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soph Feb 23, 2010 5:05 AM

Cheap macro extension tubes
Hey hey, a question from a newbie I hope someone can answer. I've just purchased a Canon eos 450d with a 18-55mm lense, and from previous experience I know I want to do some macro shooting. Is something like this appropiate? ->

I basically have no budget left after buying the camera so the price tag would be perfect... I understand it may not be the best quality but before purhcasing anything like that, I'd love to know what you guys think. Is it even worth it?

TCav Feb 23, 2010 6:09 AM

Extension tubes are a great way to do macrophotography on the cheap, but that's just too cheap. Kenko extension tubes are very good. The lesser brands usually don't support autoexposure, and are poorly constructed, resulting in light leaks and difficulty connecting and disconnecting the tube to the lens and the camera body.

The ad states:

"... But they are not meter-coupled. They do not preserve the automatic diaphragm. It should be used with manual lenses with their own aperture dial. There is no electronic connection between the body and the lens. Automatic lenses can be used with their widest open aperture only. ..."

That means you can only use manual exposure, and since your 18-55 doesn't have an aperture ring, the lens can only be used at its largest aperture, so your depth of field will be infinitesimal.

Don't waste your money.

soph Feb 23, 2010 2:47 PM

I thought as much. Thanks so much for the advice! Seems like the proper ones cost around 150 dollars? Goes right on my 'to get' list then, after the 50mm lense.

TCav Feb 23, 2010 3:49 PM

These things often show up used on eBay. Keep your eyes open.

shoturtle Feb 23, 2010 8:04 PM

You can get a kenko or canon 12 tube for about 90 dollars, or a kenko 25 for about 100. They are way better tubes, and will allow you to use aperture priority mode on your shots. It is really worth the extra money if you do not have a dedicated macro lens.

Pro optic has a set made of plastic, it will not AF with EF-s lenses only with EF lenses, but works ok for about 50 dollars. If you are looking for a cheap set of tubes. But it is not a big issue since mf is preferred for macro work anyways.

Or save you pennys and get a ef 50mm 2.5 macro. It does a pretty nice job for a 250 dollar macro lens new and used for about 180 dollars.

TCav Feb 23, 2010 8:33 PM

The Pro-Optic Extension tubes don't fit well, and are prone to light leaks.

shoturtle Feb 23, 2010 8:38 PM

That is why I pointed out that they are plastic, and only work OK.

But if the OP is in a pinch for cash and really want something for now. It may suffice until he can save up for a better tube. During the holidays the pro optic went for about 35 dollars. And you still get to select the aperture. They are actually better then the ebay tube, as he can still set aperture with the pro optic and have AF with a ef 50mm MK II.

VTphotog Feb 23, 2010 8:39 PM

Light leaks? That is why duct tape comes in black, too.


TCav Feb 24, 2010 5:54 AM

So "... don't fit well, and are prone to light leaks." equals "OK"?

shoturtle Feb 24, 2010 8:27 AM

Some people find that they work ok, I actually know someone that use them on a XTi, and it does a OK job. So yes depending on how good a set you get, it is okay.

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