Beginner Using Extension tubes for macro

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#1
When shooting macro are extension tubes any good. I am about to be given a Kenko DG macro extension tube set and was wondering whether these would provide any benefits over and above what are provided by a Nikon 28-105mm - (this has a 1:2 macro capability). My main reason for asking is that as I understand it with the extension tubes you will need to get a lot closer to your subject than with the 28-105. Can any one share their experiences

Thanks
 

Kodiak Qc

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French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
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#2
When shooting macro are extension tubes any good?

Extension tubes are a very good investment specially
because they have no glass in them and that means
you keep all the optic quality of your lens. I have the
Kenko AF for Nikon and I'm very pleased with that set.
 
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Terry
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#3
I had manual tubes with my D700 and loved them.

Consider buying a 50mm prime for use with them.

It'll be way better than your 28-105 and not too expensive secondhand.
 
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Phil
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#4
Tubes are an excellent and very cost effective way of gaining magnification... As Terry above says they will work best with a focal length around the 50mm mark, the longer the focal length the less effective tubes become at increasing your magnification.

Also it is worth being aware that there can be an impact on image quality depending on the design of your lens, whether that impact becomes noticeable in normal use is another matter.

The affordable 50mm f1.8's make great companions to a set of tubes....
 
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Dominic
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#5
I use extension tubes quite regularly, mainly for flower photography and sometimes for bugs and critters. I use them on my Canon 24-105 L and they do a good job. My only reservation is that although they allow you to focus closer, it now means that your lens is 12, 20 or 36mm longer (and if you couple the tubes together, it's even longer), so a steady hand and fast shutter speed are the order of the day. Also you may need to remove the lens hood as this can sometimes block light or touch your subject.

This was taken at 100 mm, 1/160, f4, with 32mm extension tubes.
2018-06-10_04-00-54-2027x1328.jpg
 
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Doti B
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#6
That's good to hear as I have a nifty 50 somewhere in my kit bag and will look at giving this a go.
Not sure how good it will be for snapping insects as I would need to get quite close to them, running the risk of frightening them away.
 
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Phil
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#7
That's good to hear as I have a nifty 50 somewhere in my kit bag and will look at giving this a go.
Not sure how good it will be for snapping insects as I would need to get quite close to them, running the risk of frightening them away.
The nifty 50's work well as they tend to be quite simple in design and focal lengths around 50mm give good increases in magnification, as you go longer in focal length then the magnification increases lessen. It is always worth trying out your 28 - 105 at the longer focal length. If a lens performs well at its Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) then it should be OK with tubes (Some lenses perform poorer at the MFD than they do at 'normal' working distances). Also some designs are created that need a constant distance from the rear element to the film/sensor plane, increasing this distance can have a negative impact on quality, as I said whether you will see any effect in real world photography is another matter.

Best way to not frighten our little insect friends is to photograph them early morning before they have had chance to warm up...

Best of luck and enjoy the new world that tubes will open up to you...
 
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Doti B
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#8
The nifty 50's work well as they tend to be quite simple in design and focal lengths around 50mm give good increases in magnification, as you go longer in focal length then the magnification increases lessen. It is always worth trying out your 28 - 105 at the longer focal length. If a lens performs well at its Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) then it should be OK with tubes (Some lenses perform poorer at the MFD than they do at 'normal' working distances). Also some designs are created that need a constant distance from the rear element to the film/sensor plane, increasing this distance can have a negative impact on quality, as I said whether you will see any effect in real world photography is another matter.

Best way to not frighten our little insect friends is to photograph them early morning before they have had chance to warm up...

Best of luck and enjoy the new world that tubes will open up to you...
Thanks for this insight. I'll try and post some pics over the weekend......circumstances permitting.
 
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Soeren
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#9
A reversing ring is also a cheap and fun way to shoot macro.
 
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Pete
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#11
Tubes are really good, but they depend on the length of your lens. For example: a 50mm lens with 25mm tubes will give you 1:2 mag. 50mm lens with 50mm tubes will give you 1:1 mag. So tube length/focal length = magnification.
Adding 30mm tubes on a 300mm lens won't do much to magnification but will bring the minimum focusing distance down a lot, which could be good in some situations.
 
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