Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets

Started May 1, 2013 | Discussions
jalywol
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Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
May 1, 2013

Someone posted a link to a very inexpensive macro extension set recently which allowed full AF and metering use with M43 lenses, and I decided to take the plunge.  It arrived today from China, and I've given it a brief try. (The delivery time was reasonable, but the packaging was pretty crushed...however, the tubes worked fine when I tried them out).

The one I got is the Fotga, not the Kenko, and it has what appears to be aluminum mounts on some kind of resin/cast plastic body.  The extensions are quite light, but the machining and construction seems to be of good quality, and, aside from being very lightweight, they don't feel like shoddily put together items.  The extensions mount nicely to the camera, and the lenses to the extensions. The only thing that seems a bit plasticky is the button release for lens removal.

The nice thing is...they actually work!

I tried them on the 12mm, 25mm 45mm 14-140mm, and 100-300mm.  The 45mm gave remarkably sharp results (as you would expect), but the I had to be right on top of the subject to focus.  The 14-140mm worked pretty well, but the real star was the 100-300mm.  (The 12mm and 25mm were not really useable due to how close you had to get to focus on anything).

AF does indeed work, metering is perfect, and the lenses really behave as they normally would.  Of course, with AF, you will get some hunting, as you do with any AF on a non-focus limited macro, but it's not bad, and you can use manual focus to get it in the right place, as you would normally in this situation.

All in all, if they hold up, I think that they were not a bad deal for $54....I don't think they will stand up to heavy use or abuse, but for a casual user who does not want to spend almost $200 for the metal Kenkos, these might be just the ticket.

One thing, though.  I would not leave these attached to either a lens or a body when you are not using them, as I would be concerned about the aluminum mounts chemically interacting with the lens or camera mount metal over time.  I'm probably overthinking this, but I'd just put them on when they are being used, and take them off otherwise....

Anyway, none of these are going to win any prizes, but here are some sample shots from the 45mm f 1.8, and 100-300mm. (It's REALLY nice to have OIS in a long macro lens   !)

-J



DLBlack
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

Nice shots!!

I just got the Kenko extension tubes and have tired them with my 60 Macro to get closer than 1:1.  They are really nice and I am planning on trying the extension tubes with other mft lenses.  I can just image the extension tub on the 75-300 would make a real good butterfly lens.

Dave

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Anders W
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

Thanks for the report. I am considering these as well so I am happy to hear they might be a good deal, at least if you don't really need heavy-duty stuff in this area and I don't think I do.

A couple of questions:

What makes you think the mount parts are aluminum? Simply the low weight or?

The weight specification I found on ebay for the Fotga rings is 50 g. I guess that's for both rings combined, which would make the Fotga set significantly lighter than the Kenko set (120 g combined). But does the 50 g figure I found match the actual weight as you can (hopefully) measure it?

I am a bit surprised when you say the rings work particularly well with the 100-300. The standard rule is to use extension tubes for shorter FLs and close-up lenses for longer ones since these combinations are the most efficient. You need a very strong close-up lens to increase max magnification significantly for shorter FLs. Conversely, you need a lot of tubing to increase magnification significantly with a longer tele. The max magnification of the 100-300 without any add-ons is 0.21 at 300 mm. With both tubes mounted, max magnification increases to 0.33, so not a whole lot more. With the Canon 500D +2 diopter close-up lens I bought for use primarily with the 100-300, max magnification is 0.73.

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s_grins
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

My legacy macro lenses do not have AF, so probably I'm going for these extension rings too.

And BTW, your second shot is a winner for me.

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jalywol
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to Anders W, May 1, 2013

Anders W wrote:

Thanks for the report. I am considering these as well so I am happy to hear they might be a good deal, at least if you don't really need heavy-duty stuff in this area and I don't think I do.

A couple of questions:

What makes you think the mount parts are aluminum? Simply the low weight or?

The weight specification I found on ebay for the Fotga rings is 50 g. I guess that's for both rings combined, which would make the Fotga set significantly lighter than the Kenko set (120 g combined). But does the 50 g figure I found match the actual weight as you can (hopefully) measure it?

I am a bit surprised when you say the rings work particularly well with the 100-300. The standard rule is to use extension tubes for shorter FLs and close-up lenses for longer ones since these combinations are the most efficient. You need a very strong close-up lens to increase max magnification significantly for shorter FLs. Conversely, you need a lot of tubing to increase magnification significantly with a longer tele. The max magnification of the 100-300 without any add-ons is 0.21 at 300 mm. With both tubes mounted, max magnification increases to 0.33, so not a whole lot more. With the Canon 500D +2 diopter close-up lens I bought for use primarily with the 100-300, max magnification is 0.73.

They are indeed 52 grams for both pieces together.  The metal is a matte finish, and looks like machined aluminum in color and weight.

No, you don't get much extra magnification on the 100-300, but you do get some....and they work well on that lens.  I was having some fun with them today on it.  I'll play more when I get the chance using the 14-140mm in the 60-80mm range and see how well it does with that, too.  They do also seem to be a good combo with the 45mm, (at least once I get used to how close I have to be to use them effectively at that fl).

I think if I was going to be doing anything other than occasional macro work with these I would probably spring for the Kenkos.  But these are just for experimenting with, and I think for that and light, careful use, they are ok.  Time will tell   I'll update after a day out with them in a week or so when I visit TulipFest and give them a workout.

-J

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Anders W
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

jalywol wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Thanks for the report. I am considering these as well so I am happy to hear they might be a good deal, at least if you don't really need heavy-duty stuff in this area and I don't think I do.

A couple of questions:

What makes you think the mount parts are aluminum? Simply the low weight or?

The weight specification I found on ebay for the Fotga rings is 50 g. I guess that's for both rings combined, which would make the Fotga set significantly lighter than the Kenko set (120 g combined). But does the 50 g figure I found match the actual weight as you can (hopefully) measure it?

I am a bit surprised when you say the rings work particularly well with the 100-300. The standard rule is to use extension tubes for shorter FLs and close-up lenses for longer ones since these combinations are the most efficient. You need a very strong close-up lens to increase max magnification significantly for shorter FLs. Conversely, you need a lot of tubing to increase magnification significantly with a longer tele. The max magnification of the 100-300 without any add-ons is 0.21 at 300 mm. With both tubes mounted, max magnification increases to 0.33, so not a whole lot more. With the Canon 500D +2 diopter close-up lens I bought for use primarily with the 100-300, max magnification is 0.73.

They are indeed 52 grams for both pieces together.  The metal is a matte finish, and looks like machined aluminum in color and weight.

No, you don't get much extra magnification on the 100-300, but you do get some....and they work well on that lens.  I was having some fun with them today on it.  I'll play more when I get the chance using the 14-140mm in the 60-80mm range and see how well it does with that, too.  They do also seem to be a good combo with the 45mm, (at least once I get used to how close I have to be to use them effectively at that fl).

I think if I was going to be doing anything other than occasional macro work with these I would probably spring for the Kenkos.  But these are just for experimenting with, and I think for that and light, careful use, they are ok.  Time will tell   I'll update after a day out with them in a week or so when I visit TulipFest and give them a workout.

Thanks! Yes the 100-300 works very well for close-up work in general. I like to have a bit of working distance so as to get proper light on the subject and not scare it away if it's a bug of some kind. Furthermore, it blurs the background very efficiently since the narrow FoV implies strong background magnfication.

I'll probably order these rings too. Even if they should break after a while, they don't break the bank and I like the low weight.

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Hen3ry
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Very nice pix, Jaly, and thanks for the heads up…
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

…I didn’t know they were available. I will look into getting a set too.

Cheers, geoff

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Hen3ry
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Re: Very nice pix, Jaly, and thanks for the heads up…
In reply to Hen3ry, May 1, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

…I didn’t know they were available. I will look into getting a set too.

In fact, I have bought them. A wonderful thing is the web!

Cheers, geoff

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Anders W
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to Anders W, May 1, 2013

Anders W wrote:

jalywol wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Thanks for the report. I am considering these as well so I am happy to hear they might be a good deal, at least if you don't really need heavy-duty stuff in this area and I don't think I do.

A couple of questions:

What makes you think the mount parts are aluminum? Simply the low weight or?

The weight specification I found on ebay for the Fotga rings is 50 g. I guess that's for both rings combined, which would make the Fotga set significantly lighter than the Kenko set (120 g combined). But does the 50 g figure I found match the actual weight as you can (hopefully) measure it?

I am a bit surprised when you say the rings work particularly well with the 100-300. The standard rule is to use extension tubes for shorter FLs and close-up lenses for longer ones since these combinations are the most efficient. You need a very strong close-up lens to increase max magnification significantly for shorter FLs. Conversely, you need a lot of tubing to increase magnification significantly with a longer tele. The max magnification of the 100-300 without any add-ons is 0.21 at 300 mm. With both tubes mounted, max magnification increases to 0.33, so not a whole lot more. With the Canon 500D +2 diopter close-up lens I bought for use primarily with the 100-300, max magnification is 0.73.

They are indeed 52 grams for both pieces together.  The metal is a matte finish, and looks like machined aluminum in color and weight.

No, you don't get much extra magnification on the 100-300, but you do get some....and they work well on that lens.  I was having some fun with them today on it.  I'll play more when I get the chance using the 14-140mm in the 60-80mm range and see how well it does with that, too.  They do also seem to be a good combo with the 45mm, (at least once I get used to how close I have to be to use them effectively at that fl).

I think if I was going to be doing anything other than occasional macro work with these I would probably spring for the Kenkos.  But these are just for experimenting with, and I think for that and light, careful use, they are ok.  Time will tell   I'll update after a day out with them in a week or so when I visit TulipFest and give them a workout.

Thanks! Yes the 100-300 works very well for close-up work in general. I like to have a bit of working distance so as to get proper light on the subject and not scare it away if it's a bug of some kind. Furthermore, it blurs the background very efficiently since the narrow FoV implies strong background magnfication.

I'll probably order these rings too. Even if they should break after a while, they don't break the bank and I like the low weight.

P.S. Forgot to mention that another lens on which the rings should work very well is the 75/1.8. The magnification without add-ons is 0.1 in this case. With the rings, you get nearly 1:2 (0.47).

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jalywol
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to Anders W, May 1, 2013

Anders W wrote:

P.S. Forgot to mention that another lens on which the rings should work very well is the 75/1.8. The magnification without add-ons is 0.1 in this case. With the rings, you get nearly 1:2 (0.47).

I was thinking that they would be perfect on the 75mm, but you know....if I had that kind of money for a lens right now, I'd probably spring for the metal Kenko's to go with it, too 

-J

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hindesite
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

Nice, and thanks for reporting back. Very useful information.

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hindesite
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to s_grins, May 1, 2013

If you only have MF lenses, why not get the very much cheaper bare tubes? They are less than $10.

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Michael L NYC 99
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

What is the minimum focus distance on the 100-300 with the extension tube? I believe it is over 3 feet normally without extension tube. Thanks

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Anders W
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

jalywol wrote:

Anders W wrote:

P.S. Forgot to mention that another lens on which the rings should work very well is the 75/1.8. The magnification without add-ons is 0.1 in this case. With the rings, you get nearly 1:2 (0.47).

I was thinking that they would be perfect on the 75mm, but you know....if I had that kind of money for a lens right now, I'd probably spring for the metal Kenko's to go with it, too 

I had the money to spring for the 75 and don't regret that for a second. It is indeed lovely. I'd have enough to spring for the Kenkos too but since I am not sure I really need extension tubes I get a bit stingy. Fifty bucks is somehow OK even if I'd hardly ever use the rings. But at 200, I start feeling the pressure.

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jalywol
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to Michael L NYC 99, May 1, 2013

I just measured, and at 100mm, minimum focus distance is approximately 55 inches (1.4m); with both extension tubes on, minimum focus distance at 100mm is 25 inches. (0.98m).

-J

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Msnap
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In reply to jalywol, May 1, 2013

jalywol wrote:

Someone posted a link to a very inexpensive macro extension set recently which allowed full AF and metering use with M43 lenses

Me

Yet mine still haven't arrived. Maybe this is a sign that they're due any time now

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jalywol
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In reply to Msnap, May 1, 2013

Msnap wrote:

jalywol wrote:

Someone posted a link to a very inexpensive macro extension set recently which allowed full AF and metering use with M43 lenses

Me

Yet mine still haven't arrived. Maybe this is a sign that they're due any time now

Yes it was!  Thank you!

-J

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maha
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 2, 2013

Could we have a link to where you made the purchase please ad which model, sorry newbi here.  thanks.

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jalywol
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to maha, May 2, 2013

Just do a search on Ebay for "Fotga AF extension tube M4/3" and you should get a couple of vendors up.

-J

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Some shots with one of the new (cheap!) AF macro extension sets
In reply to jalywol, May 2, 2013

Good pictures. Well composed and very good colors.


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