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Archive 2011 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?
  
 
k427
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


I was at my local camera shop and was asking around about the use of extension tubes and got little to no help so came to you guys. In the coming weeks I need to purchase the equipment with the ability to photograph small seedling leaves maybe 1/4"x1/4" to identify if there are any fungi or diseases on the leaves. At the moment I have a Nikon D700, 20mm f/2.8D, 35mm f/2D, 50mm f/1.4G and 70-200mm f/2.8 VRI. I was planning to purchase a 60mm f/2.8G micro along with a set of extension tubes. Although from what I've read in the "shooting with tubes" thread it doesn't seem that many people use tubes with macro lenses. I understand that the tubes function is to allow normal lenses the ability to focus more closely, so doesn't it stand to reason that tubes with a macro lens will allow you to focus even closer?! I assume the closer the the subject is to your lens the harder it becomes to light it so maybe I don't want it almost touching the lens...

It would really be a lifesaver if Nikon made an equivalent to the canon lens that allows you to increase the 1:1 life size to 1:5x. What's the Nikon version or setup to get the same kind of shots of say, a bugs eye? Is it just adapters and flipping the lens and mounting it on backwards?

I really appreciate any help you could give me on this front as I am a beginner to the macro world. Thanks.



Nov 24, 2011 at 02:47 AM
JJuLLiAAn
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


One thing that you could do is to put a second lens reversed on the front of the lens. If I read it right somewhere said that this would get you to 3:1, although that might be with extension tubes as well.


Nov 24, 2011 at 03:00 AM
k427
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


Wouldn't the magnification depend on the size of the focal length? I would imagine a 35mm reversed on a 20mm would be different than a 50mm reversed on a 20mm...


Nov 24, 2011 at 03:45 AM
vc13130
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


Yes, you can use tubes with a macro lens. For example, when I put 24 mm of extension on my Tamron 60 mm on a D200, my focus range went from infinity to 1x (24 mm on the horizontal axis) to about 41 mm across to 17 mm across (0.6x to 1.4x). Putting on more extension could get me past the 2x mark, but it made the range very narrow (something like 1.8x to 2.2x), which wasn't versatile enough for my uses.

For you, 1/4" x 1/4" is about 6 mm x 6 mm, so with your D700 you'd have to be in the 4x range if you want to fill the frame, which isn't really feasible unless you stack lenses. If you'd be ok with getting to 2x and filling half the frame, I think 24-36 mm or so of extension on the Nikon 60 (which has a shorter focal length at macro distances than the Tamron) should get you where you need to be.



Nov 24, 2011 at 04:06 AM
k427
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


vc13130 wrote:
Yes, you can use tubes with a macro lens. For example, when I put 24 mm of extension on my Tamron 60 mm on a D200, my focus range went from infinity to 1x (24 mm on the horizontal axis) to about 41 mm across to 17 mm across (0.6x to 1.4x). Putting on more extension could get me past the 2x mark, but it made the range very narrow (something like 1.8x to 2.2x), which wasn't versatile enough for my uses.

For you, 1/4" x 1/4" is about 6 mm x 6 mm, so with your D700 you'd have to
...Show more


Thanks, this is excellent news. So in order to get up to the 4x range with stacking extensions the focus becomes so razor thin that it doesn't really work without blending multiple images? 2x and filling half the frame with the subject seems like it will be enough for my use.

What are the differences of stacking lenses face-to-face compared to mounting a lens backwards on extension tubes? I've seen both processes done to increase magnification but I would think you would want to shoot through as least glass as possible ie prefer the tubes over lens.

With this new information I will plan on tubes with the Nikon 60mm but I will still be listening if anyone else has some input on topic. Are there any online resources with calculators that easily guide you through the different variables of a macro setup for the results you would like to achieve?



Nov 24, 2011 at 04:44 AM
 

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egd5
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


I'm far from a macro expert, but I'd go for a longer focal length as well. I have the Sigma 150 and it's fantastic. I don't know what the 60 sells for, but if you can afford the 150 with tubes you are set for sure.


Nov 27, 2011 at 01:46 AM
eric_m
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


The only advantage of a longer focal length is that you have more working distance between the front element and your subject. It doesn't doesn't change the maximum magnification of the macro lens.

Yes, I have used tubes with a macro lens to get more magnification. Here's an example with tubes behind a Canon 100L in order to give more than a 1:1 view. This is a monarch egg about ready to hatch. It's about 1mm tall. Of course, the more magnification, the more razor thin DOF becomes.








Eric



Nov 27, 2011 at 05:13 PM
gmwyatt
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


You can use a set of extension tubes with a reversed 20 mm or 35 mm lens to get the magnification needed for your image. I have a set of Kenko 12, 20, and 36 mm auto tubes for Nikon and with a reversed 20 mm f/2.8 lens attached to the set of tubes can get a field approximately 6 mm across on a full-frame camera (F100) or 16 mm with a reversed 55 mm Micro-Nikkor. With the 20 mm, there's about 1.5 inches of working distance between the lens and subject. You may want to get a Nikon BR-2A macro adapter ring and 52-62 step-up ring for the 20 mm, or just use gaffer's tape to attach it to the extension tubes.

I'd suggest using the money you'd spend on a macro lens for a focusing stage, given the magnification you'll be using. Also, G-type lenses don't work well reversed because you want a manual diaphram.

Also, go find a copy of Handbook for Scientific Photography (Alfred A. Blaker, 1977, Freeman) to get some ideas for lighting, exposure, and other info on close-up work.

Glen




Nov 27, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Dalantech
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Do people use extension tubes with macro lenses?


If that 60mm macro has internal focusing then it probably loses focal length at life size mag. The Canon EF-S 60mm is about a 37mm lens so it only takes 37mm of extension to get to 2x.

Taken with the EF-S 60mm and 50mm of extension:








Nov 29, 2011 at 01:34 PM





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