Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Extension Tubes

Do you know about Extension Tubes?  They are tubes that fit between your lens and camera body, and they are a fairly inexpensive way to give your lenses a macro effect.

As you can see, they really are just tubes.  There is no glass in them, but they have electronic contacts so that the camera and lens can still communicate with each other for exposure and auto focus.  Mine are made by Kenko, and I got them at B&H Photo many years ago.

Here are some examples of what they can do.  (You can click on any of the photos to get an enlarged view.)  This tiny mushroom was on my front lawn:

This is a full frame of the closest I could possibly get to it with a 50mm macro lens:

Here it is the full frame after I added a 36mm extension tube:

And again:

Here's another tiny mushroom (you can see the blade of grass for scale):

And the entrance to an earthworm burrow:

As you see, they can give your photos an ethereal quality, with a very, very shallow focus.  When you use them, you need to be extremely close to your subject and hold your camera very still, so they're not ideal for taking pictures of anything that moves.  But, if you happen to be well on your way to becoming the world's greatest tiny mushroom photographer... you might enjoy playing around with these!


  1. you convinced me
    adding to my camera wish list

  2. too funny i left that comment even before i realized you had linked to me

  3. Wow, those extensions really do make a difference. I love the detail on the mushroom!


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