Freelensing is the practice of removing the lens from your camera body and holding it in place. When used for portraits, it can have a similar effect of a tilt-shift lens. The focal plane will be tilted and uneven, leaving some parts of your subject out of focus. There will also be more blur and out of focus areas in the corners, and accompanying that will be light leaks. The amount of light leakage you have depends on how far away or off-center your lens is on the body of the camera.
Reverse Freelensing is almost exactly like freelensing, but you turn the lens so the front element is facing the camera body. While looking through your viewfinder or using your live view mode, you can focus on your subject by moving your camera and body back and forth.
depth of field
Achieving specific depth of field to make sure your subject is in your preferred level of focus can be tricky. Most dSLR cameras have a Depth of Field Preview button that activates the aperture so you can check what will and won't be in focus before pressing the shutter. Usually, this button is on the underside of the lens mount.
In order to keep your aperture closed down for better control of depth of field, you need to set your aperture with the lens mounted, then, while pressing the Depth of Field Preview button, remove the lens. Once you look through the lens, you'll see the aperture is still closed down.
The Canon EOS 6D Depth of Field Preview button is located on the underside of the lens mount.
Because you've removed the lens from the lens mount, you can't adjust the aperture quite so easily, so I recommend setting that first to achieve the specific depth of field you'd like. As far as shutter speed and ISO, it's dependent on how much light you have coming into the lens and what you're photographing. Freelensing has more light coming onto the sensor than reverse freelensing. Your ISO will need to be much higher in the same lighting conditions while reverse freelensing.
Are you going to try freelensing?
Freelensing and reverse freelensing are great ways to get different looks while using the same equipment. If you try either of these techniques, please post a photo of your results on the Cane River Photographic Society Facebook group. We'd love to check them out!
If you have any questions about this technique or if you'd like to see more posts like this, please leave your comments below.
Meet The Author