Differences in macro setups. (Extension tubes vs other methods...)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by gl600, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. gl600

    gl600 TPF Noob!

    Sep 3, 2009
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    Middle East and Canada
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    I want to buy some toys to turn my Sigma 105 into a super macro lens. One of the standard ways of doing that is by buying an extension tube. (btw any recommendations? I use a Nikon body.) But there are, apparently, other ways to achieve the 'same' results. For example using an Achromat as seen in this photo: macro machinery on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    (He has some really cool shots, you should check out his stuff anyways.)
    Please let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter or would like to suggest other possibilities. Of course I'm asking about the difference in quality between the different methods and any other significant factor that would set one apart from the others.

  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

    May 4, 2006
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    Extension tubes have no glass in them. They move the lens further away from the focal plane (sensor). Since they have no glass there is no detrimental effect to the picture due to poor glass elements or flares / ghosting. They do however cost you some light. Like using a teleconverter. You will loose some f-stop the longer the tubes are. Also you will loose your focus to infinity. But you dont need it anyway as your close focusing. Basically by using tubes you can move the lens closer to the subject and be able to focus. Thus making the subject bigger.

    Those acromat things are Diopters. Basically your putting magnifying glasses on the front of your lesn. Some people use them and like them. By my opinion is anytime you put glass in front of glass your inviting poorer quality. Especially if the diopter is not specifically designed for your lens, and made cheaply.

    I have a set of Kenko extension tubes and they work great. AF works fine, but tend to MF anyway.

    Another choice is a bellows extension. And is similar to extension tubes except its infinatly adjustable length wise (within its workable length). But I don't believe any are made to allow the lens electronics to work. I have a bellows extension and its just a plain mount. No auto aperature or af.

    I have no diopters, and dont really plan to get any. Basically I am happy with extension tubes and bellows. The extension tubes are sold individually or in sets of 3 sizes. They can be used individually or in any combination.

    I have a 105mm f/2.8 D type AF Nikon macro lens that I use with the tubes and bellows.

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