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Extension tubes for 40mm f/2.8 "macro" photography?

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Thread started 27 Oct 2012 (Saturday) 16:35   
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Sindarin
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I have found the shorty forty to be an excellent lens, and very sharp at f/2.8. I have seen examples of people using it with extension tubes and getting great close-up images.

I know that canon has the 12mm and 25mm extension tubes that allow for aperture control and AF, but even the cheaper 12mm is nearly $100. Seems somewhat pricey for a hollow plastic tube with some electrical contacts...

One can buy a 3-set of non-electrical adapters for about $15. Are the Canon extension tubes necessary for the 40mm f2/8, since even manual focus is focus by wire? Or is there a way to use the cheap tubes?

Also - do the extension tubes reduce the minimum focus distance?

P.S. I realize that a true 1:1 macro lens such as the 60mm or 100mm would be better. I won't have the budget for that for quite a while though, and would like to do some close-up photography before then.

Thank you in advance for your help!
-Sindarin

Post #1, Oct 27, 2012 16:35:30


Current gear: T3i/600D | 40mm pancake | 55-250 | 18-55 | 85 1.8

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wimg
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Sindarin wrote in post #15176253external link
I have found the shorty forty to be an excellent lens, and very sharp at f/2.8. I have seen examples of people using it with extension tubes and getting great close-up images.

I know that canon has the 12mm and 25mm extension tubes that allow for aperture control and AF, but even the cheaper 12mm is nearly $100. Seems somewhat pricey for a hollow plastic tube with some electrical contacts...

The Canon ones, in contrast to anybody else's, are metal tubes, actually, and they bear the name Canon in addition ;).

One can buy a 3-set of non-electrical adapters for about $15. Are the Canon extension tubes necessary for the 40mm f2/8, since even manual focus is focus by wire?

Yes. Canon, or at least tubes which have electrical contacts.

Or is there a way to use the cheap tubes?

There is, but it is very limiting:
1) only at the distance prescribed by the tube, and hence fixed magnification
2) the aperture has to be set by pressing the DoF preview button while simultaneously pressing the button and unmounting the lens
3) focusing has to be done by moving the camera, tube(s) plus lens in its entirety

Also - do the extension tubes reduce the minimum focus distance?

P.S. I realize that a true 1:1 macro lens such as the 60mm or 100mm would be better. I won't have the budget for that for quite a while though, and would like to do some close-up photography before then.

Thank you in advance for your help!
-Sindarin

The cheapest tube set with electric contacts is about $60 to $70 I understand. At least, it was that a couple of months ago, although prices may have gone up by now. Just check Amazon or the B&H site.

For a good set but more expensive, get a Kenko 3 tube set (plastic), and if you want metal the only option is Canon. However, with a 40 mm you could just get away with a 12 mm tube to begin with anyway.

As this lens has an MFD of 25 cm, a 12 mm tube at MFD will give you a new MFD of approximately 175 mm with 113 mm WD and a magnification of 1:0.55, or slightly better than half size.
A 25 mm tube 161 mm MFD, 86 mm WD, and magnification of 1:0.875. A 30 mm tube will provide you with 1:1 for this lens.

HTH, kind regards, Wim

Post #2, Oct 27, 2012 16:58:35


5D Mk II, 1D Mk III, with a solitary zoom and a gaggle of primes, GF-2 with 3 primes and 3 zooms, G10, an accessory plague, and some analog stuff

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Inspeqtor
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I have never used extension tubes, but I am leaning toward getting THIS SETexternal link from Amazon. Yes I am sure they are plastic, but they do have the electrical contacts in them so you will have auto-focus, shutter speed and aperture.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong with any info here.

Post #3, Oct 27, 2012 17:06:54 as a reply to wimg's post 8 minutes earlier.


Charles

Canon 60D Gripped * Canon XSi * Flickr Accountexternal link
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 DC Macro OS * Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Canon 18-55 IS Kit Lens * Canon 70-300 IS USM * Canon 50mm f1.8 * Canon 580EX II

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wimg
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Inspeqtor wrote in post #15176340external link
I have never used extension tubes, but I am leaning toward getting THIS SETexternal link from Amazon. Yes I am sure they are plastic, but they do have the electrical contacts in them so you will have auto-focus, shutter speed and aperture.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong with any info here.

Yup, those are the types I was referring to. Looks like they have become slightly more expensive ($8 more or thereabouts :)).

Actually, there also is this set, they are supposedly AF too, hence have electrical contacts:
http://www.amazon.com ...S/ref=zg_bs_3120264​011_13external link

Kind regards, Wim

Post #4, Oct 27, 2012 17:09:35


5D Mk II, 1D Mk III, with a solitary zoom and a gaggle of primes, GF-2 with 3 primes and 3 zooms, G10, an accessory plague, and some analog stuff

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msowsun
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I have a cheap set of extension tubes with contacts that I just tried out with my 40mm 2.8

When I stack all three(13mm,21mm,31mm) I get about 2:1 magnification which is about twice lifesize.

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Post #5, Oct 27, 2012 20:28:18


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 5D Mk III / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF Extender 1.4x II /
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Sindarin
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msowsun wrote in post #15176802external link
I have a cheap set of extension tubes with contacts that I just tried out with my 40mm 2.8

When I stack all three(13mm,21mm,31mm) I get about 2:1 magnification which is about twice lifesize.

Nice! Where did you find cheap extension tubes with contacts? Or were these merely "cheap," compared to a 70-200 Mk II? ;) If you wouldn't mind sharing the brand, that would be much appreciated.

At least as far as I understand, any extension tubes without contacts through which the camera can power the lens motor would make the 40mm almost unusable since even manual focus wouldn't work. Would love to be wrong about that though...

Post #6, Oct 27, 2012 23:11:50


Current gear: T3i/600D | 40mm pancake | 55-250 | 18-55 | 85 1.8

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kin2son
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Yea why not? ;)

Pancake + 12mm Kenko tube -

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/7913276100_9a3a2c4f56_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/kin2son/7913276​100/]external link
IMG_9092external link by Kinson C | Photographyexternal link, on Flickr

Post #7, Oct 27, 2012 23:13:44


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
EOS M / EF-M 18-55 / EF-M 22f2 / Ricoh GR aka Ultimate street camera :p
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alazgr8
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I have a Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro, and a set of Kenko extension tubes. The Kenko's appear to be well made, with no light leakage, side to side movement, or looseness, as I have heard is frequent with the cheap tubes. The only metal part that is important is the seating lip, which allows for AF. I bought my tubes off Craigslist for $100 recently, and I have also seen them for that price here on POTN. I'm not one for throwing my money away, but it's worth it to buy good gear. I think the cheap tubes are too cheap, and the Canon tubes are too expensive for very little in return. -rick

Shot with my EF-S 17-55 f/2.8

IMAGE: http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m312/alazg8/IMG_1813.jpg

EF 100 f/2.8L Macro with/tubes
IMAGE: http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m312/alazg8/IMG_1804.jpg

EF 100 f/2.8L Macro W/O tubes
IMAGE: http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m312/alazg8/FlyIMG_2101.jpg

Post #8, Oct 28, 2012 00:03:50 as a reply to kin2son's post 50 minutes earlier.


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

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Inspeqtor
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alazgr8 wrote in post #15177287external link
I have a Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro, and a set of Kenko extension tubes. The Kenko's appear to be well made, with no light leakage, side to side movement, or looseness, as I have heard is frequent with the cheap tubes. The only metal part that is important is the seating lip, which allows for AF. I bought my tubes off Craigslist for $100 recently, and I have also seen them for that price here on POTN. I'm not one for throwing my money away, but it's worth it to buy good gear. I think the cheap tubes are too cheap, and the Canon tubes are too expensive for very little in return. -rick

Shot with my EF-S 17-55 f/2.8
QUOTED IMAGE

Thank you for posting this picture of the tubes with the electrical contacts showing! I did not think Kenko had those contacts. I suspect then you would believe the Kenko a better quality from the Vivitar I posted earlier?

Post #9, Oct 28, 2012 00:13:26


Charles

Canon 60D Gripped * Canon XSi * Flickr Accountexternal link
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 DC Macro OS * Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Canon 18-55 IS Kit Lens * Canon 70-300 IS USM * Canon 50mm f1.8 * Canon 580EX II

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macroimage
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Canon's manualexternal link for the EF 40mm STM has a chart for magnification with the EF 12 II and EF 25 II tubes. With the 12mm tube, it gets a range 0.32 to 0.5x, with the 25mm it gets 0.7 to 0.88x. I haven't actually measured it on mine however. The min focus distance is reduced. The focusing range for the 12mm tube will be between 175-217mm and 156-164mm for the 25mm tube. This is measured from the sensor plane which is noted on the camera with the Ø mark on the top of the camera near the back.

It is worth the extra money to get extension tubes with contacts. Autofocus isn't very important but at large magnifications depth of field gets really shallow so you will need often f-stops of f/16 or higher. This leads to a very dark viewfinder if you have to preset the aperture and makes focusing difficult. It is important to be able to focus and compose the picture with the lens wide open and then stop down when the picture is taken.

Post #10, Oct 28, 2012 00:22:50 as a reply to wimg's post 7 hours earlier.


Photo Gear

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alazgr8
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I was tempted to buy the Vivitar or Polaroid tubes, and I posted that question in the macro section. But what I really wanted was the Kenko's, I just didn't want to spend $200, however the many great macro shooters with Kenko's was what swayed me, and getting an almost new set for $100 sealed the deal. -rick

Post #11, Oct 28, 2012 00:25:24


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

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msowsun
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Sindarin wrote in post #15177207external link
Nice! Where did you find cheap extension tubes with contacts? Or were these merely "cheap," compared to a 70-200 Mk II? ;) If you wouldn't mind sharing the brand, that would be much appreciated.

At least as far as I understand, any extension tubes without contacts through which the camera can power the lens motor would make the 40mm almost unusable since even manual focus wouldn't work. Would love to be wrong about that though...

The most important aspect of having tubes with contacts is the ability to control the aperture on an EF or EF-S lens. At high magnification the the depth of field is razor thin. Stopping down to small apertures like f/16 or f/22 is what gives you a workable DOF. AF is pretty useless when dealing with very high magnification. You basically just move the subject or the lens a fraction of an inch at a time to get the right focus. Using a tripod helps a lot too.

These are the tubes I got from Ebay for $61.50

The brand name on the box and front cap is "BiJia", but there are lots of other Brand names for the same tubes. http://www.ebay.ca ...3a75cbfacb#ht_3707w​t_1344external link

They have metal mounts and fit very well, but the body is a hard plastic.

IMAGE: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/msowsun/photo%20stuff/Photo9/_001aa-3.jpg

IMAGE: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/msowsun/photo%20stuff/Photo9/_001a-9.jpg


There are also available in a plastic mount version for about $40. http://www.ebay.ca ...rksid=p3286.c0.m270​.l1313external link

IMAGE: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/msowsun/photo%20stuff/Photo9/_001-7.jpg

Post #12, Oct 28, 2012 07:22:53


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 5D Mk III / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF Extender 1.4x II /
Full Current and Previously Owned Gear List over 40 years Flickr Photostreamexternal link

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Inspeqtor
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msowsun wrote in post #15177872external link
The most important aspect of having tubes with contacts is the ability to control the aperture on an EF or EF-S lens. At high magnification the the depth of field is razor thin. Stopping down to small apertures like f/16 or f/22 is what gives you a workable DOF. AF is pretty useless when dealing with very high magnification. You basically just move the subject or the lens a fraction of an inch at a time to get the right focus. Using a tripod helps a lot too.

These are the tubes I got from Ebay for $61.50

The brand name on the box and front cap is "BiJia", but there are lots of other Brand names for the same tubes. http://www.ebay.ca ...3a75cbfacb#ht_3707w​t_1344external link

They have metal mounts and fit very well, but the body is a hard plastic.

There are also available in a plastic mount version for about $40. http://www.ebay.ca ...rksid=p3286.c0.m270​.l1313external link

Mike,

So the Bijia tubes do accept EF-S lenses?

Do you know if the Vivitar brand accepts EF-S lenses?

Thank you

Post #13, Oct 28, 2012 09:14:33


Charles

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Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 DC Macro OS * Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Canon 18-55 IS Kit Lens * Canon 70-300 IS USM * Canon 50mm f1.8 * Canon 580EX II

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msowsun
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Yes, the BiJia tubes accept EF-S lenses. I think all the new tubes do. They usually say so in the ad and even show the tubes being used with EF-S lenses.

Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube for CANON EOS EF EF-S
http://www.ebay.ca ...4abdb06e6e#ht_2809w​t_1344external link

IMAGE: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/msowsun/photo%20stuff/Photo9/_001aaaa-4.jpg

Post #14, Oct 28, 2012 09:54:45


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 5D Mk III / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF Extender 1.4x II /
Full Current and Previously Owned Gear List over 40 years Flickr Photostreamexternal link

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Inspeqtor
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Thank you Mike

Post #15, Oct 28, 2012 10:35:01 as a reply to msowsun's post 40 minutes earlier.


Charles

Canon 60D Gripped * Canon XSi * Flickr Accountexternal link
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 DC Macro OS * Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Canon 18-55 IS Kit Lens * Canon 70-300 IS USM * Canon 50mm f1.8 * Canon 580EX II

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