Saturday, 2 November 2013

Macro Extender Tubes: Are they worth it?


and that's that really. well for me they certainly don't work! Now even though I could end the post there and that would really be all you need to know, I will explain why.

I bought these as a cheaper alternative to buying a macro lense. Now when I say cheaper, these cost me £12 where as a macro lense would be at least £400. So if they worked, it would have been such a bargain. Sadly they didn't. Anyway...

First of all I took some photos without any of the extender tubes attached. My model today was my lovely little cow. Here she is:

And here she is in the closest focus I can manage on my standard 12-42mm lense:

 Now I added these macro extender tubes.

 There are 3 different tube lengths or you can mix and match or combine them all together, plus there is and an adaptor for each end to attach to the lense and to the body. Now, these are cheap extender tubes so they have no electrical elements in them which means that all focussing can only be done by changing the distance from the subject. You also have to shoot 'without the lense attached' as the body doesn't think it is attached! I started with just the no. 1 tube attached which is the thinnest. Even with this I had to get ridiculously close to the subject, so should I be shooting anything that has the opportunity to move, it most certainly would! Also, as I had to get so close, it ruined all of the light I was getting to the subject so the picture came out terribly! They would only work if you had light on the subject that you didnt intefere with being right next to it. These were the only two I could actually capture, and I am not proud to say that I took them, they're not even in focus!!!

I also tried out something else in case it was just the cow, and here is all I could manage of my lense cap.
 For testing purposes I swapped out the no. 1 tube and attached the no. 2 tube. This got me RIDICULOUSLY close to the subject, so much so that I had zero light at all and there was no picture to take. Not happy! I tried to move to somewhere where light was streaming through and all I could capture was my lens cap like this, which got knocked all over the place with the end of my lens before I could actually get a shot.

Overall, they do take really close up photos, but due to the fact that you have to touch the subject with the end of the lense to get some focus, they are just useless!

On the bright side, I do have a lovely cow.


  1. Good to know!! I really want a 35mm lens

  2. Yeah I'm dying to get a macro lens. May have to just save up and bite the bullet!