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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Apr 2010 (Monday) 09:34
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Extension Tube vs. macro lens

 
sue.t
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Apr 05, 2010 09:34 |  #1

Have been debating purchasing the 100mm macro lens. Have played with close up shots with the 24-105 at full zoom and like the results. So thought a macro lens would be a nice addition. However, the cost of the macro lens likely isn't worth the number of images I'd take with it.

Then was reading about using an extension tube to enable a lens to focus closer. The cost of an extension tube could be worth it if the result is still good. Then I could purchase the 10-22mm instead! My lenses are the 24-105 and 100-400.

Anyone using the extension tubes (either the 25mm or 12mm) who can provide image examples or add some comment for my continuing debate?

on edit ... camera is the 7D.


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Bradfordguy
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Apr 05, 2010 09:44 |  #2

I have never tried the extension tubes so can't comment on that. You can pickup a 100 macro lens for not a ton of money and then it also gives you a very sharp prime portait lens too.


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harcosparky
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Apr 05, 2010 09:59 |  #3

There is actually a 3rd option.

Watch this video and listen closely as to what he recommends.

Note how he details what this lens is NOT LIKE

Drawback to this lens is it attaches to the front of your lens so will work on lenses of that diameter unless you bought the large one and were able to adapt it using step-down rings.

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=U7rrEQxjHmA (external link)




  
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spacetime
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Apr 05, 2010 10:17 |  #4

Extension tubes are a good alternative. They do reduce the amount of light and you have to keep in mind that you'll lose infinity focus. I also find a reduction in sharpness but it's primarily at the corners which probably won't be an issue as most shots aren't framed near the corners anyways.




  
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pturton
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Apr 05, 2010 10:21 |  #5

I use both the EF 12 and EF 25 most often with a telephoto lens to get closer focus. I also use them with my 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens to obtain larger than 1:1.

Your 100-400 which already can focus to 1.8M, could benefit from an extension tube to allow closer focus and give near macro results. If your interest is in flower and butterfly close-ups, this may be a good way to go for you. For life size images of bugs, stamps, coins or what ever, a true macro lens gives a flatter field of view across the sensor plane than that obtained by other means.

I understand that the Kenko extension set is good quality and costs about the same as one Canon tube. You may want to look at them if you are cutting corners in your budget. https://secure.bhphoto​video.com …ion&N=0&Initial​Search=yes (external link)




  
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Lyndon ­ Chen
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Apr 05, 2010 10:30 |  #6

harcosparky wrote in post #9936111 (external link)
There is actually a 3rd option.

^ This. Tubes seem to be a popular low cost way to go macro, but close-up lenses can be cheap as well and do not have some of the cons of tubes, most notably the loss of light and image quality.


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DreDaze
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Apr 05, 2010 10:40 |  #7

Tubes don't cost you iq. I think it depends how much you are going to use it, and how close you want to get. If you want 1:1, go for the lens if not go for the tubes. I'd recommend in either case pairing it with a flash


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RT ­ McAllister
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Apr 05, 2010 11:23 |  #8

Extension tubes suck arse. I blew $125 that I can't get back now.

Get the 100mm macro. (The right tool for the job).




  
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Lyndon ­ Chen
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Apr 05, 2010 11:35 |  #9

DreDaze wrote in post #9936358 (external link)
Tubes don't cost you iq. I think it depends how much you are going to use it, and how close you want to get. If you want 1:1, go for the lens if not go for the tubes. I'd recommend in either case pairing it with a flash

Tubes do cost you image quality. And by the way, I should have clarified I was talking about close-up lenses (sometimes called filters) that you thread onto the front of your lens. A good close-up lens is the Canon 250D, which for a 58mm size runs a little under $100. This guy has a good write-up on the pros and cons of tubes vs close-up lenses:

http://www.bobatkins.c​om …raphy/eosfaq/cl​oseup2.htm (external link)


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5D2, 5D | 16-35L, 70-200 2.8L IS, Sigma 15 fish, 24L, 35L, 50 1.4, 50 2.5, 85 1.8, 135L | 2x580EX, 550EX, radiopoppers

  
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Lyndon ­ Chen
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Apr 05, 2010 11:41 |  #10

Here's another good article:
http://nocroppingzone.​blogspot.com …ses-close-up-filters.html (external link)


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5D2, 5D | 16-35L, 70-200 2.8L IS, Sigma 15 fish, 24L, 35L, 50 1.4, 50 2.5, 85 1.8, 135L | 2x580EX, 550EX, radiopoppers

  
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Jannie
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Apr 05, 2010 11:46 |  #11

I have 2 Canon 12mm tubes and 1 Canon 25mm tube and use them a ton, especially on my 24-70 when shooting table top, I love the fact that I can choose so many different focal lenghts. I have never actually noticed that they use up any light, I know they do but it's just never been enough for me to even have to consider or think about. I shoot close ups a lot, and a lot of flowers and going over my files I've found the majority of my shots have been in the 40-70mm focal ranges. I also use then a lot with my 85L and have been trying them on my 100-400 and am pleasantly supprised. I seldom leave home without at least one of the 12mm tubes in my pocket. I also used to use a 12mm on my 70-200 2.8 IS to shorten the close focal distance when shooting environmental portraits to help drop off the background focus even more and be able in a few instances to work just a foot closer to the subject. That lens doesn't focus as close as the f4 version and this made up for that.

That said, it's easier to work with a macro in the 100mm range, the 180mm macro I've used some but I do most of this close up work hand held and the 180mm is just to difficult for me to keep steady, fabulous lens OMG but a bit long for my needs. So I am seriously off and on considering the 100 macro for some things but have no intention that it will replace using tubes with my 24-70.


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gbrsean
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Apr 05, 2010 12:22 as a reply to  @ Jannie's post |  #12

I have the Kenko tubes, and love them... you can't go wrong.. try those before getting a macro lens.


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rang
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Apr 05, 2010 14:06 |  #13

*Extension Tubes* are just air...shouldn't degrade IQ. If your base lens is a good one (baring technical design issues) you should be good to go. I've used them with mid range L zooms just fine and in combination with the Canon 500D close up lens.

*Extenders* or *Teleconverters* (TC's) are a different story. Other issues here...there is glass involved so you may take a hit IQ wise depending on quality of TC involved and AF issues due to base lens speed and camera body model ability to AF at slower f/ speeds due to the inclusion of the TC.

Or you can just MF.

And then you can go nuts and can combine them all with or with out a dedicated macro lens... (Canon 500D + lens + TC + ExtTubes) for scary looking shots. You can take the rubber ring off the largest of the Kenko set of three extension tubes and mount the Canon tripod ring for the 70-200 f/4 lens to better balance the load. But you'll want to have the "macro-zilla" rig setup on focusing rails (Bogen makes some really great "bang for buck" rails that you can stack for two axis fine focusing) and legs. And then things get dim so you'll want supplemental lighting.


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Saint728
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Apr 05, 2010 14:27 |  #14

RT McAllister wrote in post #9936596 (external link)
Extension tubes suck arse. I blew $125 that I can't get back now.

Get the 100mm macro. (The right tool for the job).

I use Canon 25mm and 12mm extension tubes with my 100mm Macro lens and they get really close and enlarge your shots even more. Here are a couple of shots with that set up.
http://www.flickr.com …1@N03/448899049​2/sizes/o/ (external link)
http://www.flickr.com …1@N03/448899863​8/sizes/o/ (external link)

Take Care,
Cheers, Patrick


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sue.t
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Apr 05, 2010 17:06 |  #15

k ... extension tube seems to be a reasonable option for me. Then that leaves my bank account healthier and the 10-22mm can be purchased sooner, or maybe the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II. But that is another whole debate ... wide angle or fast mid-range zoom. Hmmmmm ... will likely go the wide angle first. And let Santa take care of the other one!


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Extension Tube vs. macro lens
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