Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Poor man's MPE65 - DMF Supermacro

There are a few ways to achieve more than 1:1 magnification. This is just one of them. I will be sharing a few other methods too soon.

If you have been drooling over the MPE65 and MT24EX, drool no more! LOL. Thanks to KJ Teng for the heads-up.

This may just be what you have been waiting for:

dmf supermacro reverse lens adapter with twin flash

It's called DMF Supermacro, a reverse lens adapter with twin flash. Note: the camera body and lens are not included. There is only Canon version though. You will still need a lens. An 18-55 kit lens will work great here. With this DMF Supermacro reverse lens adapter, you will not only be able to use ETTL flash, but also to control the aperture setting. About USD 700 including EMS shipping to Malaysia.

There is a demo video but there's only Mandarin subtitle:

DMF SuperMacro TECH PART3 from frankwu on Vimeo.

DMF Supermacro site is here. It is in Mandarin but there is a "translate" button at the bottom right, at least in my Firefox browser.

DMF SuperMacro features:

Here is my attempt at the translation!

* 輕易將一般型陽春鏡頭升級為高解析超微距鏡頭!
* transform any ordinary kit lens into high resolution super macro lens!

* 具備超微距專用雙閃,可任意調整光線角度!
* equipped with macro twin flashes with adjustable angles!

* 獨家設計鏡前輔助對焦燈,取景視野明亮清晰!
* built in focusing light!

* 搭配不同焦段鏡頭可獲得1/3~10倍超顯微放大並維持高解析畫質!
* achieve from 1/3 to 10X magnification depending on the zoom ranges and focal lengths of the lenses.

* 搭配之鏡頭不需做任何修改及拆解!
* no modification required on the lens(es).

* 轉換拍攝倍率無需拆換鏡頭,直接調整即可!
* simply adjust the lens barrel to change the focal length in order to achieve different magnification!

* 輕便高效率的專利設計!台灣精密製造耐用質感優!
* Patented, light weight and durable design. Made in Taiwan!

With a Canon 18-55mm kit lens, this is what you can get:

* at 52mm, 1:1 magnification
* at 38mm, 2:1 magnification
* at 28mm, 3:1 magnification

If you wish to calculate the magnification, the best way is to shoot an mm ruler as explained in the "How to calculate magnification" post.

Sample shots on Flickr.

There is a somewhat similar product from Novoflex - EOS-RETRO, Reverse Adapter (Euro 299) for Canon EOS (yes, Canon, again. Don't they know Canon already has an MPE65?). But as you can see, it doesn't come with the twin flash like the DMF Supermacro does.


Of course you also buy just a simple, no frill reverse lens adapter like the Opteka 58mm Reverse Macro Adapter for Canon EOS EF 18-55mm . It is a simple reverse lens adapter with no electrical contact, hence no ETTL, no aperture control via the camera.

It's cheap. The downsides are, you will have to manually adjust the flash power. That can be quite a pain at different magnification. Since you have to preset the aperture to probably F11, most macro photographers' favorite aperture setting, the view finder will be very dim. Not really a big problem if you don't mind attaching a focusing light to your macro rig.

How do you know which adapter is for your lens you want to reverse? Simple. If you have a Canon 18-55mm kit lens, you know the filter size is 58mm, then what you need is a 58mm Canon mount reverse lens adapter! So on and so forth. There are reverse lens adapters for most mounts: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax etc.

Please also check out "All About Extension Tubes for Macro" to find out how you can go beyond 1:1 (1X) or simply just to test the water, get your feet wet in macro photography! It is really inexpensive. As low as 10 USD to get started!


  1. Kurt,
    can use on Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens?
    Is the magnification greater than 1:1?
    Just curious. :)


  2. Hi Jimmy, the DMF Supermacro and/or the Novoflex EOS Retro are meant for reversed zoom lens. If you already have a macro lens, my suggestion is to get a full set of extension tubes, preferably those with electrical contacts. I'll be making a post on this soon.

  3. Master Kurt,

    can make a post about Nikon Macro ka? hehe...

  4. JW...why do you always give me tough questions?:D.

    I'll give you an easy answer. Jump ship! LOL.

    Just kidding :D. Not easy answer though. I think the closest you could get is 1.4X TC, ET and Nikon 60mm?

    Maybe even the 1.7X TC instead of the 1.4x.

  5. Wow really great site! I have a question you may know the answer too..?

    I shoot macro with a reversed Canon 50mm EF lens on a Canon 550D using a 58mm reversing ring.
    I would like to know if it is possible to get a 'female EF adaptor to screw fitting' so as to be able to put on a MT-24EX or Opteka Dedicated Macro or (any of the flash or LED light kits that require a screw fitting) on to the end of the 'backwards'lens if that makes sence. Have you seen this kind of adaptor?

  6. Thanks ImmImagery. Not aware of such adapters but i think with a little bit of DIY, you can modify a lens rear cover and attach a macro lite adapter to it so you can mount the MT24EX on.

  7. For USD700, it should have TTL flash.

    1. Yes, it has TTL. Anyway, this is from 7 years ago, not sure if this product is still available in the market.



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