The last few installments of Slingshot to Kruger are brewing, their publication somehow slowed by the many imponderables of life. Despair not, they will happen.

In the meantime, in search of easy distraction, I have revamped my macro setup and improved the props. My latest addition is the simplest of them all, the famous Pringles box as a flash re-director. Here is what the rather silly apparatus looks like. Canon 7D and grip, Kinko 1.4x tele-converter,  good old Canon EF 100mm f:2.8 macro, reverse-mounted very old Pentax 50 mm f:1.4, Canon 430 EX II flash, and the invaluable Pringles can.

The macro setup

The can is sliced open to fit the flash head, taped in black to minimize reflectivity, and a piece of Styrofoam picnic plate is fitted inside the bottom cap as a reflector. With that setup, I retain TTL – which is invaluable, and even auto-focus if I’m not using the reversed lens. The Canon lens by itself gives me a 1:1 ratio, which isn’t huge, and adding the tele-converter probably increases the magnification to 1.4:1.

However with the reverse-mounted lens, I achieve a whoppping 4.5:1 magnification – in other words the size of objects recorded on my sensor is four times larger than reality.

Five millimeters at 4.5:1 – Close-up of your everyday pocket size metal roll-in measuring tape

For those of you who like maths, I just confirmed this by photographing a measuring tape, above. As you can see, the sensor (a cropped APS-C) captures about 5 mm of tape. That sensor being 22.3 mm wide, we are at about 4.5:1 magnification. Yeah, I know, the tape isn’t really sharp, this was handheld and at that magnification, one must focus by moving the lens forward and aft and even the steadiest hand shakes enormously…

Any way, the results of some experimenting are below. I made sure to catch a close-up glimpse of the Pringles before throwing them away. Yes, I did eat 5 or 6, first.