Yoshizen's Blog

Ultra Low Angle Photo Adapter

This is a photograph of the moss, taken in an ultra-low angle view.

A while ago, one of the most unique photographer in the Net-sphere who is producing the

photos with her exceptionally unique eye-point,

Karen the [Draw and Shoot] showed the photos of tiny Lichen, which were taken extremely

low angle.   Hence I put a comment “To take picture in such low angle must be very hard”

—– and she replied that she was almost standing on her head !

So, I promised her I’ll show an adapter to do such low angle shot. (Thence, it took a while

to find the adapter from tens of the boxes of camera-related junk, odd lenses to electronic

controllers, etc   :-))

—– It was an adapter to take a picture side-way = a prism was mounted on a

lens rear-cap to reflect the light in 90 degree, hence able to take side-view close-up 

while looking down the view finder. ( photo above / center)

Though, as the prism I used was rather small and viewing angle was very narrow,

this adapter is limited to be used only for more than x2 magnification while the lens

was reverse-mounted.

So that, I made another one which can be attached on front of the lens, which is using

a mirror instead of a prism. ( photo above / left)

The quality of the mirror is directly affect the image quality hence, ordinary mirror

couldn’t be used.  (Ordinary mirror has double reflections, one on the surface of the glass

and the other on the metal coating)  so that, I used a surface mirror from a SLR camera.

(= it is a genuine optical quality mirror still we can get, out of a broken old camera, free  !)

The mirror was fixed and glued in 45 degree to a frame of Polarizing Filter, therefore

the mirror can be rotated to a desired direction.  (Photo above is the skeleton. Later,

the light-path other than side-view was  sealed to prevent the double image)

Photo left is the whole assembly of Camera, Macro lens and the Low-Angle Adapter

attached on front. (Though, the lens was reverse mounted on this set-up)

On the actual use, set-up was shown on the Photo right. The test subject = Hazelnut

was in focus and this test shot image is the right photo in the collaged photo before.

Unlike the top photo which was taken with Low-angle Adapter attached on front of lens

(Micro Nikkor 55mm f3.5) and the magnification was about x1/2,  this photo above is

x1.2 (with lens reversed) — though, when lens was reversed, to have a focus, it need

to move tripod all together (or got to do it hand-held) = sorry, this photo was not

very sharp 😀


Small drawback of this adapter is, as it is using a mirror, the photo is the reversed image.

(Can easily be reversed again in Photoshop  🙂 )

The photo below is a normal shot without using Low-angle Adapter.

= You may noticed, the Moss’ pods are aiming left = this is the normal view, but in another

photo above, the pods are all aiming right.  Because, they are the mirror images, though, it

may not be any trouble in most of the case.  🙂

= For some occasion, this adapter might be useful for close-up. 

But, with a telephoto lens, (provided its filter size is smaller than 55mm) you can take

picture while aiming the camera 90 degree away, without let the people know, you

are taking their picture.  ( Though, don’t misuse it.  😀 )


PS : To the people who want to make this kind of adapter,

—– To get a Frame of Polarizing filter would be rather difficult = instead,

better use a lens-cap which has push-tubs on both side.

Cut a window  38mm x 18mm  in the center of the cap and stick the mirror

from SLR (but only from manual-focus old camera — AF camera has

secondary mirror (more difficult to disassemble) and mirror itself has

half mirror in the center = not suit for this purpose) using Epoxy-pate would

be the easiest as you can shape it to hold the mirror in its position.

Cut a piece of cardboard paper to two of  28Mm x 18mm x 21mm  triangle and

fix it to both end of the window first and fix the mirror on its edge would be a

better approach. (mirror would be fixed not 45 degree but about 48 degree

= this would be better)

If you finger-printed on the mirror, use white-spirit or solvent (on tissue

paper) before Epoxy-pate hardens.

By the way, never attempt to peel off the mirror from its base-panel = mirror

would just break.

Have a good work and Good luck.


11 Responses

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  1. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on September 26, 2012 at 02:00

    Very inventive! Your top shot of the moss is really beautiful. The light and shallow DOF make for a very interesting image.

    • yoshizen said, on September 26, 2012 at 02:22

      Thank you Lemony.
      In fact, I wanted to find a bit more clear-shaped subject as moss looks too messy though,
      it is the Murphy’s Law = when I need it isn’t there 😀

  2. bentehaarstad said, on September 26, 2012 at 18:36

    Very interesting, Yoshizen, but since I am a technically anto-nerd, I probably will continue standing on my head when taking ultra-low-angle photos. I am not as inventive as you, but it is of course interesting to see how you are finding solutions. By the way, for a second I thought the hazelnut was a cabbage, a very strange foreign cabbage… 😉

    • yoshizen said, on September 26, 2012 at 19:24

      Ha ha ha 😀 Squeal may thinking hazelnut is their coconut.
      Often photograph is very deceptive.
      As a botanical photographer in the expeditions, I had to take picture of the
      living sample, on the spot, before botanist uprooted and made it to a specimen =
      I had to invent and improvised a lots of equipment to do the job quick.
      Needs is a mother of invention.

  3. drawandshoot said, on September 27, 2012 at 19:12

    Yoshizen, you are so very creative! What a cool idea. Hmmn…
    Thanks so much for posting this, it’s really a wonderful post!

  4. yoshizen said, on September 27, 2012 at 20:11

    Thank you Karen. It was you reminded me that I made low-angle adapter
    —– 40 years ago ? Otherwise this post did not ever appeared here 🙂

  5. Elena Caravela said, on October 8, 2012 at 13:54

    Great! Thank you.

    • yoshizen said, on October 8, 2012 at 14:15

      Thank you Elena. (are you going to make one or you don’t need, as you got a skill
      to create a drawing seen from any angle = you got more freedom 🙂 )

  6. future garage said, on November 16, 2012 at 04:32

    Excellent info and entertainingly written. Keep up the wonderful stuff!

  7. […] Side-view Prism adapter (ultra low-angle adapter), a month ago. […]

  8. […] particular component such as when I needed to get a mirror for an […]

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