Michael ConnellComment

Extension Tubes

Michael ConnellComment
I've been thinking about getting a macro lens.  I'm not sure which one to get yet, so I've been checking out various lens in the stores and borrowing my friends' stuff to see what I like.  One of the things I tried is a set of extension tubes.  What are extension tubes?  Well, they are basically empty tubes that extend the lens a bit further from the camera's sensor.  That's it.  Why would you want to do that?  Because this will allow the lens to focus at a closer distance than it normally could, giving the lens a bit of macro functionality.  The up side is that since the tubes are empty, you aren't potentially degrading the image quality with additional glass.  The down side is that you are losing some light.  I had previously dismissed extension tubes as a cheesy solution to macro photography.  My experimentation with a set today proved me wrong.

I attached a couple of tubes behind my 50mm lens and I was pleasantly surprised by the pictures I snapped.  The subjects are sharper than I expected and there is pleasant background blur.  I was focusing manually by moving myself and the camera back and forth.  With this tube setup, I did have to get pretty close to what I was photographing.  This is where a longer focal length true macro lens would be better by giving more working room (not to mention more magnification).  I don't see the distance (maybe 2 inches) as a real problem in floral shots, but it would be an issue with insects.  Here's a couple of pics.


Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: 16
ISO: 100
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 (36mm and 12mm extension tubes)
Camera: Canon 30d
Flash even with front lens







Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: 16
ISO: 100
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 (36mm and 12mm extension tubes)
Camera: Canon 30d
Flash even with front lens