Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings

Started Apr 30, 2012 | Discussions
Gondor
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Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
Apr 30, 2012

I a looking for different lenses to the A65 I am going to buy, don't want to buy to many lenses and wounder if extension rings to get better macro is something to consider? What are the side effects of using them, are they good enough if I don't take macro to serious?

Here is an example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Macro-Extension-Tube-Ring-For-SONY-A900-A700-A500-A350-A300-Camera-Lens-/350560080265?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item519f025189

Are there also rings to get more tele, the same rings perhaps? I guess I loose AF then though which is much more important for tele than for macro.

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cyainparadise
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The opposite of tube rings...
In reply to Gondor, Apr 30, 2012

is a tele-converter. The macro rings have no glass in them, but the TC does.

Gondor wrote:

I a looking for different lenses to the A65 I am going to buy, don't want to buy to many lenses and wounder if extension rings to get better macro is something to consider? What are the side effects of using them, are they good enough if I don't take macro to serious?

Here is an example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Macro-Extension-Tube-Ring-For-SONY-A900-A700-A500-A350-A300-Camera-Lens-/350560080265?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item519f025189

Are there also rings to get more tele, the same rings perhaps? I guess I loose AF then though which is much more important for tele than for macro.

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Ralf B
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Re: Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
In reply to Gondor, Apr 30, 2012

The side effect of using the tubes you linked to would be to loose all lens control, focus and aperture, as these do not have AF screw links, nonelectronic coupling and no aperture control lever.

The latter is a massive NO NO in my book, as you will only be able to shoot your lenses fully stopped down when using these rings: All A Mount lenses have no manual aperture control ring!

If you want to use extension tubes for macro check out the Kenko triple ring set at B+H for example, which give full lens control:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=To+Fit_Sony+Alpha%2c+Minolta+AF&ci=7299&N=4232859646+4294951488

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience. So if you 'only' have zooms, rather look for close-up lenses to be fitted in front of your lens, like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=tiffen+close-up&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

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TheRaider
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Re: Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
In reply to Gondor, Apr 30, 2012

I would suggest the raynox dcr-250. Near macro capabilities at a low cost.

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Gary-West Sussex
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Re: Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
In reply to Gondor, Apr 30, 2012

The lowest cost option is a reversing ring.... less than £20......but difficult to use successfully. Also look at +4 dioptics but only use the good ones. The attached was taken with a Sony G 70-400 plus a +4 Canon dioptic on the front. (about £150)...hope this is helpful

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Gondor
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Re: Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
In reply to Ralf B, Apr 30, 2012

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

The side effect of using the tubes you linked to would be to loose all lens control, focus and aperture, as these do not have AF screw links, nonelectronic coupling and no aperture control lever.

The latter is a massive NO NO in my book, as you will only be able to shoot your lenses fully stopped down when using these rings: All A Mount lenses have no manual aperture control ring!

If you want to use extension tubes for macro check out the Kenko triple ring set at B+H for example, which give full lens control:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=To+Fit_Sony+Alpha%2c+Minolta+AF&ci=7299&N=4232859646+4294951488

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience. So if you 'only' have zooms, rather look for close-up lenses to be fitted in front of your lens, like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=tiffen+close-up&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

Thank you all for the replies, now I know some more about this and the tube rings are a NO NO to me also since you loose aperture control.

I am a bit surprised to see that some macro add on lenses are quite expensive. If the price is at the same range as a specialized macro lens I assume it's better to buy that instead of an add on lens, or am I wrong?

What are the side affects of add on lenses, distortion, unsharpness or something else?

I would rather find something on ebay since they often ship world wide at a low cost. I see Tiffen there also, this one for only 19.99 USD

http://www.ebay.com/itm/58mm-Macro-20-Close-up-For-Tiffen-Pentax-Olympus-Sigma-/300442678463?pt=Camera_Filters&hash=item45f3c774bf

and this one for 60 USD:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffen-72mm-Close-up-Filter-Set-with-1-2-4-Macro-Lenses-/280872167338?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item41654927aa

Is these ones something to go for?

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dennismullen
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Re: Macro/Tele Extension Tube Rings
In reply to Ralf B, Apr 30, 2012

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience...

Is this really true? I use an extension tube with mt Sony 70-300G to get a closer MFD and it seems to work great.

Cheers,
--

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin.
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Ralf B
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@ Dennis
In reply to dennismullen, Apr 30, 2012

dennismullen wrote:

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience...

Is this really true? I use an extension tube with my Sony 70-300G to get a closer MFD and it seems to work great.

Hi Dennis,

well, yes, true as it is my experience when admittedly going for 1:1 macro and not just for a shorter MFD. My 50/1.7 does okay, my 85/1.4 does okay, too, but, by far the best of all candidates tried, my 135/1.8 really turned into a 1:1 lens with pretty darn good results and a nice long working distance. It may help that the 135/1.8 has a rather short MFD already and is therefor pretty well corrected for close-ups.

I don't recall trying my 70-300G, but remember that my 24-70/2.8 really did not cooperate for MACRO at all. Maybe tele zooms are easier on extension tubes than

standard zooms - not even to mention wide angle zooms. But that is an idea....so I now have something to try next time around with my Kenkos: Try it on my Sigma 12-24....

Cheers,
Ralf

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Ralf B
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@ Gondor
In reply to Gondor, Apr 30, 2012

Gondor wrote:

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

The side effect of using the tubes you linked to would be to loose all lens control, focus and aperture, as these do not have AF screw links, nonelectronic coupling and no aperture control lever.

The latter is a massive NO NO in my book, as you will only be able to shoot your lenses fully stopped down when using these rings: All A Mount lenses have no manual aperture control ring!

If you want to use extension tubes for macro check out the Kenko triple ring set at B+H for example, which give full lens control:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=To+Fit_Sony+Alpha%2c+Minolta+AF&ci=7299&N=4232859646+4294951488

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience. So if you 'only' have zooms, rather look for close-up lenses to be fitted in front of your lens, like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=tiffen+close-up&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

Thank you all for the replies, now I know some more about this and the tube rings are a NO NO to me also since you loose aperture control.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding:

The Kenko's I linked to give you full lens control with all contacts for screw drive AF, SAM/SSM AF and aperture. The eBay tubes you linked to in your first post don't do any of that.

I am a bit surprised to see that some macro add on lenses are quite expensive. If the price is at the same range as a specialized macro lens I assume it's better to buy that instead of an add on lens, or am I wrong?

The market for specialized macro lenses with really good IQ starts with the Tamron 2.8/90 and Sigma 2.8/105, both of which are still more than a Canon or Hoya quality diopter. Good glass comes at a price....

What are the side affects of add on lenses, distortion, unsharpness or something else?

I would rather find something on ebay since they often ship world wide at a low cost. I see Tiffen there also, this one for only 19.99 USD

http://www.ebay.com/itm/58mm-Macro-20-Close-up-For-Tiffen-Pentax-Olympus-Sigma-/300442678463?pt=Camera_Filters&hash=item45f3c774bf

The above is NOT a TIFFEN , it says " for Tiffen " and the pic sucks - stay away.

and this one for 60 USD:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffen-72mm-Close-up-Filter-Set-with-1-2-4-Macro-Lenses-/280872167338?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item41654927aa

That second link loks for real, the package has three stackable TIFFEN lenses in it.

Is these ones something to go for?

Only the latter link. Did you notice that I linked you to the Tiffens at B+H?

Note that B+H lists a set of multiple lenses as one package just like your second link. The only difference in these two you linked is the screw-in filter size, the bigger the more expensive. Should be alright for casual close-ups, but dedicated glass will beat them. Depends on how often you will do macro and/or close-ups. It is hard work to get a macro/close-up that stands out.
I have yet to produce one myself....

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Gondor
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Re: @ Gondor
In reply to Ralf B, May 1, 2012

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

Gondor wrote:

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

The side effect of using the tubes you linked to would be to loose all lens control, focus and aperture, as these do not have AF screw links, nonelectronic coupling and no aperture control lever.

The latter is a massive NO NO in my book, as you will only be able to shoot your lenses fully stopped down when using these rings: All A Mount lenses have no manual aperture control ring!

If you want to use extension tubes for macro check out the Kenko triple ring set at B+H for example, which give full lens control:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=To+Fit_Sony+Alpha%2c+Minolta+AF&ci=7299&N=4232859646+4294951488

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience. So if you 'only' have zooms, rather look for close-up lenses to be fitted in front of your lens, like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=tiffen+close-up&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

Thank you all for the replies, now I know some more about this and the tube rings are a NO NO to me also since you loose aperture control.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding:

The Kenko's I linked to give you full lens control with all contacts for screw drive AF, SAM/SSM AF and aperture. The eBay tubes you linked to in your first post don't do any of that.

Yes I noticed that but at that price I am starting to consider a macro lens instead.

I am a bit surprised to see that some macro add on lenses are quite expensive. If the price is at the same range as a specialized macro lens I assume it's better to buy that instead of an add on lens, or am I wrong?

The market for specialized macro lenses with really good IQ starts with the Tamron 2.8/90 and Sigma 2.8/105, both of which are still more than a Canon or Hoya quality diopter. Good glass comes at a price....

What are the side affects of add on lenses, distortion, unsharpness or something else?

I would rather find something on ebay since they often ship world wide at a low cost. I see Tiffen there also, this one for only 19.99 USD

http://www.ebay.com/itm/58mm-Macro-20-Close-up-For-Tiffen-Pentax-Olympus-Sigma-/300442678463?pt=Camera_Filters&hash=item45f3c774bf

The above is NOT a TIFFEN , it says " for Tiffen " and the pic sucks - stay away.

and this one for 60 USD:

Oh, I didn't read careful enough, just searched for Tiffen and assumed the best.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tiffen-72mm-Close-up-Filter-Set-with-1-2-4-Macro-Lenses-/280872167338?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item41654927aa

That second link loks for real, the package has three stackable TIFFEN lenses in it.

Is these ones something to go for?

Only the latter link. Did you notice that I linked you to the Tiffens at B+H?

Note that B+H lists a set of multiple lenses as one package just like your second link. The only difference in these two you linked is the screw-in filter size, the bigger the more expensive. Should be alright for casual close-ups, but dedicated glass will beat them. Depends on how often you will do macro and/or close-ups. It is hard work to get a macro/close-up that stands out.
I have yet to produce one myself....

I have done some macro work with my Sony F717 but not that often so I prefer a budget alternative. A tele lens or standard lens with decent macro capabilities may also be good enough for me so I consider different alternatives. I.e. when deciding what lenses I will buy I want to know if I can improve macro with add on lenses or not (which I apparently can).

I turned down the Tiffen at B+H since I assumed the shipping cost to me Sweden would be too high if they would deliver here at all. But when looking closer I see that they do ship to Sweden and only for a cost of 11 USD. I.e. I get them for 52 USD and if I am lucky they pass customs control without noticing (otherwise there will be additional costs, the bigger and heavier package the greater risk).

I have got some very good input here, thanks!

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Byford
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Re: @ Dennis
In reply to Ralf B, May 4, 2012

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

dennismullen wrote:

Ralf Bliesener wrote:

Be aware that extension tubes work far better with fixed focal length lenses than with zooms from my experience...

Is this really true? I use an extension tube with my Sony 70-300G to get a closer MFD and it seems to work great.

Hi Dennis,

well, yes, true as it is my experience when admittedly going for 1:1 macro and not just for a shorter MFD. My 50/1.7 does okay, my 85/1.4 does okay, too, but, by far the best of all candidates tried, my 135/1.8 really turned into a 1:1 lens with pretty darn good results and a nice long working distance. It may help that the 135/1.8 has a rather short MFD already and is therefor pretty well corrected for close-ups.

I don't recall trying my 70-300G, but remember that my 24-70/2.8 really did not cooperate for MACRO at all. Maybe tele zooms are easier on extension tubes than

standard zooms - not even to mention wide angle zooms. But that is an idea....so I now have something to try next time around with my Kenkos: Try it on my Sigma 12-24....

Cheers,
Ralf

So would you say the 50/1.7 produce results that are as a good as a 90mm Tamron?

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Ralf B
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@ Byford
In reply to Byford, May 5, 2012

Byford wrote:

So would you say the 50/1.7 produce results that are as a good as a 90mm Tamron?

Never owned the Tamron 90/2.8 but am aware of reviews, so what I can tell you is that the 50/1.7 already has less resolution when operated without tubes than the Tamron 90/2.8, so my guess is that in real macro territory the Tamron truly excels.
Now, does the difference in IQ matter to you? How often do you shoot macro?
--
Cheers,
Ralf

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jakobr
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Re: @ Gondor
In reply to Gondor, May 5, 2012

Just order these from a Polish site (well respected)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/110580338248?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
for my Minolta 100F2.8 Macro

Jakob

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