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Thread: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

  1. #1
    muralimithun's Avatar
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    Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Hi,
    I am planning to buy a extension tube for canon 550d to start with macro photography with the kit lens and Canon 50mm f1.8, I cannot afford Canon Tubes due to Budget constraint so planning to go for either Kenko or opteka(which relatively cheaper than Kenko) and also like to know the performance of Kenko and Opteka.

    Could someone please suggest which one to go for it.

    Thanks in Advance!!!!

  2. #2
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Hi Muralimithun,

    Welcome to CiC.

    Extension tubes have no optical elements so there is not much difference between types. Make sure that you get some tubes with electrical contacts. This will allow the camera to control the lens aperture (and focus and TTL exposure metering). The tubes without contacts are very cheap but less useful since the aperture cannot be set directly.

    Canon tubes have a black felt-like lining which helps to absorb stray light. Other tubes may not have this. However I don't think it worth paying the high price just for that.

    Ensure that the tubes have a fitting for EF-S lenses. Some tubes will only fit EF lenses.You will need to be able to fit EF-S lenses to use your kit lens. If these are the Opteka tubes you are discussing then they will be fine:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opteka-Focus...4182937&sr=1-2

    Hope that helps.

    Alex

    PS. If you put your name in your profile then people will be able to know they are correctly addressing you by name.

  3. #3

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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Just one extra thought to Alex's reply.

    Are we talking about a full set of Kenko tubes or just one?

    I found that with macro photography (70-300 lens + tube) I only ever needed one tube; the largest.

    So a Canon 25 mm tube worked fine for me. This may alter the pricing a bit.

    Although I also use a 12 mm Canon tube as a spacer to allow a Canon 1.4x converter to work with my Sigma 180 macro lens.

  4. #4

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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Maybe I am out of touch with modern prices but those Opteka seem very expensive and I think you should consider checking if you can find an older lens with its aperture control ring and something like the Fotodiox tube set*. Does the Opteka have electrical contacts for the modern Canon lenses? It is info which I never seem to see in adverts so assume the negative.

    It also helps if you put your location too as that link appears to be to a UK company while I searched the States

    *Which would apprear from the price I paid [Aussie$30] to use with my lenses from SLR days. The older lens which have an A-M switch or slider make focusing while wide open and then closing for the shot quite easy ... though obviously not as with an electrically connected lens ... one pays for convienience

    I will also mention that if really pressed for cash another solution, somewhat cumbersome, of organising a lenscap with a small hole in it which is added to the lens for the photograph after you use the Canon lens defaulting to wide-open in focusing. Such a cap could be called a 'Waterhouse Stop" which was how it was done back in the early days of photography

    Way back when I had a lense for my enlarger without an aperture I made a strip with several holes in it to give me a range of apertures.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 29th November 2012 at 06:33 PM.

  5. #5
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Given the choice, I would (did) buy the Kenko set of three.

    The Opteka set I used several years ago. They were lighter weight, less rugged and suffered from the same mechanism wear fault the EARLY Kenko had – the breakdown in tension of the return spring for pushing the rivet into the lock hole on the lens.
    Opteka might have lifted their game, I don’t know by firsthand of their latest models, but they are still less expensive and that would make me cautious.

    Also (again, several years ago) many other brands than Kenko (and Canon) had inferior light baffles, to the Canon and Kenko Tubes – I am not sure if this included Opteka.

    If you can get your hands on both sets - then a physical A/B comparison would be easy to do, to test them. (I guess that’s another reason for bricks and mortar Camera Stores . . . but that’s another topic.)

    If you buy the Kenko, then get the SET of THREE: and buy the SECOND Series of the DG version.

    As already mentioned above by Alex, this is to ensure your EF-S Kit Lens will mount to the Tubes.

    EF-S Mount Kenko Tubes can be identified by the WHITE EF-S Alignment Mark on the female end of each tube, shown in the right of the picture here:
    Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Yes, the Opteka (EOS “DG” version) do have electrical contacts. These also have the WHITE EF-S alignment mark on the female end of each tube.

    As far as I am aware, the Kenko Tubes which are available as a SINGLE PURCHASE are NOT EF-S mount - that’s why I mentioned buying ONLY the SET of THREE, if you buy Kenko.

    The Canon Tubes** are slightly better constructed than the Kenko Tubes and they 'feel like' they will hold bigger lenses, more securely and they come in two sizes: 12mm and 25mm. (less suitable for my uses, than a set of three - and also, at the time I bought my Kenko Set, Canon had not released tubes for EF-S mount lenses.)

    If you buy either of the Canon Tubes, you must ensure you buy the MkII versions – as both the Original Canon Tubes will NOT allow an EF-S Lens to mount to them.

    WW

    ** Footnote - I was comparing the ORIGINAL Canon Tubes to the Kenko Series TWO, DG Version. This comparison is not relevent to you: as you would need to compare the Canon MkII Tubes, I have not used those.
    Last edited by William W; 29th November 2012 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Added Footnote

  6. #6
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    I would go with William's (Bill) advice - get the Kenko.

    I have been using them for about five years.

    I've read on another site that the newest Kenko tubes are fully compatible with the Canon cameras/lenses, and will report everything back to the camera so that AF, etc works.

    The set of Kenko tubes cost less than one Canon tube.

    The Kenko tubes I have will fit both my 30D (APS-C) and 5DII (FF).

    Another neat trick with the tubes is that some lenses (100 macro for example) will not fit onto an extender - but putting the 12 mm tube on the lens permits it to be mounted to the extender and thence to the body. Infinity focus is lost but for macro that's not a problem.

    http://www.thkphoto.com/products/kenko/slrc-04.html

    Glenn
    Last edited by Glenn NK; 1st December 2012 at 06:29 PM. Reason: grammar

  7. #7
    DanK's Avatar
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    I have never used the Opteka, but I have used a set of Kenkos for years without any problems. A set of 3 is very useful because they are different lengths and can be stacked, giving you extension from 12 to 68mm. Unlike Geoff, I use all three lengths and sometimes stack them.

  8. #8
    muralimithun's Avatar
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the information!!!

  9. #9
    muralimithun's Avatar
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the valuable information on the Extension Tubes!!!

  10. #10

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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    Muralithun .. another bit of info for you, or opinion We are talking about extension and this is more effective with shorter lenses because to achieve 'double extension' or 1:1 imaging you need 50mm with a 50mm lens and 135mm with the 135mm lens, [I have three sets of tubes and a bellows] ... that statement ignores the focusing power of the actual lens which is itself a form of extension usually. The longer lens keeps you back from the subject which can be beneficial in various ways, lighting, safety etc.

    The irritating part of working with tubes is that each tube or combination of tubes has a limited focusing distance range and one is continually changing things rather than taking photos. Why when one can afford it the 'macro' lens is so much more convienient and even to a limited degree my prefered option which is a close-up lens on a zoom.

    I cannot remember the last time I used my tubes/bellows for real purpose. I don't have a macro lens so that is not a trick statement.
    EDIT ....
    An irreverant postscript ... if you have a magnifying glass around your home, plastic or glass, put it on the front of your kit lens and see how you go... you might be pleasantly suprised. The longer the lens the better it works such as my bridge camera with its 430mm angle of view lens and to a lesser degree the 280 AoV lens on my M4/3 camera.

    A last point ... the reason for the exercise is to get a tight framing and this does not always mean coming in close. There is no difference in depth of field whatever focal length you use for a given framing, just a different perspective. So with the kit lens and magnifing glass you will get the tight framing partly from the narrow angle of view of the lens at full zoom and the MG overcomes the focusing limitation of the zoom lens, to a degree. If this approach appeals THEN I suggest you look at photographic quality close-up lenses. I doubt if you will get 'bug's eye' images but a lot of quite tight framing shots.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 1st December 2012 at 07:00 PM.

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Kenko or opteka extension Tubes

    I have no experience with either the Kenko or Opteka extension tubes but, generally, I have liked Kenko gear and found that Opteka gear leaves a bit lacking in quality...

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