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Macro v Extension Tubes
  
 
joelconner
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Does anyone use extension tubes instead of a macro? I am in my annual gear assessment mood (since our season starts in force tomorrow), and I get annoyed with keeping a 100L in the bag when we use it for so very few shots. Especially now that I have a 135, it will never be used for anything other than macro.

I have never really used extension tubes in the field, so I was not sure how well they really work up under working conditions.



Apr 01, 2017 at 01:03 AM
jecottrell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I just played with a Canon 25 on my 24-70 a few minutes ago to answer another post. First time I think I had mounted it and played with it.

Seems to work fine. I'd probably go with the 12, I've got that as well but didn't try it. The 25 had a really close focus distance and 24-70 was doing some hunting to focus.



Apr 01, 2017 at 01:10 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I had an extensive simulate post a year a two ago. I go to rid of my Nikon 105 VR Macro, although a beautiful freaking lens. It was just too much size and $$ for a redundant focal length and just a couple macro shots. Instead of tubes I went with a smaller macro lense (60mm f/2.8d), which I actually like better for rings anyway.

Tubes seem like a totally reasonable solution though.



Apr 01, 2017 at 03:42 AM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Macro v Extension Tubes


One of my associates uses tubes on a 50art. Looks great. Images really sing.


Apr 01, 2017 at 05:31 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I used tubes forever. Unless brides are hiring you for ring shots its wasted spot in the bag to have a macro for it. Now I use a Tilt shift for macro shots.


Apr 01, 2017 at 05:38 AM
t4haughton
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I use the Canon 12mm on the 50 and 135. It's enough for most things. Can't really fill the frame for rings, but it's fine for me. If you really like shooting rings, the 25mm is probably a better deal.


Apr 01, 2017 at 07:09 AM
InSanE
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I just crop. Plenty MP left for a ring shot.


Apr 01, 2017 at 08:09 AM
jmraso
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I do, no problem ! with a set of 3 the options are great, small and cheap !










Apr 01, 2017 at 09:47 AM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I went through the same thought this year. I ended up buying a set of kenko extension tubes and did a comparison with my 105 Macro and was convinced I didn't need it anymore. Below is one shot with the 105 and one with 85 + extension. I couldn't tell you which is which at this point though (I downloaded these from a FB chat I was having with someone and the exif was stripped)












Apr 01, 2017 at 06:50 PM
mb126
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I would go with a 12mm extension tube unless you are really, really serious about ring shots.


Apr 01, 2017 at 09:07 PM
 

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jecottrell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Macro v Extension Tubes


dhp_sf wrote:
I went through the same thought this year...


Go Gators!

1988, Architecture....



Apr 02, 2017 at 02:03 AM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Macro v Extension Tubes


jecottrell wrote:
Go Gators!

1988, Architecture....


Architecture, Class of 2003



Apr 02, 2017 at 02:20 AM
Mar73
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Macro v Extension Tubes


I tried a really really cheap set of tubes before buying a 100mm Macro. If I were to do it all over again I probably would buy a Canon tube.


Apr 02, 2017 at 02:38 AM
Mitch W
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Tubes are great. I have Kenko.


Apr 02, 2017 at 05:18 PM
ashton lamont
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Recently I've added a Kenko set - which are 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm - as I find my 180mm f3.5 Sigma (which is a classic and gorgeous) is just too much trouble for wedding days. It needs the use of a tripod ideally but do you really want to devote the time and baggaging to set that up.

On the plus side with the 180mm macro the closet focusing distance from the front of the front element to the subject to shoot is around 375mm (divide mm by 2.54 to get inches!). And the width of a subject available is around 70mm. So its ideal for rings etc without having to be uncomfortably close to the subject. However carrying that around is not unlike carrying around a 70-200 f2.8L IS - its a biggie.

I shot a lot with the 12 20 and 36mm tubes. Obviously the longer the tube the closer is the distance from the front element to the subject. For example a 50mm f1.2L with a 36mm tube is only 45mm distance so you are almost on top of it. Such a close shave also can involve difficulties in lighting the subject.

My best choice as of now is a 20mm extension tube with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art. The tube takes up virtually no space - you could put it in your back pocket. The shortest distance from the front element to the subject is around 210mm (about 10 inches) and the longest is around 360mm. So its straightforward to handle and without a tripod if you can sit down etc - you just rock forwards and backwards to focus in magnified live view. The width of a subject shot at the closest distance of 210mm is around 100mm (about 4 inches) so its good for rings and other jewellery. If you go to the maximum distance of about 360mm the width of the subject shot is around 160mm - again great for larger jewelley.

If you're really into lighting it and you'd like to sidestep ringflash you can do this by using wireless guns like the 600EX-RT. The on-cam flash can have flash disabled whilst it triggers a couple of off-cam guns with their appropriate positions and diffusion.

Pete



Aug 01, 2017 at 11:32 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Macro v Extension Tubes


ashton lamont wrote:
Recently I've added a Kenko set - which are 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm - as I find my 180mm f3.5 Sigma (which is a classic and gorgeous) is just too much trouble for wedding days. It needs the use of a tripod ideally but do you really want to devote the time and baggaging to set that up.

On the plus side with the 180mm macro the closet focusing distance from the front of the front element to the subject to shoot is around 375mm (divide mm by 2.54 to get inches!). And the width of a subject available is
...Show more

Only downside to that which I can think of is that f/1.4 glass tends to only stop down to f/16. Ring shots that I do with flash are usually stopped down to f/16 at minimum, unless I am going for something with lots of blur. Sigma 85 should be plenty sharp though!



Aug 02, 2017 at 12:30 AM
ashton lamont
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Yes I need to experiment more with stopping down; meanwhile I had assumed that diffraction would kick in to increasing extent from about f11 so I'd ignored that. Is diffraction more of a theoretical than a real world issue?

I'd look to using focus stacking if having plenty of time on my hands - can't see that happening at weddings though :- )

Pete



Aug 02, 2017 at 08:33 AM
formula4speed
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Keep in mind focal length affects the magnification when using tubes, basically a tube is "stronger" on shorter focal lengths. So you might use a 12mm tube on a 50mm lens, but a 25mm tube on a 135mm lens. You might also want to consider getting a set of tubes to figure out which length works best for your 135mm. Kenko tubes are pretty inexpensive especially if you can find them used and I've always been happy with mine.

You'll be limited to close focus only when the tube is attached, and even then in a limited range of close focus, so don't expect to go from shooting the rings to a portrait without removing the tube.

Another small consideration that probably wouldn't bother most people, dedicated macro lenses tend to be better corrected for aberrations at macro distances. So you might see more color fringing using a tube than when using the 100L. Probably just a pixel peeping issue, but some of us are gear nerds.



Aug 02, 2017 at 01:36 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Macro v Extension Tubes


Tubes are OK but you can have to keep swapping them around to get the right amount of extension. Prob not an issue if you only shoot rings similarly since you can remember which combo it is.

InSanE wrote:
I just crop. Plenty MP left for a ring shot.


This is what I do now. It isn't like I get 20x30" print orders for a ring shot. It is only photogs that seem totally obsessed with them and then do stuff like put them in tree frog tanks (yes someone posted that here).



Aug 02, 2017 at 03:24 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Macro v Extension Tubes


ashton lamont wrote:
Yes I need to experiment more with stopping down; meanwhile I had assumed that diffraction would kick in to increasing extent from about f11 so I'd ignored that. Is diffraction more of a theoretical than a real world issue?

I'd look to using focus stacking if having plenty of time on my hands - can't see that happening at weddings though :- )

Pete


Diffraction is real, though the significance of that varies based on a lot of factors. Some times it is just a matter of weighing the need for a deeper DOF in one exposure. Sharpness can be added in post (to some extent), but DOF is baked in.

I've thought about switching to tubes, but I don't think a set of extension tubes is significantly smaller than the 60mm f/2.8d Nikon, which is about the very best of the Nikon macro lenses if you don't mind the shorter working distance from that focal length. CA is really well managed and sharpness is bonkers. IMO, it is too small/cheap/good not to own and carry.



Aug 02, 2017 at 03:36 PM
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