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Using Extension Tubes to Take Close-ups

About Toledo-Bend Gallery & Equipment Used

Where Toledo-Bend Gallery Photos Are Taken   Equipment Used for Toledo-Bend Gallery Photos   Photo Techniques Used for Toledo-Bend Gallery Photos   BEWARE! Canon Warranty & Dealers   CCD or CMOS Image Sensor Cleaning   Memory Card Speed Comparison   Opteka Tele Lens Review   UV Filters: What Difference?   Using Diopters for Close-Ups   Using Extension Tubes for Close-Ups   Zenitar Fisheye Lens  

~ Click on any image for an enlargement - scrollable if it is too big for browser window ~

Kenko Extension TubesWhat is an Extension Tube:

An extension tube fits between the camera body and lens with the effect of giving a longer focal length and "magnifying" the image. The extension tube is, literally, a hollow tube. The picture to the right is of three extension tubes.

The following pictures show the effects of using extension tubes.

The following equipment is used: Canon EOS 10D Camera, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, Kenko Extension Tube Set - 12mm, 20mm, 36mm. A dime was placed on black felt and continuous lighting was used for illumination. The pictures are taken with the camera handheld. The depth of field can get very shallow on these close up shots, especially with a stopped down lens, so it is very easy to get a portion of the image somewhat out of focus. None of the pictures are cropped - they are reproduced whole in order to illustrate more precisely how the image fills the picture with the various tubes and combinations in use. In all pictures the 50mm lens is used (indicated by "50mm") and extension tubes are added for "magnification" effect (indicated by "+??mm"). It does not matter which order the extension tubes are combined (e.g. 12+20 or 20+12 works the same).

Theoretically, AutoFocus will work with extension tubes. As a practical matter, I found it works OK with the 12mm, but beyond that manual focus is a must. Along with increasing the focal length of the lens, the tube also allows the lens to focus closer to the subject than it otherwise would. Some of the pictures below are VERY close to the subject; theoretically, the lens used should focus as close as 18 inches; in practice I was less than 2" with some of the combinations below.

NOTE: The Canon EOS 10D is a digital SLR camera. Since the chip which the light strikes is somewhat smaller than 35mm film would be, the effect "magnifies" the effective focal length of any lens used. In the case of the 10D the effect is 1.6x - so a 100mm lens becomes, effectively, a 160mm lens on this camera. Most digital SLRs have the same effect and generally are about 1.5x. Other than the "multiplier", the same enlargement effect holds true whether you are using film or digital, though.

50mm only 50mm + 12mm
Kenko Extension Tubes Kenko Extension Tubes
50mm + 20mm 50mm + 32mm (12+20)
Kenko Extension Tubes Kenko Extension Tubes
50mm + 36mm 50mm + 48mm (36+12)
Kenko Extension Tubes Kenko Extension Tubes
50mm + 56mm (36+20) 50mm + 68mm (12+20+36)
Kenko Extension Tubes Kenko Extension Tubes