|This photo was taken with a Canon 55-250mm kit lens set at 200mm and closest focus.|
|Canon 55-25-mm at 200mm with 12mm extension tube between camera and lens.|
*Extension tubes sets are much cheaper than any dedicated macro lens
*They are lightweight and smaller than most macro lenses
*Tubes work with any lens that you already own
*Extension tubes add no interference to the optical path and require little extra exposure
*They do not change the apparent focal length of the lens used with them
*Tubes allow a choice of working distance when used with a zoom lens
|Canon 55-250mm at 200 with 20mm extension tube|
*Lenses mounted on extension tubes will no longer focus to infinity
*Lenses have a very limited focusing distance range when using extension tubes
*Camera can feel awkward and unbalanced even on a tripod because the lens is physically extended away from the camera body.
*Extension tubes will not work with very short focal length lenses because the focus point is placed behind the front lens element.
*Some extension tubes might limit auto-focus and auto-exposure/metering pattern options.
*Tubes are much less convenient to use and less versatile than a dedicated macro lens.
|55-250mm lens at 200mm with 36mm extension tube|
*Just like with telephoto lenses, camera shake and subject motion are both magnified along with subject magnification. Either fast shutter speeds in combination with image stabilization or a sturdy tripod are required to get sharp images. I much prefer tripods, manual focus, small apertures, low ISO's and slow shutter speeds for maximum image quality.
*A good ball head on the tripod makes setting up the shot and locking down a front-heavy camera much easier. To me, nothing is more frustrating than continually needing to readjust the camera because the head is not heavy enough and the frame keeps creeping down between or during exposures. Having to loosen and tighten several different knobs or levers to make a simple framing adjustment seems wasteful when a ball head is so much easier and faster.
*My personal experience has been that 50mm and 85mm prime lenses both make great macro lenses when used in combination with extension tubes. This is especially true for APS sensor DSLR's.
|55-250mm lens at 200mm with 48mm extension|
|55-250mm lens at 200mm with 56mm extension|
|55-250mm lens at 200mm with 68mm extension|