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Rockstar in training
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1,532 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new photographer, and I've been wanting to practice some macro photography, but can't afford a macro lens at the current time, so I was doing some reading, and came up with extension tubes, and I was wondering if you guys use them, and which one you would recommend. I'm using the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens that came with my 40D.
 

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I Wangs
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43,483 Posts
kenko makes them also. the thing you have to remember is that you will lose some light when using those tubes so depending on the brand/model and how far you're zoomed in you may not have any auto focus. but with macro photography you are typically not focusing like that anyway. most of the time you set the focus and then move the camera farther or closer to adjust the focus so it's not a big deal.

check out BHphoto.com for the kenko and canon tubes.
 

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Rockstar in training
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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome, thanks for the help. With the photo's I've been taking, I've been using manual focus 98% of the time, so that won't be an issue.

Do you tend to sacrifice quality using extension tubes, or is it such a small loss that there really isn't a noticeable difference?
 

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Premium Member
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4,967 Posts
The tubes don't have any glass, so that's not an issue. One brand is equivalent to the other as far as *picture* quality goes.

The Kenko's are highly regarded and do cost less than the Canon's. I have read a few instances where people thought the springs or something in them to lock them in place weren't strong enough and have supposedly had a lens detach and fall off. Moving to Canon they felt they were a lot tighter and it wasn't an issue. Again though, zillions of people have the Kenko's and don't seem to have an issue so...

Extension tubes allow you to get closer to something and still be able to get it in focus, and as such that wouldn't really change picture quality. However, my understanding is that the way they pull the lens away from the camera, you are getting a "crop" of the original picture. As such, any imperfections in the lens get magnified, colors may get a little bit off, etc. Also, your depth of field goes down to almost nothing, and you'll probably find that you're shooting really stopped down, like f16, 22, 32, etc. That in itself does affect pic quality, you get less resolution form a lens at that setting than you do at 5.6 or 8 or so.

So, "real" macros are pretty much always considered better, because they are designed to do that job from the start. It's just that they cost a lot more. The extension tubes give great shots though. I've been considering both for a long time but haven't bought anything yet.
 

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Rockstar in training
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank's for the explanation. I'm thinking about going with Kenko. I was looking at B&H, and I think they had a set of three for less than what one Canon extension tube costs. Can't beat that.

Any sacrifice in quality probably wont matter for me since I'm for the most part only going to use these for macro practice until I can afford an actual macro lens. I'm not expecting to take stunning photo's that need to be flawless, so it should be perfect for me for the time being.
 
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