Gear Overview

Macro photography is a very special form of capturing photos that has its own unique challenges when compared to other forms of imagery. A good comparison for example is bird photography; just like it is challenging to capture a flying bird in the distance using your phone, it is also difficult to capture the details of a bug using your phone. No matter what camera you use, some additional equipment is required.

The type of equipment that you can use varies depending on how much you are willing to invest to capture macro shots. You can use, from low cost to high: reversing rings, diopters, extension tubes, and macro lenses to capture macro photos.

If you desire to take a lot of macro photos, I highly suggest that you purchase a macro lens

The video above/to the side shows the current gear I use.

Photo of my gear

My Gear

I have quite a bit of gear that I've built up, and I've tried many different kinds and brands. I started my photography adventure in May 2014 with a Nikon D5300, I later purchased a Sony A6000, and then I sold my Nikon and all the lenses I had with it to get a Canon 7D Mark II. I've also had a Canon 6D, Canon 5D Mark IV, and a Canon G7X Mark II. I'm now on the Canon R system and love the R and R5.

A beautiful rose captured with the raynox-250 and a 50mm lens


Diopters are cool accessories that attach to your lens like a filter to provide you macro capabilities. I personally have only used one specific diopter, the Raynox 250. I did a lot of research on what to choose and I looked over a lot of photographs from other photographers who used diopters. I consistantly saw exceptional results from the Raynox 250, so I purchased one. The rose pictured was taken at f / 1.4 on my 50mm lens with the Raynox 250, and to this day, this is still my favorite macro picture of a rose.

My Recommendation

Example Photos

Here are photos I've captured using the Raynox 250 with my 50mm f /1.4 lens.

Raynox Reference 1
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Raynox Reference 4
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Raynox Reference 10
Raynox Reference 8
Raynox Reference 2
Raynox Reference 11
Raynox Reference 12
Me holding a lens reverse over a penny to show magnification

Reverse Lens

In order to use these you will need to already have a prime lens that is 50mm or less.The wider the lens is, the more magnification you will get. You can flip the lens around and play with it by looking through the lens to get an idea of what magnification you will achieve and how far away you will have to be from your subject (This picture is me holding a 50mm backwards over a penny.)

I have played with these a little bit since I managed to create my own using my 3D printer. For my application I created a 67mm to 58mm adapter that allowed me to connect my 100mm macro to my reversed 50mm prime lens. I was extremely impressed with the magnification power, I also reversed my 24mm prime lens on my 100mm macro and got even more magnification! It was pretty crazy and cool.

There are two types of reversing rings, the one I tried is a technique called lens stacking which requires a filter adapter, and the other type allows you to mount your lens backwards onto your camera body.

Reverse Lens Adapter

These are cheap, and good to get if you have a prime lens, preferably a 50mm, and want to try out macro photography for fun. You will need an adapter for your specific camera body with the same filter threads that your prime lens has. Here are a few on Amazon that you can use for a reference:

Canon 58mmNikon 52mmPentax 58mmOlympus 46mm


  • Very Cheap
  • Allows you to use existing gear
  • Impressive magnification


  • Challenging to use
  • Unable to easily adjust aperture
  • Exposes the lens contacts to the outdoor elements

Lens Stacking

I find this technique fun because you get the magnification like the Reverse Lens Adapter up above, but you have the ability to easily control your aperture from the lens attached to your camera. These are also very cheap, and you only have to find the correct adapter to adapter ring.

Here is the one that I 3D printed to connect my reversed 50mm lens to my 100mm lens:


  • Very Cheap
  • Allows you to use existing gear
  • Quick and easy setup


  • Challenging to focus
  • Exposes the lens contacts to the outdoor elements
Lens stacking is a great place to start if you have a 50mm or 35mm prime lens and a second lens to stick it onto. If you are starting out this is a great way to get the feel for how macro focus is and if you want to make life easier and upgrade to a macro lens