Stepping Rings and its many uses

Have you ever needed different stepping adapter sizes which are not available? Have you ever wanted a female to female thread adapter to join two pieces of camera equipment together? If so, read on. You may be surprised that what you needed before is actually right under your nose; all it takes is a little ingenuity.

There are some step-down rings which have larger male thread size (usually 55 to 67mm), with smaller female threads (perhaps 49 or 52mm) that extend the entire thickness of the ring. This can be effectively used as a female to female adapter e.g. 52 to 49mm step down ring will have 52mm male threads on one end and 49mm female threads which span the entire thickness.

Step-down rings with female threads which extend the entire thickness
Step-down rings with female threads which span the entire thickness

With a few of these adapters, you could make your own custom setup. You then have two sets of threads to work with, to mount different items to it e.g. lens hood, filters.

Another very useful stepping ring is the M39 to M42 step-up ring. It allows the use of M39 enlarger lenses with M42 focusing helicoids.

M39 (female) to M42 (male) stepping ring
M39 (female) to M42 (male) stepping ring

For example:

Step 1:

Focusing helicoid with M39-M42 step-up ring
Focusing helicoid with M39-M42 step-up ring inside, but jutting out a little

Step 2:

58-52mm step-down, 52-49mm step-down, 49mm Xume magnetic adapter
52-42mm step-down ring mounted in reverse onto the M39-M42 stepping ring. Group with 58-52mm step-down (reverse orientation), 52-49mm step-down (normal orientation), 49mm Xume magnetic adapter shown next to it

Step 3:

Add a 52-42mm step-down ring mounted reversed to give access to M39 female and 52mm male threads for mounting
58-52mm step-down ring mounted on male 52mm threads, giving access to M39 female threads and 52mm female threads (and 58mm male threads if needed)

Step 4:

Lego-style stepping-rings mounted on focusing helicoid
Previous group of stepping-rings with 49mm Xume adapter, mounted on focusing helicoid ( the M39 female threads can hold a small enlarging lens e.g. 35mm F3.5 lens)

Step 5:

Now with my 49mm Baader U with Xume adapter fitted - there is space inside for a small enlarger lens
Now with my 49mm Baader U with Xume adapter fitted

Other possibilities:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Convert a reversing adapter to have female threads – 52mm-M43 reversing adapter with 58-52mm step-down ring to create 52mm female to M43 adapter

Boon