Extension Tubes

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dman77, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Dman77 macrumors member

    May 23, 2009
    London, UK
    Does anyone use them? Worth the money? How far off 'true macro' are they?

    I was toying with the idea of buying a 105mm macro lens but are these a worthy alternative for someone like me who won't be focusing on macro work? The cost between a second hand lens and the tubes is around £125 which is why I'm seriously considering it.
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    I own and use them. I have 68mm of extension tubes (12, 20 and 36 mm), and I use them mainly on my 100mm macro lens.

    I've used them on my 50mm lens, and while the pics are great, they're no substitute for a true 1:1 macro lens, in my experience.

    Don't get me wrong, they work great, just don't expect to get the results of a dedicated macro lens using just the extension tubes.

    That being said, here are two pics taken with my Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens and 12 mm of extension tubes. I don't like to use more than 12mm because I have to get really, really close to the subject. The eye pic is uncropped, the Heliconia pic is cropped a bit. The EXIF is still intact.

    Attached Files:

  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    As far as "worth the money" goes , if you have non-G lenses (old aperture ring) then you can get a cheap set of tubes for the F-mount off of eBay for about $8.50 shipped from Hong Kong to the US.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Very expensive extension tubes. I'd expect a price closer to $20. There is no glass inside so "optical quality" is a non-issue. the only problem is that meters and AF don't work with the tubes but it's digital, take a test shot and look at the histogram display, you don't need a meter.

    With tubes the optical quality depend on the lens you have. They work well for many types of macro work but it you like to shoot an full automatic mode you will needs new version macro lens.

    If you shoot with Nikon gear the other option is an older manual focus macro lens. These are dead sharp, sharper than your CCD sensor can capture and you can get the old MF lenses chaep. But again no meter and no AF. But that does not matter for many kinds of macro shots.

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