figured out reverse focusing yet, I’m glad that my Canon M5 has peaking. So I focused by moving the lens to and from my lens hood until the red showed and it was in focus.

(@ 18mm, 1:3.5)

At 18mm the magnification is substantially greater. You can even see the glue underneath that sticker! Unfortunately, the depth of field decreases a lot, and because it still was quite dark, handheld shots were very difficult to achieve. But it worked out in the end.

My mind got officially blown. For just 15 Euros. So I really think you should try this trick yourself*. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with 15 Euros if you don’t like what you get after all. And there’s always the possibilty to return things bought on Amazon.

(The video that grabbed my attentionf.*)
(The video that got me to try it out mysel.*)

*no affiliation