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Old Sep 16, 2002, 8:54 PM   #11
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Macro by definition involves a 1:1 magnification or higher between the subject and its image on the film or sensor. A macro lens (such as the 100mm 2.8 Macro will, at its closest focusing distance, give you 1:1 magnification. This takes place at about 9" tor 10" from the subject.

Extension tubes are like tele extenders, but without the glass. They are put between the lens and camera so that the frame gets filled with a smaller portion of the subject, producing greater magnification.

I took that dragonfly picture with 3 extension tubes attached to the 100-400, and was actually about 5 feet away from the insect!

Canon's extension tubes are very expensive compared to others. The most common set people are buying is by Kenko, and is about $120 for 3 tubes of diffeent lengths, which can be used individually or in any combination.

I got a set by ProOptic (Adorama's house brand, I gues, ) for $85, and they do the same job. They ae 13mm, 21mm and 31mm.

They can be used with any lens, but the shorter the focal length, the closer you have to get to the subject.

They are better quality than close-up filtersbut somewhat less convenient because you have to take the lens off to mount them..

One image is a real closeup with
the tubes and lens at about 200mm, and the other, at 400mm and 5 feet.

[Edited on 9-17-2002 by WalterK]
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