Teleconverters, extension tubes and macro test results

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Overread, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Edit - I think this might be easier to read now: abit anyway:

    Well I was interested in testing out teleconerters vs extension tubes - as well as finding out what happens when you put the two together - so armed with my kit I setup the following test:

    Kit used:
    Canon 400D
    Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro
    Set of Kenko teleconverters
    Sigma 1.4 and 2 teleconerters
    Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod
    Manfrotto 322RC2 head
    Manfrotto focusing rail
    remote release for canon 400D
    Speedlite 580M2 + Lumiquest softbox
    Hoodman anglefinder
    cable off camera flash cord
    one coin
    one torch

    The setup - tripod setup with focusing rail attached to tripod head (322RC2). Lens, 150mm f2.8 macro, was then attached via its tripod collar to the focusing rail - the lens was also twisted in the collar so that all shots would come out in the portate orientation - this is due to the fact that a 400D with grip will not attach to a 150mm whilst on the focusing rail (the grip hits the edge of the rail). This problem is overcome by using something like a 1.4TC or extension tube - but since this was a test all shots were taken in the same orientation.

    Because of the orientation the flash was taken offcamera via the cord and was held in a position roughly normal for a hotshoe mount - I was going for basic lighting nothing fancy.

    Camera was then set to take shots with the following settings:
    f16, ISO 200, 1/200sec - flash set to ETTL and metered with preflash test shot before each shot was taken. Mirrior lockup was also set in the camera and the remote used to triggor the shutter to minimise shake in the shots.

    With the kit setup the torch was used to aid in focusing - the torch removed during the process of taking each shot when light would be provided by the flash (torch needed because my room is dim).

    Once the shots were taken the images were uploaded to the computer and the RAW files were convertered to JPEGs - the only editing which took place was white balance adjusting which was set to a custom value and was kept the same for all the shots - no other editing has been done to the shots - please also note that these are RAW shots coverted to JPEG and so will look softer than ideal (he defends himself ;)). Also note that the heal tool was used to remove dustspots in the shots - an interesting thing to note is that as magnification increases the dustspots become an increasing problem - - I think I got most of them ;).

    Note that for each shot below a link is provided to the fullsized image on filckr and I would be interested in peoples opinions of the results.
    so the shots::

    Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro only / Sigma 150mm and 1.4 teleconverter /
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro only http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3371/3256899516_045e6cc1b0_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm and 1.4 teleconverter http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3257/3256074137_96c240430f_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm and 2 teleconverter http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3430/3256909514_66fef9dce9_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm and 1.4 and 2 teleconverters
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3314/3256938448_42d5ce242a_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm and 12mm extension tube / Sigma 150mm and 20mm extension tube / Sigma 150mm and 36mm extension tube
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sigma 150mm and 12mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/3256914086_e55ee8372b_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm and 20mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3427/3256918778_fbab04179f_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm and 36mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3363/3256093737_c4a1cf3218_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm and 36+20mm extension tubes
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3300/3256098511_ef5eeda517_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm and 36+20+12mm extension tubes
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3459/3256933266_f52d336fc6_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm and 36+20+12mm extension tubes and 1.4 + 2 teleconverters (everything ;) :))
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3430/3256944068_0f26400a75_o.jpg



    What follows now is a comparison of using the 1.4 teleconverter along with each of the extension tubes. Also I tested putting the kit in different orders for each combination - order is from camera;

    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 12mm extension tube / Sigma 150mm, 12mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 12mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3414/3256948552_3b928b061e_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm, 12mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3317/3256963762_1e482e9bc3_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 20mm extension tube / Sigma 150mm, 20mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 20mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/3256953178_625c98d9c1_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm, 20mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3462/3256139725_c5d86345c7_o.jpg

    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 36mm extension tube / Sigma 150mm, 36mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sigma 150mm, 1.4 teleconverter and 36mm extension tube http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/3256128623_c5f56bf4ea_o.jpg
    Sigma 150mm, 36mm extension tube and 1.4 teleconverter http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3477/3256144901_b8f405eb05_o.jpg

    And we are done - now someone tell me what this all means! :lmao:


    seriously please someone!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    *gives it a little bump to try and attract any macroholics*
     
  3. Slaphead

    Slaphead TPF Noob!

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    I would have happily given you a penny for your thoughts on macro photography, but it appears that you already have one ;)

    Seriously though, it looks interesting, but I'll need to look at this on my laptop and not my iPhone to really see the differences.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great work; thanks for posting this.
     
  5. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    Nice test Overead!

    I have used my Canon 1.4xTC plus a 12mm extension tube on my Canoon 100mm macro lense with pretty good results.

    You have to add the extension tube because the Canon TC can not connect directly to the Canon 100mm macro lense.

    It does add to the weight a bit, which cuts down on keepers, as I usually hand hold. But, it is nice to have the little extra reach.

    Cheers
     
  6. Ptyler22

    Ptyler22 TPF Noob!

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    Hey thanks for doing this, helps a lot!
    Look how small the DOF is in the shot with everything, it's tiny. and that's at F16!
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just did some brief tests with my Sigma 70mm macro - I have to redo them though (it is a £ coin but whilst the LED light does not appear to affect lighting that much it does affect colourings - especailly when combined with flash - so the colours are all wrong)
    same test setup as above - though I left the LED focsing light on - flash lighting is probably from a different angle as well - also I was more just going for a display of sharpness rather than one showing the depths of field - so angle is different.
    Again no sharpening barring auto from flickr

    Sigma 70mm only
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3448/3317268351_485c0931c7_o.jpg

    Sigma 70mm and 1.4 teleconverter:
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3332/3318124234_5e9e5c478a_o.jpg

    Sigma 70mm and 2* teleconverter
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3488/3318108456_0da13c0750_o.jpg

    Sigma 70mm and Raynox DCR 250 macro filter/diopter
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3425/3318101384_a897b89dab_o.jpg

    Sigma 70mm and 2* teleconverter and Raynox DCR 250 macro filter/diopter
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3488/3318108456_0da13c0750_o.jpg
     
  8. MaxAmp

    MaxAmp TPF Noob!

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    Overread,

    I see you have the Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro. How does the Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro compare to the Sigma macro using extension tubes?

    I own the Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro and I just bought the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro Lens. I'm wondering if getting an extension tube for the 100mm 1:1 would give better quality images (for a given magnification) than using the Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro. A canon EF 25 II extension Tube would give me 1.39x mag.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've three macro lenses at the moment and in a rough order of their optical quality it goes rather like this
    150mm macro
    70mm macro
    65mm macro

    With the 65mm being by far and away the best - the 70mm to 150mm difference is much more maginal and to be honest its not a concern at all (and heck it only really shows at the wide open end).

    I think if you want the best optical quality then the MPE will give you the best possible quality. If you however want a bit more versatilty at the shorter end of the magnification scale then the 100mm with the tubes would still give you a good enough level of image quality. The only advantage that the 100m gives you is the IS funtionality and in all honesty whilst it is a fantastic thing to have sharp macro shots have been taken for a long while without stabalization and if you are handholding and using flash you should have no problems getting sharp shots.
     
  10. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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