extension tubes vs. bellows

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by explody pup, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. explody pup

    explody pup TPF Noob!

    Mar 20, 2004
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    I've been looking at getting one of these, or maybe both, depending on their strengths and weaknesses. I have a pentax k1000 right now, but plan on picking up a kx soon, maily due to the mirror lock up and dof preview (and because it's cheap :) ).

    Who here has experience with these tools for macro photography? Care to make any recommendations?


  2. railman44

    railman44 TPF Noob!

    Aug 23, 2004
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    Lincoln, NE
    I'm probably talking out of school here but I think it depends on just what type of "macro/micro" photography you want to do. I would think bellows would provide much more magnification than tubes. However, you're somewhat limited with what you can do with bellows. I've used Nikon extension tubes and they actually become part of the macro lens making portability much easier. I'm sure there are others frequenting this board that can give you a much more intelligent answer than I... :lol:
  3. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

    Aug 31, 2004
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    With the same amount of extension bellows and tubes will give you exactly the same magnification. What bellows do well is give you lots of adjustment. Tubes come in set sizes and if you want 8mm of extension but only have a 12mm tube you're stuck with the 12mm. With bellows you can do 1, 2, 3.... 6, 7, 8, 9... etc. But, they're not so good in the field. They're cumbersome and you may damage them if you're not careful. Tubes on the other had are light, take up about the same amount of space as a lens and don't mind getting the odd knock. They're also cheaper than bellows.

    If you're going to do studio work only, get the bellows. If you're going to take your camera outside then get the tubes.

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