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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 30 May 2012 (Wednesday) 15:15
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Extension tube for macro shots?

 
vinmunoz
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Jun 04, 2012 10:59 |  #16

when i found out that the f2.8 lens is enough for me in a church setting. I sold my Sigma 30mm F1.4 for the Canon 60mm Macro and I was so happy.

portrait + macro...
here's my sample...
portrait...

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8144/7326526390_a93f2cb609_c.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7075/7326542622_ea7ae62599_c.jpg
macro...
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7222/7333611582_433a019747_c.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8001/7333612428_a43222b2ea_c.jpg

| VINZ - SONY A7RIV/A73//A6000/FDR-X3000 | Sigma105 | FE1635F4 } Tamron 17-28 Tamron 28-75 | FE50F1.8 | SEL30mm F3.5 Macro |
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Skul
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Jun 04, 2012 11:39 |  #17

Pro Optic makes a set of three for $83 bucks. Full EF function. Metal.
Works well for occational marcro use.




  
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jroovs
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Jun 06, 2012 08:32 as a reply to  @ Skul's post |  #18

Vinmunoz, like those macro shots. Decisions, decisions!


7D, 6D, 24-105L, 100 2.8, 400 5.6 L

  
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Swede ­ Kevin
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Jun 10, 2012 16:57 |  #19

Help selecting tube

Do you have experience that might guide my decision regarding choice between Canon’s Extension Tubes (EF 12 II or EF 25II). I might buy a Kenko 1.4X based on what I read in this string. However, I have always stuck to the camera line-up in the past. I will probably use the extension tube for semi-macro work and birding. Some of my lenses that it might be used with are 50 mm f/1.4, 85 mm f/1.8, 400 mm f/5.6L, 70- 200 mm f/2.8L IS II, 24-105 mm f/4L IS, and 16-35 mm f/2.8L II. I suspect that my major use of the extension tube will be with the 70- 200 mm f/2.8L IS II and the 400 mm f/5.6L. I am leaning towards the EF 12 II, because of working range, but recognize that I will give up magnification to achieve that. Cost is not an issue. My Canon bodies are the 50D and the 5D Mark III.

BrickR wrote in post #14507465 (external link)
Macro will not only decrease your minimum focus distance, but will shorten your DOF so you will find the 18-135 more suitable to macro tube use. You'll want to use slower fstops as well.
I prefer my Kenko tubes on my 28-75 and my 70-300 as opposed to my 50 1.8 because its more versatile. Its easy to overshoot the MFD on a wide prime and be unable to achieve any focus.

Also, pay the extra for automatic (electrical connectors) tubes. You can still control your Ap and use autofocus (if there is enough light).




  
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DreDaze
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Jun 10, 2012 17:53 |  #20

Swede Kevin wrote in post #14559693 (external link)
Do you have experience that might guide my decision regarding choice between Canon’s Extension Tubes (EF 12 II or EF 25II). I might buy a Kenko 1.4X based on what I read in this string. However, I have always stuck to the camera line-up in the past. I will probably use the extension tube for semi-macro work and birding. Some of my lenses that it might be used with are 50 mm f/1.4, 85 mm f/1.8, 400 mm f/5.6L, 70- 200 mm f/2.8L IS II, 24-105 mm f/4L IS, and 16-35 mm f/2.8L II. I suspect that my major use of the extension tube will be with the 70- 200 mm f/2.8L IS II and the 400 mm f/5.6L. I am leaning towards the EF 12 II, because of working range, but recognize that I will give up magnification to achieve that. Cost is not an issue. My Canon bodies are the 50D and the 5D Mark III.

when you mention the kenko you're talking about a teleconverter, or extender...when you're mentioning the canon 12...you're talking about extension tubes...they are two entirely different things...

the kenko tube set is just as good as the canon, because after all there are no glass elements, it's just air...and the canon air isn't any better then the kenko air :)


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amfoto1
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Jun 10, 2012 22:41 |  #21

The Canon 12mm and 25mm extension tubes are very good. If you want to use them with an EF-S lens you need the "Mark II" version. Those will work with both EF and EF-S mount lenses.

However, the Canon exension tubes are expensive. For little more than the price of the 25mm, you can get the Kenko set of 3, which are every bit equal in terms of quality. They are currently going for about $180 US. If you want to use them with an EF-S lens, you need to get the newer set marked CA/AFs (note the small "s"). Those will work with both EF and EF-S lenses. Kenko also sells individual tubes in 12mm and 25mm lengths. But the set of three (36mm, 20mm and 12mm) are the best value and give the most flexibility with various lenses.

There are also a cheaper Zeikos sets of three availalbe (11mm, 21mm, 31mm). They sell under a number of brand names besides Zeikos: Vivitar, Bower, CowboyStudio, Jessops, ProOptic (Adorama), and more. They are all the same thing, but come in two varieties. One with metal bayonet mount sells for a bit under $100 US, the other with plastic bayonet mount approx. $70 US or less. The barrels of these are plastic, too. I wouldn't use them with too heavy a lens, particularly not the one with the plastic bayonet. The Zeikos tubes are compatible with EF-S lenses, too... if they have the little white square registration mark on them. Earlier versions were EF lenses only.

All tubes work the same and have no optics in them. They simply move the lens farther from the film/sensor plane and make it closer focusing. Much closer focusing, if you use a lot of extension. Longer tubes or combinations of more than one tube can be used. However be aware of light fall-off inside the tube, at some point you'll begin to have trouble with auto-focus.

The longer the lens focal length, the more extension you need to use to get close to 1:1 magnification. There are math formulas to figure it out, but it varies depending upon the lens' built-in close focusing ability. Basically, figure on using the same amount of extension as the lens' focal length, to get to 1:1... so 50mm with a 50mm lens... but in truth it will be less since the lens has some close focusing ability of its own.

An "EF 12 II" is a short Canon macro extension tube and will make for very little change in close focusing capabilities on a 70-200mm lens. This image was made with a 25mm extension tube on a 70-200mm, and isn't 1:1 magnification:

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6201/6143768203_0c2819c423_o.jpg
Black & yellow garden spider in its web
EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens with 25mm extension. EOS-3 camera, Ektachnrome E100VS or E200 film, settings unrecorded. Tripod, 550EX fill flash. Image digitized with Nikon 4000ED film scanner.


Some lenses work better than others with extension tubes. Often larger aperture lenses will show some vignetting and softness in the corners, with extension on them. That isn't necessarily bad, might even be useful in an image. Here's an example using the Canon 50/1.4 fairly wide open...

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6179/6144045867_6149f2bee6_o.jpg
Chiaroscuro rose bud
EF 50mm f1.4 lens at f2.0, with 20mm or 25mm extension tube. EOD 10D camera at ISO 100, 1/2000 shutter speed. Handheld, ambient light.


Yes, depth of field gets really shallow at high magnifications. You'll often find yourself stopping down... sometimes a lot. So you might need a tripod for slow shutter speeds. Unfortunately, I don't have the settings used for this shot, but you can see how shallow the plane of focus is, due to using a longer telephoto macro lens...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5093/5585285923_f2d1d237aa_z.jpg
Golden bee
EF 180mm f3.5L Macro lens. EOS-3 camera, Ektachrome 100VS or E200 film. Settings unrecorded. Handheld (actually camera and lens resting on the ground), available light (no flash).


It can be difficult to find enough light for macro shots... so you might want to use flash. There are macro flashes - most are ringlights or twinlights - but even a standard flash can do...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5007/5310747604_24629e0980_z.jpg
"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."
EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens at f11. EOS 30D camera at ISO 200, 1/200 shutter speed. Handheld, 550EX Speedlite (diffused) with off-camera shoe cord.


Flash for macro can have other benefits. Flash was used as the main light source for the above shot, so a busy background completely disappeared in darkness. Also, using flash as the main light source can freeze movement... it acts like a 1/720 shutter speed, approx. These only work when using the flash as the only or main light source, overpowering ambient light. They won't work if using the flash as fill. (Essentially Canon cameras automatically do fill when the flash is set to ETTL and the camera set to one of the auto exposure modes: Av, Tv or P. To get full flash, set the camera to M and the ISO, shutter speed and aperture too low to record ambient light. You also can set the flash itself to Manual or dial up FEC so that it's the dominant light source.)

Don't confuse macro extension tubes with Canon Extenders, which are teleconverters that multiply focal length without changing close focusing ability and contain additional optics. 1.4X and 2X strengths are commonly available. Since they maintain the same minimum focus distance, they can be helpful for close-ups. And, they can be combined with extension tubes, such as was done to get a shot of this small lizard...

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6065/6144318664_46074b2231_z.jpg
Fence lizard camouflage
EF 300mm f2.8 IS lens with 1.4X II teleconverter and 25mm extension tube, effective f7.1 aperture. EOS 30D camera at ISO 200, 1/100 shutter speed. Tripod, avail. light (no flash).


Canon's teleconverters are usable on prime lenses 135mm and longer, and on 70-200 zooms. They are cannot be physically fitted to many of the other lenses. There are Kenko and Sigma teleconverters, too, some of which are pretty good. Basically, teleconverters work best with prime lenses and typically less well with zooms. But there are some good combos that might be worth consideration.

Teleconverters cost light and reduce the effective aperture of the lens they are fitted to. A 1.4X costs one stop and a 2X costs two stops. There are even 3X teleconverters that cost 3 stops of light (and are pretty miserable, optically). With the exception of 1-Series cameras, Canon are not designed to be able to focus with less than f5.6 aperture lens. So, putting any teleconverter on a 400/5.6 should cause AF to fail. There are some tricks to fool it into working... to some extent. Just how well it works depends upon the quality of light and subject contrast and detail. A 2X likely wouldn't focus at all on that lens, no matter what, due to the effective f11 max aperture.

Both would work on an f2.8 lens like the 70-200, though. However, keep in mind that the stronger a teleconverter, the more optics in it, the more it degrades image quality. The 2X III and 70-200/2.8 IS II seem to work together pretty well, but don't expect too much from other zoom/2X combos. However, if you already have a 400mm lens, it seems sort of a waste to put a 2X on a 70-200mm. The 1.4X might be more useful on that lens, giving you a 280mm to work with, too.

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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Swede ­ Kevin
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Jun 11, 2012 16:20 |  #22

Thanks for your information. I understand the difference between extension tubes and lens extenders and have owned both in other camera lines. I mentioned the kenko, because that might be a good answer, since I am not looking for much magnification. My primary interest is capturing shots of birds in my backyard. I often discover them somewhat too close for the mimimum focus distance of my 400 mm f/5.6L. I was hoping that a Canon extension tube woudl shave a few feet of this minimum focus distance. I have not found tables that tell me the minimum and maximum focus distances for specific extension tube/lens combinations. If I had that information, I could probably decide whether a extension tube is a good answer.

DreDaze wrote in post #14559842 (external link)
when you mention the kenko you're talking about a teleconverter, or extender...when you're mentioning the canon 12...you're talking about extension tubes...they are two entirely different things...

the kenko tube set is just as good as the canon, because after all there are no glass elements, it's just air...and the canon air isn't any better then the kenko air :)




  
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Swede ­ Kevin
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Jun 11, 2012 16:41 |  #23

Thanks for your excellent advice. I can tell that you have been working with Canon SLR's much longer than I have. I just switched to Canon when I bought the 50D. I just bought the canon 2X III and am satisfied with how it works with my 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II. I have compared this combo with my 400 mm F.5.6L. Although the prime still has a edge in IQ , I enjoy the flexibility of the zoom and IS of the combo. I need to look into the Kenko set of 3. I seem to recall that someone told me that the mechanical fit of the Kenko's is inferior to that of the Canon's. I'll checkout the B&H reviews on the Kenko set.

amfoto1 wrote in post #14560942 (external link)
The Canon 12mm and 25mm extension tubes are very good. If you want to use them with an EF-S lens you need the "Mark II" version. Those will work with both EF and EF-S mount lenses.

However, the Canon exension tubes are expensive. For little more than the price of the 25mm, you can get the Kenko set of 3, which are every bit equal in terms of quality. They are currently going for about $180 US. If you want to use them with an EF-S lens, you need to get the newer set marked CA/AFs (note the small "s"). Those will work with both EF and EF-S lenses. Kenko also sells individual tubes in 12mm and 25mm lengths. But the set of three (36mm, 20mm and 12mm) are the best value and give the most flexibility with various lenses.

There are also a cheaper Zeikos sets of three availalbe (11mm, 21mm, 31mm). They sell under a number of brand names besides Zeikos: Vivitar, Bower, CowboyStudio, Jessops, ProOptic (Adorama), and more. They are all the same thing, but come in two varieties. One with metal bayonet mount sells for a bit under $100 US, the other with plastic bayonet mount approx. $70 US or less. The barrels of these are plastic, too. I wouldn't use them with too heavy a lens, particularly not the one with the plastic bayonet. The Zeikos tubes are compatible with EF-S lenses, too... if they have the little white square registration mark on them. Earlier versions were EF lenses only.

All tubes work the same and have no optics in them. They simply move the lens farther from the film/sensor plane and make it closer focusing. Much closer focusing, if you use a lot of extension. Longer tubes or combinations of more than one tube can be used. However be aware of light fall-off inside the tube, at some point you'll begin to have trouble with auto-focus.

The longer the lens focal length, the more extension you need to use to get close to 1:1 magnification. There are math formulas to figure it out, but it varies depending upon the lens' built-in close focusing ability. Basically, figure on using the same amount of extension as the lens' focal length, to get to 1:1... so 50mm with a 50mm lens... but in truth it will be less since the lens has some close focusing ability of its own.

An "EF 12 II" is a short Canon macro extension tube and will make for very little change in close focusing capabilities on a 70-200mm lens. This image was made with a 25mm extension tube on a 70-200mm, and isn't 1:1 magnification:

QUOTED IMAGE
Black & yellow garden spider in its web
EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens with 25mm extension. EOS-3 camera, Ektachnrome E100VS or E200 film, settings unrecorded. Tripod, 550EX fill flash. Image digitized with Nikon 4000ED film scanner.

Some lenses work better than others with extension tubes. Often larger aperture lenses will show some vignetting and softness in the corners, with extension on them. That isn't necessarily bad, might even be useful in an image. Here's an example using the Canon 50/1.4 fairly wide open...

QUOTED IMAGE
Chiaroscuro rose bud
EF 50mm f1.4 lens at f2.0, with 20mm or 25mm extension tube. EOD 10D camera at ISO 100, 1/2000 shutter speed. Handheld, ambient light.

Yes, depth of field gets really shallow at high magnifications. You'll often find yourself stopping down... sometimes a lot. So you might need a tripod for slow shutter speeds. Unfortunately, I don't have the settings used for this shot, but you can see how shallow the plane of focus is, due to using a longer telephoto macro lens...

QUOTED IMAGE
Golden bee
EF 180mm f3.5L Macro lens. EOS-3 camera, Ektachrome 100VS or E200 film. Settings unrecorded. Handheld (actually camera and lens resting on the ground), available light (no flash).

It can be difficult to find enough light for macro shots... so you might want to use flash. There are macro flashes - most are ringlights or twinlights - but even a standard flash can do...

QUOTED IMAGE
"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."
EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens at f11. EOS 30D camera at ISO 200, 1/200 shutter speed. Handheld, 550EX Speedlite (diffused) with off-camera shoe cord.

Flash for macro can have other benefits. Flash was used as the main light source for the above shot, so a busy background completely disappeared in darkness. Also, using flash as the main light source can freeze movement... it acts like a 1/720 shutter speed, approx. These only work when using the flash as the only or main light source, overpowering ambient light. They won't work if using the flash as fill. (Essentially Canon cameras automatically do fill when the flash is set to ETTL and the camera set to one of the auto exposure modes: Av, Tv or P. To get full flash, set the camera to M and the ISO, shutter speed and aperture too low to record ambient light. You also can set the flash itself to Manual or dial up FEC so that it's the dominant light source.)

Don't confuse macro extension tubes with Canon Extenders, which are teleconverters that multiply focal length without changing close focusing ability and contain additional optics. 1.4X and 2X strengths are commonly available. Since they maintain the same minimum focus distance, they can be helpful for close-ups. And, they can be combined with extension tubes, such as was done to get a shot of this small lizard...


Fence lizard camouflage
EF 300mm f2.8 IS lens with 1.4X II teleconverter and 25mm extension tube, effective f7.1 aperture. EOS 30D camera at ISO 200, 1/100 shutter speed. Tripod, avail. light (no flash).

Canon's teleconverters are usable on prime lenses 135mm and longer, and on 70-200 zooms. They are cannot be physically fitted to many of the other lenses. There are Kenko and Sigma teleconverters, too, some of which are pretty good. Basically, teleconverters work best with prime lenses and typically less well with zooms. But there are some good combos that might be worth consideration.

Teleconverters cost light and reduce the effective aperture of the lens they are fitted to. A 1.4X costs one stop and a 2X costs two stops. There are even 3X teleconverters that cost 3 stops of light (and are pretty miserable, optically). With the exception of 1-Series cameras, Canon are not designed to be able to focus with less than f5.6 aperture lens. So, putting any teleconverter on a 400/5.6 should cause AF to fail. There are some tricks to fool it into working... to some extent. Just how well it works depends upon the quality of light and subject contrast and detail. A 2X likely wouldn't focus at all on that lens, no matter what, due to the effective f11 max aperture.

Both would work on an f2.8 lens like the 70-200, though. However, keep in mind that the stronger a teleconverter, the more optics in it, the more it degrades image quality. The 2X III and 70-200/2.8 IS II seem to work together pretty well, but don't expect too much from other zoom/2X combos. However, if you already have a 400mm lens, it seems sort of a waste to put a 2X on a 70-200mm. The 1.4X might be more useful on that lens, giving you a 280mm to work with, too.




  
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bigkeith
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Jun 11, 2012 17:58 |  #24

I have had no issues with the fit or build quality of the Kenko set. A friend of mine tried them and said they felt cheap to which I responded they are just metal tubes! I love the versatility of the 3 tube set. Well worth the investment IMHO.


7D w/Grip | XSi/450 | Canon EF 17-40 f/4 L | Canon EF-S 18-55 IS | Canon EF-S 60 Macro | Tamron 18-200 Macro XR | Canon EF 24-105 L IS Macro | Canon EF 70-200 L | Speedlite 430 EX II | Kenko Extension Tube Kit | Assorted filters and other stuff
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DreDaze
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Jun 11, 2012 18:17 |  #25

Swede Kevin wrote in post #14564568 (external link)
Thanks for your information. I understand the difference between extension tubes and lens extenders and have owned both in other camera lines. I mentioned the kenko, because that might be a good answer, since I am not looking for much magnification. My primary interest is capturing shots of birds in my backyard. I often discover them somewhat too close for the mimimum focus distance of my 400 mm f/5.6L. I was hoping that a Canon extension tube woudl shave a few feet of this minimum focus distance. I have not found tables that tell me the minimum and maximum focus distances for specific extension tube/lens combinations. If I had that information, I could probably decide whether a extension tube is a good answer.

look at this table...it tells you what the maximum magnification is with the two different canon tubes attached...i'm sure you can do some math to figure out what the MFD would then be...

http://www.usa.canon.c​om/app/pdf/lens/EFLens​Chart.pdf (external link)


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Extension tube for macro shots?
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