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Thread: Question about extension tubes and canon 50mm f/1.8

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    New Member JiMo's Avatar
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    Red face Question about extension tubes and canon 50mm f/1.8

    Hi all,

    I'm new here and I apologise in advance for the very basic understanding and question that folllows!

    My husband and I are beginner photographers and he is interested in macro photography. We have a canon T2i 550D with the standard twin lenses. I was hoping to get him something to go towards learning about macro photography for his birthday, but I'm on maternity leave at the moment and on a bit of a budget.

    I've read that a good way to go about this without spending lots of money is by buying a kenko extension tube set and a 50mm f1.18 lens. Is this a decent way to go about it, or am I missing something or is this information outdated?

    Thank you in advance for your opinions!

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome to AP.. The cheapest way would be to buy a reverse ring about $10 ? and put it on the 50mm lens as you will see HERE
    If you have not got the 50mm lens then have a look at the Tamron 90mm macro lens HERE from one of our Sponsors up top, its only $64 more that the price of 50mm lens and ex Tubes,
    That 90mm Macro lens is good for portraits also so Baby Pics. Ex tubes are good for bringing things closer in macro though I have only ever used them on my Macro Lenses so I cannot help with other lenses.
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    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    Hello and Welcome to AP.. The cheapest way would be to buy a reverse ring about $10 ? and put it on the 50mm lens as you will see HERE
    If you have not got the 50mm lens then have a look at the Tamron 90mm macro lens HERE from one of our Sponsors up top, its only $64 more that the price of 50mm lens and ex Tubes,
    That 90mm Macro lens is good for portraits also so Baby Pics. Ex tubes are good for bringing things closer in macro though I have only ever used them on my Macro Lenses so I cannot help with other lenses.
    Hi Mary Anne,

    Thank you so much for the reply!

    Again, please forgive the newbie here, but if he already has a 55m f/3.5 then would a 90mm f/2.8 be that much better?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by JiMo; 01-10-2014 at 3:49pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi JiMo.
    I will answer the simple Q first: the 50mm lens and Kenko tubes will work.
    It is one way - and relatively cheap - to do some macro photography.

    For the Q in your 2nd post, I'd say yes, a 90mm macro lens would be a "generally" better solution to macro photography.

    Now that means that it is a wide field and there are many solutions that can work - depending on what you want to do.

    Firstly, I would point out that "macro photography" usually refers to recording images of objects at around 1:1. Basically, it means
    getting a lens to focus when it is held fairly close to the subject. Extension tubes "push" the lens further away from the sensor so that
    it can get closer to the subject, and a reversing ring allows a lens to project an image onto the sensor from about the usual focusing distance
    "behind" it, ie approximately from its focal plane.

    Many lenses, however, have a "macro" label on them but only allow image reproduction of about 1/2 or 1/3 (sometimes even less) of subject size.
    Dedicated macro lenses are (almost always) capable of 1:1 or better. They usually cost more than the combination you mentioned above.

    In practical terms in the field, the use of extension tubes and reversing rings - THOUGH NOT BAD in themselves - can make for some awkward
    photographic conditions, like getting enough light onto your subject, giving only a very shallow DOF (depth-of-field), and getting so close as to
    affect your subject in other ways. Dedicated macro lenses allow for some reasonable distance to the subject.

    Now is that 55/3.5 lens a prime lens? Ie, not a zoom? In the short term, you could potentially get some good practice with it and the cheaper
    methods described.

    Finally, the longer the focal length of a "macro lens", the further it allows you to be from the subject, while still yielding (typically) 1:1 reproduction.

    I hope this is not too confusing.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Hi JiMo.
    I will answer the simple Q first: the 50mm lens and Kenko tubes will work.
    It is one way - and relatively cheap - to do some macro photography.

    For the Q in your 2nd post, I'd say yes, a 90mm macro lens would be a "generally" better solution to macro photography.

    Now that means that it is a wide field and there are many solutions that can work - depending on what you want to do.

    Firstly, I would point out that "macro photography" usually refers to recording images of objects at around 1:1. Basically, it means
    getting a lens to focus when it is held fairly close to the subject. Extension tubes "push" the lens further away from the sensor so that
    it can get closer to the subject, and a reversing ring allows a lens to project an image onto the sensor from about the usual focusing distance
    "behind" it, ie approximately from its focal plane.

    Many lenses, however, have a "macro" label on them but only allow image reproduction of about 1/2 or 1/3 (sometimes even less) of subject size.
    Dedicated macro lenses are (almost always) capable of 1:1 or better. They usually cost more than the combination you mentioned above.

    In practical terms in the field, the use of extension tubes and reversing rings - THOUGH NOT BAD in themselves - can make for some awkward
    photographic conditions, like getting enough light onto your subject, giving only a very shallow DOF (depth-of-field), and getting so close as to
    affect your subject in other ways. Dedicated macro lenses allow for some reasonable distance to the subject.

    Now is that 55/3.5 lens a prime lens? Ie, not a zoom? In the short term, you could potentially get some good practice with it and the cheaper
    methods described.

    Finally, the longer the focal length of a "macro lens", the further it allows you to be from the subject, while still yielding (typically) 1:1 reproduction.

    I hope this is not too confusing.
    Am.
    Thank you as well for your reply Am. After a bit of thought, I'm leaning towards the 90mm so we can take pictures of the little rascal as well.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Good choice. It takes a while to get into macro as it's not just equipment and technique, the most important thing is learning what to photograph and when to photograph it. A 90mm is a good portrait lens too, so it will be useful for other things than macro.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Some extension tubes can cost as much as a good used dedicated macro - or close to it. So, consider the 90mm which , as has been said , is great for macro and portraits as well.

    Mongo bought a near new Tamron AF 90mm f2.5 macro complete in its case for $90 ! something to think about
    Nikon and Pentax user



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