Saturday, August 16, 2008

Playing with Extension Tubes

So our family was off to Guatemala last week. Knowing there were great flowers there I picked up a set of Kenko Extension Tubes so I could start doing some macro experimentation. Below is a link to the tubes I purchased from B&H Photo

Kenko Extension Tubes for Canon EF Lenses

I have to tell you, these things are very cool. They do as advertised and allow you to focus in very close. Of course the first thing I did was stack all three together, toss on my Nifty Fifty and snap away. While this was very fun, it tought me a lot.

  • First off, the depth of field is razor thin. This is very neat, but makes one very aware of apeture and the like.
  • Puting these on my 70-200 f/2.8 causes the focus to be fixed and I had to use the zoom to focus. I was suprised by this but got used to it quick enough.
  • Don't be over zelous, use one tube a time to start. I wanted to toss the 36mm on or stack all three when I later learned that using the 12mm is much more effective. Be patient and start simple, you will get better results more quickly.
  • Use a tripod when ever possible. With the thin DOF any movement will make a shot out of focus. Look at the flower below. While all was still most of the flower is out of focus because of the ever so think DOF.
  • Finally, get the Kenko tubes. They are fantastic at at $169 for 3 you save yourself lots of money over the Canon version.
The point here is if you are considering some macro play and don't want to lay out the cash for a dedicated macro lens, extension tubes can be a great way to experiment. Give them a go and see what you learn.



Hey Paul, just found your blog and love's a great read. On top of all that you take amazing photos!!!

The extension tubes are a good thought for me, as I'm on a budget and will be until I'm

I'll def be back.