How to get great Macro Shots with two Lenses

This tutorial shows you

how to get extreme macro shots without a macro lens

or any other special macro gear

You'll need:

• an SLR or DSLR
• a zoom lens
• a prime lens



• reverse ring (coupler)

• step up ring

• tripod

• tape

• piece of folded paper

What I used:

• a Nikon D3200

• a 55-200mm zoom lens

• a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens

• tape

• piece of folded paper

How to get extreme macro shots using two lenses - Tutorial

Attach the Lenses!

Combine the zoom lens with the prime lens. You have to take the prime lens and turn it upside down so that it's face to face with the zoom lens. I used some tape to fix the two lenses but it's better and safer to use a reverse ring and/or a step up ring.

The aperture on the 50mm (or whatever lens you're using) has to be wide open. My lens doesn't have an aperture dial so I had to wedge the slide open. I used a folded piece of paper to open the aperture.

Now you can mount the zoom lens to your camera.

Setup your camera!

• In order to allow more light onto your camera sensor set the aperture ring on your prime lens to its smallest f-stop number. (This would be f/1.8 for the lens I used).
• Set the focus on your prime lens to infinity.
• The zoom lens should be zoomed to its maximum. You'll get more magnification as you zoom farther and if you don't zoom enough you'll get a black circle or a heavy vignette around your pictures.
• Auto-focus might work but it'll give you more trouble than help. Switch your zoom lens to manual focus.

Start Shooting!

Now it's time to start shooting. You have to be very close to your subject. Focusing can be a bit tricky so keep on looking through the viewfinder and move left, right, closer or further away until you see what you want to see. A single millimeter can make the difference between a crisp shot and a completely blurred photograph. This might take a few times but after some exercice you'll get the hang of it.

Sample Photos:

Here are some photos I took during my first attempt. The focus isn't perfect because I didn't use a tripod and a coupler so I had to hold my camera with one hand and the prime lens with the other hand. Anyway, you can see the extreme shallow depth of field and how close you get to your subject. It's awesome!

See more photos which were shot using this technique over here.

Write a comment

Comments: 3
  • #1

    Peter Stumpf (Monday, 08 December 2014)

    Hallo Monique,
    eine interessante Kombination zweier Linsen. Werde ich demnächst einmal ausprobieren.
    LG und weiter so

  • #2

    Nadia (Wednesday, 10 December 2014 05:56)

    A great tutorial with some stunning sample pics.
    I definitely have to give this a try!

  • #3

    Monique (Monday, 08 February 2016 05:14)

    Hi guys! I'm happy to hear that you like the tutorial. I hope it helps you ;)

last update • May 14 2017

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