extension tubes?

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by cwilt, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Does anyone still use extension tubes for macro work? If so, with what lenses?

    I purchased a set today and plan to try them with the 180/2.8 or 300/4.
     
  2. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hi Charles -

    I use Kenko 12mm and 25mm tubes with my 70-200VR and I think this combination is super. Look for a posting in a day or two and you will see some flower pictures I took two days ago at Longwood Gardens. I don't have either of your lenses but I'm guessing that they both will work.

    What I do, IMO, is "border line macro". I go after some pretty small flowers, but I don't go after really small stuff like insects. I think I could, though, with the 25mm Kenko. Never tried it. I'll be curious to hear how you make out with your new tubes, and I hope you stretch them to there limits.

    Gordon
     
  3. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Gordon,

    I got a full set of tubes, and the 180/2.8 and 300/4 are two very good lenses. It should be an interesting learning experience. :)
     
  4. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Charles,

    I just got the complete Kenko set, and my quick test yesterday was a complete bust with the 70-200VR. The blasted combo acted so weird. The zoom acted like a focus control. No matter which tube I used, the 70-200VR would only focus at one focal length, if at all. It totally blew my mind. I borrowed Patrick's Tamron 90mm macro lens today, and the tubes worked extremely well with it, but I wasn't nearly as happy with the them on the VR.

    I plan to get a non-zoom macro lens withing the next few weeks, and I think that they will be very useful for extreme close-up shots.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Frank,

    I hadn't thought of using the 24-120vr. My plan was to use the telephoto primes for macro work. There may be other uses as well. :)
     
  6. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I couldn't sleep without testing the tubes. :wink:

    105/2 dc

    29426891-L.
     
  7. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    That's a pretty good reproduction ratio. Talk about a shallow DOF though. :lol:

    Looks like a winner to me.
     
  8. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Frank (and Charles) -

    Your comments are right on - the 70-200VR and extension tube combo does act "weird", at least until you get used to it. The zoom does act as a focus control. But think about it - the same tube on a 60mm, 105mm or 200mm produces three different focus ranges and magnification factors.

    I don't understand one comment you made - "No matter which tube I used, the 70-200VR would only focus at one focal length, if at all." Just for fun, I checked my 70-200VR at 70, 105, 135 and 200mm, and got perfect focus and adequate focus range (at least for my purposes) at each focal length. As expected, the range got shorter and closer at the shorter end.

    I don't know whether primes of the same lengths would have greater focus range. The best Nikon primes undoubtedly would produce slightly sharper images, but the 70-200VR IMO produces superb images too. It doesn't really get into true macro land, but is fine even for very small flowers and the occasional bee. Nikon's macros of course can do true macro work, and I would love to see what you can do when you add an extension tube to your new macro when you get it.

    The great advantage of the lens from my perspective is flexibility. I want to Longwood Gardens with just two lenses (the other was the 17-55DX for scenic shots), the TC-17E II, 12mm and 25mm Kenko tubes, and no tripod (thanks to VR). Outdoors at the Lily Pond and elsewhere, I used the 70-200VR thoughout its normal range and sometimes with the TC-17. Indoors I used to lens by itself and with the tubes (mainly the 12mm). You will see what the lens can do with tubes when I post some of the indoor images.

    Bottom line - different strokes for different folks. The 70-200VR is ideal for me.

    Gordon
     
  9. Charles

    Auto focus is sooooo slow when you add the tubes, I would stick to MF and use the zoom to adjust image size.

    With all three tubes on my focal length varies from 25mm (at 70) to about 500mm (at 200). If I use a teleconvertor I tend to also add a 500D close up lens as well.

    It all turns into a monster to handle, a flash is needed for handheld shots, but the results can be great.

    I've just picked up a BR-2A reversing ring, once my step down rings arrive I'm going to mix and match tubes with a reversed 70-200 - just for fun.
     
  10. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I always use MF when doing static shots and the only zoom I own is for walk around use. Primes are less complicated.

    Sounds like an interesting experiment. Please post images of it.

    Tonight I may try the 300 f4, and maybe a 1.4tc, with the tubes and lots of light. Is it possible to do macro on the cellular level? :lol:
     
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