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Extension Tubes - Which One To Get: EF 12mm II or EF 25mm II

AndyMilnePhotog
Enthusiast

Hi guys,

 

I love macro photography, but I would like to get closer to my subject without spending too much money. I researched that extension tubes are the best option to get started in terms of image quality. I can't decide whether to get the EF 12mm II or the EF 25mm II extension tube. The camera that I have is a Canon Rebel T6i. Also, I have 3 lenses which are the 18-55 IS STM, 50mm f/1.8 STM & 55-250 IS STM. Feel free to share your suggestions on which one to get along with the pros, cons & alternatives. Thank you.

 

Andrew 

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

The general rule that I once read is use an extension tube that is roughly 25% of the focal length of the lens you are using. go with no more than 50% of the focal length.

 

It is possible to stack 1-3 extensions tubes to get a longer effective length.  However, the problem with stacking is that assembly can become a little shaky and unsteady.

 

One drawback with extension tubes is that you gain a shorter MFD, but you lose the ability to focus at infinity.  But, that is a “don’t care condition” when your goal is to photograph at short distances.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

View solution in original post

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"... but I would like to get closer to my subject without spending too much money."

 

This is always the case, isn't it?  It (low cost) and photography usually don't play well together.  However in your case a true macro lens is a better direction to go.  I have seen the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens in the refurb store for less than $300. I think extension tubes are in the $80 dollar range.  But a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens will be far more useful because you can use it in 'normal' situations too.  Pretty nice to have a constant f2.8 lens that is super sharp.

An extension tube has one limited usefulness for $80 bucks!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

View solution in original post

23 REPLIES 23

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

The general rule that I once read is use an extension tube that is roughly 25% of the focal length of the lens you are using. go with no more than 50% of the focal length.

 

It is possible to stack 1-3 extensions tubes to get a longer effective length.  However, the problem with stacking is that assembly can become a little shaky and unsteady.

 

One drawback with extension tubes is that you gain a shorter MFD, but you lose the ability to focus at infinity.  But, that is a “don’t care condition” when your goal is to photograph at short distances.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

The general rule that I once read is use an extension tube that is roughly 25% of the focal length of the lens you are using. go with no more than 50% of the focal length.

 


Now that I want to puchase the 60mm macro lens, let's say I attach a 25mm extension tube on the macro lens which gives me a magnification range of approximately 0.5x to 1.5x. Is this a useful application if I want to get closer to my subject such as photographing a head of an insect or archnid and also for flower pistils? Just a thought.

 

Andrew

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i

I can't say as you will have to try it and see if it gives the result you desire.  It is likely going to be a tripod situation, you know that? The DOF will be tiny.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

 It is likely going to be a tripod situation, you know that? The DOF will be tiny.


I agree with you on that because the slighest movement of the camera, forwards and backwards can throw your subject out of focus. Also, any camera shake is exaggerated when shooting at macro distances which can result in blurry pictures. I will definitely aquaint myself to use the base macro lens first and of course a tripod until I get more experienced. As always, practice makes perfect. 😉

 

Andrew   

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i

Andrew,

Do you know how to focus stack in PS?  You can increase DOF by a lot.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


@AndyMilnePhotog wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

 It is likely going to be a tripod situation, you know that? The DOF will be tiny.


I agree with you on that because the slighest movement of the camera, forwards and backwards can throw your subject out of focus. Also, any camera shake is exaggerated when shooting at macro distances which can result in blurry pictures. I will definitely aquaint myself to use the base macro lens first and of course a tripod until I get more experienced. As always, practice makes perfect. 😉

 

Andrew   


A tripod may not be enough. Remember that this is not a zoom lens. You may need to equip the tripod with one of those platforms with rails that allows you make fine adjustments to the distance of the camera from the subject.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

"macro rail"

@ebiggs: That sounds like a gerat solution. When I tried taking a picture of a dead insect months ago, I noticed that when I used a high f-stop number like f/32 to increase the DOF, diffraction softens the image and the detail/texture is reduced significantly. I will give it a go once I get into college to further my study in photography.

 

@RobertTheFat & kvbarkley: I wish I can afford a macro rail which   

is more precise for focus stacking than a focusing ring. However, I am an amateur/beginner photographer trying to save up for college and contributing to the food bill. I will absolutely keep it in my wish list and stick with the focusing ring for the time being until photography becomes my profession someday. Thanks though. 🙂

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i


@AndyMilnePhotog wrote:

@ebiggs: That sounds like a gerat solution. When I tried taking a picture of a dead insect months ago, I noticed that when I used a high f-stop number like f/32 to increase the DOF, diffraction softens the image and the detail/texture is reduced significantly. I will give it a go once I get into college to further my study in photography.

 

@RobertTheFat & kvbarkley: I wish I can afford a macro rail which   

is more precise for focus stacking than a focusing ring. However, I am an amateur/beginner photographer trying to save up for college and contributing to the food bill. I will absolutely keep it in my wish list and stick with the focusing ring for the time being until photography becomes my profession someday. Thanks though. 🙂


If you do not have a high quality, professional grade tripod, then I suggest you make the investment.  Figure on spending upwards of $200.  The “load ratings” of tripods are pretty meaningless, because there is no standard that I am aware of.

Some manufacturers seem to have load ratings that are overly optimistic, while others seem rather conservative.  I have found that Benro falls into the latter category.  Benro makes fairly robust tripods and tripod heads, but the best part is the high quality carry cases that come with the tripods.

Choose a tripod and head that can handle 5-10 times the amount of weight of you camera and largest lens.  Ball heads are the most popular type of head.  If you buy a ball head, then make sure that it has a friction adjustment.  A ball head is useless without it.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."
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