Extension Tube or Macro Lens?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP GaryR60 Contributing Member • Posts: 656
Re: Get tubes for 2 reasons

Right, I understand that. What I was referring to is the lack of flexibility that you'd get from a dedicated macro lens, especially a macro focusing zoom lens. The extension tube gives you a fixed focal length, essentially, so you have to move the camera nearer or farther away from the subject to compensate. At least, that's my understanding, anyway.

Letsgokoulos wrote:

GaryR60 wrote:

Cheaper, yes, and definitely lighter weight, and I don't care about auto, anyway....but, equal image quality? Hmmm....I don't know....

wootpile wrote:

a LOT cheaper! 10 bucks if you can live without auto (you don't need it)


a LOT more lightweight

tubes are just hollow light metal, carry them in your bag or pocket at all times

so.. save $$ and weight and have fun

For what you intend to shoot tubes will give you equal image quality.

If all you have is a zoom lens them you might want to go for the raynox (works best at zoom telephoto) not a good match with the pancake 16-50 though


Gary, as explained earlier, "hollow" extension tubes preserve the optical qualities of a lens, they only set the lens at a bigger distance from the sensor. They are cheap, the only problem with them is they are loosing at least one stop. This means they may not be ideal for all situations, but if you always shoot in areas with good light and no motion to expect from your subject, then they are excellent.

Some retain the "automatism" of the lens, which means they will allow you to autofocus and set the aperture in camera because they maintain the electronic communication between the lens and the camera. You will need to retain the camera aperture setting capabilities if you intend to use these extension tubes with an E-mount lens.

This problem does not exist with add-on close-up lenses (Raynox, Marumi, etc...), as they are attached to the tip of the lens and not between the lens and the camera.

A dedicated macro lens can either be a "legacy" manual focusing lens, with its own aperture and focus rings, or an autofocus lens. In AF lenses, two types are available: the E-mount lenses such as the SEL30F35 Macro or the third-party lenses. In the third party lenses, you will need an (usually expensive) adapter to retain AF and aperture setting capabilities, such as a Sony LA-EA2 for Sony A-mount lenses, or other for Canon, Zeiss Contax, etc...


Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow