Can you explain Macro extension tubes please?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Hair Bear, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Not sure if I have the correct section but

    Total newB question, but how do Macro extension tubes work?

    Can you get sets that do carry all the aperture signals to the camera or do they always render the lens a totally manual item?

    Good ones, bad ones?
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Best tubes are bellows. Novoflex Auto Bellows. Not cheap, though.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Tubes are just that, tubes. they have no glass in them. Some tubes will allow for full auto operations some do not. With a dslr you will want to have the ability to select the apeture. For me focus is done manually as in macro work it is critical.

    The tube places the lens further from the film/sensor plane. By doing this it allows for the ability to shorten the minimum focusing distance. (you can get closer to you subject) I won't go into the math. With tubes you loose infinity focus.

    As for bellows, they are only good for static macro photography. Very unwieldy and hard to use in the field. They are expensive and are manual focus, and ofter manual apeture as well desigend to use older 35 mm lenses. The Novoflex auto bellows do allow for the use of newer camera controled apeture lenses but at $600 + a little pricey.

    The best INHO way to go is with a good macro lens. They will usually do 1:1 macro and are usually high quality lenses for standard use. You can even buy dedicated macro lenses that will to 5:1. Very close indeed. The best place to learn about macro is here: http://www.macrophotography.org/index.php
     
  4. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info and the link, very interesting.

    I was trying to see if i could do some macro work with my lenses a little cheaper than buying a macro lens but I'll put one on my wish list!
     
  5. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a set of Kenko Auto Extension tubes, and they work really well while still allowing the camera to control the lense for aperature and focus. You do loose light though, so may need to manual focus as you use more tubes in low light.

    I got them because I can't afford a dedicated macro lense right now. I purchased them from HongKong for less than $100 US shipped to my door.

    Here is link to a thread I started when I tried them: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77384

    Cheers
     
  6. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Thats cool as they make all Nikon lens's in to macro, £54 + 16 shipping £70 humm just need to check Macro lens cost
     
  7. auer1816

    auer1816 TPF Noob!

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    Well said.

    I first had a 25mm Kenko extension tube that I used with my 18-200 zoom. I had a lot of fun with it, but I wasn't getting true macro. Plus you can't focus out to infinity with a tube attached.

    So I bought a 105mm 1:1 macro, and I love it. I can do macro work AND regular shots without changing the lens. I can also attach the extension tube to the macro for greater than 1:1 magnification. Lots of fun.
     
  8. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    As I cant afford a dedicated macro lens then a set of Kenko tubes might be the way to go. Then later if I can get a lens I can still use them on it.
     
  9. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Another recommendation for a dedicated macro lens here... I don't have one at the moment and while extension tubes or lens reversal are fun they're not all that practical; very limiting working distance and most lenses don't stop down as much as you'd want from a macro lens. Previously I had great results from a Tamron 90mm Macro, and of course there are Sigma or Tokina offerings, plus you may be able to use older Nikon lenses depending on your camera, so in fact a good macro lens may not be much more expensive than those £70 extension tubes. P.s. that sounds like a lot for extension tubes; do they have electronics for open-aperture metering?
     
  10. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you don't already have one as a part of your extension tube set, you might consider getting a lens reversing ring. You use this when you want image size:subject ratios greater than 1:1.
     

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