When the Reakway 4x microscope objective is mounted 150mm away from a camera's sensor using my standard 150mm microscope adapter, it works wonderfully for photography, covering a full-frame image sensor with a nice sharp image.

But it turns out that this particular objective can also be pushed down to 2x magnification by reducing the tube length to 84mm, making it useful for taking photos of larger subjects, and that's what this shorter adapter model achieves.

This adapter has been designed for hand-held shooting, using a flash for lighting to illuminate the subject and eliminate motion blur.


I 3D-print these adapters to order, so they normally ship on the next business day.

Shipping is from New Zealand to the world, and currently takes around 10-15 days to the US.

If you want to order more than one adapter, or have any questions before ordering, please contact me to discuss your order!

Select an adapter - 35.00 USD (includes 2 lens hoods)

Shipping outside New Zealand - 15.00 USD

Which cameras are compatible?

This adapter design is compatible with a range of DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Note that the adapters for DSLRs are approximately 2.5cm shorter than the mirrorless ones, due to the added depth of the DSLR's mirror box (check out the product photos above to see the difference)

  • Canon EF-S / EF
  • Canon M
  • Canon RF
  • Fujifilm X
  • Leica L (also used by some Panasonic and Sigma cameras)
  • Micro Four-Thirds
  • Nikon F
  • Nikon Z
  • Pentax M42
  • Sony A
  • Sony E / FE

This adapter is compatible with both full-frame and crop cameras (but the field of view on crop cameras will be correspondingly smaller).

Which objectives are compatible?

This adapter has been designed specifically for the Reakway 4x objective, and you can include this objective with your order by ticking the box above!

This adapter is unlikely to work with any other objective, because it pushes the objective well outside of the mounting distance that it was designed for (e.g. with the Reakway 10x objective, the area outside of the APS-C zone is essentially just an unusuable blur). My included lenshoods will not work on any other objective as they have been designed for the specific barrel dimensions of the Reakway 4x.

If you want to use other microscope objectives I suggest using my 4x+ magnification adapter instead, which supports all finite RMS objectives.

I think that the compatible 4x objective has also been sold by “Amscope”, but they may be changing suppliers from time to time and so are selling multiple different objectives with the same basic specs and outwards appearance.

The compatible model doesn't have any branding on it, but you can identify it because it looks like this (left) after unscrewing its hood (right):

Casing removed

There is a 4x objective on the market with an identical-looking outer casing but very different internals, and I haven't tested that one. It isn't compatible with my lenshood design and may have additional issues at the edge of the frame (like strong blur or vignetting).

Choosing your shooting settings

2x magnification on a full-frame sensor gives you a field-of-view of approximately 18×12mm, and on a 1.5x crop sensor this is 12×8mm, so choose some small subjects!

This objective has a nominal aperture of f/5, which is an effective aperture of f/15 at 2x magnification, and has no aperture blades so this cannot be changed.

Accordingly you will want flash lighting to get the image bright enough and to counter the effects of subject movement and camera shake.

If you're shooting with flash, on mirrorless cameras the preview image in the viewfinder may be dark (since it's showing the image that would result without flash). To fix that, set it to brighten the viewfinder image for you (on Sony cameras this is done by choosing “Setting Effect: Off”).

I shoot in M (manual) mode at my A7R's flash sync speed (1/160th), ISO 200, with my diffused flash set to 1/8th power and the diffuser placed as close to the subject as possible. This almost eliminates the contribution from natural light, so I can create my own light instead.

If you're shooting handheld without flash, you'll need to shoot in bright outdoor conditions and at high ISOs to eliminate camera shake and subject movement. I shot in A (aperture priority) mode at ISO 3200 to keep the shutter speed at 1/500th or faster. This is a stack of two photos taken handheld in overcast conditions:

Green Planthopper - Siphanta acuta

Shooting handheld indoors without flash is essentially impossible, because room lighting is far too dim.

Shooting technique

Since we can't close down the aperture further to increase the depth of field, to extend your depth of field you need to shoot many shots at slightly different focus depths, and align and merge these together in a program like Photoshop.

This also gives you the opportunity to extend the angle of view of your image by shooting a "macro-panorama" - reframe your subject to add extra images around the edges to give you more composition options when cropping your final shot.

Because of these two stacking advantages, I take many photos of my subjects, and I find that almost all of them end up being useful in the end, even the "missed" ones.

In Photoshop, use the auto-align and auto-blend layers features (with "stack images" ticked) to merge the images, it takes care of both focus stacking and macro-panorama at the same time.

When you become more proficient with shooting you will be able to deliberately create focus stacks by changing your depth slightly between shots (e.g. by moving the camera forwards or backwards), but you can also get good results just by trying to keep your subject's eye in focus, and include all the shots where you missed the focus in your stack!

This comparison shows the difference between taking a just single frame (left), and the extended depth of field that I gained by stacking 11 individual frames (taken hand-held) using Photoshop:

Stacking comparison

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Because of the framing differences from shot-to-shot that you'll get when shooting handheld, when the images are stacked in Photoshop the softer corners from the photos that were taken centered on your final composition will be replaced by the sharper more-central parts from off-center photos. Effectively you're only using the sharper central part of the photos.

If you're shooting focus stacks on a tripod you don't benefit from this effect since the framing remains fixed. So in that case, if you're using a full-frame camera, and you need your subject to be sharp all the way to the corners of the image, I'd recommend choosing my regular 4x magnification adapter instead. Crop camera users needn't worry about this since the smaller sensor only sees the sharper central part of the image.

Not all subjects will require stacking. If you align your plane of focus just right you can get the important parts in focus with a single frame. Here are some examples:

Single-frame images at 2x

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  • Robber fly on my t-shirt
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Hand-held focus stacks assembled in Photoshop

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  • Huntsman
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  • Mating pair of zorion australe
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Macro photographer Micael Widell reviews the adapter

Using the lens hoods

If you're using a full-frame camera, you will need to unscrew the metal lenshood that comes with the objective and replace it with one of the two printed hoods I include with your adapter. This is because the metal lenshood will cause black corners (vignetting) in the full-frame image.

The threads of the objective are sharp, so hold on to those threads using the black silicone pad I include with your adapter to protect your fingers, and unscrew the metal hood from the objective like so:

Metal hood removal

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It's possible to shoot with no hood attached if you can ensure that your flash lighting doesn't shine directly into the front element of the microscope (e.g. if your flash diffuser lies entirely behind the tip of the objective).

Crop-sensored cameras can continue using the stock metal hood, but you may still want to use the printed hood in order to increase your clearance with the subject (the printed version is shorter and narrower)

The 180-degree version of the hood is preferred if your flash lighting only comes from one side (e.g. only from above the lens) because you can rotate it to block stray light only from that direction, and give you more physical clearance from your subject on the other side. Otherwise use the 360 degree version.

The printed hoods are a push-fit. You must align the hood nice and vertically on the objective to start pushing it on, because the hood does not self-align. After pushing the hood fully down, you can swivel the 180-degree version as needed so that it blocks light coming from the right direction.

Micro Four-Thirds Adapter

The version of the microscope adapter for Micro Four-Thirds is different from the standard adapters because it is a three-piece design. You can unscrew the middle tube of the adapter to drop the magnification down to 1x. This gives you a field of view of 8.7×6.5mm with the middle tube included, and 17.3×13mm with it removed:


If you have your own 3D-printer you can opt to print this adapter yourself, I've posted the design to Printables here.

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