Ok so I thought I would go out into the back garden and play around with the extension tubes for a bit. So I happily snapped away for a bit and then retreated within the house to have a look at the results.
Well once imported into lightroom it was apparent that they were quite blurry or rather soft. Why? Well in some cases the speed just was not fast enough, and in others the aperture was to wide. With the extension tubes on (only the 16mm in this case), the depth of field is very narrow so a small aperture is needed, and given that shallow depth of field every tiny hand movement can throw the focus off, therefore a fairly high speed is needed.
Therefore I headed back outside to take the same shots but with the camera set to manual with an f stop between 16-20, and speeds between 1/125 and 1/250, letting an automatic ISO of between 400-3200 compensate for the small aperture high speed combination.
The results – success – below is a shot of the empty seed head of some grass.
Well last week I thought I would buy myself some cheap macro extension tubes from amazon, to get myself that little bit closer.
I have some macro filters, but have used them rarely and with little success. The new extension tubes have pass through contacts, so they record all info to exif, I get to set fstop, and I get autofocus if required. They are plastic, but I don’t aim to treat them that badly, and to buy tubes with metal mounts would have nearly doubled the price.
So how do they perform. The shots below were taken at 26mm, that being the lowest zoom where I could use both tubes, and the shots were performed handheld. The macro shots are not that steady and I will need to use a tripod or be in bright light. I lost between 2-3 stops of light, however this increases with the need to stop the aperture down to gain more depth of field, as this is very narrow with the lens so close to the subject and the aperture open.
So here are two shots without and with the tubes.
So now I have just got to find some time to get out and take some pictures.