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Old 02-26-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
tlcmommyx4
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Macro Extension tubes

I was just wondering if anyone has a bit of advise on the extension tubes you can use for Macro photography. I was wanting to try them out, but I not sure where to start or what brand to look at. Thanks for your input! Sorry my gear is a Canon 7D if that matters.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:31 AM   #2
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I have used them. I am unsure what brand I got. I got them on Amazon. Overall, they work. That is about the best I can say for them though. It is VERY hard to keep a subject in focus with them. As with most macro photography, you should use a tripod but with the tubes I found that this was especially true. The set I got had 3 different rings that you could use separately or you could combine 2 or all 3 if you so desired. I believe the set of 3 cost about $70 at the time.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:49 AM   #3
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Brand probably does not matter much since extension tubes have no glass in them to degrade the image. Just keeping the lens mount planes parallel is about all that matters. Some tubes have electrical contacts in them to maintain the auto aperture functions (maybe even auto focus) but this kind of photography is a slow process anyway so there may not be much benefit for the extra $$$. Many newer lenses do not have a means to set the aperture, some may be set on the camera and retain the aperture when they are removed.

One point, most lenses are optimized for the subject being farther from the lens than the sensor. With tubes this relationship is reversed and the lens may work better if it too is reversed. There are adapters for this that screw onto the lens like a filter ring. In this case there will not be any electrical contacts so manual focus and aperture are all we have.

Many dSLRs are not well suited to manual focus, the viewfinder screens are more for auto focus. Live view (with magnification) helps and there are optional screens for some dSLRs to help with manual focus.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:04 AM   #4
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These are the ones I got, thoughI bought them used for $140 (they are for all intents and purposes as good as brand new).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Tube_Set.html

there's a big market for these I found, I guess a lot of poeple try them and move on and sell them. there are tons for sale on Ebay.

They work great I found. AF does pass through but for macro you really want to use MF. Make sure they work on your crop camera (they need the red dot and the white dot).
Reversing lens and stuff seemed like a big production to me. These just attach and you fire away.

Here is a pic with a 18-135mm and the tube on (btw, I am an amateur, so if I can do this you can too, lol):

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcmommyx4 View Post
I was just wondering if anyone has a bit of advise on the extension tubes you can use for Macro photography. I was wanting to try them out, but I not sure where to start or what brand to look at. Thanks for your input! Sorry my gear is a Canon 7D if that matters.
Two things to keep in mind. If you choose extensions that do not relay lens information from the lens to the camera you cannot change your aperture when using them (when using lenses without an aperture ring like Canon EF lenses). There are workarounds for that but they're a pain. The other, macro extension work by making the projected image from the lens larger on the sensor. A lot like when you have a projector and you move it farther away from the wall to make a larger projection. The consequences are that the image will be a little darker (so you may need to compensate accordingly) and you also loose some image quality. All of that is fine if you're just wanting to experiment and play around with macro work, but if you want to seriously get into macro shooting you may be better off getting a true 1:1 (or better) macro lens.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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I bought a cheap set from Ebay, but have only dabbled with them one night at home. I was able to acheive the intended effect and I can't wait to play with them outside in the spring.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #7
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I've been thinking of investing in a real macro lens.... but 50mm or 100mm..... Tough decision.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
All of that is fine if you're just wanting to experiment and play around with macro work, but if you want to seriously get into macro shooting you may be better off getting a true 1:1 (or better) macro lens.
I agree that extension tubes can be difficult to work with depending on the subject and lighting. You're better off with a true macro like the Tamron 90mm, Canon 60mm, etc. around $250 used
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for all the information! I am thinking I might just spend a little more money and get a real deal macro lens. You can always use another lens right.

MikeandReneePlus5 I really love your capture! I am forward to spring, as well as my sister is becoming a Grandma in May and would love to get those wonderful macro pics of eye lashes and all the tiny things that come with babies
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
Two things to keep in mind. If you choose extensions that do not relay lens information from the lens to the camera you cannot change your aperture when using them (when using lenses without an aperture ring like Canon EF lenses). There are workarounds for that but they're a pain.
Yep, it is a pain! When using my Canon lenses on my Panasonic I have to put the lens on a Canon to set the aperture, then shut off the camera. Then the lens holds the aperture information. Want to try a different aperture? Go through the whole process again. Two reasons I do this: my Canon L 70-200 is f/4 and a sharper lens than the Panasonic 45-175; with the 2X crop factor and a 1.4X extender this is a *long* lens on a micro 4/3.

Since I have some old Minolta extension tubes and lenses (and a lens reverser) I may get a Minolta/micro 4/3 adapter and try some macro photography.
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