Macro extension tubes - useful in this situation?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by mimstrel, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    I've really been enjoying my grandpa's old SLR camera, and having just ordered a telephoto lens (ebay, so inexpensive enough for my budget has me crossing my fingers, but the seller seemed legit enough) should give me the range to do my favorite type of photography (bird and wildlife). I also do some macro, though, mostly photographing flowers or my fish.

    Considering my budget being very small with no indication of expansion in the next 5 years or so, and that these photos are only for my own use, I am considering getting a set of extension tubes rather than trying to save up for an expensive dedicated macro lens at this time (will hopefully get one once I have the means).

    Those of you who have used extension tubes with standard lenses - could you tell me whether I will be pleased with them for this use - flowers and fish - or whether I am just setting myself up for frustration?

    Thank you for any advice you can provide!
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm interested in the answer as well!
     
  3. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Sure, you'll probably dig it. Extension tubes work and if the lens is excellent you'll get good results. If the lens is only marginally good or kinda poor you might get better results with a good close-up lens (~$30).
     
  4. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I'll see how good the new lens is and then probably order some extension tubes.
     
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    They're fun! So is an auto-bellows / bellows setup BTW! I wonder if a bellows is cheeper now days for film cameras??
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I paid seventy bucks for mine, and I saw one on Ebay reasently for thirty. They can be hell on a tripod head at times but fun to use, and quality wise it's so far superior to those macro zooms....

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114488
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    lol yeah, Canon FD 100-200mm f/5.6. The bellows on that lens is not capable of a 1:1, I would need an extention tube in addition but given the poor lighting I had to get both as far away and as close as possible for the shot I wanted, thus 200mm on bellows. The shot left for processing yesterday morning so it should be back in my hands tomorrow morning. :D
     
  9. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    One very important thing to check:

    Can you manually stop down the lens when it is removed from the camera? (Not just a DOF preview but a permenant stop down.)

    If the answer is no, you must get automatic extension rings as with manual ones you will only be able to operate with the lens wide open.
     
  10. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone.
    I'm not really sure how bellows work. I'll do some research.
    Moglex- thanks for the note on checking that the lens can be manually stopped down when not attatched to the camera. I know for sure that my 50mm can be and the 200mm should be too, but I'll be sure to check. The camera and lenses are non-AI so I think it shouldn't be a problem?

    One thing on a close-up lens - I imagine these would screw onto the front of the lens like my polarizing filter does? My 50mm has a slight dent in the area of the threads - doesn't affect the glass at all, I have no idea how it got there, but I found it when I discovered that the filter should fit on it but it wouldn't screw in. bummer, no filters or screw on lenses for that one!
     
  11. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What kind of lenses are you using, you may be able to make it useable.
     
  12. mimstrel

    mimstrel TPF Noob!

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    The lense that I have right now is a Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4. This is the one with the dent in the threads. Its a metal piece, it looks like it got knocked against something... but I'm afraid if I try to fix it I'll wind up scratching the glass. For the time being I think I'll just live with the dent, and if I ever really need to put a filter or lens on the front, well 50mm's come up all over on eBay I should be able to find a decent one!
    I just ordered a Vivitar 200mm f/3.5... waiting impatiently for it to arrive...
     

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