Extension Tubes in Macro Photography


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My 1"-diameter watch photographed with a 36mm extension tube and 18-55mm lens. The end of the camera lens was probably 1" or 2" from my watch. (Notice how, because it is closer to the lens, the heart is not as clearly focused.) (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Last weekend I experimented with one of the photography toys I received for Christmas: a Kenko (brand) extension tube set.

At this site is explanatory information about extension tubes, including a 1/2-minute video at the bottom of the site.

Basically an extension tube enables a person to take a photo focusing closer to the subject than his/her camera would typically allow. The longer the extension tube, the closer a camera lens can be when focusing on an object.

On Thursday or Friday I’ll post more, including photos, regarding the use of extension tubes.  For now, if you have time to read at least the first paragraph, and also to watch the 1/2-minute video at the “this site” link I provided above, it will help toward better understanding of my next post.

I’m sort of like the blind leading the blind on this topic, since I have so little experience using the tubes. I’m just so excited about them that, even with my lack of expertise, I want to post about them. If you are familiar with the tubes and have a better/different/more technically correct way to explain an aspect of the tubes, by all means, please provide your comment(s) below.

One more note…for the previous post, I used a 36mm extension tube with an 18-55mm lens to take a photo of one of Miss Kitty’s claws. The end of the lens was probably about 1″ or 2″ away from Miss Kitty’s claw.

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3 Responses to “Extension Tubes in Macro Photography”

  1. Peg Says:

    Awwww, Miss Kitty getting the spotlight! 🙂

    And though I don’t know how interested I am in the technology of the extension tubes:

    1) I ***love*** the results, especially the photo of your watch!!!! AWESOME photo! Could be made into a poster or a greeting card!

    2) Jeff might be really interested, as he is *really* interested in taking (very) close-ups of bugs, plants, etc. I’ll be sure to forward your post to him.

    Fun that you’re having fun! 🙂

  2. Jeff Says:

    I’ve been reading a bit about extension tubes. Even how one guy made one from a pringles can! Never seen one, though. I’m interested to learn more about them.

  3. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Peggy: I’m glad you like the photo. Maybe I should consider using it for some cards. I’m glad you planted that seed in my mind. I think it would be used for many types of occasions. Thank you.

    Jeff: I’m going to have two more posts about the tubes. The next post is basically just two videos, but since I’m posting them, obviously I think they are helpful. I think using the tubes is addictive and fun.

    I’m also learning that having a good tripod is more important than I realized.

    I looked at the Pringles can directions today. Oh my, over my head,…but inexpensive.

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