Monday, 22 July 2013

Extension Tubes: first impressions

I've recently buy a pack of extension tubes for complete my kit of macro-photography. They are the "Meike  macro extension tube set", composed by three elements: a tube of 12mm, a tube of 20mm and a tube of 36mm. They can be combined of every way. They cost about $55 (~40€) and arrived from Honk Kong to Spain a month and half after the shipping.


There are two kinds of extension tubes: simples, and with digital connections. These Meike are with digital connections, and it lets -for example - to change the aperture from the body of the camera or use auto-focus. These are my first impressions about they. These impressions could be changed in the future, when I will test them in outdoor.

My first sensation when I could have one of them in my hand was that they was made of a very bad plastic. I thought it could be made of metal or of a more solid material.

I've tested them in accumulative way, from shorter to longer. These are the results:


"Extension" is the tubes used. For example, "extension = +0mm" is meaning "without tubes", only my TAMRON 90mm. If "extension = +12mm", I've used the 12mm extension tube. If "extension = +68mm", I've used the three tubes (12mm + 20mm + 36mm). The distance is measure from the cap of the lens to the object. It's an approximated value. The F-number has been held in a fixed value. The parameter "t⁻¹" is the inverse of the shooting time. Here the pictures of the above table larger.

Picture without extension tubes

Picture with 12mm extension tube

Picture with 12mm + 20mm extension tubes

Picture with 12mm + 20mm extension tubes (with shorter shooting time)

Picture with 12mm + 20mm + 36mm extension tubes

The first conclusion of this little experiment is about the stability. The construction of these tubes are not very solid, so when you add several tubes, the stability is very very poor. The lack of light is increasing with the size of the tube(s). Lack of light + lack of stability = disaster!

This is a picture as the last, but with high ISOs values and faster shutter speed.


I have to test them deeper, better if it is in outdoor. The first impression is worst than I thought, but maybe I change my opinion with better light conditions in outdoor.

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