Extension Tube or Macro Lens?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Letsgokoulos Senior Member • Posts: 2,169
Re: Extension Tube or Macro Lens?

GaryR60 wrote:

I'm contemplating doing some macro photography with my NEX-5N and since I have a Fotodiox MD-NEX adapter that lets me use all my legacy Minolta MD-mount lenses, I'm thinking I might get a cheap extension tube for MD mount and use it with the adapter and the Minolta 50mm lens I have, as opposed to buying a dedicated macro lens. What say you? Any reasons I should go with the macro lens, instead?


I agree with D Cox's recommendations.

A macro lens only is justified if you intend to often practice macro photography.

Otherwise, I would advise close-up lenses of good quality, such as the Raynox DCR-150 (+4.5) and 250 (+8), or Marumi Achromat DHG 200 (+5) and DHG 330 (+3). It is important to find good quality ones (achromats are highly recommended), so that the optical qualities of your lens are not degraded. Note that you do not loose any light with close-up lenses.

One important thing to take into account is that extension tubes, which do not contain any glass that could deteriorate your IQ, will actually loose at least 1 stop (depending on the tube length).

I find the bellows solution to be a good one for high magnification macro, but its downside (for me, at least) is that it is cumbersome and attracts dust on the camera sensor which is unprotected.


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