The reversed lens is often used for cheap macro; simply reversing a camera lens, it magnifies things.

I used to buy a cheap reversing ring for my camera, used a manual zoom lens reversed for a while – it was good for extreme macro, but hard to use. OK, using reversed lenses is always hard, but we can make this comfortable… with aperture control from the camera.

So an idea came from a Youtube video (see in links): modify a cheap Canon 18-55 for reversing, with pulling control signals from the bayonet to the front of the camera (which became the backside now).

I simply grabbed a reversing ring from eBay, and an empty filter ring (needed for space for the wires). Placed the contact pins to the ring, connected wires to the lens control electronics on the new “front” (previously bottom) of the lens, and voilá: I had a reversed lens with aperture control, correct light metering… Autofocus does not work, but it will be not so useful, even it would work (so I disconnected the focus drive).

As the signal cable is mounted externally, I made some fixing for it, allowing the cable to move when zooming. Not a beautiful thing, but works!

The old 18-55 can be completely restored to the original state, but it’s much more useful for me as a reversed lens :) Now it has a brand label Chaos instead of Canon.

Since then (2014), I made a lot of photos with this lens, and it still works :) The reversed kit lens can produce a mapping rate around 2:1, which is very good for macro. Below you can see pictures of the building and captures with this thing.

More info:

The bayonet of kit lens removed, the contacts mounted on the revesing ring

Drilled holes for the wires

Wiring almost done

Successful testing with temporary wiring

Building the final cable, with pin connectors

Final state

Both end requires a bottom cap

The new bayonet side

On camera (I have an 1100D)

Ant with external, off-camera flash. Subject distance is about 4-5cm with this lens

Spider portrait with on-camera flash

HDD heads

Clockwork (pocket watch)

Tiny grasshopper

Hoverfly portrait

Flower, about 5mm in diameter