Nikon 18-55 kit lens macro mod.

Discussion in 'The Gallery' started by spectre257, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    I was reading about modifying Canon kit lenses to make them into a ghetto macro lens by removing the front lens group. Thinking Nikon might have used a similar design in their kit lens I decided to give this mod a crack using a lens with a broken bayonet that a customer gave me.
    Fortunately for me another guy came in with the front of his lens completely sheared off so before throwing it out I recovered a usable bayonet to replace my broken one.
    After finishing modding the lens I stuck it on my D800 and took it outside to take a few snaps. Considering it cost me nothing to make I was pretty surprised at the results from it. :eek:

    The lens:
    [​IMG]
    Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Macro Mod - 04 by delayedflight, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Macro Mod - 05 by delayedflight, on Flickr

    The results:
    [​IMG]
    Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Macro Mod - 11 by delayedflight, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Macro Mod - 10 by delayedflight, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6 Macro Mod - 09 by delayedflight, on Flickr
     
  2. Ozymandias.

    Ozymandias. Member

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    The photos are certainly lovely, but they don't look like that high a magnification...

    Was that the closest you could get to the subjects?

    Did auto-focus still work? I know it's largely useless at the macro level, but I'm curious about how the mod would effect it.
     
  3. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Neat! is the front filter thread still intact?

    Be interested to see what magnification you're getting, get a ruler running horizontal and get as close as possible then show us the result :D
     
  4. OP
    OP
    spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    The front filter thread is untouched as the front group literally screws in that way. This was as close as I could get with the lens to a ruler.
    The lens is unable to autofocus without the front group.
    Keep in mind these shots were from an FX camera.

    Edit:
    The main difficulty at the closest the lens can go is light as the lens almost touches its subject casting your shadow over it, without a flash setup it's impractical and for me not as aesthetically pleasing as going a little bit wider. Saying that the only lens that trumps it is my Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Ltd.

    [​IMG]
    18mm by delayedflight, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    55mm by delayedflight, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  5. Statitica

    Statitica Member

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    Nice work; would you have a link to how it's done/how it works? I can't figure it out from this thread... :Paranoid:

    Pretty cool how you're getting around 1.7x mag (at 55mm) out of a freebie modded lens :)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    Here's the repair manual: you peel back the lens sticker and it should reveal screws to remove the front element.

    Click to view full size!
     
  7. frogduck

    frogduck Member

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    Nice photos!

    That looks deceivingly easy to mod, or is it actually really easy to mod? :Pirate:
     
  8. ChaosMaster

    ChaosMaster Member

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    Very nice. Tempted to try it on mine now.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    It's as easy as the manual suggests: remove the sticker, take out the screws, unscrew the front element, wack a filter on the front to seal it and bob's your uncle. :D
     
  10. frogduck

    frogduck Member

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    Wow, I'll definitely be trying this then :)

    Any ideas if its as easy to return to its original form (don't know why I would do this, but in case :confused:)?

    Also, this is probably more a general question but how is the aperture if you do this? (I haven't played much with extension tubes or using a reverse filter but have heard they would decrease the aperture) :Paranoid: feel free to flame if its a stupid question :thumbup:
     
  11. OP
    OP
    spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    The process I reckon is reversible since you're just removing it like in the manual and putting it back together again in the same fashion just don't lose any parts.
    Doing this mod does not effect the lens's aperture mechanism since you're not actually touching it. But at the longest zoom it does effect the visible light coming through the lens when you're trying to compose.
    Extension tubes move the lens away from the image plane so you are able to focus closer but lose significant amounts of light the further the lens is away from the body. It does not affect aperture but the visible light getting to the sensor/film (you will notice the viewfinder will be rather dim).

    This mod doesn't come with guarantees, and I won't be responsible for your lens turning into a junker.
     
  12. frogduck

    frogduck Member

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    Yeah Thanks for the information!

    My 18-55mm has just been collecting dust so might as well do something with it, if it breaks, it breaks :)
     
  13. dean_is_not

    dean_is_not Member

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    Is yours the non-VR version? My 18-55VR is broken :( so I thought I'd try this, but underneath the sticker there aren't any screws.
     
  14. Pigz

    Pigz Member

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    Just tried this tonight with my 18-55mm... It works and image coming out surprisingly sharp! Thanks for the heads up :)
     

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