Macro extension tube

I recently got in my hands this Fotodiox Macro Extension Tube for testing pourposes. For all of you who are thinking about macro photography of your figures but dont have enough money for a DSLR dedicated macro lens these macro extensions from amazon are a good alternative.

Tubes are really pretty basic in construction. There are no glass elements, just mounts on each end. Some tubes has a pass-through for the lens data terminals so you can still use the auto-focus but some others (my case) dont so you will need to do all the focus manually.

Basically you can "extend" your lenses up to 3 different levels or distances. These are well-built, and as such they fulfill their intended purpose. Following are some pictures taken with the extension tubes.

Taken without extension tubes with my 18-55 lens.

First extension tube pictures. You obtain a "magnified" picture with some minor distortion or blur on the background, center and edges due to manual focusing.

Using two of the extension tubes (tubes 1 + 2) you get the two upper pictures. You can be very close to the object (like 10cms) to take the picture.

Finally using the 3 combined tubes you can achieve a fully macro picture like the previous one.

In my opinion, using macro extension tubes vrs macro lenses has the following

* Very cheap (compared with DSLR macro lenses).
* The price varies from US$10 for tubes without lens data terminals to US$200 for tubes with lens connectors.
* You "almost" obtain a very good quality macro picture with some minor distortion.
* Perfect for macro shooting your figures at home.

* In my case, since you need to do manual focusing the Image Stabilization feature isnt available and there is a lot of camera shake. Use of a tripod is mandatory.
* In order to put in place the extension tubes in your camera there is a higher chance that dust gets in into the sensor. Handle with care.
* In tubes without lens terminal you lose the aperture lens feature so you need to take pictures with enough light (or you can use the flash or a macro flash) but not too much or the pictures will appear over exposed.
* You need a lot of trial and error pictures.
* If you plan to take macro pictures of nature (insects, etc) you loose time choosing the correct extension and since you need to get very close you may scare away your subject.

Picture of my camera body + macro extension tubes (3) + lens 18-55mm. As you can see it is almost similar like the 100mm lens.


Smithy said...

That's pretty nice! Have the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens myself, very nice lens for its price!
Though macro shooting isn't easy, much more challenging than I'd originally thought.

Here's some of my macro shots with the 100mm:

bluedrakon said...

I used to have the extension tubes when I had my old Canon 35mm camera.
I need to get something like this for my new new camera yet :(

Persocom said...

I honestly didn't even know this existed. I thought I just had to buy a macro lens. I guess I'm still not much of a photographer @_@ Might have to look into these and see how much it'd run.

Phossil said...

@Smithy: thanks for sharing your photostream. Very nice close-up pictures.

@bluedrakon: My father has a very old minolta extension tube.

@Persocom: I didnt know about this accesory either until my boss suggested me to use his tubes and try.