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Help! Extension tubes or 500D diopter?

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Butlerkid, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Hope this is the right place to post this question.

    I'm going to India and prefer to keep the weight down. I'm taking D300, 12-24, 24-70 and 70-200 AFS VR f2.8.
    I'm leaving my 105 f2.8 micro home but would still like to have tools for close-ups.

    Considering the lenses I'm taking:

    would either a 25mm and/or 12mm Promaster extension tube(s) be better than taking my Canon 500D diopter?

    Or 25mm ext tube and 500D ?

    None of the above? Just use the lenses I'm taking?

    Thanks so much for your help!
  2. Using the 500D is easier as it would not require you to remove the lens from the camera but multiple tubes gives you more flexibility in the amount of magnification you can achieve.

    I have both and prefer the tubes when I'm using a tripod in a more controlled environment. When I'm just for a stroll I take the 500D and use it with either the 70-200VR, 70-300VR or the 300/4.
  3. Crave

    Crave Guest

    Thats a tougth one!
    What kind of macro do you usaly do? Flowers? Bugs?
    And what type of magnification do you normaly use? Do you prefer high magnifications? (i always try to use 1/1 proportion).

    Any way, given the lens you are taking, i belive the 500D will work great with you 70-200vr, and you wont need to keep changing tubes all the times!

    If it was me, i would take the 105mm!!! Its a excelent lens, and its not as heavy!
  4. Another option is to take the 105VR and get a 1.4TC (I don't know if the 1.7TC will work) to extend the range and leave the 70-200VR at home.
  5. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Thank you both!

    You are spot on to ask me what kind of close ups I anticipate shooting! I actually asked myself that while I was typing my question! But in the early AM hours I couldn't come up with a good answer! :eek: 

    At home I like things like flowers and dragonflies and damsels.

    On travel, I try to capture intricate detail of carvings, buildings, hands, clothing, jewelry, toys, etc. Things that give a different perspective of a new and exciting culture.
  6. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Thank you for such thoughtful answers!

    I like the idea of not changing lenses very often. :wink: Any pointers on using the 500D?

    The 105 macro (non VR) might work except that I don't have an extender for it. I bought a TCE1.4 and 2.0 - then found out they only work with the 70-200.

    Also, the zoom capability and range of the 70-200 is nice, especially for candids.
  7. Extension tubes work on ANY lens because they are based on the lens mount. Dioptors require front of the lenses to have the same diameter or for you to have step-up rings for smaller diameter lenses. I use Kenko extension tubes on my 70-200f/2.8 and 300/f4. Also you can combine extension tubes to achieve different magnifications.
  8. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Thanks, Walter!

    I bought the 77mm 500D and have step up rings. My lenses are either 72mm or 77mm.

    In what situations do you use both the ext tubes and the diopters? Do you usually use the 25mm ext tube?

    Anyone used ext tubes or diopters on either the 12-24 or 24-70?

  9. I have tubes but only use them at home fooling around inside on tripod. Have often thought about that 500d simply because it's so easy to take along and USE.
  10. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    Yep! I'm the same way. Guess if I don't use ext tubes at home, I probably won't use 'em on travel.
  11. Hi Karen. I don't use closeup filters at all. As for which extension tubes I use, it completely depends on the situation. I have a 12mm, 20mm and 36mm. I have used them individually and stacked together in different configurations based on needs at the time I'm shooting.
  12. I typically carry both a set of Kenko extension tubes (12mm, 20mm, 36mm) and a Canon 500D. If I need crazy amounts of magnification, I slap them all on. This is all on a 24-70.

    I have also used the 500D with a 70-300 VR.

    The 70-200 with a Canon 500D will go up to 0.6x magnification. It sounds like that would be enough for what you want to do. So if you're going to carry the 70-200 anyways (and it sounds like that's the case), then that's what I would go with.
  13. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    I definitely need to get more experience shooting with tubes! I need to set up a still and compare the results.


    Thank you for responding! I was wondering how the 24-70 would do with tubes and the 500D. Have you ever used just the 500D on the 24-70?

    And yes, I'm going to lug that 70-200 around, even though on previous trips I only shot about 15% of my photos beyond 100 mm ! :eek: 

    It just such a nice lens! I had read that the 25mm ext tube worked nicely on the 70-200mm. Do you know how that compares to the .6 magnification using the 500D?

    Thanks to all!
  14. The 500D, by itself, doesn't buy you much on the 24-70.

    The 24-70 has a minimum focusing distance of 380mm, with a magnification of 1/3.7, which is not too bad for a non-macro lens.

    According to the formulas at http://www.peterforsell.com/macro.html, by adding the 500D, you get to a magnification of 0.432 ~= 1/2.3 at 70mm. Not bad.

    Conversely, by adding just a 36mm extension tube, you get a magnification of 0.785 ~= 1/1.3 . That's a lot more than the 500D, and is pretty close to 1:1 .

    By adding a 25mm extension tube to the 70-200, you get a magnification of 0.30 ~= 1/3.3 . That's nowhere near the 500D, but maybe enough of an improvement over the 1/5.6 base magnification rating.

    In general, for longer focal lengths, diopters give you a more significant advantage. Conversely, for shorter focal lengths, extension tubes have more of an effect.
  15. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    Bless you! I'm glad there are folks like you who can tell me "what time it is" because they know how to "build the clock"! :tongue:

    Thanks for the link so I can help myself!
  16. The tubes work great on the 70/200, I trap-shoot a lot with that set up.. that said, i have seen some great work with the 500 on the 70/200. The 12/24 is the same size as the 70/200, and I have often wondered how the 500 would work on such a wide lens. I do find that most of my tube shots are with a pod, but I am an old fart, and not as steady as I once was:smile: Some of my best/fav pics were taken with the 70/200w/tubes. have a great trip.
  17. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    Looks like I'm packing1 - 2 - or all 3 ext tubes and the 500D!
  18. Funny how the best intentions often go astray ...

    Mind you, it's still lighter than the 105 Micro.

    I have my own trip to Nepal and Everest Base Camp coming up. Haven't decided what I'm taking yet, but it won't be as light as I would like. :) 
  19. I went to India a few years ago for a month in Jan. - Feb. I packed a 55 f3.5 AI micro and ended up using it exactly 0 times. Perhaps it was the dynamics of the group I was with (only 4 of us), perhaps something else. There was so much to shoot between people, scenery, architecture, birds and mammals that I didn't regret not using it.


  20. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    When I travel I use a 12-24 & 80-200 with a 500D and a Kenko 1.4 - all fits in my LowPro AW2 on a belt. The zoom with the 500D is such a quick and easy to use option without changes lenses, adding something to the back in a dusty environment.

    Plus I like the distance for things like scorpions, spiders and other nippy/stingy things that you encounter on trips:) 
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