Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?

Started Jul 8, 2013 | Discussions
StillLearning
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Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
Jul 8, 2013

Been looking at them.  Hard to believe that it does all of what they say.  Auto focus and auto exposure.  If they do might prove interesting.  Not to get 1:1 but !:4 or 1:5.  Primarily for butterflies.  Trying to save the back aches.

hiro_pro
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 8, 2013

i just posted this over in the nikon fx forum.  these are literally just tubes with metal mountings and pass through's for the af and metering connections. i am not sure they need to cost more or be any more complicated. i do not see a place for the screw drive to pass through so i suspect they only work with af lenses that have build in motors.

i have seen these extension tubes sold as Zeikos, Vellos, Meike, as a store brand and without a brand name. they all seem identical and you can get them for $55 (including shipping). check amazon, b&h and ebay. i have been using a set for a year now and they seem well worth it. i suspect this is the same chinese company responsible for all the cheap battery grips. does anyone know who really makes this knockoff stuff?

i constantly put the 12mm on my d600 and my tamron 24-70 vc. the af and metering work great and it is an awesome setup. there is no degradation since there is no glass in them so they work better than tele's. i was using the combo this spring to harass fellow growers when my tomato's started producing fruit. i would take picture of baby tomatoes that were still smaller than the tomato flower and get inside to find bugs on the fruit so small i couldnt see them until i was at my monitor.

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hiro_pro
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 8, 2013

StillLearning wrote:

Trying to save the back aches.

sorry. missed the part about the back. tubes may not be for you. they cut the maximum focus distance down to nothing. my 50 1.4 with just a 12mm focused to infinity was focusing at about 12 inches. read more here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3100295.

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StillLearning
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to hiro_pro, Jul 8, 2013

Thanks for answering.  Just wanted to know if these tubes actually worked.  Saw another photographer at the butterfly atrium using his 70-200F2.8 with an extension tube.  My guess would be 36mm.  Based on the formula you pointed me to it would change my minimum focus of 1500mm to 799mm.  What I was wondering was what is my range of focus with the 36mm extension tube.  Minimum is 799mm, what would be maximum distance.  I mentioned my back only that I'm constantly stooped over with my 105 so after 100 + shots my back is feeling it.

I was little envious of the other photographer able to stand up more often.

The other concern would be how much would my DOF be decreased to get down to 1:4 for instance.  I already shoot at F13 with flash.

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elliotn
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 8, 2013

With a 36mm extension tube on your lens, and your lens set to 200mm, the minimum focus distance will be about 3ft, and the maximum focus distance about 6ft. (Based on a quick test with an old vivitar 36mm extension tube, and 80-200/2.8 Nikkor.)

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Michael Benveniste
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 8, 2013

StillLearning wrote:

What I was wondering was what is my range of focus with the 36mm extension tube. Minimum is 799mm, what would be maximum distance. I mentioned my back only that I'm constantly stooped over with my 105 so after 100 + shots my back is feeling it.

The other concern would be how much would my DOF be decreased to get down to 1:4 for instance. I already shoot at F13 with flash.

With the 70-200mm VR1 and a 36mm extension, a rough estimate is a minimum focus distance of 904mm and a magnification of 0.38x.  With the 70-200mm VR2, the minimum focus distance drops to 667mm.  In both cases, the maximum focus distance is about 1550mm.
At f/13, with a DX dSLR at 1:4, DOF is around 8-10mm.  With an FX dSLR, it's about 13-15.5mm.

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StillLearning
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to Michael Benveniste, Jul 9, 2013

Thanks.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Now Vello Extension Tube query
In reply to hiro_pro, Jul 9, 2013

hiro_pro wrote:

these are literally just tubes with metal mountings and pass through's for the af and metering connections. i am not sure they need to cost more or be any more complicated. i do not see a place for the screw drive to pass through so i suspect they only work with af lenses that have build in motors.

As you have a set can you measure the clear is internal diameter please?

The Nikon manual focus tubes have a clear internal diameter of about 1.5 inches.

On the Kenko the clear diameter is much smaller to accommodate screwdriver AF drive. This leads to some mechanical vignetting with some lenses of 300 mm and longer.

A G only compatible tube set could have a clear internal diameter of about 1.5 inches, and would be very useful for reducing minimum focus distance with some long lenses on FX bodies.

Digressing no glass in tubes is not the same as no loss of quality. Often IF lenses have a fixed rear element and perform best at the Nikon lens flange to sensor distance of 46mm. Extending this 46mm distance with tubes may sometimes reduce quality, particularly CA, with some lenses. On the other hand a set of these tubes work on any lens, and cost a lot less than a dedicated macro prime.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: An partial answer and a question
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 10, 2013

I have tracked down Phottix who distribute in the UK.

Their Canon tubes do not need provision for screwdriver AF and have a sufficiently large internal diameter for what looks like a 24x36 rectangle. This should avoid any mechanical vignetting (hard black corners) with long lenses on 24x36

http://www.phottix.com/en/phottix-3-ring-auto-focus-af-macro-extension-tube-for-canon.html

The UK literature implies a similar to Canon Nikon fit, which could mean no screwdriver AF, and maybe no hard vignetting with a 24x36 rectangle on long lenses on FX.

The web site indicates a narrow "Kenko" type internal diameter for Nikon, likely to cause hard vignetting on long lenses

http://www.phottix.com/en/phottix-3-ring-auto-focus-af-macro-extension-tube-for-nikon.html

A challenge for Nikon "G only" tubes is the Nikon lens flange diameter is smaller than Canon.

I just looked through my Nikon manual tubes holding a GePe slide mount at the back of the tubes. There is slight corner cropping of the mont which I estimate would be a small corner issue with the large rear element of my 300 f2.8 VR but might be just OK on my 200-400 VR.

Question - does anybody know of Nikon fit tubes with a 24x36 (or near) cut out similar to that in the Canon fit link?

The rods used to transmit the electrical information in the Canon link are bright metal not covered with black material. This could cause some internal reflection issues if there was a bright light source above the lens.

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Leonard Shepherd
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StillLearning
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Re: An partial answer and a question
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jul 10, 2013

Some interesting questions.  Fortunately I found the answer on another forum.  Some one able to use a Nikon 70-200VR with the Vello tubes with no problems.  A review I read mentioned the Vello tubes used black felt on the inside, probably to cover the shiny rods for transmiting the auto focus and exposure info.  His question was how the black felt would hold up under hot and humid environments.  Also I will be using a DX with the fore mentioned lens,  so I don't think I have to worry about the vignetting as a problem.  I just wanted to confirm someone has had success with this item.  There have been a number of complaints with kenkos 36mm tube causing AF failure.

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hiro_pro
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Re: Now Vello Extension Tube query
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jul 10, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

hiro_pro wrote:

these are literally just tubes with metal mountings and pass through's for the af and metering connections. i am not sure they need to cost more or be any more complicated. i do not see a place for the screw drive to pass through so i suspect they only work with af lenses that have build in motors.

As you have a set can you measure the clear is internal diameter please?

The Nikon manual focus tubes have a clear internal diameter of about 1.5 inches.

On the Kenko the clear diameter is much smaller to accommodate screwdriver AF drive. This leads to some mechanical vignetting with some lenses of 300 mm and longer.

A G only compatible tube set could have a clear internal diameter of about 1.5 inches, and would be very useful for reducing minimum focus distance with some long lenses on FX bodies.

Digressing no glass in tubes is not the same as no loss of quality. Often IF lenses have a fixed rear element and perform best at the Nikon lens flange to sensor distance of 46mm. Extending this 46mm distance with tubes may sometimes reduce quality, particularly CA, with some lenses. On the other hand a set of these tubes work on any lens, and cost a lot less than a dedicated macro prime.

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Leonard Shepherd
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disregard what i said.  they will focus af-d screw drive...?  here are some pics with diameters measured.

47 mm

29 mm

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hiro_pro
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Re: Now Vello Extension Tube query
In reply to hiro_pro, Jul 10, 2013

they are ziekos and have felt on the inside

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StillLearning
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Re: Now Vello Extension Tube query
In reply to hiro_pro, Jul 10, 2013

Probably from the same company used by Vellos.

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Leonard Migliore
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Very true
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jul 10, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Digressing no glass in tubes is not the same as no loss of quality. Often IF lenses have a fixed rear element and perform best at the Nikon lens flange to sensor distance of 46mm. Extending this 46mm distance with tubes may sometimes reduce quality, particularly CA, with some lenses. On the other hand a set of these tubes work on any lens, and cost a lot less than a dedicated macro prime.

Thanks for mentioning that myth. Your explanation is very true and some zooms are not going to like being set away from the sensor.

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Leonard Migliore

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hiro_pro
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Re: Very true
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Jul 11, 2013

thanks for the heads up on tubes not always working.  i am glad i spent some time testing the tubes with various lens combos.  so far, so good.  are there any particularly bad combos or other issues i should be aware of when working with tubes?

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: An partial answer and a question
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 11, 2013

StillLearning wrote:

Some one able to use a Nikon 70-200VR with the Vello tubes with no problems. A review I read mentioned the Vello tubes used black felt on the inside, probably to cover the shiny rods for transmiting the auto focus and exposure info.

I did not have a problem with Kenko on the 80-200 AF-s on film bodies.

The Phottix web site says the Nikon version has a narrow internal diameter.

For me the issue is hard black corners with the narrow internal diameter tube type using them on 300 and 500 primes on FX to focus closer on insects.

On the autofocus situation if the subject is too out of focus AF does not work. With tubes the subject can be much more out of focus than without. With Kenko, when I had no focus, approximate manual focus often got AF to start.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Very true
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Jul 11, 2013

Leonard Migliore wrote:

Thanks for mentioning that myth. Your explanation is very true and some zooms are not going to like being set away from the sensor.

In the early days of the 60mm AF-D, in the era when Nikon provided plenty of technical information, the lens instructions advised against using extension tubes and recommended the 5T and 6T. I presume this was because of loss of optical quality when the rear element to film distance was increased.

Off topic when using close up lenses the type of glass used affects the amount of curvature. A CU performance can vary depending on the curvature of the front element of the lens it is used on.

Back on topic in an era when D800 FX provides the best sensor quality I am looking for Nikon fit tubes with a 24x36 cut out i.e. with no screwdriver AF facility so avoid FX black corners on 300 and 500mm lenses.

A very expensive solution might be to remove the lens elements and element supports from a Nikon TCE converter.

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StillLearning
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Re: Anyone use the Vello Extension Tube set on your AF lens?
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 12, 2013

I pulled the trigger on the Vellos.  Should get them in week.  I will evaluate them and get back with my conclusions.  I will use them with the 70-200 Vr1 and a D300.  If good enough I will show samples.

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StillLearning
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Re: Update FYI
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 20, 2013

Just received the Vello tubes and tried them out.  D300 with 70-200VR1 G and 36mm tube.  Auto focus worked on first shot and failed after that.  Turned off the camera and back on and nothing.  I could still manually focus and the exposures with flash came out fine.  Tried it with the 20mm and focus would not lock just hunt.  Tried with the 20 + 12 and no auto focus.  Again manual focus worked.  Tried with the 105vr G and they all worked fine. So if you are getting them for a 70-200VR1 G you may not get what you want.  I'll keep them for the 105 or any fixed focal length I may get in the future.

Other than that the build is decent.  Didn't have any problems mounting them or dismounting.  They are snug but that was okay.

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anotherdavid
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Re: Update FYI
In reply to StillLearning, Jul 20, 2013

How about using it with the new 70-200mm F4 VRIII?

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