A Phoenix Burning

Totally Tubular!

Okay, so I had learned about these nifty little gadgets called “extension tubes” during my last class with Bryan Peterson.  They are glassless tubes that come in a set of three different sizes that can be used individually or stacked.  You connect them between the camera and your lens (any lens, I might add!) and they give you the ability to get much closer to your subject.  I had been perfectly content to use my magnifying filters and my Raynox 250 until this past week’s assignment in macro.  We aren’t allowed to use flowers as our subject, and I was having a VERY hard time getting a neat abstract macro using my lenses.  I couldn’t get close enough, and the focus wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked.  So, I finally bit the bullet to the tune of $100 and bought the tubes.  I bought the Pro-Optic brand tubes, but if you want to splurge, Kenko makes a set for about $170 that Bryan Peterson uses.  I had about 15 minutes to play with them, and here’s what I got…these are SOOC.  (Same flowers that I used for the black and white shoot by the way.)

And one non-flower shot:

I think I’m in love.


12 responses

  1. This is SO COOL!!! I was just looking at extension tubes a couple of weeks ago, debating whether or not to get them. So you really like them? They’re worth the money? Are they difficult to work with? I can’t remember which brand I was looking at, but it was a 3-piece set like yours.
    I think this will be my next purchase… and that fisheye lens will have to wait a little longer.

    March 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    • Well, Daily, based on my 15 minutes working with them, and the fact that I didn’t do anything other than twist them on and start shooting, I’d say they are pretty easy to work with. 🙂
      I will have to play with them a lot more to figure out all the nuances, and I haven’t used them separately, only stacked. You have to adjust your exposure manually, and you have to compensate for the fact that less light is making it in, but I didn’t find it a problem. It was SO much easier to get a sharp focus with these! I LURVE them!

      March 26, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      • Thanks! I have them bookmarked and will probably order them within a week or so. Oh, and that was the Kenko brand I was looking at, it’s the only set that B&H has. I think I’ll save some money and order from Adorama 🙂

        March 27, 2009 at 5:39 am

  2. karma

    I’m having a hard time picturing how these extension tubes work. I know with the Raynox its a very strict 117mm focusing distance. How do the tubes allow you to get closer?
    Is the last photo hair by any chance?

    March 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    • Karma, you attach them to the camera in place of the lens, then attach the lens to the end of the tube/tubes. They are hollow, but extending the distance between the sensor and the lens allows you to get really close. I still don’t quite understand the “physics” of it, but I don’t need to! lol
      The tubes come in three different lengths, and you can use them individually or stacked to get different magnifications. I guess there’s a degradation in photo quality when you add glass to a lens, and these add nothing but length.

      March 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    • Oh, yeah, and that last photo is twine.

      March 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm

  3. Mine are on their way

    The Tubes in honor of your beautiful work

    March 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm

  4. dalia

    Adding to my list of wants too!! These pictures are amazing!!

    March 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    • Thanks Dalia! I can’t wait to spend more time using them. The shots I took were for the sole purpose of seeing how close I could get. Way cool!

      March 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  5. karma

    Interesting. I wonder if these would work for me. As you may or may not remember, I have a glorified point-and-shoot that I am able to attach a limited number of lens to with the help of an adapter tube.

    March 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    • I’m not sure if they would work. ??? You’d have to do some research. My guess though, is that they are for D/SLR’s.

      March 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm

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