Pringles can macro photography


Reader [Harald] sent us this sweet Pringles can macro photography hack from way back in 2005. Using a Pringles can and a standard Cannon 50mm MKII lens, they have produced some amazing results. The image above is the tip of a ballpoint pen. Not only does he go through the steps to make it, but then goes in depth on how to best set your camera and other good practices for macro photography. Pringles cans aren’t just for holding chips and making wireless antenna.

We’ve covered several macro photography rigs before, like how to do macro photography with your iPhone, or with a flip camera, and even how to build a massive laser controlled macro photography setup.


  1. Eric M says:

    I’ve actually created a slightly adapted version of this, and an Instructable here:

  2. Alex ~ says:

    So glad i read this yesterday on Hackzine, come on Caleb, cite the source :p

  3. Alex ~ says:

    (PS, don’t take that the wrong way, it’s a playful jab)

  4. gilbert says:

    what brand of “potatoe crisps” is it in the link, it don’t look like a typical pringles can.

  5. Caleb Kraft says:

    @ alex
    the source is cited in the first sentence. It was a submission to the tip line.

  6. Wolf says:

    Neat hack, but without upping the sub-mm dof, this would only really be useful for photographing 2d surfaces and the like.

  7. Alcoholic says:

    He mentions activating DOF preview on the camera and then removing the lens. It would be better and easier to just get an older manual focus lens that has an aperture ring built in for $5 at a store that sells used camera equipment.

    This trick is just a variation on using the pre-made macro extension rings which are available for most lens mounts. Another fun trick is to take two lenses, say 50mm lenses, and tape or use a reversing ring to put one backwards in front of the one attached to the camera. You can get nearly microscopic levels of magnification with the right lenses.

  8. entropia says:

    The camera manufacturer is Canon, not Cannon…

  9. dylski says:


    I did something like that on for my Olympus 2020Z camera. Used an old cheap 58mm lens in reverse in front of the camera to get some good results.

    Rudimentary project instructions and results available at

  10. cmholm says:

    For those of you who – like me – still have their manual focus SLR chassis, stuff like lens reversing rings, macro lenses, and macro bellows have gotten pretty reasonable on eBay as of late.

    Now, if only a few rokkor/canon/nikkor fisheyes would do the same…

  11. : P … Just Telling: P: D

  12. ffxiv gil says:

    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it with Ďwe leave it to you to decide?

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