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Thread: Extension Tubes

  1. #1

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    Extension Tubes

    My equipment is:
    Canon 7D body
    Lenses: Canon=100mm Macro, 70-300mm telephoto, 24-105mm prime,
    Sigma= 50mm macro (no IS), 18-250mm IS
    Tokina = 11-16mm

    I havenīt a clue on extension tubes- I would like to know how they could help me with the equipment I mentioned above- As you see I have a 1:1 macro lens, but am not able to get eye popping pictures like the ones others get by using extension tubes- A few samples of my macro can be viewed here http://www.flickr.com/photos/2154683...7629925698119/

    I have many questions i.e
    1. Do the extension tubes fit onto the camera body or the lens?
    2. How do I know which extension tubes will fit my camera body Canon 7D
    3. I would like to double my magnification of my lens (Canon 100mm L) which extension tubes to buy for this?
    4. Do I buy set or one tube?
    5. Why do they sell them in sets of 3?
    6.Will the same set of extemsion tubes fit all these lenses? or do I need to buy separate ones for each lens?

    Thanks heaps in advance.
    Dona
    Last edited by Quixxxie2000; 29th April 2012 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixxxie2000 View Post
    My equipment is:
    Canon 7D body
    Lenses: Canon=100mm Macro, 70-300mm telephoto, 24-105mm prime,
    Sigma= 50mm macro (no IS), 18-250mm IS
    Tokina = 11-16mm

    I havenīt a clue on extension tubes- I would like to know how they could help me with the equipment I mentioned above- As you see I have a 1:1 macro lens, but am not able to get eye popping pictures like the ones others get by using extension tubes- A few samples of my macro can be viewed here http://www.flickr.com/photos/2154683...7629925698119/

    I have many questions i.e
    1. Do the extension tubes fit onto the camera body or the lens?
    2. How do I know which extension tubes will fit my camera body Canon 7D
    3. I would like to double my magnification of my lens (Canon 100mm L) which extension tubes to buy for this?
    4. Do I buy set or one tube?
    5. Why do they sell them in sets of 3?
    6.Will the same set of extemsion tubes fit all these lenses? or do I need to buy separate ones for each lens?

    Thanks heaps in advance.
    Dona
    1. The extension tube fits in between the camera body and your lens.
    2. Check Amazon.com, they sell based on the camera body. Also, your manual should have a list of compatible tubes.
    3. Divide lens focal length by tube dimension.
    4. By the set.
    5. Possibly flexibility for the photographer.
    6. The tubes will have the same thread as camera.

  3. #3
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Dona:

    I use these (on my 30D and 5DII):

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...et-Review.aspx

    I tried mine with my EF-S 17-55 lens, and the lens WILL NOT fit onto the tubes.

    However, they will fit my 24-105 and 100 macro lenses. I have the DG model (three tubes; 12 mm, 20 mm, and 36 mm).

    I cannot vouch for the other lenses.

    I only use the tubes on my 100 mm macro, because that's essentially what tubes are for.

    When you check out the price of ONE Canon tube (more than the full Kenko set), you'll probably do what I did - buy the Kenkos).

    Glenn

  4. #4
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Hi Dona,
    I use the Kenko tube set.They work fine.If you are looking to use more magnification, I suggest you look into a flash.A speedlight or ring flash.
    Something that will get more light on your subject.You definitely need to consider flash if you plan on doing any insect photography.
    Do a search for using flash for macro work.You will get a lot of information.

  5. #5

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Thanks John, Glenn & Jim for your answers, which I find helpful. Amazon is probably not an option for me, as the postage is higher thn the price of the goods- But I will check it out, just to get model details..

    I do use flash - Speedlight. Iīm getting ring flash next week. All the critters (why you call insects critters?)are out & me too! Itīs that time of year out here...

    Tell me please- so if I usage 12, 20 + 36mm, it will increase my subject magnified x? On 100mm Lens & 50mm lens.

    Thank you
    :-)

  6. #6

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Dona:

    I use these (on my 30D and 5DII):

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...et-Review.aspx

    I tried mine with my EF-S 17-55 lens, and the lens WILL NOT fit onto the tubes.

    However, they will fit my 24-105 and 100 macro lenses. I have the DG model (three tubes; 12 mm, 20 mm, and 36 mm).

    I cannot vouch for the other lenses.

    I only use the tubes on my 100 mm macro, because that's essentially what tubes are for.

    When you check out the price of ONE Canon tube (more than the full Kenko set), you'll probably do what I did - buy the Kenkos).

    Glenn
    You said you use DG model & you use kenko set. I am confused. Thanks

  7. #7
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Another vote for the Kenko set here. There is no glass involved so no sense in paying an inflated price for the Canon ones.

    I use a flash ring to 'up the lighting' and it does the job nicely.

  8. #8

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Anyone can tell me-
    In Switzerland I get this model Phottix 3 Ringe AUTO-FOCUS Makro-Set II für Canon DSLR 7D (13 mm, 21 mm, 31 mm. ) @*124 francs. 12 months Garantie!

    Is this a good product?
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixxxie2000 View Post
    You said you use DG model & you use kenko set. I am confused. Thanks
    The Kenko rings/tubes I have are the model DG - it marked right on the tubes.

    Just a comment about closeup/macro photography. Many people use flash for this (I use natural light and a diffuser), but most of the serious macro/flash users use some sort of a diffuser on the flash to avoid the harsh shadows.

    A link to what I think is one of the better macro photographers:

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=807056

    Glenn

  10. #10

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    The Kenko rings/tubes I have are the model DG - it marked right on the tubes.

    Just a comment about closeup/macro photography. Many people use flash for this (I use natural light and a diffuser), but most of the serious macro/flash users use some sort of a diffuser on the flash to avoid the harsh shadows.

    A link to what I think is one of the better macro photographers:

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=807056

    Glenn
    OK! I got that by looking in the Amazon.
    I also use a diffuser- but I made myself from an old Javel bottle- it works fine for me. No flash when the sun is bright though. Thanks for the link & answer. :-)
    Please can you also tell me how you insert this in your answers ("I have always observed that the pretensions of all people are in exact inverse ratio to their merits; this is one of the axioms of morals" (Joseph LaGrange - French mathematician - 1736-1813)
    "Democracy is the pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of the ignorant." Mencken
    http://www.naturescapes.net/portfoli....php?cat=24479

  11. #11

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Firstly, Dona, the simple answer. If you want to double a 100 mm lens, get a 180 mm lens.

    Expensive, but it gets there, subject to minimum focusing distances. Second alternative, get a x 2 converter. This has some limitations in that you can lose autofocus on some lenses (F2.8 works fine) and there may be slight loss of quality, particularly with cheaper lenses. A 1.4x converter is usually a little better in this respect.

    Extension tubes get you closer to your subject but don't actually increase the magnification, at least not significantly. They rely on the 'closer you are the bigger it is' principle.

    For example, using a 25 mm tube on my 180 mm macro lens gets me 25 mm (1 inch) closer to the subject. But this is actually better than it sounds. There may be a slight light loss with tubes but it is normally insignificant.

    Using a 1.4x converter, at the same minimum distance (without tube) gives a significantly greater magnification.

    So in reality, there isn't one easy answer.

    The chief limiting factor is how close you can physically approach your subject. For instance, with inanimate objects, including dead insects, you can get really close, providing you aren't obscuring the light etc.

    In which case, fitting an extension tube would be worth considering.

    However, if you are limited by how close you can approach a live insect before it runs/flies away, that is a different matter.

    If that happens at say 1 ft (30 cms) on average, then that is your limiting factor, irrespective of your lens minimum focusing distance. So the only answer is to add magnification. Either a bigger lens or adding a converter.

    So you will have to decide which principle best applies to your photographic methods.

    If going for extension tubes, I would say in most cases just fit the biggest tube that you can, within reason, then move back a little to get the smaller tube effect.

    I originally started macro photography by fitting a 12 mm tube to a 70-300 Canon lens. This wasn't sufficient, so I purchased a 25 mm which worked reasonably well. But I wanted more, so I then purchased a Sigma 180 macro lens, and now fit a 1.4x converter for most 'in the wild' macro shots.

    However, for studio work I still sometimes use the extension tube instead.

    It's your decision now. But one word of warning; the ultra cheap tubes may not have correct electrical contacts.

  12. #12
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Firstly, Dona, the simple answer. If you want to double a 100 mm lens, get a 180 mm lens.
    This would not work. The OP writes that she wants to increase the magnification of her 100mm lens which I interpret as wanting greater magnification than 1:1. A 180mm macro (or any macro for that matter - except for the specialized MP-65E) will provide the same 1:1 image ratio that a 50mm Sigma, 60mm Canon or Tamron, 90mm Tamron or 105mm Nikkor will provide. The only difference will be lens to subject distance, weight and cost...

    Expensive, but it gets there, subject to minimum focusing distances. Second alternative, get a x 2 converter. This has some limitations in that you can lose autofocus on some lenses (F2.8 works fine) and there may be slight loss of quality, particularly with cheaper lenses. A 1.4x converter is usually a little better in this respect.
    You need to research this because with Canon TC's some macro lenses need an extension tube to physically fit on the lens. I know that my 90mm Tamron macro requires the extension tube and I seem to remember that the only macro lens compatible with a Canon TC is the 180mm macro. However other extenders such as the Kenko models will work without the extension tube.

    Using a 1.4x converter, at the same minimum distance (without tube) gives a significantly greater magnification.

    "I am looking for a 12mm Canon compatible extension tube so I can usemy 1.4x Canon TC with my 90mm f/2.8 Tamron. I have spotted some on eBay but, they have been priced higher than I am willing to pay. I don't really need a whole set so the hundred U.S. Dollar (approximately used on eBay) Kenko sets are also more than I desire to pay."
    So in reality, there isn't one easy answer.

    The chief limiting factor is how close you can physically approach your subject. For instance, with inanimate objects, including dead insects, you can get really close, providing you aren't obscuring the light etc.

    The teleconverter will either allow a greater lens to subject distance or allow a greater magnification. Combined with a 1.4x TC, it will do both...

    One thing that I recommend, as mentioned by Geoff, is to stay away from the very cheap Chinese extension tubes which will not enable your lens to stop down and not have focus confirmation.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th April 2012 at 04:26 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixxxie2000 View Post
    OK! I got that by looking in the Amazon.
    I also use a diffuser- but I made myself from an old Javel bottle- it works fine for me. No flash when the sun is bright though. Thanks for the link & answer. :-)
    Please can you also tell me how you insert this in your answers ("I have always observed that the pretensions of all people are in exact inverse ratio to their merits; this is one of the axioms of morals" (Joseph LaGrange - French mathematician - 1736-1813)
    "Democracy is the pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of the ignorant." Mencken
    http://www.naturescapes.net/portfoli....php?cat=24479
    Dona:

    At the very top of the page: Settings / Signature. I selected a small type face to have enough room for the quote and a link.

    Diffuser - you are referring to a flash diffuser. I very often use a large circular diffuser to soften direct sunlight. It consists of a round frame with translucent white cloth. The frame is collapsible and folds into a compact carrying bag (that I carry on my belt). It also has four reflective surfaces. A link:

    http://www.digitaljuice.com/products...FWcHRQodqnuj_Q

    Unfortunately this site isn't what I would call a good demo of the diffuser. I hand-hold mine (a second tripod in the field just isn't practical), and have often used the reflective side after the sun sets to throw light into the face of a flower.

    It is a very useful tool when the sun is bright (when more bugs are out, and all flowers are open).

    Glenn
    Last edited by Glenn NK; 30th April 2012 at 03:56 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    i don't have any idea about kenko extension tube but i have one by mistake..will this extension tube will work on my 18-200mm lens? i used nikon d90 camera.i tried on my 105mm macro lens but it's hard to use. .please help me to give some tips on how can this extension tube be useful on my lenses..thnks a lot

  15. #15

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I originally started macro photography by fitting a 12 mm tube to a 70-300 Canon lens. This wasn't sufficient, so I purchased a 25 mm which worked reasonably well. But I wanted more, so I then purchased a Sigma 180 macro lens, and now fit a 1.4x converter for most 'in the wild' macro shots..
    Geoff Thank you for your answer- Richard thank you for your comments thereafter.

    I think I have many pre-concieved ideas on fotography that are incorrect. eg: I only use my telephoto lens 70-300mm to shoot moving animals- bird in flight, etc. My macro lens, I used it only to do close up insect shorts. My 24-105mm lens & 18-250- I used it mainly as prime lenss- such as shooting street fotos etc...or when I needed a wider angle on things..

    Please feel 2 advice me how can I change my beliefs best.

  16. #16

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Dona, I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you are "not able to get eye popping pictures like the ones others get by using extension tubes". If by "eye-popping" you mean highly magnified close-ups, then extension tubes may help you get there. Others have given you some good advice above. The Kenko set is very good for your Canon setup. I have used it together with the same lens (100mm macro) that you have to take thousands of macro pictures (many of them published). But note that extension tubes will only do so much. With your 100mm lens, using all three tubes together (36mm + 20mm + 12mm = 68mm) will shift your macro lens' maximum magnification ratio from 1x to 1.68x. That is substantial and useful, but may or may not be enough to reach your "eye-popping" goal. To get substantially higher magnifications without a very unwieldy setup, you need to go to a specialty lens like the Canon MP-E 65mm, which I would not recommend for you at this stage of development. You also need to be aware of the light fall-off when using extension tubes, and the increase in the effective (as opposed to nominal) f-stop that they induce.

    There are various methods to increase magnification into the true macro realm, all with their own strengths, weaknesses and trade-offs. I recommend that you read up on macro photography before making any further equipment decisions. Take a look at the CiC tutorial on Macro Extension Tubes & Close-Up Lenses as a start, and you will see how I made the calculation above that yielded 1.68x for the magnification ratio you will get with the Kenko extension tubes and your macro lens. Also, I highly recommend John Shaw's Closeups in Nature as a small book that has excellent information for someone getting started in macro. It was published just before digital technology became the norm, but the major principles still hold true.

  17. #17
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    Re: Extension Tubes

    I see a lot of discussion in this forum and other places about using extension tubes for macro work. I just purchased a set of Kenko extension tubes specifically designed for my Nikon. I mainly want to use the tubes for closeup work. But, I'm curious, has anyone ever used them on a longer lens to photograph something further away? I have a 55-300mm and I am curious to see the effect. The Kenko set will arrive tomorrow... so, I guess I don't have to wait long to find out.

  18. #18

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixxxie2000 View Post
    I think I have many pre-concieved ideas on fotography that are incorrect. eg: I only use my telephoto lens 70-300mm to shoot moving animals- bird in flight, etc. My macro lens, I used it only to do close up insect shorts. My 24-105mm lens & 18-250- I used it mainly as prime lenss- such as shooting street fotos etc...or when I needed a wider angle on things..

    Please feel 2 advice me how can I change my beliefs best.
    Very basically, Dona, a lens is a lens; it's just the way people use them which tends to get lenses 'labeled' as being specifically for one purpose.

    For example. A macro lens (apart from any really special lenses) is just a prime lens which, in the case of a 100 mm lens, can be used for portraits without having to get excessively close to your subject.

    And I regard my 24-105 as an ideal 'flower lens' when I want to shoot the whole flower.

    I replaced my 'standard' Canon 70-300 (before the L version was produced) by a 70-200 L and a Sigma 150 -500 for birds, etc. Sometimes I miss having that area between 200 and 300 on one lens, but I wanted better quality and also greater distance for birds etc.

    The 24-105 is a handy general purpose lens, but I often find that many of my general shots fall into the 100 to 200 mm requirement because I simply cannot get physically close enough for the 24-105.

    When I need to reduce the number of lenses in my bag, simply due to weight, the 70-200 often becomes my 'lens of choice' for general work.

    And trying to reduce the need for lens changes while shooting also influence my choice.

    But returning to macro work, I would repeat that for live insects the really critical factor is that 'fly away distance' which in effect becomes your average minimum focusing distance.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 30th April 2012 at 07:55 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Momo View Post
    I see a lot of discussion in this forum and other places about using extension tubes for macro work. I just purchased a set of Kenko extension tubes specifically designed for my Nikon. I mainly want to use the tubes for closeup work. But, I'm curious, has anyone ever used them on a longer lens to photograph something further away? I have a 55-300mm and I am curious to see the effect. The Kenko set will arrive tomorrow... so, I guess I don't have to wait long to find out.
    That is one thing which we forgot to mention, Darren.

    Tubes limit the focus distance. You can't focus on infinity with them. Your actual focus length varies with the size of tube.

    Dona. Just an additional thought.

    You mention that you think your macro shots sometimes lack the impact of some other photos. But are you actually comparing like with like. For example stacks of multiple shots at slightly different focus to build up an exceptional depth of focus.

    And studio shots by professionals, or very skilled amateurs, often of dead specimens taken with very precise lighting.

    Live (outdoors) insect work with nervous subjects tends to be a little different; when you only have time for one or two shots which may be from imperfect angles.

  20. #20

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    Re: Extension Tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    Dona, I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you are "not able to get eye popping pictures like the ones others get by using extension tubes". If by "eye-popping" you mean highly magnified close-ups, then extension tubes may help you get there.
    Arien, Yes that what you said is correct! "Highly magnified" Where my fotos shows the hair on the legs, the beasty eyes etc...I am unable to get this. My macro fotos like in the link above in my 1st post- they are just OK! I mean at one time I used to be happy with them. Now I moved on... I want it better & better..

    You are right. I want to investigate all options B4 I buy. I am doing that. Normally I am not a patient purchase person. I see , I donīt think, & I buy, then Iīm not a happy buyer...This time I bought patience first. Where are your fotos? I can view them? I looked at the Canon MP-E 65mm. This is not for me for now I am sure.
    Thank you for your advice.

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