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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #1
ConCon
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Default Macro extension tubes?

Is there a large difference between brands of extension tubes? Since there is no glass in them, that is obviously not a difference maker. So is there a reason to pay 200$ for Kenko extension tubes rather than less money for another brand, if it also has electrical contacts for focus and aperture? Are canon brand tubes superior? Are the more expensive ones that much better?
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

There aint, exept the quality of the Bayonet mount. In cheaper tubes (like Kakoon) they are pretty stiff, but they work great since there is no optics inside. I would buy cheaper tubes because there is no reason to pay for the brand. Of course Canon tubes are exelent but what is printed on the tube wont affect the iq. If you want quality I would buy Kenko.

I bought (yesterday ) Kakoon tubes, unfortunately they had manufacturing error in them (Bayonet was twisted and it got stuck on my lens, fortunately got it out after 1,5h of cursing... I sended them back and I get new ones soon.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

The air in the Kenkos is filtered and purified, brands like Vivitar use regular interior air and the cheap ebay ones are filled with China smog.

Build quality does vary, I'd just mainly worry about them having the contacts and metal mounts.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

I got 70$ full set tubes with electric wiring and metal mounts from ebay, no issues with them.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Just be sure to get one of the sets with the electronic contacts.... unless you only use vintage lenses with manually controlled apertures. With most electronically controlled lenses, it's a real pain in the arse to use the super cheap ext. tubes (under $25).

That means about $50 minimum, for a rather plasticky set, including the bayonet mount (Zeikos). For around $75 you can get plasticky with a metal bayonet mount (Opteka, Zeikos).

The Kenko set is still better... largely metal and about $200 now... that's roughly equal in quality to but works to be a bit less expensive than the Canon tubes, which are only sold individually.

Whatever you choose, if you want to use them with EF-S lenses be sure to check that they are compatible. Most currently offered are... but if you buy used, for example, you will find some older ones can't fit EF-S lenses (note: EF and third party crop-only lenses will work fine).
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

I got a set of cheap Delta branded plastic tubes with contacts. Individually they work great, but when you stack them the weight of the lens causes them to flex slightly, breaking the electrical signal between the camera and lens, and they lose functionality. I'd assume more expensive tubes like the Kenko don't have this issue.

Fortunately, I use extension tubes so rarely that it doesn't bother me.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

yup canon extension tubes seem to be filled with gold plated oxygen and nitrogen molecules
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Unless you KNOW with certainty that you are a 'macro shooter', and you wish to use an extension tube only for occasionally closer focus than MFD, you might be well served with very inexpensive extension tubes.

I have been involved in photography for over 40 years, have equipment in four different format sizes, and (when only film was available) I had abandoned 135 format shooting for professional purposes, as I felt it gave me inadequate performance. That gives you an idea of my level of expectations regarding IQ. I have expensive extension tubes for my medium format film camera -- ONE tube cost more than an entire Kenko set of tubes for Canon (simply because no inexpensive third party tubes were offered on the market), and I used one of the tube lengths simply for more tightly framed headshots. I am NOT a routine macro shooter, it has little inherent interest for me when shooting recreationally.

I still have high standards about IQ, and I never ventured into digital SLR until I felt it could rival (as a minimum requirement) what could be achieved with film. Nevertheless I 'cheaped out' ($50) when buying a tube set for my Canon digital kit...tube set made with composite material including composite lens mount (not metal) but with electrical contacts. I can stack all three tubes and the body can still communicate with the lens. I can focus closer when I want to frame tighter. I still don't routinely take macro shots.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Just sold 2 of my Canon ext. tubes. The Chinese knock-offs on eBay are just as good.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirrith View Post
I got a set of cheap Delta branded plastic tubes with contacts. Individually they work great, but when you stack them the weight of the lens causes them to flex slightly, breaking the electrical signal between the camera and lens, and they lose functionality. I'd assume more expensive tubes like the Kenko don't have this issue.

Fortunately, I use extension tubes so rarely that it doesn't bother me.
The ones I got from ebay for 70$ (plastic with metal mount + wiring) are very heavy and are built like tank (I think the brand is something like Meikos). I can't imagine them flexing under any circumstances; it feels they'd rather break into pieces rather then flex.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

OK, follow-up question. Is it even really worth it to get extension tubes for my current lens collection? I have a 15-85, Tamron 70-300 and a 40mm pancake. I was thinking that the pancake lens would be the one I would use with the tubes. Does that seem like something that would work? I think I can get a good tube set for 70$ or so, I'm not interested in spending more than that really, if I were to do that, I would just save that money toward a dedicated macro lens, but I would like the tubes now.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConCon View Post
Is there a large difference between brands of extension tubes? Since there is no glass in them, that is obviously not a difference maker. So is there a reason to pay 200$ for Kenko extension tubes rather than less money for another brand, if it also has electrical contacts for focus and aperture? Are canon brand tubes superior? Are the more expensive ones that much better?
The Kenko tubes are a quality product, but the price doubled after they got pretty popular. I didn't have a problem paying $100 for mine, but not sure I would want to pay $200.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConCon View Post
OK, follow-up question. Is it even really worth it to get extension tubes for my current lens collection? I have a 15-85, Tamron 70-300 and a 40mm pancake. I was thinking that the pancake lens would be the one I would use with the tubes. Does that seem like something that would work? I think I can get a good tube set for 70$ or so, I'm not interested in spending more than that really, if I were to do that, I would just save that money toward a dedicated macro lens, but I would like the tubes now.
I use my tubes with the 50mm f/1.4 and 70-200 f/2.8, so it's pretty reasonable to think you could use them with the 40 & 70-300.
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

I have a set of 3 from Jessops (appear to be the same as Kenko). I find them really useful for reducing the minimum focus distances of my 300 F2.8 & 800 F5.6, they are a very useful accessory to me.
I bought them for macro but use them for telephoto!?!?
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Old 19th of May 2013 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: Macro extension tubes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirrith View Post
I got a set of cheap Delta branded plastic tubes with contacts. Individually they work great, but when you stack them the weight of the lens causes them to flex slightly, breaking the electrical signal between the camera and lens, and they lose functionality. I'd assume more expensive tubes like the Kenko don't have this issue.

Fortunately, I use extension tubes so rarely that it doesn't bother me.
+1 That has been my experience with my metal mount BiJia extension tubes. http://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?_odkw=...metal&_sacat=0

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