Generic or Brand-Specific Extension Tubes?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by smackitsakic, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. smackitsakic

    smackitsakic TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone provide some insight into what the best options are for extension tubes?

    For a beginner photographer, I don't have a fancy setup or a macro lens. That being said, i'd like to take some macro photos this summer. In doing some small research on extension tubes it looks like there's a ton of options.

    My question:

    - is it really worth spending $150+ for a Canon-specific extension tube or can a person cheap out and buy a $5 to $8 special on ebay? I've heard the only difference is AF and non-MF with the cheap one, plus some lost quality but not a great deal of difference.

    Insight would be great.

    Thanks!
     
  2. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    Ive never used the name brand ones...Ive got the cheapy eBay ones, I bought a while ago for 7 bucks.
    They do the job! Haha
    The only problem I have is casting shadows on my subject, because Ive got a 50mm lens and have to be like 2 inches away with all the tubes on....But that can be worked with to save 150 bucks :D

    If you do go with the eBay ones, I would at least make sure you get the metal ones.
     
  3. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    I have three sets. High dollar Canon, a set of mid-range Kenko's, and fairly cheap set of Pro-optics. They all work about the same. They will AF (but if you are going to shoot macro, you really should MF). The contacts also control the lens aperture. I have heard that the ultra cheap ones ($7-8 or so) do not have the contacts and will not control aperture. Don't know personally as I have never used them. The Pro-optics sell for about $ 80.00 from Adorama (I think, may be B&H). It is a set of three -13mm, 24mm, and 31mm (I think that's right. Something like that anyway. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If your lens has both aperture & focus rings the cheap e-bay tubes work perfectly. If your camera does not amplify the light when the lens is stopped down, open it up, focus & then set the desired aperture.
     
  5. smackitsakic

    smackitsakic TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. Considering how cheap ebay extensions are, it might be worth it just for a shot and, if I don't like 'em, I can always re-sell them.

    Although, that being said, this may be something to invest in more than cheap quality.

    Is it necessary to get three, or could a person just get a way with a 30+mm and leave it at that?
     
  6. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    "Is it necessary to get three, or could a person just get a way with a 30+mm and leave it at that?"

    They only come in sets of three & you can use one or any combination of the three to give you 7 different levels of magnification. Best spent $10 in photography.

    Here are three levels of a Pecan nut using $10 tubes with a Minolta 50mm/1.7 on a Panasonic G1.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  7. P3 Photography

    P3 Photography TPF Noob!

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    Just wanted to say I like your left handed camera quote!! I sometimes think that myself. :lmao:..........this was supposed to be @EhJsNe..sorry new to this whole thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Remember that many current Canon lenses do not have aperture rings. That means that you are stuck shooting wide-open if you use a Canon lens with an extension tube that does not electronically connect with the camera. That's not the end of the world, but can give you DOF issues. The more expensive tubes (e.g. Kenko) keep lens communication with the camera. On the other hand, the cheap ones are VERY cheap and can be fun to play with.
     
  9. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I just got the Kenko tubes and like them alot. They communicate with the camera and include three sizes ( 12,20, 36mm ) that you can mix and match. Here is a couple pics taken on a test run a Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM.

    1) This flower was approx. 1.5 inches in diameter. 36mm tube only


    [​IMG]

    2) These are thos small ants that are like 1/4" big, not the giant ones. I think this one had the 36mm and 1 of the other ones as well ( I think the 12mm ).


    [​IMG]

    I think these tubes are a better buy than the Canon, but much more than the Cheapo tubes.
     
  10. smackitsakic

    smackitsakic TPF Noob!

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    Wowzers, that yellow flower is insanely bright! My eyes hurt from looking at it!

    If a person goes out and drops $160 on extension tubes, would it not be better to just drop $200 on a low-end Canon macro lens? That is where some confusion of spending lots on extension tubes comes in.
     
  11. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    What Canon macro lens costs only $200?
     
  12. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    You won't find a macro lens for $200 that is worth anything unless you are lucky to find one used. a good macro lens would be 1:1, but you can go even beyond that with extension tubes, reverse rings etc. You could always start with the 1:1. Since I already had a decent lens, The extension tubes would work on any of my lenses depending on what my needs were. I could always buy another set, or seperate pieces from kenko to go even further.

    I guess to answer your question, if you have $500 laying around, get a lens. If you have $200, get a set of tubes to use on an existing lens you have. That flower is pretty bright, I hit it with some off camera flash and it got pretty bright. I adjusted it just slightly, but for the most part that was straight out of camera other than some sharpening. The tight crop was by accident. This was handheld with the wind moving the flower with out even putting my eye on the viewfinder or looking at the screen. So it was just a shot in the dark.
     

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