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Best Lens To Use With Extension Tubes
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Best Lens To Use With Extension Tubes

by eng.izajAugust 1, 2017

WHAT IS AN EXTENSION TUBE?

An extension tube is a spacer that sits between your lens and the camera body to alter the MFD (minimum focus distance). The MFD of a lens is a measurement of the closest point a subject can be from the camera’s sensor, whilst still being able to focus. If a subject is closer to the sensor than a lens’ MFD, you cannot focus on that subject. The thicker the extension tube used on a lens, the higher the lens magnification becomes as you’re able to move the lens much closer and still achieve focus. What all this means is that you can turn a normal lens into something with much a much higher magnification factor to achieve macro-like images, without needing a dedicated macro lens.

Later in the article I will discuss the knock-on image quality issues caused by extension tubes, but the other important thing to realise is that when extension tubes are in place, you can no longer focus all the way to infinity. This has few practical implications because most people are using extension tubes to try to focus on something at a very close distance, but it’s worth knowing so that you don’t think your lens is broken when you find it’s no longer able to focus on something further than a few feet away. It’s for this reason that you can’t practically leave an extension tube in place all the time, so it’s something you need to carry in your bag and use when it makes sense to do so.

HOW DO EXTENSION TUBES AFFECT IMAGE QUALITY?

Unlike teleconverters, extension tubes have no optics in them at all so in some circumstances they have very little effect on image quality. The tricky thing about point is that every lens reacts very differently to using extension tubes, so it’s hard to deliver a sweeping answer to this question. When manufacturers design the optics inside a lens, they take into account things like barrel distortion and pincushion distortion, and try to correct for it as much as possible. Focusing a lens does move the optics inside a lens, so that means that the amount of distortion varies depending on how far away your subject is from the lens. Lens designers try as hard as they can to correct for distortion at the most important points in a lens’ focus range, but essentially what it means is that some lenses are sharper than others when they are used at the minimum focus distance. Take a macro lens for example; The designers know that it’s going to spend much of its time being focussed at the absolute closest focus point, so they correct distortions for that point. Often a macro lens is at its absolute sharpest when used at the MFD. Conversely, super telephoto lenses tend to be used for focussing on objects that are quite some distance from the lens, so the opposite is true.

Price Compare Best Extension Tube

Details Extension Tube

Fotodiox Canon EOS Macro Extension Tube

$14.95
2 new from $ 9.95
10 used from $ 12.00
Free shipping
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as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • Will not alter optical quality
  • All Metal Construction
  • Multiple combinations available for multiple macro effects
  • Includes a 24 Month Manufacturer Warranty

Mcoplus Extnp Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube

$38.90
1 new from $ 38.90
1 used from $ 35.98
Free shipping
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as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • The AF Extension Tube Set can transform your Lens into a Macro Lens.This is used by attaching between camera body and lens of the 35mm single-lens reflex camera. It couples perfectly with the camera's automatic diaphragm
  • Tube diameter : ab.69mm. Tube Lengths: (1) 12mm.(2) 20mm.(3)36mm
  • This extension tube consists of 5 parts: 12mm tube, 20mm tube, 36mm tube, Front Cap, Rear Cap. Package includes: Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set x1, English User Manual x1
  • Material: Brass Chromed and ABS(Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), color : black
  • Compatible with: Nikon SLR and Nikkor AF, AF-S, D, G and VR lens series

Neewer Metal AF Auto-focus Macro Extension Tube

$32.99
3 new from $ 32.99
Free shipping
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amazon.com
as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • 2 Piece Extension Tube Set for MK-S-AF3A, made of metal.
  • Compatible with Sony NEX, E-mount series Micro DSLR.
  • Support Exact TTL Exposure and Auto-focus;Built-in Electronic Pins and internal driver.
  • New adapter aperture hole design, perfectly support Sony full-frame camera A7/A7R/A7S/A7 II.
  • Including two tubes(1mm, 16mm), 3 different combinations.

Kenko Auto Extension Tube

$122.76
5 new from $ 122.76
Free shipping
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as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • Close up, Auto-focus, Auto-exposure
  • 12mm, 20mm, 36mm Tubes
  • Works Individually or Combined
  • Provides Macro Capability
  • Macro photography

Kenko DG Auto Extension Tube

$127.00
5 new from $ 127.00
7 used from $ 82.90
Free shipping
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amazon.com
as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • Enables a lens to focus closer than its normal set minimum focusing distance
  • The DG extension tubes have no optics
  • Contains three tubes of different length, a 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm
  • Designed with all the circuitry and mechanical coupling to maintain auto focus and TTL auto exposure
  • Designed specifically for use with Canon digital SLR cameras and lenses

Neewer All-metal Auto-focus Macro Extension Tube

$35.99
5 new from $ 35.99
Free shipping
VIEW AT AMAZON
amazon.com
as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • Own this extension tube, with little cost to realize macro shooting
  • Support Exact TTL Exposure and Auto-focus; built-in electronic contacts and guide pin
  • New adapter aperture hole design, perfectly support Sony NEX3/3N/5/5N/5R/A6000/A6300 and Full Frame A7 A7S/A7SII A7R/A7RII A7II camera
  • Including two tubes (10mm, 16mm), 3 different combinations
  • Please NOTE: camera is not included

Movo Photo AF Macro Extension Tube

$79.95
1 new from $ 79.95
Free shipping
VIEW AT AMAZON
amazon.com
as of October 9, 2017 2:05 am

Features

  • Includes 10mm, 16mm & 21mm Automatic Extension Tubes
  • Enables closer focusing (Marco capability)
  • May be used individually or combined
  • Maintains auto focusing
  • Durable aluminum mount
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